A little over a week ago, with a monster storm bearing down on the Cape, we fled to Wilderness on the Friday..weekend at Ebb & Flow. We camped at Ebb & Flow (North) in January, and had a great time. This trip we were booked into a forest hut in the southern part of the camp. I really was not expecting much (birding-wise) as this is mid-winter after all!
Our Forest Hut was right on the edge of a small pond that branches off the Touw River. The river mouth was blocked, and the river (and the shallowish pond) was teeming with literally thousands of small fish (fingerlings, basically). The result was an abundance of white-breasted cormorants, little egrets, an a couple of grey herons right on my doorstep. In addition to that there were the local yellow-billed ducks, dabchicks (little grebes) and a few common moorhens. On the Saturday I braved the (bitterly cold) wind and sat next to said pond and waited for the birdies to get used to my presence....
Whats that up there?
And I even spotted a Malachite KF across the pond...
Later the afternoon, when I had thawed out, we took a walk up to the waterfall. I did not feel like lugging the camera with me, so I missed out on a really good sighting of a group of Green Wood-hoopoe (with an attendant FT Drongo). While I was watching them, my SO spotted a couple of Amethyst Sunbirds, which I missed (would have been a lifer)
(At least I picked up a Terrestrial Brownbul a little later)
We also found the expected Knysna Turaco (the call appears to be somewhat different and more muted in winter?), and then a Black-headed Oriole. The latter was quite gratifying, as I first saw this bird in exactly the same area, in January. Then, however, I only saw a part of the bird, but ID'd it on the call. So I had this nagging doubt.....now I know I was right the first time!
We also saw Southern Double-Collared Sunbirds on the way back to the camp (did not make up for the missed Amethysts...)
Others we saw include red-winged Starling, and African Dusky Flycatcher.
All in all, a really nice break-away!