Lesser Frigatebird – St Lucia

BirdLife Port Natal

Report by Sally and Paul Bartho

11 to 13 October 2018

On the spur of the moment, Sally and I decided to dart over to St Lucia to try our luck at seeing the immature Lesser Frigatebird.

The day started off very pleasantly, however by the time we reached St Lucia – four and a half hours later – it was overcast and windy. The forecast was for foul weather to come.

Nevertheless we persisted in trying our luck that afternoon. Up and down the beach next to the lagoon wherever we saw Terns. At one point I sank knee deep into the quicksand- looked just like hard sand by the water’s edge. Had to lie flat down to extricate myself. Lovely black mud everywhere below thigh level. Fortunately both camera and binos got off lightly. Then to the beach to wash off in the sea. Nothing quite like walking…

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Alverstone Wildlife Park Outing

BirdLife Port Natal

Report by Terry Walls

Saturday 6 October 2018

Alverstone Wildlife Park is a 100 hectare nature reserve near Hillcrest, Durban, South Africa. The reserve was created in 1997 by a group of neighbouring landowners.

The park has a diverse ecosystem, which includes grasslands, a forest, and wetlands. A number of mammals can be found in the reserve, including duiker, bushbuck, bushpig, civet, genet, mongoose and rock hyrax. Herds of blesbok, blue wildebeest, impala and zebra have been introduced to the reserve.

The weather was extremely kind to us as a small group of birders set off on the pathway along the crest of the hillside through the bush clumps.

The first call to greet us was the unfamiliar (to some of us) call of a Cape Robin-Chat which was confirmed, when it showed up beautifully on the path. Also calling  in the same area out in the open in the…

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Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

BirdLife Port Natal

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

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Bearded Vulture growing up

BirdLife Port Natal

Dear All

I hope you will agree that the attached two images are worth an additional email from me this week. These are the latest images of “Kentucky” from our nest camera- growing fast and getting ready to fledge in about a months time.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

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Mabola Protected Environment near Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga.

BirdLife Port Natal

Yesterday, the North Gauteng High Court set aside the 2016 decisions of former Mineral Resources Minister Zwane and the late Environmental Affairs Minister Molewa to permit a new coal mine to be developed in the Mabola Protected Environment near Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga.

The case was brought by the coalition of eight civil society organisations challenging a range of authorisations that have permitted an underground coal mine in a strategic water source area and a protected area.

The Mabola Protected Environment was declared under the Protected Areas Act in 2014 by the Mpumalanga provincial government as part of the declaration of more than 70 000 hectares of protected area in the Mpumalanga grasslands. This followed years of extensive research and planning by a number of government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Affairs, the South African National Biodiversity Institute and the Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks Agency.

In 2016, without public consultation and…

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Shongweni Outing.

BirdLife Port Natal

Report by Elena Russell

3rd November 2018

Small turnout, 13, whether this was due to the uncertainty about Shongweni or the weather, which had been pretty awful during the week!!

Access would appear to be no problem, security may still be a bit dicey as parts of the fences are down and the cattle and goats do tend to wander about.

The campers, fishermen and canoeists are all back so hopefully we are not about to lose one of the hottest birding spots in KZN.

There is an entrance fee, presently at R30 p/p and on enquiry about Big Birding Day and very early morning access, I suggested 05:00, Greg asked that we send him an SMS and he will arrange for the gate to be open but that a guide/guard (from the local community) should accompany each vehicle.  (Greg’s cell 083 290 4141).

Now to the birding!!

Maybe our count…

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