13 April 2021

Staying Local

05 February 2021 - Northern Farm

It was really cool to meet some local birders (Andrew Hester, Mike K, Sue and Owen Oertli) on an outing to Northern Farm and also great to catch-up with Andre Marx, who arranged the outing, and who I hadn't seen for many years.

We met at the gate at 6am and then jumped into two cars to explore this awesome site which has delivered some really good birds over the years. Sadly, it was another overcast drizzly day, but the clouds did lighten a little later. We had a great morning, finishing with just under 100 species which is impressive for a Gauteng site.

Some interesting fungi on a log in the parking lot

Fungi sp.

A stop at the first dam produced a pair of Goliath Heron

Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)

Along with a few African Stonechat

Female African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)

A stop at another dam produced African Fish Eagle, Long-crested Eagle and Black Sparrowhawk, but no images of these birds unfortunately, I did get this African Darter as it dashed across the dam.

African Darter (Anhinga rufa)

A little further on, Greater Striped Swallow were seen whilst we were walking

Greater Striped Swallow (Cecropis cucullata)

We checked a pen where Yellow Wagtail had been seen in previous years, without luck. But did get African Pipit

African Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus)

and a surprise Red-capped Lark which is a good bird for this area

Red-capped Lark (Calandrella cinerea)

A couple of Barn Swallow's were roosting on the fence

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Following up on a calling Willow Warbler, I found this Cape Robin-Chat - this a habitat image

Cape Robin-Chat (Cossypha caffra)

Another small dam produced a few duck species including these Hottentot Teal

Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota)

and one of many Yellow-billed Duck

Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata)

There were also good numbers of Lesser Swamp Warbler in the reeds and the vegetation in the dam

Lesser Swamp Warbler (Acrocephalus gracilirostris)

In another area, we found good numbers of Spotted Thick-knee

Spotted Thick-knee (Burhinus capensis)

All too soon, the time was up as some needed to get to work. I did a quick drive on my own and found a pair of obliging Burchell's Coucal that were drying out their feathers whilst perched on a fence. These were the best images of the morning

Burchell's Coucal (Centropus burchelli)

A most enjoyable morning and will need to get back to this great site and on a day when the weather is more favourable.

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