Rufousnaped Lark

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Week 52 - South Coast (Part 1 - Ramsgate)



Ramsgate main
beach

We spent our summer holidays on the Natal south coast in a small little town called Ramsgate. It is typical of south coast towns with lush coastal forest growing in between the houses creating a great environment for wild birds. Trying to get some decent birding in while on a family holiday with non-birders is exremely challenging so most birds recorded were done so while out walking along the promenade or sitting on the beach. Without any effort I managed a total list for Ramsgate of 53 species in 12 days.

The majority of species recorded are also found at home but there are some birds I would normally  have to work for at home are common garden birds in Ramsgate. Spectacled Weaver, Yellow-fronted Canary, Purple-crested Turaco, Pied Wagtail, Violet-backed Starling, Black-bellied Starling, and Golden-tailed Woodpecker fall into the special category for garden birds in my book. there was even a Woolly-necked Stork that flew into the beachfront most afternoons to beg food at the holiday flats.


Spectacled Weaver (Male)


Black-bellied Starling with faecal sac after feeding the chicks


Black-bellied Starling


Brown-hooded Kingfisher on the garden fence

 

Lesser-striped Swallow gathering mud for the nest


Lesser-striped Swallow calling



Tawny-flanked Prinia

The most exciting birds encountered in Ramsgate were three Magpie Mannikins sighted along the promenade (which were scared off by another family out walking) and an Osprey which plunged into the sea after a fish close to the rocks and then shook himself off in flight, lined the fish up with the direction of flight and flew off down the coast again. Birds were quite tame and easily approachable (except when you have a camera). The male Violet-backed Starling we spotted continued to forage less than 2m from us on one of our morning walks ( I did not have a camera with me)..

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