13 April 2021

Good birds out West

3rd February 2021 - Krugersdorp Testing Station

My son had an appointment for his driving test out in Krugersdorp, so I took the opportunity to explore the surrounding area and was quite pleasantly surprised. It was an overcast and gloomy day, so not conducive for great images, especially of flying birds.

The habitat was hilly, rocky and had some good grassland, it was here I had a number of calling Rufous-naped Lark's

Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)



I heard a familiar call and a bird I haven't seen in ages popped up out of a bush - Black-chested Prinia, which I saw a few more times in the hour and a half I spent in the area

Black-chested Prinia (Prinia flavicans)



Another great bird for me was an obliging and singing Wailing Cisticola, also a bird I hadn't seen in a number of years

Wailing Cisticola (Cisticola lais)






A Red-collared Widowbird put in a brief appearance, as it flew by

Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens)


Along the road, a female White-bellied Sunbird enjoying some nectar

White-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris talatala)



Near the airfield, I had 6 Abdim's Storks flying over and down into the valley

Abdim's Stork (Ciconia abdimii)


I then went to explore the valley and discovered there was a sewage works and many grassy fields where there were 300+ Storks along with hundred's of Sacred Ibis. Along the road was a male Amethyst Sunbird

Amethyst Sunbird (Chalcomitra amethystina)


I discovered a small breeding colony of Horus Swift around the plant itself.

Horus Swift (Apus horus)




As it was time to pick up my son, I headed back up to the testing station, but stopped when I heard alarming Lapwing's. This could only mean a raptor overhead and sure enough, this stunning Lanner Falcon came cruising pasta and completely uninterested in the irritating Lapwings

Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)


Just before the testing grounds, another surprise when I saw a Black-chested Snake Eagle circling over the ridge

Black-chested Snake Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis)



My wheels in it's natural habitat and to give an idea of the biome I was birding in

Hilux


All in all an enjoyable hour or so in an area I have not explored before.




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