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
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Southern Masked Weaver