This has been an interesting month for watching birds in our garden, beginning with the unmistakable sound of Red-necked Spurfowl under my bedroom window early in the morning. I counted six – not regular visitors, yet I am pleased to see how far they have ventured into the garden. One even hopped up onto the raised bird bath for a drink.
The Black-eyed Bulbuls (Dark-capped these days!) are courting – I watched a pair canoodling on the branches, looking very lovey-dovey – in numbers. This morning I counted eight of them in the feeding area. Several Speckled Mousebirds can also be seen cosying up to each other. The two Common Fiscals (one ringed and the other not) are clearly rivals and dart in and out trying to avoid each other. When they do meet they set up a loud haranguing match and have even attacked each other! I have observed a fiscal spreading out its tail feathers when confronted by a Black-collared Barbet at the feeding tray – determined to stand its ground. The barbets nearly always arrive as a pair. Another regular pair of visitors is the Streakyheaded Seedeater.
I put out both fine and coarse seed daily as well as filling up the nectar feeder. Other fare usually includes fruit, finely chopped pieces of meat, cat crumbles, or fat smeared on biscuits or thin slices of bread. This month I decided to take careful note of who ate what:
Dark-capped Bulbuls have enjoyed fat, cheese and fruit.
Both Common Fiscals seem to eat anything that is not fruit and are particularly partial to meat. This one, however, snitched part of my breakfast!
While the Red-winged Starlings are partial to fruit, they also eat cheese. This female is about to tuck into the pears.
Speckled Mousebirds prefer fruit and are prepared to wait their turn for it.
I usually associate weavers with eating the grain. These Cape Weavers, however, are tucking into a piece of fish. They also eat cat food, cheese, and fat.
The pair of Cape Robin-chats usually wait in the wings for the main rush to be over before they feed. I have seen them eating fat, as well as tiny portions of meat. This one has been eating cat food.
Common Starlings seem to eat anything. They tuck into fruit, cheese, fat, bread and cat food with relish.
I associate Cape White-eyes with fruit, nectar, and aphids. Yesterday though a few of them made off with tiny cubes of cheese.
My August bird list is:
African Green Pigeon
Black-eyed Bulbul (Black-cap)
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Southern Masked Weaver