MAY 2016 GARDEN BIRDS

This has been an interesting month of birding in my garden. Once the African Green Pigeons had devoured the last of the Natal figs, they moved off to find fruit elsewhere. In their wake came the Red-billed Woodhoopoes and the Crowned Hornbills. They move through the garden making cheerful sounds while they look for insects and other tasty titbits hiding in the bark of the many trees growing here.

The Fork-tailed Drongos are seldom far away, often surprising me with the variety of calls they make. Their aerial displays and the agility with which they catch insects on the wing never cease to amaze me.

Forktailed Drongo

Life would not be the same without the morning and evening chorus of the Hadeda Ibises. I love the way their otherwise drab appearance becomes bejewelled in the sunlight as they work their way through the garden, pecking at the ground, always on the lookout for food.

Hadeda ibis

Pied Crows sometimes fly very low across the garden, sending the doves and weavers scattering in fright. The Knysna Loeries have settled in and are now seen daily. What joy it was to watch a pair of them the other morning as they hopped about the nearby branches and then spent nearly twenty minutes bathing in the bird bath only a few metres from where I was sitting! Lights? Camera? Not a chance – I was having tea with a friend and just knew they would be off in a flash if I went indoors to get my camera. Then, one afternoon I did have my camera at hand and have at last been able to photograph them. One has to be quick for they disappear into the foliage in a wink. While this is not an award-winning picture, I can at last show off these beautiful visitors to our garden.

Knysna Loerie

To round the month off, I was thrilled to spot a Yellow-Bellied Sunbird flitting through the trees a day or two ago. I have not seen one here since last April!

My May bird list is:

African Green Pigeon
Barthroated Apalis
Blackbacked Puffback
Black Crow (Cape)
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Blackcollared Barbet
Blackeyed Bulbul
Blackheaded Heron
Blackheaded Oriole
Bokmakierie
Bronze Manikin
Cape Robin (Cape Robin-chat)
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Chinspot Batis
Crowned Hornbill
Common Starling
Fierynecked Nightjar
Fiscal Shrike
Forktailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Greyheaded Bush Shrike
Greyheaded Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Hoopoe
Knysna Loerie
Laughing Dove
Olive Thrush
Pied Crow
Pintailed Whydah
Redeyed Dove
Redbilled Woodhoopoe
Redwinged Starling
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)
Sacred Ibis
Sombre Bulbul
Southern Black Tit
Speckled Mousebird
Spectacled Weaver
Streakyheaded Canary
Village Weaver
Yellowbellied Sunbird
Yellowfronted Canary

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