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.
Photos courtesy of Dave Rimmer, Sally and Paul Bartho.