Tag Archives: paradise flycatcher

Boston Wildlife Sightings for October

Neil and Gail Baxter – MontroseThe flowers at the upper dam, near the indigenous forest are coming into bloom. Scilla natalensis (or Merwilla), Silene bellidioides. The Watsonia socium are adorning the hillsides – even in the forest. 

Ian and Jenny Lawrence – Endeavour

Two Blue Cranes on grasslands near Elands river; pair of Grey Crowned Cranes on field near house

Trevor and Cheryl Scheepers – Lapa Lapa

Egyptian Geese parents have brought two goslings to 75% stage; Paradise Flycatcher male in garden; three African Fish-Eagles at beginning of month; watched five Grey Crowned Cranes coming in to land near The Drift dam.

Barbara and David Clulow – The Willows

Oct 1 – The Greater-striped Swallows are back

Oct 5 – Olive Thrush and African Hoopoe in the garden. A spread of Cyrtanthus breviflorus at The Drift below the damwall, in wetland, on Oct 7. while more common on The Drift, the Cyrtanthus tuckii (green-tipped fire lily). On the low-lying paths at the Elands river the way is a mat of Diclis reptans, through white to pale mauve

Mid-October – changing into breeding colours – Red Bishop plus Red-billed Queleas

Oct 22- after some days of gloomy weather and some rain, the sunshine was greeted by the first Piet-my-Vrou (Red-chested Cuckoo) of the season, whose ringing call promised a real summer. While Barbara was busy at her laptop, she had some eager spectators – a male and female Paradise Flycatcher:Graeme and Claire Hudson Kia Ora

Two Blue Cranes

Ian and Jenny Lawrence – Endeavour

Reported that the pair of Blue Cranes are always in the lower field towards the Elands river, day and night; also that the pair of Grey Crowned Cranes are commonly in the stubble maize field near the house.

Terry and Vivien Cawood – Edgeware

A Porcupine was damaging the veggie-garden so Terry caught it and put it in a cage while he considered how to educate it to stick to the higher levels on “Edgeware” hill. But before he had solved this tricky problem, it had escaped and no doubt decided on its own that the hills were safer

Other experiences during the month: a photo of a Red-throated Wryncck and a Night-adder, which Terry also wanted to persuade to find another place to stayAny offers of ID for the following two spoor on Edgeware this last month: Otter, Mongoose or Porcupine?

Larger Feline – Caracal, Serval or Leopard

Rory and Sue Brighton – Elandsvlei

Oct 17 in late afternoon, Rory was out on his bike, when he disturbed four Ground Hornbills, south of “Montrose”, on the old “Norwood” farm, now a Mondi area, but in grasslands, from where they flew over the hill and out of sight

Caroline McKerrow – Stormy Hill

Seen some duiker, reedbuck, a bushbuck and an otter this month. When it was raining one of my hadedas from the bird tree, went and sat on the electricity box on the pole coming into my place and promptly blew itself up. The other hadeda left the nest after a few days.

Derek Hurlstone-Jones – The Rockeries

On opening the doors of the Boston Country Club, there was an Amethyst Sunbird male trapped indoors, which took the opportunity to join the great out of doors.

George Edlmann – Parkside

A Narina Trogon, which often calls in the forest; Black Cuckoo; Diederick Cuckoo and Amethyst Sunbird. A Caracal was seen by Malcolm Smith, manager of “Coniston” in the driveway close to the house at the end of October.

Pete and Frances Nel – Four Gates

Pete came across a Black-backed Jackal recently, entering the plantation, early in the morning. Two Secretarybirds in the valley to the right of the house. A few Grey Crown Cranes, African  Spoonbill  at the little dam. Our big dog found a baby Duiker while we were out one day. The poor little thing must have been  spooked by poachers, got separated from its mother and ended up in our garden. Although it had no wounds and our dog was very gentle with it, it died later that day.

Rob and Celia Speirs – The Rockeries

A pair of white faced duck on our dam. Aristea ecklonii.

Philip and Christeen Grant – Sitamani

The Striped Swallows returned on Friday 12 October and have been flitting around since then. I heard the first Red-Chested Cuckoo on Monday 29 October. Philip had a lengthly sighting of a Caracal right next to his bakkie on the servitude road to our house. There are many wonderful flowers on Sitamani now. Using iSpot, the query relating to the Helichrysum was answered. It is a Helichrysum caespititum.


Crystelle Wilson of Gramarye

Tricoloured tiger moths (Dionychopus amasis) seen under the plane trees at Gramarye. Stephen Woodhall, president of the Lepidopterists’ Society of Africa (http://www.lepsoc.org.za) had this comment: The male is mating the female before she’s expanded her wings! Interesting behaviour.On the birding front there was excitement surrounding the noisy comings and goings of Long-crested Eagles on Elvesida, Gramarye and The Willows in early spring. The interest in the birds was increased by student Twane who is doing a research project on them. She is monitoring 10 nests in the KZN Midlands, including one on Elvesida. When she arrived to do measurements at the nesting site we discovered that it had been taken over by a pair of Yellow-billed Kites who were anxiously watching what we were doing. We were also confused by hearing at least three eagles calling at the same time from different directions and wondered if there was another pair in the area. We speculated that the Elvesida eagles had found another site to build a nest, possibly in the trees on Gramarye, as I’ve been hearing a lot of shrieking from the eagles in the garden during the preceding month. But search as we might, we couldn’t find a sign of another nest. A week later early one morning I saw three eagles flying into the plane trees and then the penny finally dropped: an adult pair was training their offspring to hunt for itself. I saw the juvenile bird with its loose feathers and still a bit of yellow around the gape (mouth) with one adult in attendance and another on a telephone pole on the road.  The pair of Yellow-billed Kites, the Long-crested Eagle nest and Junior.

The SABAP2 list for the Elandshoek pentad is: Grey Crowned Crane, Cape Robin-Chat, Hadeda Ibis, Red-necked Spurfowl, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Black Saw-wing, African Hoopoe, Fork-tailed Drongo, Cape Sparrow, Village Weaver, Spur-winged Goose, Egyptian Goose, Cape White-eye, Red-eyed Dove, Cape Turtle Dove, Common Fiscal, Diderick Cuckoo, African Pipit, Southern Boubou, Cape Canary, Pied Crow, White-throated Swallow, Pin-tailed Whydah, Black-headed Oriole, Cape Longclaw, Yellow-billed Duck, Pied Kingfisher, Reed Cormorant, Red-collared Widowbird, Cape Weaver, African Stonechat, Blacksmith Lapwing, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Fan-tailed Widowbird, African Darter, Little Grebe, White-breasted Cormorant, Common Waxbill, Cape Crow, African Reed-Warbler, Bokmakierie, Dark-capped Bulbul, Helmeted Guineafowl, Greater Striped Swallow, Green Wood-hoopoe, Red-billed Quelea, African Firefinch, Yellow-billed Kite, Amethyst Sunbird, Drakensberg Prinia, Cape Wagtail, Cape Glossy Starling, Cattle Egret, Southern Greyheaded Sparrow, Olive Thrush, Long-crested Eagle, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, African Sacred Ibis, Cape Grassbird, Southern Red Bishop, Giant Kingfisher, Brown-throated Martin, Red-chested Flufftail, Red-knobbed Coot, Jackal Buzzard, Forest Canary, Cape Parrot, African Dusky Flycatcher, Bar-throated Apalis, Barratt’s Warbler, Sombre Greenbul, Yellow Bishop, Wailing Cisticola, Red-chested Cuckoo, Speckled Pigeon, Yellow-fronted Canary, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Neddicky, Wattled Crane, Blue Crane, Black-headed Heron, Speckled Mousebird, House Sparrow.

This summary was compiled by David Clulow, a member of the Lions Club of  Pietermaritzburg (Host),  and has been approved by that Club as an official conservation project of the Club.

Dargle Wildlife January 2012

This is some of the interesting wildlife spotted in the Dargle area over the summer holidays.

Malvina and Evert van Bremem

We were really surprised to see these Star Stinkhorn mushrooms in our lawn!

Kate Pallett – Corrie Lynn Farm

I have been watching 3 wagtail chicks growing in this nest right outside my bedroom window! Similarly, we saw a Paradise flycatcher on a nest of 3 chicks on a walk with Barend last week.

On New Year’s eve we camped on top of the hill to watch the sunrise. Just after dawn we saw a group of 5 Yellowbilled Kites fly out of the forest.

Barend and Helen Booysen – Kilgobbin Cottage

On one of the forest walks we were very fortunate to see three Narina Trogons all at the same time.  Our guest, Richard Watt, was over the moon and sent this message:

“Thank you so much for the unforgettable forest walk – it was truly amazing!”

Justin and Karin Herd – Bee Tree Farm

The Carniverous snail has been with us for a number of years (Natalina cafra).  He/she is quite tame and takes the bad snails from me and polishes them off.  She deposited two eggs this year but they didn’t hatch.  I am in contact with Dai Herbert of the Natal Museum to see if I can breed them.  Also some interesting flowers that have started appearing in the grassland on my rehabilitated section.  Disa crassicornis and Pterygodium magnum.

Clive Shippey and Shirley Bishop – Northington

We, like many I am sure, often have the distant sighting and hearing of the fish eagle. Swallows abound at the moment and I had the distinct privilege of being the centre of attraction for upwards of half an hour whilst mowing a field. These exquisite little fliers swooped and dived all around me sometimes as close as a metre having no fear for the noisy tractor. There must have been in excess of 150 of these little beauties.

Eidin Griffin and Malcolm Draper – Wits End

Our sightings have been glow worms and fireflies in early January around the steps. A Burchells Couchal which is resident at the bottom of the garden and swops from tree to tree, regular sunbirds, kites, a reedbuck popped out just behind the house and of course the resident bees in the tree near the verandah which cluster together for warmth on cold days and get very busy in the heat. Thanks for collecting the sightings -it is giving us good incentive to keep the Roberts book on the verandah at all times!

Sandra and Pat Merrick – Albury Farm

About 3 weeks ago our 8 baby Shell Duck arrived on our dam, now fully grown.  What a joy to see that they are all alive and thriving.

Dec: Crested and blue crane have been at the dam on and off.

Spoonbill, spurwing, egyptian, plovers, yellowbill duck, cormorant, Grey heron

Black and malachite sunbird nesting in our plane tree. rock pigeons, swallows, sparrows, starlingsall nesting in roof and chimney of our house and our barn owl is back too.

Lately we have had a few reed buck jumping over our fence into the lower garden area to browse. The jackal have been crying out during the day lately – the sound coming from behind us at Bronners – perhaps its the babies?

a male bush buck ran down the hill, shot under the fence and disappeared into the gum plantation on our farm.

Jan: Blue crane still visiting dam and crested crane flew over today.

Saw and heard fish eagle today. 5 spoonbill on dam plus about 20 spurwing geese.  Several egyptian geese and yellow bill ducks.

Our 2 barn owls are back causing havoc with the security beams every night.  One fell down our chimney last week during the night and found him perched on a door next morning.  Pat has built an owl box which we are hoping they will settle in.

Malachite and black sunbirds active. Gymnogene, yellow billed kite, Pinstriped whydah Olive thrushs feeding their young under shrubs. Cormorant and hamerkop sitting on rock on our pond near house. Wagtails, common stonechats, rock pigeons, starlings, sparrows, and swallows, cape robin, drakensberg prinia around house area.

A sparrow has given birth to several young in hollow pole next to our gate.

Colleen van Heerden – Khululeka

The sounds of nature early in the morning, the rising of the sun, the blue & black butterflies that literally flutter by. This place is amazing, and has become so close to my heart. We are truly blessed to live in such a magical place and space.

Andrew and Susi Anderson – Lane’s End

Bronze mannequins nesting in Australian bottle brush

Couple of pairs of Paradise Flycatchers nesting

Cape Robin nesting

Steppe Buzzard – hunting chickens

Dwarf Chameleon

Nile Monitor Lizard

5 Blue Cranes circling and calling

The Cape Robin reported nesting last month is raising a Redchested Cuckoo chick – have been hearing a very strange high pitched call for a few days and finally saw the culprit the cuckoo calling for food!

Nikki Brighton – Old Kilgobbin Farm

Butterflies and moths everywhere – I can’t identify many yet. Lots of colourful dragonflies – from brilliant blue to copper. Masses of beetles: Longhorns, Stinkbugs, Ladybirds; songololos, very big earthworms, bees and carpenter bees, paper wasps.

Plants:

Watsonia pillansii,  Nemesia sylvatica, Walenbergia, Littonia modesta, Kniphofia laxiflora, Lobelia, Monopsis decipens, Monopsis stellaroides, Aristea ecklonii, Allophyllus africanus, Impatiens flanaganiae, Conostium natalense, Eriosema, Hypoxis parvula, Helichrysum odoratissimum, Helichrysum ruderale, Tephrosia macropoda, Watsonia densiflora, Aloe ecklonii, Zantedeschia aethiopica, Englerodaphne pilosa, Zantedeschia albomaculata – gorgeous red colour instead of usual cream, Crocosmia paniculata, Sophubia cana.

Mammals:

Seen: Reedbuck, Samango monkeys

Heard: Jackals, tree dassies

Tracks: water mongoose, Serval and Jackal

Birds:

A group of 5 blue cranes flying overhead calling.

European storks seen for the first time this summer on 17 December.

A Reed Cormorant flew straight at me while I was swimming in the dam – I think it thought I was a rock, as it had to flap wildly so as not to land on me!

Gymnogene raiding fork-tailed Drongo nest

lots of Grey Herons and a Purple Heron and a pair of yellow billed ducks

Emerald Cuckoo, Black African Cuckoo, yellow billed kite, Egyptian geese, Pied Crows, Stone Chats, Jackal Buzzards, White eyes, Mousebirds, Thick billed weavers, Southern Boubous, Chorister Robins, Cape Robins, Thrushes, Cape Batis, Rock Pigeons, Ring necked Doves, Grey headed Sparrows, Bulbuls, Black headed Oriel, collared sunbird, Fork-tailed Drongo, Pin tailed Whydah, Knysna Loeries, Bronze mannekins, Hadedas, Swallows, wagtails nesting in ivy covering old shed.

Heard – Red Chested Cuckoo, Buff spotted flufftail, Wood Owls, Fish Eagle, Burchell’s coucal.

Reptiles:

A python was seen on Old Kilgobbin by Philemon Dlala who was clearing american bramble!  Terribly exciting, although it does mean there is a patch of bramble left unsprayed in the middle of the field.  This Rinkhals skin was found nearby.

I disturbed what I think was a green olive snake in the grass beside the forest and it slithered quickly up a tree.

There are still plenty of frogs about and lots of tadpoles in the dam.  Clicking frogs still very audible at night.

Last summer, while Joel was swimming in the dam, a green water snake swam alongside him. While he was thinking it would be best to have a little space between them, a fish eagle swooped down and snatched the snake.  An incredible experience. As Joel quipped afterwards “Most of my friends train in the pool at Virgin Active, they don’t know what they are missing.”

Katie Robinson – Lemonwood

I have seen a couple of very large porcupine running down the road in front of me when I was driving home the other night, both rattling their quills and looking larger than life.  Two Serval on the drive and a very long black looking snake (about 2 metres) crossing the drive a couple of nights ago.  A keen birding customer spotted a Narina Trogan in the forest quickly followed by a bluemantled flycatcher.  Several sightings of Tree Dassies sitting in the elbows of trees staring at walkers as they climb the hill.  The noise of the Christmas beetles is almost deafening in the forest at the moment.