08 February 2023

Glen Austin Regular's

18 December 2022 - Glen Austin Pan

Our summer holiday is on the horizon, so I had a quick early morning visit and Pentad bash to Glen Austin Pan. I always have an air of expectancy when visiting this site, as it has the potential to deliver a goodie, like the Lesser Moorhen that was seen earlier in the week, following the good rains.

In the reeds there is an active Heronry with both Black-headed Herons and Cattle Egrets breeding amongst other species and there were big numbers of Grey-headed Gulls.

No sign of the Moorhen, but I did enjoy all the usual regulars like African Swamphen

African Swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis)

African Jacana

African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)

A single Little Egret

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

I flushed a Hamerkop feeding on tadpoles in the shallows of the Pan - still no sign of any adult African Bullfrogs

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)

A few Glossy Ibis flew by

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Whilst Southern Pochard were close enough to get papped

Male Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma)

There was a lone White-backed Duck quite close to the edge, but it didnt stay long

White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus)

I managed to get an in-flight sequence of a White-backed Duck taking off. Since they sit so low in the water and are often wet, take-off is much like a Coot - a lot of flapping and running across the water until they are finally airborne. I was thrilled that all were pin sharp

White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) take-off sequence

I was also really excited to see that Yellow-crowned Bishops seemed to have returned to this site after years of absence. I counted at least 4 pairs, so will check again in the new year if they are still present

Female Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer)

Male Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer)

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