Birding with Marc Cronje at Likweti wildlife residential estate – 29 May 2021.
The morning of birding started off with the resident giraffe walking across the plains at the starting point of the birding walk. What a sighting having these elegant mammals walking in front of a stunning lowveld sunrise.
As we head into winter and the temperatures drop it makes getting out of bed harder on the cold mornings, but birding in winter in the Lowveld is still good and the walk started with a great sighting of Scarlet-chested Sunbird, White-bellied Sunbird, Collared Sunbird and Amethyst Sunbird feeding on the flowering Aloes – one of the perks of birding in winter in the Lowveld.
As the team walked through the grassland and mixed Acacia, the bird list grew with some noteworthy species being: White-browed Robin-Chat, Stunning African Green Pigeon, Yellow-throated Longclaw displaying over the grass plains and a very confiding Brubru. One of the highlights of the morning came in the form of a Spotted Eagle Owl on a day roost perching a few meters in front of the group – this was a great sighting as its always special to see and watch owls during the day. The Owl posed nicely for the group and its always good to see these birds in natural areas.
As the walk progressed down a well wooded drainage line the birds just kept on rolling in and some of the highlights included: close views of Little Bee-eater, Purple-created Turaco, Common Waxbill, a displaying croaking Cisticola, African Stonechat and Groundscraper Thrush. The birders also enjoyed a wonderful display from a White-browed Scrub Robin which popped up in the open and provided great entertainment.
One of the surprising sightings for the day came in the form of a Klaas’s Cuckoo posing in morning light. Most of these birds are Intra-African migrants and migrate up to Central Africa for the winter, so to see an induvial in winter is surprising and special.
Like all Cuckoos the Klaas’s Cuckoo is a Brood parasite and one of the birds it chooses to parasite on are the sunbirds. Our sunbirds all breed in winter in the Lowveld, so it would make sense that some of these birds will be resident all year round in the Lowveld to take advantage of the breeding sunbirds.
A visit to one of the dams on the property was rewarding with sightings of Wire-tailed Swallow, Striped Pipit, Mocking Cliff Chat, Red-throated Wryneck, Grey-headed Bushshrike and a stunning African Hoopoe. Whilst enjoying a cup of coffee at the dam, 4 Black-winged Kites flew over the dam.
It was yet another great morning of birding at Likweti wildlife residential estate. A total of 62 species were seen collectively on the walk, not bad for a winter morning.
We are fortunate to enjoy great birding in the Lowveld throughout the year, so do not shy away from birding in winter. Marc Cronje will be leading another walk at Likweti wildlife residential estate on the 26th of June from 06h30 to 9h30.
If you would like to book for the next walk at Likweti Estate, please get in touch with Marc:
Cell: 083 705 6463