JANUARY 2014 GARDEN BIRDS

I recorded a very pleasing 47 species of birds in my garden during January, the first being a Fork-tailed Drongo. These beautiful black birds swoop down from The Pubnowhere to catch insects on the wing, are not averse to drinking from the nectar ‘pub’ and often peck at other food put out for general avian consumption. The last on my list is a male Pin-tailed Whydah. For several years in a row we had a resident one which guarded its territory jealously against birds bigger than itself. It was entertaining to watch its energetic courtship ‘dances’ and the way it chased after the females, hardly giving them a moment to peck a single seed! For the last two years, however, the Pin-tailed Whydah has been a visitor only – and a fleeting one at that. The ‘pub’ referred to earlier was a Christmas gift that has given me endless joy. It is visited regularly by Cape White-eyes, a variety of weavers, the Fork-tailed Drongos and the local sunbirds – the Black (Amethyst) Sunbird, Olive Sunbird and the Greater Double-Collared Sunbird. It has also been satisfying watching a Speckled Mousebird build its nest high up in the enormous Natal Fig that dominates the ‘wild’ part of the garden.

My January list is:

African Green Pigeon

Barthroated Apalis

Black Crow

Black Cuckoo

Black Harrier

Black Sunbird (Amethyst)

Blackcollared Barbet

Blackeyed Bulbul

Blackheaded Oriole

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Boubou Shrike

Brownhooded Kingfisher

Cape Robin

Cape Turtle Dove

Cape Weaver

Cape White-eye

Cardinal Woodpecker

Cattle Egret

Common Starling

Crowned Plover

Darter

Fiscal Shrike

Forktailed Drongo

Greater Double-collared Sunbird

Grey Heron

Greyheaded Sparrow

Hadeda Ibis

Hoopoe

Klaas’ Cuckoo

Laughing Dove

Lesserstriped Swallow

Olive Sunbird

Olive Thrush

Pale Chanting Goshawk

Paradise Flycatcher

Pintailed Whydah

Redbilled Woodhoopoe

Redeyed Dove

Redwinged Starling

Rock Pigeon

Southern Masked Weaver

Speckled Mousebird

Steppe Buzzard

Village Weaver

Whiterumped Swift

Yellow Canary

Yellow Weaver

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