“I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” So said the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Well, watching the birds in our garden has been an activity snatched between others during what has proved to be a very busy month indeed. Whiterumped Swifts and Lesserstriped Swallows have bid us farewell to wing their way northwards. Here are two of hundreds of the latter gathered on the ground nearby prior to their departure.
Laughing Doves tend to dominate the feeding area, especially if I put the seeds out early, so I have successfully experimented with changing the feeding times slightly and have been more irregular about it. Cape White-eyes are finding lots of berries and insects to eat in our autumn garden at the moment, while a number of Cape Crows have made raucous fly-pasts throughout the month – sometimes landing briefly in the Natal fig tree.
This is a changeable month with some birds leaving and others arriving. A newcomer is the African Harrier Hawk, which has flown low over the garden several times and occasionally lands in the Erythrina caffra. Even watching it flying above me, I can hear no sound – of course the birds hide immediately and they too make no sound!
Speaking of sounds: I love the sound of Cape Turtle Doves early in the morning and during the late afternoons so I am delighted they have made their presence felt once more. Their sound reminds me of growing up in the Transvaal Lowveld and the many adventures I had there.
Another delightful bird call is that of the Bokmakierie.
Forktailed Drongos flit about the back garden and deftly catch insects on the wing.
I am very pleased to see that the Streakyheaded Seedeaters are back this month.
My bird list for this month:
African Green Pigeon
African Harrier Hawk
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Southern Masked Weaver