Rufousnaped Lark

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Amsterdam Rd and Hoogland Health Hydro

I popped out for a quick birding trip the other day to Amsterdam Rd to see if the Cuckoofinches and Melodius Larks were about but I dipped on both of them. All I got was a Capped Wheatear with a juvenile and some distant Clapper Larks and the usual Rufousnaped Larks and Whitewinged Korhaans.

Adult Capped Wheatear

Juvenile Capped Wheatear

There was a Micro-light aircraft practising its landing procedures which probably contributed to the lack of birds as well as some off-road bikers that were tearing around the place making a racket! I decided to go through to Hoogland Health Hydro to see what was about here and was pleasantly surprised with a Yellow-throated Petronia pair that were feeding their chicks at the nest in a tree stump right next to the road. The nest was in a tree next to a slope so I could get up high and photograph level with their position.. This is the first time I have seen this species so close to home!

Yellow-throated Petronia (3)
Not wanting to disturb the Petronias too much I left them after a few minutes and headed down to reception to announce my presence. Down at reception I found a very obliging Kurrichane Thrush who sat still while I got a few photos of him.

Kurrichane Thrush (2)

Another interesting sighting for this area was a Short-toed Rock-thrush which is only supposed to be a winter visitor to this site?

Short-toed Rock-thrush

After asking for permission, I took a drive to the air-field which has a picnic site nearby. This was a great spot for some good birds, I saw Lesser Honeyguide, Bru-bru, Violet-backed Starling, Red-throated Wryneck, Paradise Flycatcher, Black Cuckooshrike, Black-backed Puffback, Klaas' Cuckoo and SA Cliff Swallows. On the drive up there I heard Red-wing Francolins calling higher up and spotted a Black-breasted Snake-eagle circling overhead. I could not get close enough for decent photos of any of these species however.

Finally for the possible reptile fans out there who may find this site, I photographed two interesting fellows who I have tentatively identified as a Transvaal Girdled Lizard and a Spotted Gecko but if you know better then let me know the correct names, thanks!

Transvaal Girdled Lizard?

Spotted Gecko?

That's all I have time for now but I had a great trip to Mkhombo Dam again last weekend which I will be posting shortly so keep an eye out for it.



Costa Rica birding said...

Such beautiful little bird

Gareth Hazell said...

Hi, Which one did you like?