Another month has flown by in a flurry of activity, leaving little time for photographing avian visitors to our garden – never mind being able to enjoy watching them without the nagging thought that I ought to be doing something else. The real problem – and partly why this post is late – lies with the long bouts sans power that we endure every day. This means one rushes around doing what needs electricity to be done when there is power and catching up with all sorts of other things when there is not. Thank goodness for the birds though: they are always there – seen or heard – to provide some respite from this mad rush.

There have not been as many weavers around as we usually see at this time of the year and of these, Southern Masked Weavers have been dominant. Red-eyed Doves too have been heard –usually early in the morning and during the late afternoon – more than seen. Redwinged Starlings are gathering in ever larger groups now and make various flypasts during the day – one hears them before seeing them whizz by. There will always be an abundance of Laughing Doves attracted by the seeds I put out daily and I am very pleased to note the return of Fork-tailed Drongos. Other welcome returnees this month include the Barthroated Apalis – its cheerful chirps can be heard throughout the day, Fierynecked Nightjars – lovely to hear them at night, and a few fleeting visits from a pair of Yellow-fronted Canaries.

It is always pleasing to actually spot an African Green Pigeon. This one was perched on the branch of the Tipuana tree early one morning:

The presence of Rednecked Spurfowls make me feel as though I have woken up in a game reserve! This small family makes regular forays onto our front lawn and from there to the seed that has fallen under the feeders next to the swimming pool. I have seen them in the back garden too and so have taken to scattering crushed mealies there every now and then. This one is looking up at me in surprise:

Bronze Manikins never fail to amuse the way they huddle close together on the feeders – there always seems to room for one more – and yet, they too, sometimes peck each other or biff one out of the way in order to get to the food:

Most gratifying this month has been the fairly regular sightings of a young Cape Robin-chat. It was very shy at first, but has become bolder in its search for food. Here it is perched on the edge of the bird bath:

A significant problem we have to deal with during these long periods sans power is that perishables, such as cheese, do not last as long as they ought to – even in the fridge. Here Spotty, the Common Fiscal, looks as though he is biting off more than he can chew:

Even though I featured a Blackheaded Oriole last month too, I cannot resist including this view of one perched on the trunk of a Cussonia (cabbage tree) next to the swimming pool:

My bird list for this month:
African Green Pigeon
Barthroated Apalis
Black-collared Barbet
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Black-headed Oriole
Bronze Manikin
Cape Crow
Cape Robin-Chat
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Common Fiscal
Fiery-necked Nightjar
Fork-tailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Green Woodhoopoe
Grey-headed Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Knysna Turaco
Laughing Dove
Lesser-striped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Paradise Flycatcher
Pied Crow
Red-eyed Dove
Rednecked Spurfowl
Red-winged Starling
Sacred Ibis
Southern Masked Weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Village Weaver
White-rumped Swift
Yellow-fronted Canary


28 thoughts on “FEBRUARY 2023 GARDEN BIRDS

  1. Even though you had limited time you have captured some good shots here. Your power problems are much worse than ours. Your comments about the cheese and the fridge takes me back to the childhood days of keeping bottles of milk cool by standing them in a sink of cold water.

    Liked by 2 people

    • During my childhood on our farm we also had a charcoal cooler that worked on the principle of evaporative cooling. It looked like a metal drum around which was a double side filled with charcoal, which was continually kept moist (I cannot remember how). As warm, dry air passed through the moist charcoal, it drew energy from its surroundings which produced a considerable cooling effect and kept perishables such as meat, milk and cheese cool – for a while.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great pictures. I particularly love the robin, mainly because I have bad hair days too.
    As for the power outages. It seems you have to live with it. Perhaps you will find a way to embrace the time without power somehow. Take a nap, take a bath, read, enjoy it one way or another. It aggravates you too much and that’s not good.
    Sometime there is nothing we can do, other than adjusting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Don’t worry, I do what has to be done during the no-power periods and then turn my attention to gardening, reading, knitting, crosswords – or watching birds. One simply HAS to adapt 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The names of your birds amuse me no end. ‘Forktailed Drongo’ certainly brought a smile. I well remember my experience of living by ‘generator time’ in Liberia. On the hospital compound where I lived, generators provided power most of the time, because of the hospital’s needs. But upcountry, there was a limited time each day when the generator was run: as I recall, it was from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. It might have been a bit longer. In any event, that business of making use of the electricity when it was available was quite an adjustment.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Too bad your government doesn’t offer a solar array assistance program. That would help ease the shortage problem and give homeowners a way to generate their own electricity. Maybe contact an elected official?
    Why do we have ‘nagging thoughts’ when we are relaxing and enjoying small things in life we love? The endless to-do list needs a mute button!


  5. Must be so nerve-wracking to have to worry about regular power outages. But the beauty of the birds must provide some solace. And I must say I’m with Eliza about a solar array assistance program. You get so much sun.


    • Thank you very much, Belinda. The presence of the birds brings me a lot of joy: the sun hasn’t yet risen but I can hear hadeda ibises, red-eyed doves, black-eyed bulbuls, black-collared barbets and Cape white-eyes greeting the dawn already. I cannot complain about that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know about you, but I find the price of most feeders prohibitive. And our African sun is really harsh on most of the plastic ones. I keep promising myself I will build some of my own, but just don’t get that far.


  6. The first photo of the African Green Pigeon is funny the way it is puffed up. I can identify with the cheese situation. I normally buy sliced cheese for sandwiches but bought cheese sticks this time as they were out of Swiss cheese. I had one yesterday afternoon, today I took one out and black mold. I’ve never seen black mold on cheese, white or green. Made me feel sick … how much could it “turn” in such a short time. I lived to tell about it but still ….


    • Cheese is sold here in blocks – the sliced cheese is so processed it tastes of anything but cheese. Vacuum packed cheese lasts longer than the cheese wrapped in cling-wrap, but with the power off for so many hours in the day the fridge is hard-pressed to keep everything as cold as it should be for preservation.

      Liked by 1 person

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