The tally of birds seen in our garden over the year stands at 72 different species – the same as last year. I have reported a few times on the ups and downs of the Lesser-striped Swallows, the first on my list this year. So far this summer they have not had good fortune as their newly completed mud nest broke soon after completion and they have not returned to repair it. Perhaps they have really given up this time and found a better place to build. There are plenty of them around though and they, along with the White-rumped Swifts, wheel and dart about the sky in the late afternoons hawking insects and twittering from afar.
A Jackal Buzzard is the last on my list. We have watched it on several occasions being mobbed by smaller birds as they valiantly try to chase it away. One has regularly been seen sitting on a pole on the narrow road that bypasses the town behind us. It is probably the same one.
For interest I compared this month’s list of birds with that of December last year. Five birds from then have not appeared, while there are eight ‘new’ ones. The most prominent of these is the Knysna Loerie. At least one pair of them seem to have adopted this area as their home territory for we hear and see them almost daily now. Streaky-headed Canaries are seen more often too, happily competing with weavers, doves and sparrows for seed. Feeding among the more common Village- and Cape Weavers this month have been Spectacled Weavers and Southern Masked Weavers.
My December list is:
African Green Pigeon
Black Crow (Cape)
Black Sunbird (Amethyst)
Cape Turtle Dove
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)
Southern Masked Weaver