Pigeon Valley

Sally and I popped in to Pigeon Valley for an hour midday today. Here are some of the photos taken.

Paul Bartho


Pigeon Valley

Saturday 6 June 2015 with Elena Russell.

A good Winter’s morning birding at Pigeon Valley on Saturday 6 June – there were 20 members and non-members plus a few late-comers and our bird count was 59.

Birders Pigeon Valley - John
Birders Pigeon Valley – John

We started off by looking for the Spotted Ground-Thrush and were not disappointed in our search – in fact SGT’s were seen on a number of occasions. Our hunt for the Buff-spotted Flufftail was unfortunately not successful, we must wait for Crispin to keep us updated on any sightings. We then broke up into 2 groups; my thanks to Dave Rimmer for leading one group.

The Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatchers were seen near the ‘broken dam’ wall. We dipped on Honeyguides/birds which we normally do see at Pigeon Valley but our Sunbird tally was excellent; Amethyst, Collared, Grey, Olive and Purple banded. Raptors were rather scarce, mainly heard with a few brief glimpses of Crowned Eagle, Black Sparrowhawk and African Goshawk.

We had some excellent birding up by the reservoir, where the veldt grasses have been allowed to grow and various fig trees and the Apodytes are fruiting in abundance!! Fiscal Flycatchers, Black-headed Orioles, White-eared Barbets, Village & Spectacled Weavers, Speckled Mousebirds, Dark-capped Bulbuls, and then the piece de resistance a Zitting Cisticola (due no doubt to the grasses being allowed to grow tall and thick).

Grey Waxbills, African Firefinch, Bronze and Red-backed Mannikins, Yellow-fronted Canaries, Cape White Eyes, Tambourine, Red-eyed and Laughing Doves, Southern Black and Dusky Flycatchers, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongos, Purple-crested Turacos, Terrestrial Brownbuls, Olive Thrush kept the list ticking up very nicely.

The last bird of the morning was the Palm swift which came swooping overhead as we had our picnic tea.

Thanks to Decklan, Paul, Dave and John for their pics.



Pigeon Valley – Wed 16 July

We are sparkling here currently in Pigeon Valley NR.  People are coming to see the Buff-spotted Flufftails, which are very obliging while conditions are so dry.  While at the spot most likely to see them, I have also had great views of a confiding Narina Trogon, persistent attention from the Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher female, African Firefinches, very friendly Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, and a bird yesterday that I and another watcher did not see well enough to be sure – she think it could be a Greater Honeyguide juvenile.

We have also had a rare visit from a Grey-headed Bush-Shrike.

But perhaps the most spectacular was when 25 of us on the BirdLife Port Natal outing to Pigeon Valley started the walk and then watched as a Scaly-throated Honeyguide tried to take over a Cardinal Woodpecker nesting hole in a branch over the main path just after the map.  It was unflustered by the onlookers, as it tried persistently, at one point locking bills with the female Cardinal Woodpecker in the nest.

Later in the morning, most of the BirdLife members stood and watched the male and female Buff-spotted, as a way of ending the morning.

One of the Red Duikers has died; I had a look at the body this morning; it is a bit decayed, but potentially it was taken by a Crowned Eagle; maybe I will be able to see the right eye socket a bit later to see if there are the marks of a talon.

I am getting emails that I am often not good at responding to, asking for co-ordinates of Pigeon Valley, and whether it is safe.  There are no guarantees of course, but I am not aware of any recent problem incidents, at all.
Co-ordinates are 29° 51′ 52″ S, 30° 59′ 19″ E

Crispin Hemson
Friends of Pigeon Valley


Saturday outing at Pigeon Valley 3 May 2014

For the record we had a good turnout +25 members & visitors and the bird count was +53.

Crispin Hemson joined us a little later and at the end when we were having tea and only a couple of people had seen the Spotted Ground-thrush he went off and looked for it and eventually most of us had good views.   Unfortunately no sign of the Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher.

Thanks to John Bremner and Dave Rimmer for the pics.



Pigeon Valley

Crispin Hemson leads a short morning walk on the 2nd Saturday every month at Pigeon Valley. He has a Friends of Pigeon Valley Facebook page and a mailing list. You can contact him by email to confirm his outing at email:  hemsonc@gmail.com.

This Saturday it was a beautiful morning and we were treated to a feast of sunbirds though none of them stayed still long enough to be photographed. Sandi du Preez felt compelled to hug one of her favourite trees; Chrysophyllum viridifolium. We also had some nice views of a Red-capped Robin-chat and heard many of them singing away all over the reserve.

Report back by Penny de Vries.