Landiwe Msomi of WESSA Share-Net taken from her office window
David Clulow Tail end of August means first signs if spring. Flowering in Game area at Amber valley – a Wild pomegranate (Burchellia bubaline)
Harpephyllum caffrum – Wild Plum and Cussonia spicata – Cabbage Tree
Yellow-fronted Canary on 17 August on Amber Ridge. On the Amber Ridge dam – Little Grebe and an African Crake
Verreaux Eagle’s – the large raptor flying in the region, and watched for several minutes, may have been one, but it was too far to say with certainty. On 9 August as dusk was closing in, two Water Mongoose scampered down the pathway in front of me and disappeared into the long grass next to a watercourse from kwaWula into Amber Ridge. Some challenging identifications abound and here is one – a seedeater, but probably a juvenile – difficult……maybe a juvenile Grey-headed Sparrow?
Driving through Howick near the Medi Centre entrance, a Jackal Buzzard on a post, looking for lunch
Amber Valley/Ridge Outings of approx 2 hours each – 2 August and 13 August with Mike Spain and on 28 August 2013 with Mike Spain and Deryck Day
Hadedah Ibis; Red-eyed Dove; Cape Sparrow; Cattle Egret; Fantail Widow; Red Bishop; Reed Cormorant; Egyptian Goose; Levaillant’s Cisticola; African Grassbird; African Stonechat; Common Fiscal; Amethyst Sunbird; Cape Robin-Chat; Dark-capped Bulbul; Red-collared Widowbird; Cape Longclaw; Village Weaver; Tawny-flanked Prinia; Chinspot Batis; Cape White-eye; Palm Swift; Lazy Cisticola; Fork-tailed Drongo; Green Woodhoopoe; Olive Thrush; Greater Double-collared Sunbird; Cape Crow; Natal Spurfowl; Black-collared Barbet; Red-billed Quelea; Woolly-necked Stork; Cape Turtle-Dove; Drakensberg Prinia; White-necked Raven; Yellow-billed Kite; Little Grebe; Black-shouldered Kite; Helmetted Guineafowl; Common Moorhen; Black Crake; Laughing Dove; Speckled Pigeon; Familiar Chat; Cape Wagtail; Yellow-throated Longclaw; Cape Weaver; Spectacled Weaver; Yellow-fronted Canary; Bronze Mannikin; Burchell’s Coucal; White-breasted Cormorant; Rock Martin; Speckled Mousebird; Plain-backed Pipit; Malachite Sunbird; Southern Black Tit; Golden-tailed Woodpecker; African Darter; Black-headed Heron; Black Saw-wing; White-bellied Sunbird; Little Sparrowhawk. 63 birds seen and heard.
Mr and Mrs Stent were out birding on Sunday 1 August in the uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve – even in the middle of winter this glorious reserve offers so much to anyone who cares enough to visit. Shortly after seeing a raptor on a post on the horizon, too far for a positive ID, good fortune smiled, and a Shelley’s Francolin made its appearance in the grass off the roadside; for three minutes it craned its neck and a good study ensured a 95% certainty of it being a Shelley’s and not a Red-winged Francolin which it fairly resembles. Shortly after a Black-collared Barbet was seen, besides the usual Common Fiscal, Stone Chats, male and female, in numbers and a Cape Longclaw.
Hazel, Warren and Rory Lake saw hundreds of Redknobbed Coots on Midmar at Thurlow. We also saw many Orange Throated Longclaw.
Shea Karssing saw two yellow-billed hornbills in Howick on 8 September……wonder if they’re a breeding pair! Quite unusual to find them this far south!
Paul Van Uytrecht and Nikki Brighton – an afternoon walk along the river. Bill Speight doesthe most incredible job of keeping the riverside path mown and accessible. It is a real treasure.
fragrant Buddleja in flower
Send your Howick Sightings to Hazel Lake at email@example.com