Inkwazi Bird Club outing - Rust Der Winter

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9 years 8 months ago #7145 by Doug
Doug created the topic: Inkwazi Bird Club outing - Rust Der Winter
HI all.

I had the pleasure of leading an outing for Inkwazi Bird Club to Rust Der Winter dam thiis morning.

I started really early at Zaagkuilsdrift road (3 am to be precise) to look for owls/nightjars/coursers and the Thrush Nightingale.

Owls were really thin on the ground and I only got two Marsh Owls. I saw three probable European Nightjars (not sure has I only had the car headlights to tell tail and wing pattern) and a few Dikkop. At dawn I was in place at the Thrush Nightingale site and boy did it put on a performance. It sang its little heart out, twice comming into view and allowed me to get an absolutely top class recording of its call at no more than 5 meters from the bird!

I went on to meet the group outside the gate of Rust der winter just before 07h00.

We all paid and entered the reserve and took a slow drive through to a parking spot from which we started the walk for the morning. The roads were very busy with card and their boats on trailers but we soon got going with nice views of Cinnamon-breasted Bunting perched on a aloe, allowing everyone to take in the amazing rich colours and striking head pattern.

We finally reached an area of fairly dense vegitation away from the camp sites and fisherman and then the birding stated in more ernest. Male and female Amethyst Sunbirds showed well. We walked on a got absolutely awesome views of Crimson-breasted Shrike, one of which was sunning itself on an aloe with open wings, giving us all an opportunity to marvel at colours and the sunning behavior that was most unusual to see for such a skittish bird.

Further on we came across an Icterine Warbler in a dense bush that was just not prepared to reveal itself. We continued on a got nice views of Spotted Flycatcher as well as a nice selection of bushveld birds.

Reaching the end of the road along the fence we turned down to the water and walked along the waters edge. Close up views of Southern Boubou had us briefly very excited as the belly looked so richly buffy-yellow that thoughts of a Yellow race Crimson-breasted Shrike sprung to mind but it soon showed well enough to calm the excitement as it turned out to be a particulraly richly coloured Boubou.

Moving on we were busy watching two Pied Kingfisher hovering and diving into the water when someone shouted "What is that?". Little Bittern took off from the reeds and was so obliging that it didn't just fly off, but circled round flying past the group not once but TWICE.... Everyone had ample time to get a good like at this handsome little bird.

Further on we added a few nice sightings of Red-collared Widow-bird and Red-billed Quelea.

We settled down back at the parking spot we had chosen and then it was decided to see if we could get the Thrush Nightingale accross at Zaagkuilsdrift for those that wanted to search for it. Almost the entire group followed and we stopped at the exact spot I had heard it earlier. Sure enough it was still singing away like mad. Unfortunately with the heat and the burning sun, the group were getting very hot and tired and at the same time the bird refused to come out of the densest shadows so hearing the bird less than two meters away was all we could settle for.

Overall a very nice morning's birding and the aerial display of the Little Bittern was the highlight of the morning (showoff!).

Cheers,
Doug.

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9 years 8 months ago #7146 by JGB
JGB replied the topic:
Doug,

Sounds like a great day out. But what time did you get up to be at Zaaglkuilsdrift at 3am? For that you deserve every lifer you get! :D

Cheers,
Justin

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9 years 8 months ago #7147 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
0h30 to leave by 01h00 <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) -->

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9 years 8 months ago #7153 by JGB
JGB replied the topic:
YAAAAAAAWN. Doug you are to be commended for your dedication.

Cheers,
Justin

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