I gave a talk to the Worcester Bird Club on Wed and decided to stay over so that I could do some birding/pentading in the area.
I used to work at Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve near McGregor so that was an obvious route for me to bring back some memories and see where I could see Long-billed Lark (what else!!!!!) and which one it was that occurred in that area.
I took one of the side roads to Bonnievale from McGregor, and had some great birds such as Southern Tchagra and 2 lone Black-headed Canaries in the kloof, but the birding hotted up when I stopped at a small flowing steam with a thorn thicket on its banks. African Reed and Little Rush Warblers were calling from the fragmites reeds whilst Common Waxbill, Klaas's Cuckoo, White-throated and Black-headed Canaries were coming in to drink. Cape Wagtail and Three-banded Plover were along the stream with Cape and Masked Weavers (probably why the Cuckoo was there). Chestnut-vented Tit-babblers were numerous in the dry scrub as were Fiscal Flycatcher, Southern Double-collared and Malachite Sunbirds, Grey-backed Cisticola and Long-billed Crombek. A mix of birds normally found in "greener" scrub, such as Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Robin-chat, Cape Canary, Le Valiant's Cisticola, Cape White-eye. Barn and Pearl-breasted Swallows seemed out of place in the dry valley, but it was my first Barn for the season. A distant call made me move back up the road to a small hill where Karoo Long-billed Lark was calling it's single whistle problem solved! Pale-chanting Goshawk and Rock Kestrel made up the raptors seen from here. I suppose Black, Martial and Booted Eagle could be seen here more time was spent here.
I stayed at this spot for more than an hour as birds were plentiful along the river course, a total of 28 in fact in this gulley!
Always good to take a back road and enjoy some quiet birding when you have the chance.
Regards and happy birding,