The Bar-throated apalis has a distinctive narrow black collar.Sporting a much broader collar is the Black-collared barbet. Its bright red face and throat is bordered with a black stripe.

The head of a Crowned lapwing sports a black cap interrupted by a white stripe that creates a halo effect.

Often overlooked is the Grey-headed sparrow that has a charming little white stripe on its wings.

Then there are the Lesser-striped swallows with prominent black striping on their white underparts.

The last in this group of birds being showcased today is the delightful Red-necked spurfowl. Look at its dark underparts and you will see there are two white stripes on each feather.


… four birds in a tree. Granted, not all four are in the same tree.

The first is a Grey-headed Sparrow looking a little miffed at having been shoved aside at the bird feeder by a flock of Bronze Mannikins hard at work carting grain to their hungry youngsters perched nearby.

Next up is a coy looking Olive Thrush eyeing out the bird bath below.

An indignant Cape Weaver showed his impatience at having to wait for space at the bird feeder.

Lastly, a bright-eyed Speckled Mousebird surveying the prospects of food sources in the garden.


October has been filled with birds in our garden – all are either courting, or feeding their chicks. The Olive Thrushes must have been particularly successful as there are many more of them around than we have seen for a long time. Sadly, I found one this morning in the back garden that had been killed by the large tabby cat that lives next door.

It is pleasing to see that the Lesser-striped Swallows have begun rebuilding their mud nest in earnest since the first drizzle during the middle of the month. The cup-shaped part is nearly complete and it is interesting to note the different colours of the mud they have found.


A pair of Grey-headed Sparrows visit the feeding station every morning after the rush of doves and weavers is over.


For many years we had a single male Pin-tailed Whydah that dominated the feeding area in our garden, chasing all the birds away – including the large Rock Pigeons – if he could in between courting females by ‘dancing’ in the air. I assume that one died eventually for we have only seen them in passing over the past year or so. This summer several males, all with different length tails, and a few females regularly come to feed on the fine seed that falls from the feeder when the weavers are eating. It appears as if our garden has become the neutral feeding station where peace – of a sort – reigns.


Speaking of Rock Pigeons, one has finally worked out how to balance on Morrigan’s feeder!


My October bird list is:

African Green Pigeon
Barthroated Apalis
Black Cuckoo
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Blackcollared Barbet
Blackeyed Bulbul
Blackheaded Oriole
Bronze Manikin
Brownhooded Kingfisher
Burchell’s Coucal
Cape Robin
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Weaver
Cape White-eye
Cattle Egret
Common Starling
Fierynecked Nightjar
Fiscal Shrike
Forktailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Greyheaded Sparrow
Hadeda Ibis
Knysna Lourie
Laughing Dove
Lesserstriped Swallow
Olive Thrush
Paradise Flycatcher
Pied Crow
Pintailed Whydah
Redbilled Woodhoopoe
Redchested Cuckoo
Redeyed Dove
Redwinged Starling
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)
Sombre Bulbul
Southern Boubou
Speckled Mousebird
Spectacled Weaver
Streakyheaded Canary
Village Weaver
Whiterumped Swift
Yellowfronted Canary