Shongweni – Saturday 1 February 2014

We started off with 19 members and ended up with 27 (some late risers!!). Early in the morning the mist was lying over Shongweni but soon started to lift and turned into a lovely hot day’s birding. Our total bird count was 84. Thanks to Herman for leading the other group.

We had some great sightings and the bird of the day has to be the Osprey flying over the dam wall and down the river.

No eagles! but we had Common Buzzards

Steppe Buzzard
Steppe Buzzard

African Harrier Hawks, YBK’s, White-necked Ravens and later on the Lanner Falcons appeared on the cliff face. We heard but did not see the Gorgeous and Orange-breasted Bush Shrikes. Rufous-napped Larks, Neddickys, Rattling Cisticolas, Twany-flanked Prinias called and displayed all morning. Some bird photos:

As well as a number of Butterflies and another creature.

We had a Dideric Cuckoo begging to be fed by ‘Mama’ Village Weaver, the cuckoo fluttering and squawking and chasing after Ma demanding food whilst poor Ma was desperately hunting for ‘tidbits’ for her monster chick!

Didrick's Cuckoo - juvenile
Didrick’s Cuckoo – juvenile

Later on we walked to the ‘giant’ steps but the birding was not too successful.

We then walked to the bottom of the dam wall & weir and picked up some nice stuff there. There was a mystery fledgling on a concrete block, maybe it was an Egyptian Goose but as Liz remarked where were the parents, normally Egypo’s are very protective of their chicks.

As the day was getting too hot we parked off under the shade of some trees and did a little ‘armchair’ birding – checking out the cliff face.

Thanks to Penny de Vries, Dave Rimmer, Herman Bos, John Bremner & Paul Bartho for the pics.


Saturday, 2 March 2013 : Shongweni Outing Feedback

Saturday, 2 March 2013 : Shongweni

16 people : 13 members & 3 non members : bird count 76

The day was a little cloudy but after the rain on Friday night I thought the outing was going to be called off but it turned out fine and the birding not too shabby! Of interest was a sub adult Diderick Cuckoo showing a lot of green plumage and the white stripe behind the eye but the bill was still bright red. We also had Yellow billed kites gathering in the sky and on the trees preparing for their migration – at one stage there must have been between 40/50 kites in the sky. We saw the YBK’s again later in the day but not so many the second time. We were also lucky to see a Willow Warbler – maybe the last one of the summer – thanks to Sandi’s good spotting and ID. Sightings of note were a pair of Lanner Falcons + juvenile, Crowned and Fish eagles, Common Buzzard, plus the resident Orange Breasted Bush Shrike in the trees by the road leading to the office.

Photos care of Penny de Vries.

Elena Russel