January was a month of heat, power outages, appointments, having to deal with issues such as installing a new water tank and pump as a buffer for when the municipal water supply runs out … and my laptop went on the blink and required a new keyboard. I have very few bird photographs to choose from this month, even though the list below shows that we have again enjoyed many visitors.

The year began on a happy note with several sightings of a pair of Paradise Flycatchers flitting around the feeding area as well as in other parts of the garden. The female seemed to have taken a dislike to an Olive Thrush for a day or two and chased it away from the bird bath whenever it saw it there. Sacred Ibises fly over the garden in a V-formation in the late afternoons, catching the last rays of the sun as they head for their favourite perches in the CBD after the day spent in the countryside. Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbuls are cheerful visitors that perch on the aloes or on the branches above my head chirping loudly – especially when they find food they particularly enjoy. They have tucked into the fruit I have put out as well as eating tiny bits of meat.

Laughing Doves visit the garden throughout the year. I was fascinated to see one nesting in the grapevine on a neighbour’s veranda the other day – apparently this is a regular nesting spot; close to where they regularly sit. This one is keeping an eye on what is happening in the garden before it flutters down to enjoy the maize seeds on the ground.

The Cape Weavers come and go and are more evident on some days than on others. The nectar feeder is a big draw-card during this very hot weather.

I hear Black-collared Barbets calling around the neighbourhood every day and am always pleased when they stop by to eat something from the feeding tray. They have become much more wary about doing so since the neighbouring cats moved in.

Village Weavers are regular visitors too, although they might stay away for a day or two. This is the first summer in years that no weavers have even tried to build nests in the any of the many trees we have growing in our garden.

From being heard more often than seen, a pair of Black-headed Orioles have become daily visitors to the feeding area to eat, drink from the bird bath or to perch in nearby branches whilst calling to each other. Theirs is among the first sounds to be heard in the early mornings.

Then there is an Olive Thrush. I have always regarded these as iconic birds of our garden: they were everywhere, until the cats next door arrived. Now they pay fleeting visits and when they do, they remain on the alert and fly off as soon as a movement or sound spooks them.

My bird list for this month:
African Darter
African Green Pigeon
African Harrier Hawk
African Hoopoe
Black-collared Barbet
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Black-headed Oriole
Bronze Manikin
Cape Crow
Cape Robin-Chat
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Common Fiscal
Diederik Cuckoo
Fork-tailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Green Woodhoopoe
Grey-headed Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Klaas’s Cuckoo
Knysna Turaco
Laughing Dove
Lesser-striped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Paradise Flycatcher
Pied Crow
Red-eyed Dove
Rednecked Spurfowl
Red-winged Starling
Sacred Ibis
Southern Boubou
Southern Masked Weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Spectacled Weaver
Village Weaver
White-rumped Swift


23 thoughts on “JANUARY 2023 GARDEN BIRDS

  1. A busy start to the year, Anne. Glad your computer is sorted. Hopefully, there won’t be too many water cuts in addition to electrical ones!
    At least the birds are there to keep your spirits up. What an impressive list once again. The birds clearly love your garden.


  2. I’m with Derrick—beautiful photos. Also, beautiful descriptions of the birds, especially the sentence about the sacred ibis. Finally, sorry to read about the many problems you have had to deal with. But how resourceful you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Laurie. I hope to be more active with the camera during February. Until now it has actually been uncomfortably hot to spend very long sitting outdoors.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. I am hoping to be more active with the camera during February and, with that in mind, have moved a birdbath to make it more easily visible.


  3. I just spent some time trying to figure out which bird it was that we called a “rice bird” in Liberia. I know it sometimes was called a ‘weaver bird,” but I have no idea which species it actually was. There were multitudes of them, and I remember that they built nests which hung down from the trees. What they could do to a rice field was remarkable — or distressing, if you were the farmer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s good to hear you have your backup water supply restored and equipped. Water is the primary element, and your pump is probably a simpler technology than the laptop…. I’m very glad of the water for you, and the laptop for me, because I love hearing about your life, and the life of your birds.


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