October has been a bumper month for watching birds in our garden, including two visitors not seen for some time: the Bokmakierie and a Southern Red Bishop. The arrival of the Redchested Cuckoo and the Lesserstriped Swallows serve as confirmation that winter is definitely behind us.
Two male Pintailed Whydahs have made regular forays into the garden and spend a lot of time chasing each other around and both behave aggressively towards other birds eating seeds on the ground.
At least one of them has learned how to sit on Morrigan’s feeder to eat seeds from there! The photograph below shows that this one’s full breeding plumage is not yet present – note the blotches of brown on its back and wings.
Hadeda Ibises have been collecting sticks for their flimsy nests – the strong winds experienced this month have left plenty of such nesting material on the ground for them. Female Village Weavers regularly collect feathers to line their nests. I watched a pair of Blackcollared Barbets mating the other day.
We found the nest of a Greater Doublecollared Sunbird dangling from the end of a twig in the Natal Fig.
Some Olive Thrushes have already bred successfully and are seen feeding their youngsters.
My October bird list is:
African Green Pigeon
Amethyst Sunbird (Black)
Black Crow (Cape)
Black Harrier (Gymnogene)
Cape Robin (Cape Robin-chat)
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Redbilled Woodhoopoe (Green)
Southern Black Tit
Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Red Bishop
Speckled Pigeon (Rock)