(This report first appeared in KITE 111, Winter 2016, the official newsletter of the Tygerberg Bird Club. - Ed.)
The 19 members were greeted by a windless autumn day with superb conditions for viewing and photographic opportunities. The rst pond was loaded with an assortment of birds and we did not know where to start scanning. It was not long before Brian Vanderwalt located an African Black Duck, which is not a frequent visitor to the Poo Ponds. Experienced eyes of Brigid, Kevin, Wendel and Bev continuously located plenty of interesting sightings. Soon we had ‘scope views of a Black Crake running the gauntlet between Common Moorhens and Purple Swamphens. Greater and Lesser Flamingos were feeding close to each other, thereby enabling us to compare sizes, bills and plumage.
The Water Thick-knees were still faithful to their patch at the “Hub” and provided ne photographic opportunities. Bev located Wood Sandpipers as we drove around the ponds. Brian’s favourite spot provided handsome Hottentot Teal, a group of African Snipe and foraging Ruffs. At this point we were paid a brief visit by a team from the Somerset West Bird Club lead by Jill Mortimer. We were able to share sightings and gossip to ensure that everybody located the “specials”.
The South African Shelduck entertained us with their dimorphic plumage and haunting honking calls. In addition to waterfowl we were spoilt with crippling views of African Pipit and y-bys of calling (zitting) Zitting Cisticolas. While compiling a bird list at the end of our picnic tea/coffee I
commented on the lack of sightings of African Darter and Cape Sparrow. No sooner said than these species proved me wrong by means of an embarrassing y-by. A late entry was a magnicent Malachite Kingsher, which closed the morning's list at 77 species.
The TBC is grateful to Brigid Crewe for making the necessary arrangements and to all the outing members for generously sharing their observations.