There were 48 birds on my list for last January and 45 this year. I doubt if there are really fewer birds that could be seen from our garden, rather I wasn’t necessarily there to see them. So much depends on when I am outside, how long I spend outside, where I settle to watch birds, and what the weather is like. Birds are scarce during high temperatures – and we have experienced some days of up to 40°C – and equally so during damp weather – very few of those this month!

Possibly the most exciting bird action for me this month was the unexpected arrival of a Steppe Buzzard that sent a flock of Laughing Doves scattering in all directions. I heard a loud, yet muffled, thump and there it was, only about two meters away from me! It blinked at me for a second or two and then flew off so silently that had I not witnessed its departure I would have wondered what had happened to it. Its hunting foray was unrewarded. This one is not in my garden but was photographed on the edge of town.

A pair of Southern Boubous have become regular visitors to the feeding area this month. They arrive either singly or together, waiting in the shrubbery until the coast is clear before coming out in the open.

Of course it is always a delight when the Bronze Manikins come to visit. They have been breeding very successfully for I have seen a whole flock of youngsters accompany the adults when feeding on seed that has fallen to the ground from the hanging feeders. Weavers too have been feeding grain to their chicks.

The Black-collared Barbets are keeping the doctor away by eating apple every day.

A pair of Black-eyed Bulbuls have been hard-pressed feeding their youngster, which is waiting on a rock – not too patiently – for the next bite of apple. The parents have been gradually enticing their youngster to come ever closer to the source of the apples.

Another bird that has just about been run ragged feeding offspring is the ringed Common Fiscal. Once I realised that it was frantically feeding not one chick but three, I helped out by providing some very finely chopped meat. This chick has a slice of sausage – that escaped the chopping – in its beak. I will show more photographs of these chicks in a later post.

I was fascinated to watch a Speckled Pigeon helping itself to some of the chopped meat – I assumed they only ate grain and occasionally fruit.

My January bird list:

African Darter
African Green Pigeon
Bar-throated Apalis
Black-collared Barbet
Black-eyed Bulbul
Black-headed Oriole
Bronze Mannikin
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Burchell’s Coucal
Cape Crow
Cape Robin
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Wagtail
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Common Fiscal
Common Starling
Diederik Cuckoo
Fork-tailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Green Woodhoopoe
Grey-headed Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Klaas’s Cuckoo
Knysna Turaco
Laughing Dove
Lesser-striped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Pied Crow
Pin-tailed Whydah
Red-eyed Dove
Red-winged Starling
Sacred Ibis
Sombre Bulbul
Southern Boubou
Southern Masked Weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Steppe Buzzard
Streaky-headed Seedeater
Village Weaver
White-rumped Swift
Yellow-billed Kite

21 thoughts on “JANUARY 2021 GARDEN BIRDS

  1. That is a good list for your garden Anne and a treat to have a Steppe Buzzrd visit briefly. I assume the Darter was flying over, unless you have been hiding the fact that you have a large lake somewhere in your garden….

    Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely not cheating! There are no specific “rules” when it comes to garden bird lists but most birders will list any bird they spot from their garden. I have an Albatross on my Mossel Bay “garden” list as I was able to ID it from our balcony while it was following a trawler into the bay

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Altogether, just lovely! Your photos are as charming as always and, although I’ve never kept a monthly list of which birds visit my garden, I must say the enthusiasm and dedication with which you keep yours, is nudging me in the direction of considering doing so.
    I do so enjoy seeing and reading about your feathered visitors and your special encounters with them. Food for the soul! Thank you, Anne.


    • I generally breakfast outdoors after putting food out for the birds, which is a good time to observe them. I usually try to enjoy mid-morning tea outside too and watch birds at the same time. Somehow the rest of each day gets busier, yet my notebook is always at hand should I get another opportunity to sit still for even fifteen minutes. I began these lists when we arrived here as there was a dearth of birds where we had come from and making them has now become a habit: tea tray, notebook and pen/pencil go together now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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