27 May 2022

eBird Global Big Day; Autumn

14 May 2022 - Kyalami Estates and Glen Austin Pan

As lamented by others, 14 May is not a great date in South Africa and many other countries. I believe the spring and autumn dates are chosen to satisfy the American birders. Nevertheless, we try and do our bit - despite the lack of migrants.

This was a low key day for me and I concentrated my efforts in the suburb where I live and then a short excursion to Glen Austin Pan. I managed a paltry 66 species, but it was for a good cause.

I didnt take any images from my Estate, but did take my camera to the Pan and photographed a few species whilst trying to maximise the species count. There were a few notable omissions that I have seen on almost every other visit. There were big numbers of Black-headed Heron at the Pan, where the water levels are still really high

Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)

I had a good count of Duck species, including Red-billed Teal

Red-billed Teal (Anas erythrorhyncha)

Yellow-billed Duck and Southern Pochard were amongst those photographed

Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata) and Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma)

Red-knobbed Coot numbers seem to be increasing - they have had a bumper breeding season

Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata)

In the adjacent grasslands, I managed to find a pair of Northern Black Korhaan

Male Northern Black Korhaan (Afrotis afraoides)

And flushed a few Spotted Thick-knee whilst searching for them

Spotted Thick-knee (Burhinus capensis)

On the drive back home, had a good session with an obliging Crowned Lapwing and consider these some of my best images of this species

Crowned Lapwing (Vanellus coronatus)

Now we wait for Spring and the next Global Big Day

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