President Ridge Bird Club birding day on 7 February

Contributed by the President Ridge Bird Club;

Members of the President Ridge Bird Club, under the leadership of Moreleta Kloof veteran Faansie Peacock, enjoyed a tremendous day’s birding in a lush and wet Moreleta Kloof on Sunday 7 February 2010.

The day got off to an early start at 06:30, as the group of eager birders set off with binoculars, cameras, telescopes and notebooks in hand. Within a few meters our shoes were thoroughly soaked with refreshingly crisp dew, but the brilliant birding more than made up for this. Within minutes we bumped into a juvenile Diderick Cuckoo being fed by Southern Masked-Weavers and this parasitic theme continued through the day with sightings of a begging Red-chested Cuckoo and a pair of displaying Brown-backed Honeybirds.

A few warblers played hard to get (as usual!), but the songs of Garden, Marsh, Willow, Little Rush and African Reed Warblers clinched their identity. Perhaps the “best spotting award” of the day goes to the discovery of a roosting European Nightjar, blending in magnificently with a horizontal branch. Those with a quick eye glimpsed a dashing Little Sparrowhawk, and an out-of-place Lanner Falcon. A full house of swallows and swifts were also notable, as were Cape Grassbird, Groundscraper Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Arrow-marked Babbler, Levaillant’s Cisticola and a cooperative Black Cuckooshrike.

With 70-odd species on the list, the assembled twitchers enjoyed brunch in the shade – exhausted but saturated with the day’s results – a lucky few even celebrating a lifer or two!

Species list for 7 February 2010: President Ridge Birding Club Outing on 7 February 2010

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