Sunday Outing

Martin has asked that if you want to go on this outing then you must call him (not me) to confirm because it is Easter Sunday. See details:

Sunday 20 April at  06:30 – Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve with Martin Taylor. Please contact Martin to confirm – email: or call: Cell 0722777254. A favourite birding spot with a great mix of birds and the cisticolas will keep us busy with ID.  The wild flowers are always a treat.  Bring a picnic lunch and chairs.Directions: Travel south on N2 from Durban for 60 kms (past Scottburgh) take the R612 (Park Rynie/Umzinto) turnoff, turn right over freeway and travel 12 km (past Umzinto), turn right at the signpost for Vernon Crookes onto good gravel road travel for 6 km to the reserve. Meet at entrance (there is an entrance fee – take your Wild Card and Rhino Card).


Biodiversity Seminar Series – Invitation to a Talk by Martin Taylor

Biodiversity Seminar Series – Invitation to a Talk by Martin Taylor on 21st November.

Click Biodiversity Seminar Series for details of the invitation.

Dargle Outing Sunday 19th May – Report back.

Dargle Outing Sunday 19th May – Report back.

Although Dargle is a little further for us to travel than we’re used to, 10 of us came from Durban and surrounds including Martin Taylor our guide for the day.  After all of us meeting at Piggly Wiggly (in 6 degrees I might add) we made our way to Kilgobbin Farm to meet Barend Booysen who owns the farm and also does guided walks through the Forest on the 1st Thursday of each month.  (Contact tel: 082 3372025).

Upon arrival we were welcomed by Barend outside a romantic chapel and on cue, much to our absolute delight 12 very vocal Cape Parrots flew over our heads.  Some of us were so stunned our reactions were pretty slow.  Happily we had another opportunity to see them when another flock of 6 came over while admiring an African Crown Eagle’s nest.

The entrance to Kilgobbin Forest is Barend’s very bird friendly garden.  In a matter of minutes we identified a number of different sunbirds giving the birder’s in our group a spectacular display and the photographers some excellent opportunities to record them. See photo gallery below.

Kilgobbin Forest is beautiful and well maintained by the Dargle Conservancy.  As we entered this magical canopy of trees, including stately Yellowwoods, we were greeted by a chorus of bird calls from Olive and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Chorister Robin-Chats, Cape Batis, Bar-throated Apalis and Knysna Turacos.  For me personally, forest birding is very difficult but this time there were a number of open clearings making it easier to see the birds and where they seemed to make themselves surprisingly more conspicuous. The forest walk leads up onto open grasslands above. Unfortunately there was not an abundance of grassland birds although a highlight was a Malachite Sunbird was seen amongst the Leonotis.

All in all, we recorded 46 birds and 3 waterbirds on the dam on the way out.  Sandi du Preez claimed the Chorister Robin as the Bird of the Day, but for me it was the Cape Parrot.  Our thanks goes to Martin our guide, Barend for his hospitality and all the wonderful birds, making it another perfect birding day.

Cheryl King

Photos courtesy of Dave Rimmer, Sally and Paul Bartho.

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Sunday 19 May. Outing to Dargle with Martin Taylor.

Sunday 19 May. Dargle with Martin Taylor.

Meeting at Piggly Wiggly parking lot at 07h00. Please contact Martin to confirm: 031-767 3339; 072-2777254 or email: Martin.

The quiet rural road network in the Dargle Valley in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands offers an opportunity to record, amidst beautiful hill and marshy valleys, over 200 bird species including Crowned, Wattled and Blue Crane, African Crowned Eagle, Narina Trogon, White-Starred Robin, Olive Woodpecker, and a host of cisticolas and warblers.

Directions: Travel north from Durban on the N3. As you pass Howick turn left off the N3 onto the P142 and then, after 1.4 km, take a right onto the R103. Drive on the R103 for about 8km. Piggly Wiggly will be on your left. Meet in the parking lot.

Sunday 19th May – Dargle – Meeting time changed

Sunday 19th May – Dargle – Meeting time changed.

Please note that the meeting time has been changed to 07h00.

It is important to contact Martin Taylor to confirm arrangements if you intend coming on the outing. See all details in  Activities / Future Activities or Calendar of Events on the website.