Not only is February a short month, it was a busy one too with little time for bird watching. I have recorded 43 species with the ubiquitous Village Weaver being the first and the Southern Masked Weaver the last entry on the list. The easiest way to distinguish between these two weavers in a hurry is to note the heavily blotched back of the former – no wonder it used to be called the Spotted-backed Weaver!
A pair of Knysna Louries has flitted in and out of the fig tree – I cannot yet bring myself to call them Knysna Turacos. Some Streakyheaded Canaries have called at the bird feeder and I have seen some Sombre Bulbuls (now called Sombre Greenbuls) darting through the dense cover of bushes on the fringes of the lawn. The Speckled Mousebird is still sitting on its nest perched at the top of the fig tree.
I have experimented with different colours of sugar water in the ‘pub’ and find that red is the most popular, although the sunbirds and other visitors do not seem to mind blue or purple. The yellow mixture (granted it was pale in hue) was ignored until I added some red food colouring to brighten it up a bit. Just for fun, I swapped the ‘pub’ and the bird feeder around one morning. In due course the female Black Sunbird made her way to where she assumed the ‘pub’ was and perched on the feeder – pecked at the seed container, flew off, returned seconds later and tried again before disappearing. I changed them back to their original positions, but it took a while before the sunbird returned – probably wondering if she had had a bad dream.
My February list is:
African Green Pigeon
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Knysna Lourie (Turaco)
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Southern Masked Weaver