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 Post subject: Winter weekend in Wilderness
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:09 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 228
Location: Western Cape
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....
Little Egret
Image
Little Grebe
Image
Whats that up there?
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Duck!
Image
And I even spotted a Malachite KF across the pond...
Image

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) :evil: (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...) :lol:
Others we saw include red-winged Starling, and African Dusky Flycatcher.
All in all, a really nice break-away!

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 Post subject: Re: Winter weekend in Wilderness
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:20 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5294
Location: Chasing down the rarities
Great photos, Albert!

Wilderness NP is one of my most favorite birding spots! Your write-up took me straight back into the heart of it once again.

As for your question on the Turaco's call. They seem to have a variety of calls such as contact calls and warning calls which ranges from growling to to their tradional call to a "krrrrr" alarm call. such lovely birds!

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Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

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 Post subject: Re: Winter weekend in Wilderness
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 228
Location: Western Cape
wildtuinman wrote:
Great photos, Albert!

Wilderness NP is one of my most favorite birding spots! Your write-up took me straight back into the heart of it once again.

As for your question on the Turaco's call. They seem to have a variety of calls such as contact calls and warning calls which ranges from growling to to their tradional call to a "krrrrr" alarm call. such lovely birds!


Thanks WTM!
We will be back at Wilderness around the end of November....Can't wait!

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 Post subject: Re: Winter weekend in Wilderness
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:57 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 228
Location: Western Cape
Thought I'd just add this "oil painting" of a WB Cormorant in its winter woolies..

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Winter weekend in Wilderness
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Posts: 40098
Location: Worcester, South Africa
A superb 'oil painting', Albert :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Winter weekend in Wilderness
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 42364
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
You have done it for me .... going to book some time at Wilderness for September 8)

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