A BIRD FEEDER IN HOUT BAY

It is fun watching birds in someone else’s garden and what better way to do so than keeping an eye on the local bird feeder. Among the first visitors to arrive in this Hout Bay garden was a Southern Boubou (Laniarius ferrugineus), a familiar visitor in my own garden. There it tends to seek out anything meaty or fruity, so I was surprised to see this one tucking into the seeds:

Another familiar bird arrived, a Cape Robin-Chat (Cossypha caffra). These are beloved garden birds that eat fruit, insects and scraps of any kind. This one was combing the lawn for dried meal worms – something I have never provided for the birds in my garden:

Yet another familiar bird arrived with a loud fluttering of its wings – one of a pair of Speckled Pigeons (Columba guinea). These birds are ubiquitous over the whole country, so their presence was no surprise:

Ah, not only birds visited this bird feeder. The mystery of why the cut apples disappear so quickly was solved with the sighting of this Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in the act. These are not indigenous, having been imported by Cecil John Rhodes during the 19th century:

Mmm … there was another non-avian contender for the fallen seed below the feeder. Such a regular visitor in fact that it has made a getaway tunnel among the plants growing next to the fence. This is a Four-striped Grass Mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio):

Try as I might, I ended having to photograph these delightful visitors through the window. What an absolute delight it was to watch small groups of Swee Waxbills (Coccopygia melanotis) fluttering down from the branches to cluster around the feeder. They never seemed to be still and would fly off at a moment’s notice leaving their high-pitched ‘swee-swee’ contact call in their wake:

Now, a bonus picture that brought great joy to the pre-schooler who had made this elaborate feeder – unidentified visitors (taken through a window with a cell phone) investigating the seed therein at last!

Proof indeed that this carnival-like contraption was also attractive to birds.

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24 thoughts on “A BIRD FEEDER IN HOUT BAY

    • I am pleased you like what I describe as the carnival feeder: it is made from a painted milk carton and is covered with glued on feathers. We were all SO pleased to see a bird actually visiting it!

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  1. I look forward to your posts every day. The photos are excellent as are your detailed descriptions. Despite our living on different continents, most of the creatures are familiar, and the plants are similar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely comment to make! Thank you very much. One of the aspects of blogging which I enjoy is being able to view different parts of the world through the eyes of people who live there.

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    • Yes, ‘thank you’ Cecil Rhodes for introducing them. He is also responsible for the spread of the European Starling and the Chaffinch – although the latter remains confined to the Cape Peninsula. Still, one cannot always judge the actions of people by the knowledge and understanding of biodiversity that we have garnered over time.

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  2. I can see the A-Team’s Hannibal, cigar in the corner of his mouth, declaring “I love it when a plan comes together” when the first bird touched down on the carnival feeder!

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  3. I like the array of birdfeeders and interestingly it appears no matter where in the world we find a birdfeeder and a squirrel in close proximity, the squirrel will make it his business to raid it. 🙂

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