Connecting with nature on the monthly City Park Nature Walk

Hoverfly in the family Syrphidae

On 7 September 2013 we went on the monthly Nature Walk at City Park, to see some of the many insects, plants, and animals of City Park.  It started at about 9:05 a.m. despite the bad weather. Sykes monkeys, and a loud call from a Hadada Ibis seemed to welcome us.

Hoverfly in the family Syrphidae

A Hoverfly in the family Syrphidae.

Two Silvery-cheeked Hornbills were seen flying. Many hornbills nest in tree trunks. Leaving only a small space the male uses clay to seal in the female with the eggs.  He leaves only a small space through which he feeds the female and chicks until the young can leave the nest. One of the major reasons for this is to protect the chicks from predation.

The bad weather did not daunt the nature-lovers. As the walk continued, there was another bird calling in the bushes, with a strange call that was new to the participants. We looked for this bird with the unusual song and found that it was a Ruppell’s Robin Chat. The Ruppell’s Robin Chat is notorious for imitating calls of other birds and people whistling. It does this majorly to protect itself and defend its territory.  For example, when it imitates a Crowned Eagle, birds and other predators will shy from approaching the area.

As we walked along the trails in the forest, Ox-head spiders could also be seen in their webs.

(The insect above challenged everybody, nobody knew if it was a bee or a fly.  It has since been confirmed to be a Hoverfly in the family Syrphidae.)

By Vincent Onyango

Birds (and mammals) from the nature walk at City Park on 7 September 2013
1.    Sacred Ibis
2.    Hadada Ibis
3.    Hamerkop
4.    Black Kite
5.    Red-eyed Dove
6.    Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater
7.    Silvery-cheeked Hornbill
8.    Pied Crow
9.    Singing Cisticola
10.    Grey-backed Cameroptera
11.    Common Bulbul
12.    Montane White-eye
13.    Olive Thrush
14.    Ruppell’s Robin Chat
15.    Amethyst Sunbird
16.    Bronze Sunbird
17.    Red-billed Firefinch
18.    African Pied Wagtail
19.    African Citril

Mammals
1.    Bush Squirrel
2.    Sykes Monkey
3.    Vervet Monkey

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