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:
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Red Bishop