Rufousnaped Lark

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 23 - Garden Birds

Once again the birds have been flocking to our garden because food is scarce and they get free handouts here. It costs a bit as you can imagine or know through experience but its great to watch all the birds coming and going around the garden.

The odd coloured Barbet has been around quite often and I managed to get some better shots of him. I also photogrpahed a regular Black-collared Barbet just for comparison.


Odd coloured Black-collared Barbet
 

Normal Black-collared Barbet


As soon as I put fruit out in the garden the louries come in and clean up any apples or pawpaw as quickly as possible. They are getting bolder and don't fly away when I come out of the house, as long as I keep a fair distance that is.


Grey Go-away Bird (Lourie)
 
Dark-capped Bulbuls are very common in the garden and love to partake of the fruit on offer. They are also the main prey item of the Ovambo Sparrowhawk which prowls the neighbourhood.


Dark-capped Bulbul

Another regular garden visitor, the Crested Barbet.


Crested Barbet

We are lucky to have all three common sparrow species in the garden. Cape Sparrows being the most common and numerous with a few House Sparrows and Grey-headed Sparrows. I have counted up to 20 Grey-headed Sparrows at one time in the garden.


Male Cape Sparrow


Male House Sparrow


Juvenile Grey-headed Sparrow (note the fleshy yellow gape)

By far the most numerous visitors are the Red-headed Finches. They come into the garden in their hundreds when there is food on offer and do their best to finish all 5kg of seed off in one day...


Male Red-headed Finch with a female and another male looking on


Male Red-headed Finch threatening the younger bird to the right

Finally, what would a group of garden bird photos be without my favourite garden bird the Cape Robin-chat?



Cape Robin-chat (2)

And thats it from week 23, I hope to be heading out again soon as I still plan to visit the Highveld grasslands for the winter visitors..

Friday, June 24, 2011

Week 20 - Garden Birds

With all the activities on the go, the only birding I was sure to get was garden birding. This week didn't produce anything special except a Black-collared Barbet with odd colouring. The migrants have left and the Ovambo Sparrowhawk hasn't been seen since the 24th April when it flew in under the patio after a young dove!



Black-collared Barbet with pinky yellow colouring
instead of the normal bright red!
 The resident Cape Robin was again available for model work for the normal fee of a few meal worms!




Cape Robin-Chat (2)

Cape White-eys are also common in the garden but are not always easy to photograph as they don't sit still for a second!!


Cape White-eye

Another common resident is the Crested Barbet, people have reported that in their gardens the Black-collared Barbets are more dominant and scare off the Crested Barbets quite easily but in our garden things are different. The Crested Barbets are king and the Black-collareds always give way at the feeder when they appear!


Crested Barbet wrestling with a piece of apple skin


Crested Barbet

Well thats all I can report for this week, hopefully there will be more exciting things to see and read next week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week 19 - Bloemfontein Squash Trip

I bet you were all thinking "Now why don't he write?". Well with a blog named "The Lazy Birder" you can be sure he's a Lazy Blogger as well. This past few months have been really busy ones, not birding busy unfortunately but family, sport and work busy with a few birding opportunities in between.

The squash league season has started up again and occupies our time for most week nights. My son was once again privileged to be chosen to represent his province for squash and this took us off to Bloemfontein for a weekend of squash spectating with a few quick bird photo opportunities in between games. At the University of the Free State campus I found a large flock of Wattled Starlings flying around and making their usual racket. They were foraging on White Stinkwood berries and with some patience I was able to approach a few younger birds who were more trusting or should I say naive.





Wattled Starlings (4)


I also managed to see some birds that are less common in our area but are very common in Bloemfontein. Two of these were the Orange-River White-eye and the Red-eyed Bulbul.


Orange-River White-Eye




Red-eyed Bulbuls (2)


We also managed to take a drive through the Naval Hill nature area but birds were few and far between and the ones we did see were extremely camera shy. I only managed a fairly decent photo of a very busy Neddicky which preferred to stay behind the leaves.


Neddicky


As I said it was more a squash weekend than a birding weekend so not really anything worthwhile mentioning. Hope you enjoyed the photos anyway! I hope to catch up with some more posts in the next few days now that the pressure is off a bit! I hope you will take the time to come back and have another look!