Weaver ringing trip, Zululand

6-12 February 2012

Graham Grieve and Karin Nelson joined me for a few days of ringing in coastal Zululand. Having given a talk about PHOWN at BirdLife Zululand (bird club in Richards Bay) on 6 Feb, bird club members were invited to attend ringing sessions. Selected photos are shown from each ringing session, and species totals caught are shown in the Table at the end.

After the ringing, the 20th anniversary celebration was held at the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Gardens (11 Feb), with talks on ADU projects, including SAFRING, and PHOWN - see news item.

PHOWN records from this trip may be viewed here.

Thulazihleka Pan, Richards Bay, 7 Feb

Our first morning was at the Pan. The most caught species was Yellow Weaver. Two birds were recaptured from previous ringing here: a Tawnyflanked Prinia from July 2011 and a Yellow Weaver (BH31164) from 2006. For previous ringing here, see news item and trip report.

Ringing at the pan

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, special of the day

Red-backed Shrike, male

Southern Brown-throated Weaver,
female showing distinctive cinnamon wash

Yellow Weaver, male

Lesser Masked Weaver, male

Mozambique Tilapia, bycatch of Pied Kingfisher!

Photographing Wattle-eyed Flycatcher

Amangwe forest, KwaBonambi, 8 Feb

All day was spent in the forest. The first bird was an African Goshawk, and the most caught species was the Green-backed Camaroptera. No weavers were caught here, although Dark-backed Weavers were seen.

African Goshawk, first bird from the nets

Graham, Alan, and Tina photographing the goshawk
ringed by Karin

Green-backed Camaroptera, juvenile

Terrestrial Bulbul

Teza lake, north of KwaBonambi, 9-10 Feb

Some special birds caught were Fiery-necked Nightjar, Garden Warbler, Red-headed Quelea, and Purple-banded Sunbird. The most caught species was Yellow Weaver. Four birds were recaptured from previous ringing here: a Dark-capped Bulbul, a Green-backed Camaroptera, a male Spectacled Weaver, and an African (Bluebilled) Firefinch, all ringed in July 2011. For previous ringing here, see news item.

Ringing group

Fiery-necked Nightjar

Pygmy Kingfisher, juvenile

Garden Warbler

Lesser Masked Weaver, with dark eye!

Spectacled Weaver, juvenile

Diederik Cuckoo male

Species totals caught

A total of 424 birds of 58 different species were caught in 4 days. A few were recaptures from previously (see under sites above).

Species Thulazihleka Amangwe Teza
160 African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro   1  
319 Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria   1 3
321 Green-spotted Dove Turtur chalcospilos     1
322 Lemon (Cinnamon) Dove Aplopelia larvata   1  
352 Diederik Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius     1
373 Fiery-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus pectoralis     1
385 Little Swift Apus affinis 1    
390 Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus 1   1
394 Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 13    
397 Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata 3   3
398 Pygmy Kingfisher Ispidina picta     4
402 Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris 3   2
405 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus 1    
410 Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus     4
431 Black-collared Barbet Lybius torquatus 2   3
438 Golden-rumped Tinker Barbet Pogoniulus bilineatus 2 4  
442 Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor     5
545 Dark-capped Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus 3   15
546 Terrestrial Bulbul Phyllastrephus terrestris   6  
551 Sombre Greenbul Andropadus importunus     1
552 Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyana     1
579 Red-capped Robin-Chat Cossypha natalensis 2 2  
588 White-browed Robin Erythropygia leucophrys     3
595 Garden Warbler Sylvia borin 3   9
599 Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus     6
603 Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus     1
604 Lesser Swamp Warbler Acrocephalus gracilirostris     2
606 African Reed Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus 1    
607 European Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris 1   2
627 Green-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura 1 16 6
642 Rattling Cisticola Cisticola chiniana     3
645 Rufous-winged Cisticola Cisticola galactotes 1   2
649 Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava 1   13
654 Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata 1   3
677 Black-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira peltata 2    
682 Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis     2
707 Fiscal Shrike Lanius collaris     1
708 Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 2    
756 Purple-banded Sunbird Nectarinia bifasciata     1
766 Olive Sunbird Nectarinia olivacea   8 2
774 Scarlet-chested Sunbird Nectarinia senegalensis     2
791 Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis 1   12
792 Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius 1   2
797 Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus 3    
799 Cape Weaver Ploceus capensis     1
800 Yellow Weaver Ploceus subaureus 43   53
802 Southern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus xanthopterus 3   12
804 Thick-billed Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons     3
806 Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops     11
808 Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix 5    
816 Fan-tailed Widow Euplectes axillaris     1
823 Bronze Mannikin Spermestes cucullatus     2
833 African (Bluebilled) Firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata     6
837 Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala     3
843 Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild     12
859 Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus 1   38
863 Brimstone Canary Serinus sulphuratus     1
1172 Cape White-eye Zosterops capensis 1 1 22
Totals   102 40 282


Thanks to Tony and Monika Roberts for accommodation and catering suppers!
Thanks to Sappi for permission to ring at Amangwe forest and Teza Lake.
Thanks to Karin Nelson, Graham Grieve, Alan van Zyl, Tina Lickfold, Daniel Oschadleus, Heather and Sharon Blignaut, Dominic Rollinson for their help.
Thanks to Charlie and Denise for accommodation in Pietermaritzburg!
The trip was funded mostly by Project for the Enhancement of Research Capacity (PERC, UCT).