Depending on the weather, the dawn chorus begins at around half past three these days. This morning, for example, I could hear Cape White-eyes, Cape Turtle Doves, Klaas’ Cuckoos and a Cape Robin – until the raucous Hadeda Ibises joined in shortly after four o’ clock! One simply has to love these birds.
There seem to be many more Village Weavers than Cape Weavers visiting the garden of late. The males of both species look very smart in their elegant breeding livery. Laughing Doves abound and fill the warm mornings with their soft, burbling cooing. The Lesser-striped Swallows completed building their mud nest under the eaves and have spent the past week lining it with grass and lichen. The image of the nest reveals what might be a crack at the back of it – I am holding thumbs the nest will hold long enough for the eggs to hatch and the youngsters to leave. Note the different colours of the mud the birds have used in the construction of this nest.
Birds have had to dive for cover this month both for a Black Harrier and a Yellow-billed Kite. The latter spent nearly a week roving across town and sweeping low over the garden. Fork-tailed Drongos and Black-eyed Bulbuls are quick to sound the alarm.
I have been intrigued by the Speckled Mousebirds feeding on apples that have fallen from the feeding tray to the ground; I usually associate them with clinging closely to branches as they work their way through the trees.
My November bird list is:
African Green Pigeon
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)