March is a time of subtle seasonal changes. Despite it being the official start of autumn, it is ironic that we sometimes experience some of the hottest days here – in between some that are so chilly that one cannot help wondering if winter is being impatient! On one such morning I looked out of the window to see some African Green Pigeons catching the warmth of the early rays of the sun whilst perched in the top of the Erythrina caffra.
The evenings remain balmy and in the still night air we are regularly entertained by the comforting sound of Fiery-necked Nightjars along with the pinging noises made by the insectivorous bats that swoop all over the garden just after the sun sets. One morning I was sitting outdoors when the flock of doves swished into the air as one and disappeared in a flash – so did the weavers – and the Pintailed Whydah that had been pecking at seeds below the feeder. An eerie silence mantled the garden, leaving me baffled – until I saw a Eurasian Hobby alight from the fig tree and settle into the Cape Chestnut, where it stayed for some minutes. Within seconds of it flying off, the garden came alive again! The Village Weavers continued to scatter seed from the feeder.
A Spectacled Weaver inspected the nectar feeder.
A more cautious Redeyed Dove perched on a branch and observed the other birds feeding on the lawn for some time before deciding to join them.
My March bird list is:
African Green Pigeon
African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)
Black Crow (Cape)
Cape Robin (Cape Robin-chat)
Cape Turtle Dove
Common Shrike (Fiscal)
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Rock Pigeon (Speckled)