Sunday, 11 September 2016

A birding trip to Mtunzini

Although the objective of the visit to Mtunzini was to find a Palm-nut Vulture for Dave and Yvette, we still managed to fit in time for plants along the trails we walked while birding. One of the first things we saw was an unusual yellow-coloured Erythrina lysistemon.

Erythrina lysistemon
Driving out of the Forest Lodge on the way to the Umlalazi reserve, the Palm-nut Vulture put in a very obliging appearance, flying low alongside the car for a while. Inside the reserve we found two mangrove species. Avicennia marina was flowering and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza had young fruits.

Avicennia marina
Brugueira gymnorrhiza fruits
While walking around the nearby Raphia palm monument we came across a Dracaena mannii in fruit.
Dracaena mannii fruits
Near the Birdlife SA Eco-Centre, Baphia racemosa was starting to flower.

Baphia racemosa
Walking the forest paths the next day we found a tree-sized Acokanthera oblongifolia covered in sweet scented clusters of white flowers. Another interesting find was Catunaregam obovata in fruit. 
Acokanthera oblongifolia

Catunaregam obovata
At the roadside we saw the shiny-leafed Croton pseudopulchellus.

Croton pseudopulchellus
During a late afternoon walk we were treated to a bird party mobbing a 2-m long green mamba in the tree canopy and this helped add several species to our birding list. Alongside a boardwalk close to a stream in the swamp forest we found a very early-flowering Platylepis glandulosa.
Platylepis glandulosa
Relaxing after some heavy birdwatching
Participants: Dave E-S, Graham G, Kate G, Yvette E-S

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