Andy Nixon - 07.06.19
Birding Outing to Sundays River Mouth
The first was to Sundays River Mouth on 31 May 2019 with my clients Arthur and Michelle. We arrived there an hour before sunrise. So we walked along the lawn by the side of the Sundays River by torchlight with the Water Thick-knees giving their eerie calls all around. Also, a Spotted Thick-knee calling from the field behind the petrol station.
Once the sun came out the birds were very obliging. In quick succession we had good views of Caspian Terns flying over the river and Water Thick-knees in large numbers as usual on the jetties. A very obliging Half-collared Kingfisher – always a good bird and my favourite species. These three species were lifers for my clients.
We timed low tide perfectly so the mudflats were exposed. On the mudflats we saw three Terek Sandpipers and a Eurasian Curlew (the best bird of the morning). Also, one Grey Plover and one Common Whimbrel.
On the way out we stopped suddenly to have a look at two African Green Pigeons on a telephone wire. These birds are almost guaranteed for Sundays River mouth now. Like many other species they have extended their range south and west recently. The pigeon, Tereks and Curlew Sandpipers were new for my clients.
Birding Outing to Settlers Park
The next day I was due to lead the public bird walk that the bird club hosts on the first Saturday of the month at Settlers Park. Eleven people pitched. We saw an African Goshawk overhead while waiting to start the walk at the How Avenue car park. Later on we had good views of a Black Sparrowhawk circling overhead. We also had great views of two female Olive Woodpeckers and heard a Knysna Woodpecker.
We saw Collared, Grey, Amethyst and Greater Double-collared Sunbird in a flowering coral tree near Essexvale. A Hamerkop flew over. And we heard Klaas's Cuckoo – I have noticed that this species calls a lot in winter. Unlike all the other cuckoos which are gone from our area in winter. Also saw Bronze Mannikins, Olive Bush Shrike and Red-fronted Tinkerbird.
If anybody would like to come birding with me my details are at: http://www.easterncapebirding.co.za/guides.html and scroll down.