Birdwatching in my garden was limited to only about a week this month as we have been away. I was delighted to note that the Lesser-striped Swallows have returned. They should start re-building their mud nest under the eaves soon. White-rumped Swifts soar high above, especially in the mornings and the late afternoons as they hawk insects. On nest-building, I have been observing an Olive Thrush stuffing its beak with moss, lichen and dried grass with which to line its nest. The weavers have been building their nests in earnest too.

Olive Thrush

Courting precedes all this activity and a pair of Brown-hooded Kingfishers as well as a pair of Fork-tailed Drongos have been in courting mode – chasing each other all over the garden, singing duets when they actually end up sitting on a branch together. African Green Pigeons chuckle from within the new foliage of the fig tree and a Cape Robin heralds each dawn from its secret perch near our bedroom window. We definitely know it is spring once the Red-chested Cuckoo starts to call.

An Egyptian Goose makes welcome fly-pasts now and then – it has taken up residence at the dam nearby. A Fiscal Shrike has taken on the avian equivalent of the role of a dog-in-the-manger whenever something particularly tasty is put on the feeding table. Only the Black-collared Barbets scare it away. I think the feathered community are pleased to have regular seed, nectar and titbits put out now that I am home.

Black-collared barbet

Other signs of spring include the white plum blossoms, daisies blooming, and the abundance of tender new leaves on the trees.


My September bird list is:

African Green Pigeon
Barthroated Apalis
Black Cuckoo
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Blackcollared Barbet
Blackeyed Bulbul
Blackheaded Oriole
Brownhooded Kingfisher
Cape Robin
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Common Starling
Egyptian Goose
Fiscal Shrike
Forktailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Greyheaded Bush Shrike
Hadeda Ibis
Knysna Lourie
Laughing Dove
Lesserstriped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Paradise Flycatcher
Pied Crow
Pintailed Whydah
Redchested Cuckoo
Redeyed Dove
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)
Southern Boubou
Speckled Mousebird
Streakyheaded Canary
Village Weaver
Whiterumped Swift


3 thoughts on “SEPTEMBER 2016 GARDEN BIRDS

    • While some, like the barn swallow, may migrate to Europe, many of the other birds move around the country or continent. The cuckoos, swallows and swifts, for example, are intra-African migrant species. The bokmakieries, hoopoes, flycatchers and mousebirds are altitudunal migrants – all to improve their chances of survival during seasons when conditions are unfavourable. There is a large core of resident species in our garden and, over the years, we have come to know when to expect others to either arrive or to depart.

      Liked by 1 person

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