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.
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.
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
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Greyheaded Bush Shrike
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)