Outing to Silvermine Reserve.
13 March 2019 – by Marilyn Metcalf.
Sixteen members of the Cape bird club and a visitor, Stuart from Kwa Zulu Natal, met at the dam’s parking area on a cool but wind- free Wednesday. There were a number of new members, which is always encouraging, as well as the regulars. Merle was there early and had got her list going with Cape Sugarbird, Southern Bou Bou, Cape Grassbird, Cape White-eye, Olive Thrush and Cape Bulbul.
As we walked towards the jeep track, a pair of Cape Batis were spotted, one possibly a juvenile. We walked slowly but there were few birds along the route although we had good views of Karoo Prinia and Cape Sugarbird and were able to point out distinguishing features, especially to those who were new to birding. A Red- eyed Dove was later identified as a Cape Turtle Dove. We later heard a number of them calling around the dam.
When we reached a lookout point towards Noordhoek, some birders had a far-off sighting of a Rock Kestrel and good views of Cape Robin-chat, Orange Breasted Sunbirds and one African Black Swift. We then returned to the dam and were alerted to a Verraux’s Eagle flying against and above the cliffs on the left by hikers and a new, keen eye- sighted birder, Janine Smith. Unfortunately part of the group had walked ahead and so missed this wonderful sight.
The only birds we saw around the dam boardwalk, were Dusky Flycatchers, Southern Double-collared Sunbirds and Cape Turtle Doves. There were no water birds on the dam, which was disappointing as we had seen some Yellow-billed Ducks on a previous visit.
The outing ended with tea in the Riverwalk area but before we all got there, we did have good views of a Common Buzzard and an African Harrier Hawk against the ridge near the parking area. Whilst having coffee, tea and snacks and going over a not so long bird list (22 including 2 heard), we saw a Bar-throated Apalis in the surrounding trees.
Many thanks to everyone who shared their birding knowledge with us.