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Portugal & Spain Outing - 10 October 2015 (Local News)
 
Mark Friskin on top of the worldMalachite Sunbird (Jangroentjie)

Although it's not the real thing the beauty of the place and the rare visit to the Strydpoort Mountain habitat made it an outing to remember and it's just 50km from Polokwane. Seven of our club members and one visitor started the trip to the top of the mountain at 6:00. We entered through the Makapan Valley. Our altitude at the bottom was just above 1400m where we drove in a well wooded valley that produced a couple of good ones, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike (Oranjborsboslaksman), Southern Black Flycatcher, Southern Black Tit (Gewone Swartmees), Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (Geelblestinker), Black-faced Waxbill (Swartwangsysie), Mocking Cliff-Chat (DassievoŽl), Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Greater Honeyguide (Grootheuningwyser), African Black Swift (Swartwindswael), Yellow-breasted Apalis (Geelborskleinjantjie).

There is also a very busy breeding site of White-fronted Bee-eaters (Rooikeelbyvreter) that made for great scenes and photos. Up the mountain we go. It was a little misty with a cool breeze that picked up considerably at the top. But the birding didn't disappoint. At our first stop at 1750m we picked up Cape Rock-Thrush (Kaapse Kliplyster), Brown-backed Honeybird (SkerpbekheuningvoŽl), Cape Grassbird (GrasvoŽl), Lazy Cisticola (Luitinktinkie), Red-collard Widow-bird (Rooikeelflap), Long-billed Pipit (Nicholsonse Koester), Cape Canary (Kaapse Kanarie), an unexpected Sand Martin (Europese Oewerswael), Cape Bunting (Rooivlerkstreepkoppie) and a loud bunch of Shelley's Francolin (Laeveldpatrys) that gave as the slip.

Gurney's Sugerbird (RooiborssuikervoŽl)Buff-streaked chat (bergklipwagter)

From here we proceeded to the top where the habitat changed to beautiful rocky ridges and clusters of protea bushes. Our altitude Ė just over 1930m. The wind came in strong gusts but that didn't deter the stars of the day: Buff-streaked Chat (Bergklipwagter), Gurney's Sugerbird (RooiborssuikervoŽl) that gave us beautiful photos and Malachite Sunbird (Jangroentjie).

We also had great views of souring Cape Vultures (KransaasvoŽl) and a Lappet-faced Vulture (SwartaasvoŽl) and 3 fast flying Alpine Swifts (Witpenswindswael). A couple in the group got 3 lifers and we also added to our Limpopo life lists and Polokwane 100k lists. The list for the pentad ended on 96.

 
 
Compiled by: Richter van Tonder  
Published on: 2015-11-03  
 
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