(This article first appeared in the July 2014 newsletter of BirdLife Plettenberg Bay and is posted with the permission of the Editor. - Ed.)
Plett Bird Club outing to Hunter’s Lodge: June 2014
Hunter’s Lodge was the venue for the Club’s June outing and this year we managed to organise the weather better,(two attempts last year were both rained out!) It was a well attended gathering of members who managed to see a good variety of birds in some fine displays.
First to test the team was a group of Black-bellied Starlings (not to be confused with Cape Glossy Starlings). They were accompanied by a pair of Black-headed Orioles. Walking through the gardens Bar-throated Apalis, Southern and Greater Double-collard Sunbirds, Cape and Sombre Bulbuls, Knysna Turacos, Cape Robin Chats, Fiscal - and Dusky Flycatchers were all enjoying the rays of the early morning sun and gave us wonderful sightings.
Into the forest area, Black-backed Puffbacks, Cape White-eyes and Brown-hooded Kingfisher were recorded. Emerging from the tall trees, a Forest Buzzard revealed itself while in the open, a group of Brimstone Canaries kept us guessing. Moving up towards the dam, we had a good sighting of the Southern Boubou and and heard the call of an Olive Bushshrike. At the dam a Common Moorhen took refuge in the reeds but not before being spotted by half the group. A pair of Red-knobbed Coots with a developing chick still on the nest gave a good photo opportunity to all the camera buffs.
Approaching the more open boundary fence, the highlight of the day was to see a Grey Cuckooshrike which gave us a continuous showing at close range. A pair of Cape Batis’s were spoted in the trees and a Neddicky perched on dead branches for all to see. Walking back to the Lodge Red-eyed Doves and Forest Canaries were spotted.
To complete a great morning’s birding our hosts at Hunters laid on a wonderful spread of sandwiches, cakes and coffee. Thanks again to Hunters Lodge for allowing us to experience the tranquil bird friendly ambience of your estate.
– Bob Forbes