Another successful outing was held in the Polokwane nature reserve on Saturday 22 March 2014. 23 members of our club eagerly gathered outside the gate just before 7:00. The group was well represented by a lot of our new members and our youngest participant was 12 years old!
The day started out cloudy and cool as we moved to the picnic site at the back of the reserve. From there we walked into the veld, slowly searching for our feathered friends. The idea of the outing was to exchange our knowledge and experience with each other as we looked at different species. Some of the species that was found and discussed were: Barn swallows, Fiscal shrike, Black Cuckoo-shrike, European Bee-eaters and a Grey-back Cameroptera which gave the group some good views and fly-bys.
We returned to the picnic site for some coffee and snacks. Here we continued to look at species all around us busy with their morning routine. Species that presented good views for discussion was: Kurrichane Thrush, African Hoopoe, White-browed sparrow weaver, Crimson breasted shrike, Yellow fronted canary, Streaky headed seedeater, White-throated Robin-chat and Red-throated Wryneck.
From here we moved to the Lenong Hide. On our way we stopped to observe our club's logo(bird), a stunning Short-clawed Lark singing on top of a bush. The lark gave the group ample time to become familiar with its diagnostic call. It also gave us one beautiful display flight('dive')
We also saw a female Amur Falcon that was compared in the field guides. At the hide the group got to see a Spotted flycatcher doing it's classic 'fly catching' from a perch. Then one of the LBJs made an appearance. This was a little difficult for most, but the bird did give us it's alarm call(a rapid 'tiktiktiktiktik') that identified it as a Neddicky.
From here we moved to our last stop the Aloe Ridge 'dammetjie'. Here we could observe lots of the smaller species as they came to drank water and bathed. Species that was well seen and again discussed were: Blue waxbill, Black-faced waxbill, Red-billed firefinch, Golden-breasted bunting, Cinnamon-breasted bunting, Cape wagtail and Brubru.
It was a wonderful outing with great enthusiasm and conversations. All of us left with a little more knowledge and confidence to go out there and enjoy our birding a little bit more.