Monday, June 12, 2017



Craig Nattrass and I set of one morning to explore the Crocodile River and Marakele National Park area.
Euro Roller
First up we found a pair of African Hawk Eagles, looked good and had the male react, but over the trap and off, it happens!
Next we dropped for a Steppe Buzzard, which have been buggers to catch of late, but this one was most obliging and nailed the trap with gusto! It was an adult at 775g. This was the first bird to be fitted with an alpha numeric colour ring, MW01 will hopefully get spotted up in the middle east or somewhere interesting so we can continue to learn about what this species does and what they require in terms of migration strategy.
Purple Roller

Lilac-breasted Roller
All was quite and we were not seeing much, other than a distant Booted Eagle flying over. We next tried the mouse in Spring trap and got a European Roller! These are not the easiest of birds to catch, with a catch rate of something like 10 set ups of one bird caught. Next up in the Marakele area, we tried for a Purple Roller and got it! Could we get the hat-rick?!! We didn't have to wait long, as we caught the 3rd species of Roller for the day, a Lilac-breasted Roller!

We tried for a distant Black-chested Snake Eagle, very far off, high up on a ridge, it would have been a spectral catch if it had come in! Last bird was an adult female Lesser Kestrel, caught in the spring trap in very windy conditions.

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