It was amazing – Birding weekend report back

Posted by on Mar 6, 2016 in General News

Birding weekend – March 2016!

Intro:

Our guests started arriving on Thursday afternoon and while they settled in and met all the other participants, all enjoyed a cup of tea and met Joe Grosel, the presenter of the weekend. Joe briefed them on plans for the weekend and soon everyone was ready to enjoy a birding walk via some of the walking trails on Shondoro.

Welcoming

Walking trail and first evening:

Everyone was very excited to go on the first walk on the property to see what was on offer. On the afternoon walk we identified amongst others, a few interesting species including Lazy Cisticola, Shelleys francolin, White-fronted Bee-eaters and Cape Vultures.  The group returned to the main venue and enjoyed a lovely sundowner sponsered by the hosts.  Joe continued to entertain everyone with a wonderful presentation about the Waterberg, Vaalwater area, history of the area and about conservation, birds and other interesting animals found in the Waterberg and Limpopo.

IMG_3068 Sundowners

Friday visit to Marakele:

Early Friday morning we all departed to Marakele National Park and the birding and wildlife viewing was amazing.  Cape Vultures, Gurney’s sugarbird, Cape Bunting, Buff streaked chat, Cape Rock thrush and Malachite sunbirds were just some of the bird species we identified.  The picnic breakfast on the top of the look-out point ensured spectacular views and we could enjoy the vultures soaring past at close quarters.

The evening ended back at Shondoro Mountain Retreat with potjieskos and some good South African wine!

Saturday – Bird ringing!

Bird ringing is always part of the birding weekends offered at Shondoro and this adds fantastic value for science as well as for the participants.  The Saturday was mainly spent enjoying the bird ringing, bird identification, walking trails, a visit to Vaalwater and ended with a fantastic sundowner on the farm at a beautiful spot with stunning views.  Here the leopard even greeted us with a view grunts…

Sundowners 3  Birding sundowner view

Sunday – abundant birds!

Early Sunday morning on joining the bird ringers (who were already frantically removing various species of birds for the nets) there was a bit of a panic with over 50 birds been  caught in less than 45 minutes.  The day was spent watching birds been ringed as this is a great contribution to bird research and data is sent to the University of Cape Town (Safring) to assist to establish information about movement and survival of all bird species.

Everyone could get very close and personal with the birds that were ringed and enjoyed taking some lovely photographs.

Ringing2 Red billed quelliaGreater Dbl collard sunbird Ringing3

 

Thank you to everyone who attended and thank you to Joe, Quinton and Marga for contributing this this great experience!

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