After many hours in plane – first three hours from Phoenix to Atlanta, and then 15 hours from Atlanta to Johannesburg, and then another hour flight we arrived at the Durban airport.  We collected our car and we were off to our B&B – the Upper Room, arriving about 10:00 pm Friday night.

Of note, when we got to the airport in Phoenix and went to hand over our luggage the agent asked us for our South African Visa.  We said we didn’t need one because we would not be there for longer than three months.  She said that since our airlines tickets have us going in August, and coming back in December it looks like we would be spending more than three months in South Africa.  So we had to see another (much nicer) agent to have a manual override of our tickets.  Luckily I had printed out our ticket information showing when we would be leaving the country and returning, otherwise we would have been SOL.


No not a Eurasian Collared Dove, but a Red-eyed Dove as seen from our bedroom at the B&B


Bentley (left) and Lilly (right) – dogs residing at the Upper Room B&B. Nice place to stay if you are in Durbin.

Since neither of us slept much on the plane we didn’t get up early on Saturday and didn’t get out and about until around 11:00 am or so.  Our first stop was the Pigeon Valley Nature Park (located near our B&B), followed by the Umgeni River Mouth.

Pigeon Valley Nature Park

This is a heavily forested 10 Hectare park within Durban city limits.  Nice little area to bird, with trails throughout the park.  On a clipboard near the entrance one birder indicated he had seen 80 species in a recent week at the park.  He is a regular birder of the park.


Near the park entrance


One of the trails


Olive Thrush


Square-tailed Drongo


Red Duiker


Village Weaver – there must have been 20+ nests in a tree and lots of weavers going in and out of the nests at a hole in the bottom like this guy is trying to do.


Village Weaver


Village Weaver

Umgeni River Mouth


Umgeni River – near the mouth


Wire-tailed Swallows


Swift Tern – large colony


Goliath Heron – this guy is BIG


Reed Cormorant


Pink-backed Pelican – we had two fly in near us.


Blacksmith Lapwing – love this bird (its a shorebird, of course)


Blacksmith Lapwing roosting

Tomorrow we may stop by the Pigeon Valley Nature Park again before heading to our  next location – the Dlinza Forest, Eshowe.  Until then – ITS A GREAT DAY TO BIRD.