Tanglewood Farm Nature Reserve

Saturday Outing to Tanglewood Farm NR

3 September 2016

We had an excellent turnout – the weather could have been a bit better but the cool/slightly overcast sky made walking very pleasant.

Our bird count was in the region of 84 – we had a few mysterious raptors and there was much debate whether the one was an early returning cuckoo or a sparrowhawk.  Unfortunately no photos to help with ID. Click here to see a list of the birds recorded as identified.

The walk through the forested Kloof area yielded up a good number of birds, Purple-crested and Knysna Turacos, Dusky Flycatchers on every second tree and the one group were lucky enough to hear (and see?) Green Twinspots also Narina Trogon  were heard.

Also heard was the Crowned Eagle but then the consensus was possibly a Red-capped Robin Chat!!

Our Weaver count was excellent; Dark-backed, Spectacled, Yellow and Cape building nests by the boathouse dam, Thick-billed and of course the ubiquitous Village.

Sunbirds were not too shabby either; Amethyst, Collared, Olive and Greater-double collared.

Some of the birds seen and heard included: Black-headed Oriole, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Forest Canary, Black-collared, Crested and White-eared Barbets, Southern Boubou, lots of doves – Red-eyed, Emerald Spotted, Tambourine, Rock and Lemon, African Olive Pigeon (Caryl said they roost on top of the house) Common Fiscal, Black-backed Puffback, African Firefinch, Olive Thrush, Southern Black Tit, Olive Bushshrike, a couple of specials – Buff-spotted Flufftail (calling) and Grey Waxbill.

The walk through the grasslands yielded Cape Grassbirds, Croaking Cisticolas, Neddickys, Yellow-throated Longclaws, with Lesser Striped Swallows, Palm Swifts and Black Saw-wings swooping over the dams.

Plenty of wild flowers and butterflies produced some really great photos.

We finished off the morning having our picnic tea at the boathouse – watching the weavers building nests.

Relaxed Birders
Relaxed Birders

The Shetland pony came down to munch the fresh green grass around the dam, the Hadedas delving into the soft earth for tasty morsels, Woolly-necked Storks flying overhead, Reed Cormorants sitting in the dead tree, altogether a very pleasant place to be!

At one point someone on the deck saw this Reed Snake floating at the water’s edge below. “Look at the eyes” was the call, “But not much of a wiggle” said another.

Reed Snake - PB
Reed Snake – PB

At one stage we stopped off at the house to see the Trumpeter Hornbill chick that Caryl and her son rescued. At the moment it lives in a make-shift enclosure and is making a wonderful recovery. It shares the enclosure with an Angora rabbit (also found in the nature reserve) and they seem to be the best of friends.

We had a ‘silver’ collection and R300 was collected! which will go to the Hillcrest conservancy. Many thanks to Caryl for allowing us to visit and have such a great ‘birding’ day.


Elena Russell

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