JANUARY 2016 GARDEN BIRDS

The Cape Robin was the first bird on my list this year. I feel blessed having them nest in our garden for they are such special birds. I frequently hear them before seeing them. Their calls range from what sound like melodious snatches of songs to a clearly distinguishable alarm call. Last night I listened to a robin calling nearby for about twenty minutes well after dark. They also form an important part of the dawn-chorus in our garden.

Cape Robin

Over the years I have observed robins nesting just above eye-level in the air plants draped over a branch of an ironwood tree; almost at ground level in thick vegetation near a bird bath; in the tangled growth of an unkempt hedge; and more recently in the lavender bushes nest to the steps leading to our swimming pool. I have already chronicled the sad demise of their three chicks when they were devoured by a Burchell’s Coucal. Undaunted, the pair relocated to the thicket behind the pool – too far in for me to see, although I noted their to-ing and fro-ing movements with food for their offspring. At least one of their chicks has survived for I have seen it out in the open in the company of a parent over the past two weeks. The spotty juvenile now makes forays around the feeding station on its own in the early mornings and late afternoons.

Lesserstriped Swallows

Very good news is that the Lesser-striped Swallows have made one more valiant attempt at rebuilding their nest under the eaves. It is with great delight that I have observed the cup taking shape, watched it being lined with feathers, and felt a lifting of my heart when the tunnel was completed. I hope this time the nest will hold and that they will raise a family before the end of summer! The nest has developed from this sadly abandoned ruin

Lesserstripedswallownest

To this

Lesserstripedswallownest

And finally, this

Lesserstripedswallownest

Although it only appeared for three days, I was pleased to see a Dusky Indigobird for we last saw them here several years ago. Other new entries on my list include a Black Harrier, a Darter and a pair of Egyptian Geese.

My January list is:

African Green Pigeon
Barthroated Apalis
Black Crow (Cape)
Black Cuckoo
Black Harrier
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Blackcollared Barbet
Blackeyed Bulbul
Blackheaded Heron
Blackheaded Oriole
Bokmakierie
Boubou Shrike
Bronze Manikin
Burchell’s Coucal
Cape Robin (Cape Robin-chat)
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Darter
Diederik Cuckoo
Dusky Indigobird
Egyptian Goose
Fiery-necked Nightjar
Fiscal Flycatcher
Forktailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Greyheaded Bush Shrike
Greyheaded Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Hoopoe
Klaas’ Cuckoo
Knysna Loerie
Laughing Dove
Lesserstriped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Pintailed Whydah
Redeyed Dove
Redbilled Woodhoopoe
Redchested Cuckoo
Redwinged Starling
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)
Sombre Bulbul
Southern Masked Weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Spectacled Weaver
Village Weaver
Whiterumped Swift
Yellowfronted Canary
Yellow Weaver

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