New Germany NR

Report by Terry Walls

Saturday 2nd March, 2019

An excellent morning for birding, overcast but not a breath of wind. About twenty birders arrived. It was encouraging to meet a number of new birders and also others who have not been active for some time.

The first bird that stood out was a Yellow-billed Kite sitting quietly nearby.

We split into two groups of ten, one to do the clockwise route while the other, counter clockwise.

A hide full of birders – John Bremner

Both groups reported the usual birds one would expect in the riverine forest/bush-clump mosaic habitat.

Waterlilies on the pond – John Bremner

Significant numbers of birds were encountered by each of the groups for the small reserve.

Highlights were: Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, (bird of the day)

Blue-mantled Crested- Flycatcher, Lemon Dove (revealed by the soft call which seemed to come from the undergrowth, while the bird was seen in the forest canopy). Orange-breasted Bush-shrike,

Orange-breasted Bush-shrike – John Bremner

Little and Black Sparrowhawks, Booted Eagle and a stunning view of a Common Buzzard.

Also heard calling were a Red-throated Wryneck and a Knysna Turaco, but could not be confirmed with a sighting.

Some of the other sightings photographed include:

Tortoise on the path – John Bremner

A feature of the reserve is the biodiversity of the grassland with the beautiful flowers and insects.

Leonotis – John Bremner

The Pink Watsonia at this time of year is always a sight to behold.

One can also expect to see Yellow-throated Longclaw

Yellow-throated Longclaw with breakfast – John Bremner

and Little Bee-eater although only one of these was seen.

Contrary to the weather forecast and our expectation, the cloud did not “burn off”, and in fact closed in. The outing was concluded with refreshments under the cover of the interpretive centre due to the light drizzle.

A total of seventy seven birds were recorded. Click here to see the list.

Thanks to the photographers – Sandi du Preez and John Bremner.

Terry Walls

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New Germany Nature Reserve Outing

Report by Sandi du Preez

Wednesday 19 September

The weather wasn’t great but 12 birders attended the outing and for once there were more males than females! The reserve is looking absolutely stunning at the moment as a portion of the grassland was burnt earlier this year, resulting in a fantastic display of Spring wild flowers. In fact, the flowers outshone the birds by far!

A Southern Ground Hornbill (nick-named Chester) was spotted in the reserve the day before but he obviously didn’t get the WhatsApp ordering him to wait for us.

Walking down the steep “steps” at the start, a Southern Boubou flew across and and we were treated to excellent views.

Southern Boubou – Dave Rimmer

The pathway through the grassy area towards the forest area yielded the usual birds such as Neddicky, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-headed Oriole, African Hoopoe, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Violet-backed Starling, Black-bellied Starling, African Palm Swift, Olive Thrush, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Spectacled Weaver, Purple-crested Turaco. Surprisingly, the only sunbird seen was an Amethyst Sunbird.

For a full species list of the birds recorded, click here. Unfortunately, many of the 65 species  were recorded on call only.

While we were having our picnic, a Yellow-bellied Greenbul was complaining about his “belly-ache!

There was not much opportunity for bird photos so all the flower photos will just have to be tolerated instead! Thanks to Dave Rimmer for his photos.

I had a special treat on the way out. A Black-backed Puffback flew in front of my car with it’s “puff” up and landed on a branch for a superb view.

Sandi du Preez

 

New Germany Nature Reserve

Saturday 1 July 2017

Report by Elena Russell

We had a good turnout and broke up into two groups – thanks to Oscar for leading the one group.

The report is rather short as there were a number of photographers present John Bremner, Sheryl Halstead & Mick Jackson.   Thanks for the great photos which I am sure you would all rather look at than read my waffle!

We dipped on the Fiscal Flycatcher which should be a certainty at NGNR in winter. Our bird count at tea was 53+ (click here to see a list) and then the late stragglers (die-hard birders) came in and the count must have been over 60 by the end of the morning – not too shabby for a very dry and wintery NGNR.

Thanks to Sandi for IDing the big green caterpillar which is a Green-veined Charaxes!!

Cheers

Elena