The rain received this month has been a glorious change from years of drought – not that the drought is broken. Nonetheless, our garden is green and filled with flowering trees. So quick has been the growth after the rain that even though I have already pruned around the bird feeders, I shall soon have to do so again if I want a reasonable view of the birds!

The White-rumped Swifts have been scything overhead in their daily search for insects and – alas – the Lesser-striped Swallows had just completed their mud nest when it fell down. This intrepid pair have built another one around the side of the house, where I hope they will enjoy greater success and get to rear at least one brood. The Laughing Doves continue to gather in the mornings, waiting for the seed to be put out. Recently they have been put to flight several times by the neighbouring cat which, sadly, has caught more than one of them during the course of the month.

The nest of the Hadeda Ibis has fallen apart since the two chicks have learned to fly and no longer need that sanctuary. Here they are inspecting our swimming pool. They still sometimes choose to lie down on the warm bricks and are occasionally accompanied by their mother.

The nectar-bearing flowers are on the trees and shrubs this month – Tipuana, Pompon, Cape Chestnut, Cape Honeysuckle, and Plumbago – and so I considered myself fortunate to get this shot of a Greater Double-collared Sunbird perched high up in the Tipuana tree.

Although I featured Bronze Manikins last month, I cannot resist showing you this one swinging on a creeper in the front garden. These tiny birds have also been enjoying the seeds in the wild grass growing in our back garden.

With all the comings and goings of the various Common Fiscals, I have been intrigued observing the progress of this offspring of Spotty. Having been brought to the feeding table several times, it has become more independent and is quick to chase other birds away.

Here it is perched on a branch with Spotty.

A strange phenomenon I have experienced for several years now is the annual December visit from a single Southern Red Bishop. It appears at the feeder for a day or two, then disappears not to be seen again for another year.

Apart from the weavers, regular visitors to the feeder are a pair of Grey-headed Sparrows. This one appears to be telling its mate to join in the seed feast.

My bird list for this month:

Bar-throated Apalis
Black-collared Barbet
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Black-headed Oriole
Bronze Manikin
Cape Crow
Cape Robin-Chat
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Wagtail
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Common Fiscal
Common Starling
Diederik Cuckoo
Forest Canary
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Green Woodhoopoe
Grey-headed Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
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
Red-winged Starling
Southern Boubou
Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Red Bishop
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Village Weaver
White-rumped Swift

32 thoughts on “DECEMBER 2021 GARDEN BIRDS

  1. Amazing to me that you know all these names. Apart from our Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Doves, we refer to the rest by size and color; little gray ones, brown speckled ones etc. your photos are impressive.


    • Thank you very much, Robert. It has taken some time and patience to identify the birds we see both in our garden and when travelling within the country – well worth it though in terms of pleasure and being able to observe their behaviour whilst enjoying a cup of tea in the garden 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am delighted that there has been some rain. It is indeed amazing how quickly recovery occurs with just a bit of encouragement. The birds certainly appreciate the new growth. May 2022 bring more drought relief.


    • We are hopeful about getting a little more rain – even though we cannot match the rest of the country in terms of the downpours received. Every drop counts though and we are content for now.


  3. We have a resident family of Hadida’s that seem to nest in a huge old gum tree just outside the yard. Well they have the last two spring-times anyway 😊. Noisy birds! But fascinating in their social structure!


    • I have counted up to twelve Hadedas roosting in our fig tree during the non-breeding season. Their wake-up calls can be up to an hour before sunrise, but we have become used to that. They are delightful birds to watch.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It has been rather fun watching them sunning themselves there. Now that they are more mature, they spend much more of the morning in the garden looking for things to eat.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been drooling over the pictures of your birds. It is always a treat to read about all the activity in your garden.
    I wish for you a Happy, Healthy, Birdy New Year.


  5. Well, you are blessed with blooms and birds … all there to gaze at as long as you want. You are lucky and that’s quite the list of birds Anne. It puts my meager “Birdie Bucket List” to shame.

    Liked by 1 person

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