The Aloe Farm Saturday 5th June 2021

The Aloe Farm outing on Saturday 5 June turned out to most probably be the coldest of all outings so far this year. On arrival it was a ‘cool’ 0°C with a fresh cold wind forcing out all the gloves and warmers.As it happened to be, the 5th June was also “World Environment Day”.

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird

Lesser Masked Weaver

Due to the number of people, we split into two groups, with Andy Featherstone kindly leading the one half.  Being Aloe Farm, one would expect mainly sunbirds to feature.  With a few ponds and some Acacia Woodland to the one side, 50 species were observed.

Amethyst Sunbirds were plentiful with White-bellied coming in second.  The White-fronted Bee-eater roost is always a spectacular attraction and this time was no different. Large numbers were flying in and out of the burrows and perching in the surrounding trees, giving the photographers among us ample opportunity to get that perfect shot.

White-bellied Sunbird

Other highlights included Cape Vultures circling above the ridge to the south, a Squacco Heron visiting the first pond and a Striated Heron at the upper pond as well as a good selection of woodland species featuring in the surrounding Acacia woodland.Some group members were fortunate enough to get a brief lecture on the stages of flowering, different types of flowers and the significance of birds in the pollination of the aloes by none other than Andy de Wet, CEO, founder and owner of the Aloe Farm. Amazing to say the least.

All in all, a memorable experience, thanks to all involved.

Koos van Dӱk

(Photos:  Andy Featherstone)