Oribi Gorge Outing June 15th

The Birdclub’s outing to Oribi Gorge had 10 members attending.  A few having some ‘target’ birds for the day.

Rock pool
Rock pool

We started off by birding in a different area from normal, but as it was along the road the latecomers were able to catch up before we’d gone very far.  It seemed very quiet for Oribi and not much was seen early on, but this picked up after a while and we got great views of many Knysna Turacos and a couple of people got lifers with Mountain Wagtail.

Knysna Turaco
Knysna Turaco

Blue-mantled Flycatchers showed themselves a few times but many birds where hiding in the green foliage.  Apalis’s (two species), White-eyes and Sunbirds were all around and the normally shy Southern Boubou came out of hiding along with Sombre Greenbuls.  We then moved onto the farmlands just above the Gorge and had both species of Longclaw along with African Pipits and a pair of Rock Kestrel’s.

Rock Kestrel
Rock Kestrel

We then went down to the main picnic area for a well-deserved tea break before going along the Hoopoe Falls trail.  While some where still drinking their coffee Dave Rimmer located a juvenile White-starred Robin which didn’t hang around for the others but compensation came in the form of a pair of Cape Batis.

While along the trail an adult Robin was spotted and seen by most (and a lifer for some).  There were quite a few butterflies around including the unusual Dusky-veined Acraea.

Dusky-veined Acraea
Dusky-veined Acraea

Most people had lunch at the picnic spot before departing when the wind picked up.

Sadly although a few were heard calling and one tapped close to the road, the Knysna Woodpecker didn’t show itself on the day – leaving something to go back for.

Four of us stayed for the weekend in the reserve huts and had booked to go to the vulture breeding site on the Monday.  What a treat to have the Cape Vultures flying so close above our heads and to see them on the cliffs.  A Black Stork also joined them for a flyby.

Jenny Norman

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