Birds of Mount Sheba

  • nkgray
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5 years 5 months ago #73307 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Birds of Mount Sheba
Just spent 4 nights at Mount Sheba. While birding the indigenous forest around the resort never produces a very long species list, what it lacks in quantity it certainly makes up for in quality. I added 3 birds to my southern African photographic list - Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Batis and White-starred Robin. It was only my 3rd ever sighting of the latter species, with both previous sightings also at Mount Sheba. I also picked up my 4th ever Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and 4th Dark-capped Woodland Warbler. Below some of the species that I managed to photograph, and forest bird photography is not conducive to great shots. Due to the dark shady conditions on one particular track I could only shoot the Mountain Wagtail and the Orange Ground-Thrush at 1/25th second, so please excuse the slightly out of focus shots as at that speed any bird movement will ruin the shot. Birds seen but not photographed and not already mentioned include Olive Woodpecker, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Gurney's Sugarbird, Chorister Robin-Chat, Terrestrial Brownbul, Knysna Turaco, Lemon Dove, African Olive Pigeon and Swee Waxbill. So if any of you are considering whether Mount Sheba is a possible birding destination, put it on your "must" list.

Amethyst Sunbird - males and juvenile female







Malachite Sunbird - transitional plumage male



Southern Double-collared Sunbird - male and female





Drakensberg (Spotted) Prinia



Bar-throated Apalis



Cape White-Eye



Mountain Wagtail



Orange Ground-Thrush



Red-winged Starling - female



Cape Batis - male





Pin-tailed Whydah - non-breeding male



and saving the best for last - White-starred Robin




Neil

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  • gordon
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5 years 5 months ago #73335 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Birds of Mount Sheba
Stunning photos Neil, I love that Robin!!

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5 years 5 months ago #73368 by docandy
docandy replied the topic: Re: Birds of Mount Sheba
Lovely photos! :D

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5 years 5 months ago #73369 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: Birds of Mount Sheba
Thanks guys.

For anyone going to Mount Sheba, the White-starred Robin and Chorister Robin-Chat are regular early morning and late afternoon visitors to the trees in front of Chalet 4 (which was where I happened to be staying otherwise I would not have seen them).

The Orange Ground-Thrush is frequent along the road from the chalets to Kearsney's Bridge, and for the sunbirds, they like the area immediately south of the trout dam in the late afternoon. For the Lemon Dove take the trail down to the Old Diggings from the Kearsney's Bridge road.

Neil

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  • wildtuinman
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5 years 5 months ago #73370 by wildtuinman
wildtuinman replied the topic: Re: Birds of Mount Sheba
Hi nkgray,

Lovely photos! I would love to visit this place. And your photos and report have convinced me to do this real soon.

You say you found White-breasted Cuckooshrike at Mount Sheba. I would think that the Grey Cuckooshrike should be common there but not White-breasted. I desperately want to see one. Do you have a specific location where this bird could be found?

Cheers

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5 years 5 months ago #73371 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: Birds of Mount Sheba
Sorry, my slip. I meant Grey Cuckooshrike.

On all my visits to Mount Sheba I have found it (I say "it" because I have only ever seen one) in the vicinity of the Marco's Mantle waterfall.

Neil

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5 years 5 months ago #73378 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Birds of Mount Sheba
Hi Neil

Welcome back! Reading your reports just makes me want to go on holiday!!!!

You did really well with the forest birds... I fully understand the frustration. I think you did brilliantly with the starred robin. The only other good shot I have seen of one, was taken with a flash plus better beamer etc. I have a feeling that flash is probably the way to go with the forest birds. But I will leave that up to the professionals... all that gear would take too much of the simplicity of taking your camera birding.

I agree with WTM, would love to see the white breasted cuckoo shrike.

Regards,
Mossie

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