06 November 2021

Some Highveld Birding

11 September 2021 - Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

I had planned to visit Glen Austin Pan but at the last minute changed my mind and headed to Suikerbosrand. After a Mugg & Bean coffee stop, I was in an area adjacent to the reserve as the sun came up over the horizon. I love this time of day.

It was another quest to try and photograph the Pink-billed Lark, but the morning started off well with a family of Orange River Francolin. If you look carefully, you will see one chick in the second image

Orange River Francolin (Scleroptila gutturalis)



and a little later an obliging individual that was calling often - perhaps trying to locate the covey it was separated from?

Orange River Francolin (Scleroptila gutturalis)








Whilst scanning a suitable area for the Pink-billed, I had this Red-capped Lark

Red-capped Lark (Calandrella cinerea)


And further on a Rufous-naped Lark

Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)


It was at this point, I found a lost male black Labrador that came bounding over to my car. There was no-one else in this area and I was miles away from any houses where it may have come from. All I could do was get him in my truck which he was happy to do.

This ended my morning's birding, but I did make a quick stop at the bridge and discovered that the South African Cliff Swallow's were back and starting with their nest building

South African Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon spilodera)







White-rumped Swifts share the same bridge in this mixed colony along with a few Little Swifts 

White-rumped Swift (Apus caffer)






I didn't stay long and after a few phone calls with local animal shelters found out that the Lab had not been reported lost, so I took him home to our local Vet to be checked out and stay overnight, in case he was claimed. Sadly no-one claimed him, so he was taken in by the Labrador Association who would find him a suitable home - happy ending.

The Pink-billed Lark's eluded me again.....One day!


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