Birding sessions in my garden would be incomplete without seeing an Olive Thrush. These birds are real characters the way they put their heads down to chase after each other on the ground … round and round the bushes and rocks they go. They are incredibly alert too and you can see from the dirt at the end of its beak that this one has been grubbing around between the flowers to find something to eat. It drank water after I had taken this photograph and then enjoyed a quick bath.

Of course Meneer, the friendly Common Fiscal, is a daily joy too. The other morning it came flying towards me as I opened the door to come outside and grabbed something from the tray I was carrying before flying off. It comes every day, usually perching next to my breakfast before taking a piece of meat or cheese from my hand. The ritual remains the same, even when I place a little dish to one side especially for it. Here it is waiting on the edge of the flower pot near my feet. You can see its white eyebrows very clearly.

Although I recently highlighted Spotty, the ringed Common Fiscal, this image clearly shows his eponymous dark spot.

I have mentioned before that this year the Cape Robin-chat is much more reticent to come out than we have enjoyed in the past. Here it has just alighted on a rock, clearly focused on the food in the feeding tray below. It generally waits until the coast is clear and sometimes gets tantalisingly close to the food before being chased off by the arrival of another bird.

One of the highlights of this month was finally getting an opportunity to photograph the Brown-hooded Kingfisher that has taken to perching on the wash line outside our kitchen. This time it was co-operative enough for me to rush upstairs to get my camera and even stayed still while I quietly opened the door and focused on it. I am very pleased to show it off.

At the moment the Common Starlings are looking very smart in their breeding outfits.

Lastly, to add a little brighter colour, here is a Village Weaver.

Overall, this has been another good month for seeing birds in our garden. The Amethyst Sunbirds regularly visit the nectar feeder; the Black Cuckoo occasionally emits its mournful cry about feeling so sick; some Cape Glossy Starlings paid a very brief visit – as did a Red-necked Spurfowl; and the Pin-tailed Whydahs pop in now and then.

My bird list for this month:

African Green Pigeon
Amethyst Sunbird
Bar-throated Apalis
Black-collared Barbet
Black Cuckoo
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Black-headed Oriole
Bronze Mannikin
Brownhooded Kingfisher
Cape Crow
Cape Glossy Starling
Cape Robin-Chat
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Wagtail
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Common Fiscal
Common Starling
Fork-tailed Drongo
Green Woodhoopoe
Grey-headed Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Knysna Turaco
Laughing Dove
Olive Thrush
Pied Crow
Pin-tailed Whydah
Red-eyed Dove
Red-necked Spurfowl
Red-winged Starling
Southern Boubou
Southern Masked Weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Streaky-headed Seedeater
Village Weaver

26 thoughts on “AUGUST 2021 GARDEN BIRDS

    • Thank you very much – even in the drought there is enough food for them to eat besides what I provide. The latter is really for my own enjoyment of seeing them nearby.


  1. Your Olive Thrush looks very similar to our American Robin.
    Amazing that a kingfisher stayed put long enough to have its portrait made.
    Common Starlings are indeed common around here. They nest in a hole on a utility pole across the street from us every year. They are now gathering in the county side in huge flocks.
    Nice pictures!


    • This one is more of an occasional visitor here: it usually perches very quietly on a branch from where it flies down to forage for insects on the ground. I suspect it has been feeding on the plethora of small lizards in our back garden.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Black Cuckoo started complaining about a week ago then fell silent for a while. Its plaintive sounds are a definite sign of spring even though the weather is still very chilly here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunning bird captures!
    I am particularly taken by the Common Starling – so glossy and the patterns are so intricate! From you caption, can I take it that is is special feathers they acquire during mating season?


    • The Common Starlings look the same year round, except that their beaks turn yellow during the breeding season. It may be a trick of light, yet I fancy their feathers become more glossy too. Thank you for reading.


  3. You certainly know your birds! My husband used to hate starlings, till last summer a glossy starling’s insistent screeching warned us of a Geelslang in our yard! Now starlings are our best friends! 😊


    • I admit to not being too keen on the Common Starlings – which have spread all over the world it seems – but am always delighted when Cape Glossy Starlings pop in for a visit. Red-winged Starlings are regular visitors here. How fortunate to receive an avian warning of the presence of a cobra in your yard!

      Liked by 1 person

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