STEVE REPORTS ON BIRDING BIG DAY IN THE NAPIER REGION
Posted on the 27th November 2017
Birding Big Day …Napier style!
Our big day started at 6am with a stroll around our small holding with a cup of tea and the camera!
Two hours later and we had 41 species in the bag….. amongst the usual suspects of weavers, doves and swallows was a fantastic sighting of a Red-chested Cuckoo right next to the house, the Booted Eagle soaring high overhead, Amethyst sunbird sitting on the fence and of course the African Paradise Flycatchers doing their thing, not a bad start I thought!
Then it was out with Lee for a drive around the Wheatbelt dirt roads, and we picked up great sightings of Familiar Chat, numerous Larks and Pipits, both bishops were aplenty and Capped Wheatear with Stonechats sat close on the fences.
Steppe Buzzards flew alongside Black- shouldered and Yellow- billed kites and of course Jacky was there!
Later that day Cornel Bester reported that he had seen a Black Harrier out on his farm along with another 43 different birds!
A Spotted Eagle-Owl was reported by Tina (our bird lady) on her morning walk along side larks, pipits and thick-knees.
It was then time for a quick walk around the sewage works (only to find members of the Stanford bird club were just leaving!)
Never the less I picked up Cape and Red-billed Teal, a lovely sighting of Cape Shovelers and in the rushes were both warblers (Lesser swamp and little rush). Moorhen and Dabchicks were spotted alongside Yellow-billed ducks and Black-winged Stilts screamed overhead!
Then it was back home and one last sit outside with a cool beer as the light was fading, only to be rewarded with a Hammerkop making for his roost….and then a Black Sparrowhawk no doubt doing the same.
So a grand total of 94 species were recorded for the day…way up on last times 72….. so bring on the next BBD as I sense a 100 is close!!
PS…many thanks to Lee for taking notes as I drove and shouted a lot…and Cornel (Bester) and Tina (Borgstrom) for birding their patches on the day.