ROB CLIFF – 28 March 2005

Hi to all birders

I am sure everyone has been birding all over the country this long weekend…

My girlfriend and I spent 2 full days in Creighton at Smithfield Guest House – the home of Button Birding. To anyone who wants to do birding in this area (which is full of exciting specials) I highly recommend the expertise of Malcolm Gemmel…

We spent a whole day going up and down Sani Pass and recorded almost all the specials including: Lammergeier, Drakensberg Rockjumper, Drakensberg Siskin, Sicklewinged Chat, Wailing Cisticola, Fairy Flycatcher, Thickbilled Lark, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Southern Grey Tit, Bald Ibis, Rock Kestrel, Jackal Buzzard and Ground Woodpecker. No Cape Vulture were seen??? The views from the pass were indescribable.

The next morning was spent birding around Creighton and I was ecstatic about great sightings of:

Blue Swallow – perched on a tall grass for at least 10mins
Blackrumped Buttonquail – both male and female were flushed and seen flying for about 30 metres.
We also saw nesting Black Sparrowhawk in Xumeni Forest and a lone Denham’s Bustard next to the road…

17 lifers in 1 and half days…thats what I call a great weekend!!!

I urge you to make the trip and see these very localised and some very rare species