NOVEMBER 2021 GARDEN BIRDS

How quickly this month seems to have sped by. It began with the sight of a Cape White-eye collecting spider webs for its nest – not that I have been able to locate it. The local African Harrier-Hawk has made several flypasts across the garden – causing a great consternation each time as the doves whoosh up as one and disappear into the foliage until the perceived danger has passed. I have welcomed the cheerful calls of the Bokmakierie – usually seen more often on the other side of the valley, and a Hoopoe has made the odd welcome appearance. The longed for rain has given the Lesser-striped Swallows an opportunity to get on with the construction of their mud nest under the eaves. This pair, resting on a telephone line, have been hard at work since their arrival from Europe.

They bring globules of mud and pack them in layers, flying back and forth from their source. They have almost finished their tunnel now, which means that they will be able to start breeding in earnest soon.

The first indication I had of the breeding success of the Hadeda Ibis was the appearance of an eggshell next to the wash line in the back garden.

I later found a second one and, although you can only see one chick in the photograph below, I confirmed yesterday that there are actually two very healthy looking chicks in the flimsy looking nest. The mother now spends a lot of time perched on the branch next to the nest.

Laughing Doves abound. This one is sharing the seed feeder with a Bronze manikin.

This Olive Thrush has become curious about the food collected by the Common Fiscal from the table where I have breakfast and decided to venture a little closer. I have seen some spotty Olive Thrushes finding their own food at the feeding tray over the past week or so – another sign of successful breeding.

Several Southern Masked Weaver youngsters are being brought to the feeding tray, where they are fed by their parents. I haven’t seen been many Village Weavers around this month; perhaps they have chosen somewhere further away to build their nests and to feed their young.  Speckled Pigeons remain regular visitors although, since we repaired the eaves – thus blocking their entrance to the interior of our roof – not in as greater numbers as before.

The courting pair of Cape Crows recently spent part of the morning cuddling and preening on our neighbour’s roof.

There are a lot of berries on the Puzzle Bush at our back gate which are attracting Speckled Mousebirds, Cape Robin-chats, Cape White-eyes and Black-eyed Bulbuls.

My bird list for this month:
African Green Pigeon
African Harrier-Hawk
Bar-throated Apalis
Black-collared Barbet
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Black-headed Oriole
Bokmakierie
Bronze Mannikin
Cape Crow
Cape Robin-Chat
Cape Turtle Dove
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
Hoopoe
Klaas’ Cuckoo
Knysna Turaco
Laughing Dove
Lesser-striped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Pied Crow
Pin-tailed Whydah
Red-chested Cuckoo
Red-eyed Dove
Red-throated Wryneck
Southern Boubou
Southern Masked Weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Streaky-headed Seedeater
Village Weaver
White-rumped Swift

32 thoughts on “NOVEMBER 2021 GARDEN BIRDS

  1. Always fun to see your avian visitors. To have so many birds nesting in your garden must be a real treat. I wondered how large the Ibis egg is??? They bird looks quite large I would think the egg would be too compared to the other birds in the garden.

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    • The swallow’s nest is under the eaves at the back of our house and so it is easy to observe the daily progression of its construction – an annual experience I thoroughly enjoy for they build their nest in the same place every season and have done so for years. The Hadeda Ibis nest is close to the wash line and not all that high in the tree – it too nests there every year.

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  2. So many interesting visitors and it is heartening that several have had successful broods so far. I like the pretty plumage of the Lesser-striped Swallows and the red eye-mask on the Speckled Pigeons. (I almost wrote ‘spectacled’ pigeon… which would work, too!)

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    • Each month I hope to feature some of the more colourful avian visitors. The feeding area I have created is the only ‘photographically open’ space in which to capture them for most of the trees in our garden are tall and at this time of the year provide plenty of foliage in which to hide. Not that I am complaining as we planted the trees!

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  3. Lovely photographs, Anne, and what a list again!

    I see you also had the Diederikkie feature in your garden. I was distracted – and I’m not complaining at all! – yesterday by a pair of Diederikkies harassing the Southern Masked Weavers here in our complex gardens, trying to lay their eggs in the nests of the weavers whenever they were given a chance. A few times they were caught in the act by the nest owners – great entertainment!

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    • My turn to send out envious waves in your direction: those Diederikkies are real teasers for they call around the garden almost daily and offer me glimpses of them through the leaves, yet never long enough for me to photograph – unless I don’t have my camera with me!

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    • Over thirty years ago this garden was virtually bare and now it is forest-like, creating a variety of habitat for birds. The Eastern Cape has only had a sprinkling of rain compared with other parts of the country, and yet it has made a noticeable difference in the vegetation already 🙂

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  4. A lovely avian turnout so far! I hope your rain continues. We have a Harrier hawk in the area and I was horrified when it caught a pigeon on our roof. I must have spooked them because it dropped the poor pigeon (which seemed unharmed) and they both flew off.
    Keep us informed on your birds and rain situation. 😊

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      • I heard a louder than usual thumb on the roof. As I ran outside the Harrier Hawk took off from the roof with a pigeon in his talons, but weighed down by the pigeon he dropped it just the other side of the wall and flew off. I ran to look over the wall expecting a half-dead pigeon, but it was just stunned, and as
        I leaned over it also took off seemingly absolutely fine. Was not sure how to feel about it all!

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