OCTOBER 2020 GARDEN BIRDS

Although I have not been able to photograph one, I am delighted to hear the Red-chested Cuckoo once more. It is commonly known as the Piet-my-vrou here, as that is what its call sounds like – a strident command early in the morning, occasionally in the afternoon and even sometimes in the evening. Both the Klaas’ Cuckoo and Diederik Cuckoo entertain us with their distinctive calls during the day. Of course the Hadeda Ibises continue to wake us early and call to each other across town before they settle down for the night.

There seems to be an explosion of the Dark-capped Bulbul population of late. They queue up to drink from the nectar feeder, biff each other out of the way to eat apples and oranges, and several pairs sit very close together on the branches in true lovey-dovey style.

I am used to the Laughing Doves rising in a whoosh whenever a particularly noisy vehicle passes by, the neighbour might slam a door, or a lawnmower starts up in a nearby garden. There are times though when all the birds disappear in a quiet flash – a sure sign of a predator on the prowl. This month began with a flying visit from an African Harrier Hawk and ended with a low-flying Yellow-billed Kite, both of which saw the garden birds head for the closest cover.

Mundane tasks, such as hanging up the laundry, can have its interesting moments too. The light and distance were of little help to me, yet I could hear the persistent tap-tap-tapping coming from nearby that I dropped what I was doing to scan the trees … and there it was: a Cardinal Woodpecker chipping away at a dead branch of the Erythrina tree that towers over the back garden.

A well turned out visitor is the male Pin-tailed Whydah. He visits fairly often, although I have only seen one female in our garden this month.

While this is the best I could do from a distance with only my cell phone at hand, here is proof that a small flock of Cape Glossy Starlings paid our garden a visit.

I have often said that birdwatching in our garden is balm for my soul. October has been no different.

My October bird list is:

African Green Pigeon
African Harrier Hawk
African Hoopoe
Amethyst Sunbird
Black-collared Barbet
Black-headed Oriole
Boubou
Bronze Manikin
Cape Crow
Cape Glossy Starling
Cape Robin-chat
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cardinal Woodpecker
Cattle Egret
Common Fiscal
Common Starling
Dark-capped Bulbul
Diederik Cuckoo
Fork-tailed Drongo
Grey-headed Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Klaas’ Cuckoo
Knysna Turaco
Laughing Dove
Lesserstriped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Paradise Flycatcher
Pied Crow
Pintailed Whydah
Redchested Cuckoo
Red-eyed Dove
Red-winged Starling
Sacred Ibis
Sombre Greenbul
Southern Masked Weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Streakyheaded Seedeater
Village Weaver
White-rumped Swift

23 thoughts on “OCTOBER 2020 GARDEN BIRDS

  1. Your garden is your own private nature reserve, Anne. Quite an impressive bird list.
    There is a red-chested cuckoo who favours a dead tree in Skukuza Rest Camp. I hope to see him again this year.

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    • The African Green Pigeons feed off the Natal Figs and roost here for much of the year. A pair of Knysna Turacos spend enough time here for me to consider them denizens of the garden.

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    • It is truly wonderful that so many birds are attracted to our garden. Many of these can be seen year-round. The cuckoos arrive in spring and leave towards the end of summer.

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    • Thank you, Carol. I am glad you do: this really began as a different way of keeping a record for myself and now I find that I observe the birds more closely in terms of their general behaviour.

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      • As I said before – I should also start keeping monthly lists. As this is the beginning of a new month, I guess now is a good time to start. Up until now I rely on dates on photos as a rather random record.

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    • The list is compiled over a month, so I do not see all of these birds every day. Nonetheless, it is very interesting to note the seasonal variations as well as the time of day one is most likely to see certain birds.

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      • I appreciate the time spread but it still seems to be a lot of birds to me. Perhaps I should note our visitors down and see if we get more than I realise.

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