How quickly this month seems to have sped by. It began with the sight of a Cape White-eye collecting spider webs for its nest – not that I have been able to locate it. The local African Harrier-Hawk has made several flypasts across the garden – causing a great consternation each time as the doves whoosh up as one and disappear into the foliage until the perceived danger has passed. I have welcomed the cheerful calls of the Bokmakierie – usually seen more often on the other side of the valley, and a Hoopoe has made the odd welcome appearance. The longed for rain has given the Lesser-striped Swallows an opportunity to get on with the construction of their mud nest under the eaves. This pair, resting on a telephone line, have been hard at work since their arrival from Europe.
They bring globules of mud and pack them in layers, flying back and forth from their source. They have almost finished their tunnel now, which means that they will be able to start breeding in earnest soon.
The first indication I had of the breeding success of the Hadeda Ibis was the appearance of an eggshell next to the wash line in the back garden.
I later found a second one and, although you can only see one chick in the photograph below, I confirmed yesterday that there are actually two very healthy looking chicks in the flimsy looking nest. The mother now spends a lot of time perched on the branch next to the nest.
Laughing Doves abound. This one is sharing the seed feeder with a Bronze manikin.
This Olive Thrush has become curious about the food collected by the Common Fiscal from the table where I have breakfast and decided to venture a little closer. I have seen some spotty Olive Thrushes finding their own food at the feeding tray over the past week or so – another sign of successful breeding.
Several Southern Masked Weaver youngsters are being brought to the feeding tray, where they are fed by their parents. I haven’t seen been many Village Weavers around this month; perhaps they have chosen somewhere further away to build their nests and to feed their young. Speckled Pigeons remain regular visitors although, since we repaired the eaves – thus blocking their entrance to the interior of our roof – not in as greater numbers as before.
The courting pair of Cape Crows recently spent part of the morning cuddling and preening on our neighbour’s roof.
There are a lot of berries on the Puzzle Bush at our back gate which are attracting Speckled Mousebirds, Cape Robin-chats, Cape White-eyes and Black-eyed Bulbuls.
My bird list for this month:
African Green Pigeon
Black-eyed (Dark-capped) Bulbul
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Southern Masked Weaver