Howick Wildlife Sightings August 2013

Landiwe Msomi of WESSA Share-Net taken from her office window

buck at sharenet

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

cussonia spicataMalachite Sunbird

malachite sunbird African Stonechat

african stonechat



Yellow-fronted Canary on 17 August on Amber Ridge. On the Amber Ridge dam – Little Grebe and an African Crake

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?

maybe grey headed sparrow

Driving through Howick near the Medi Centre entrance, a Jackal Buzzard on a post, looking for lunch

jackal buzzard

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.

red knobbed coots midmar

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.

umngeni river through howick res

r umngeni river corrie lynn 005

fragrant Buddleja in flower

r umngeni river Buddleja

Send your Howick Sightings to Hazel Lake at

1 thought on “Howick Wildlife Sightings August 2013

  1. Meriel mitchell

    Thank you so much Nikki for bringing the beauty of the Midlands and the uMgeni Valley into my life to enjoy in the comfort of my lounge. Your photos are so fresh and natural and your blog is always a virtual reality trip for me.



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