The day started out misty and cold but despite that a few birders still turned up. Present were Richter van Tonder, Mark and Julia Friskin, Leonie Kellerman, Les Reynolds and Rahul, Paul and Anokha van Manen.
Led by Richter we drove to the Tom Naude grave site and where we saw Blue Waxbills, Wattled Starling, Green Woodhoopoe, Forktailed Drongo, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Red-billed Oxpecker, Burnt–necked Eremomela, African Hoopoe, Chestnut-vented Titbabbler, Groundscraper Thrush, Crested Barbet, Cape Robin-chat, Southern Boubou, Speckled Mousebird, Grey Go-away-bird, Laughing Dove, Pied Barbet, Chinspot Batis, Cape Glossy Starling, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Bearded Woodpecker and Marico Flycatcher. We heard Swainson's and a Natal Spurfowl. Richter also taught us the calls of the Crimson-breasted Shrike, Pied Barbet and Blue Waxbill. We then drove to the picnic site and walked to the small dam a few hundred meters away. We didn't see any waterbirds, but did see many other woodland species such as the Bar-throated Apalis, Black-backed Puffback, Yellow-Fronted Canary, Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike, White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Black Headed Oriole, African Firefinch, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird and Yellow-breasted Apalis.
When we got back to the picnic area (and while the adults were chatting), my brother Rahul and I walked around and spotted a Lesser Grey Shrike who hadn't yet migrated. This is quite an unusual sighting for this time of year. For me the highlight of the day was the Lizzard Buzzard which we saw as we walked from the dam back to the picnic area. Thanks to Richter van Tonder for leading this outing and to everyone who braved the cold to go birding!
Images by Anokha van Manen