It was a great day’s birding, but sadly, it was enjoyed by only a few. Thanks to those who made the effort and took part. They all agreed that it was very worthwhile and most enjoyable. Barbara Palmer wrote, “Please HBC committee, never cancel our MBBD!!” Sure, it rained a bit, but this did not impede us unduly and we all achieved good counts and even had some really spectacular sightings! The prize in this respect must surely go to John and Roy, who visited Genadendal and saw a Narina Trogon!! What an amazing bonus for them to find this spectacular bird so far out of its range.
By mid afternoon the weather had cleared and our day ended with a fine, if cold, picnic in Fernkloof when we swapped stories and compared sightings.
The scores were; Chaetops frenatus (Ronnie and Renee Hazell, Barbara Swart and Margie Ogston) 118 species; G(r)abar Goshawks (Barbara and Graham Palmer, Chris Cheetham and Jenny Fynn) 113 species; Bowmacs (John and Shelagh Bowman, Mike and Helen MacNaught) 107 species; and Dozy Darters (John Saunders and Roy Whitaker) 97 species. By taking a road less traveled and going to Genadendal, the latter added quite a few one-off sightings.
Lady Birds (Anne Philip and Margaret Loesch) could not make Sunday, so went out in the rain on Saturday anyway and achieved 64 species. Well done for making the effort!!
For the Challengers, it was a good opportunity to add some birds to their Big Birding Year score and we are looking forward to the first set of results which are due at the end of May.
The combined list of 159 species is as follows: Bar-throated Apalis; Pied Avocet; Cape Batis; Southern Red Bishop; Yellow Bishop; Bokmakerie; Southern Boubou; Cape Bulbul; Cape Bunting; Denham’s Bustard; Common Buzzard; Forest Buzzard; Jackal Buzzard; Brimstone Canary; Cape Canary; Yellow Canary; Familiar Chat; Grey-backed Cisticola; Levaillant’s Cisticola; Red-knobbed Coot; Bank Cormorant; Cape Cormorant; Crowned Cormorant; Reed Cormorant; White-breasted Cormorant; Black Crake; Blue Crane; Cape Crow; Pied Crow; Klaas’ Cuckoo; African Darter; Cape Turtle Dove; Laughing Dove; Namaqua Dove; Red-eyed Dove; Rock Dove; Fork-tailed Drongo; African Black Duck; White-backed Duck; White-faced Whistling Duck; Yellow-billed Duck; African Fish Eagle; Verreaux’s Eagle; Little Egret; Western Cattle Egret; Peregrine Falcon; Common Fiscal; Greater Flamingo; African Dusky Flycatcher; Fiscal Flycatcher; Spotted Flycatcher; Cape Gannet; Egyptian Goose; Spur-winged Goose; African Goshawk; Cape Grassbird; Great Crested Grebe; Little Grebe; Sombre Greenbul; Common Greenshank; Helmeted Guineafowl; Grey-headed Gull; Hartlaub’s Gull; Kelp Gull; Hamerkop; Black Harrier; African Harrier-Hawk; Black-crowned Night Heron; African Hoopoe; Black-headed Heron; Grey Heron; African Sacred Ibis; Hadeda Ibis; Rock Kestrel; Giant Kingfisher; Malachite Kingfisher; Pied Kingfisher; Black-shouldered Kite; Yellow-billed Kite; Blacksmith Lapwing; Crowned Lapwing; Large-billed Lark; Red-capped Lark; Brown-throated Martin; House Martin; Rock Martin; Common Moorhen; Red-faced Mousebird; Speckled Mousebird; Common Moorhen; Neddicky; Fiery-necked Nightjar; African Black Oystercatcher; African Penguin; African Olive Pigeon; Speckled Pigeon; African Pipit; Common Ringed Plover; Grey Plover; Kittlitz’s Plover; Three-banded Plover; White-fronted Plover; Karoo Prinia; White-necked Raven; Cape Robin-Chat; Cape Rockjumper; Cape Rock-Thrush; Curlew Sandpiper; Marsh Sandpiper; Black Saw-wing; Secretarybird; Streaky-headed Seedeater; Cape Shoveler; Cape Siskin; Cape Sparrow; House Sparrow; Southern Grey-headed Sparrow; Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk; African Spoonbill; Cape Spurfowl; Common Starling; Pied Starling; Red-winged Starling; Black-winged Stilt; Little Stint; African Stonechat; White Stork; Cape Sugarbird; Amethyst Sunbird; Malachite Sunbird; Orange-breasted Sunbird; Southern Double-collared Sunbird; Barn Swallow; Greater Striped Swallow; African Swamphen; Little Swift; White-rumped Swift; Cape Teal; Red-billed Teal; Common Tern; Sandwich Tern; Swift Tern; Spotted Thick-Knee; Water Thick-Knee; Olive Thrush; Narina Trogon; Ruddy Turnstone; Cape Wagtail; Lesser Swamp Warbler; Little Rush Warbler; Common Waxbill; Swee Waxbill; Cape Weaver; Southern Masked Weaver; Capped Wheatear; Whimbrel; Pin-tailed Whydah; Cape White Eye; Cardinal Woodpecker.