Rufousnaped Lark

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 4 (Part 2) - Smuts House

After the great days birding at the botanical gardens I wanted more and so decided to take the dog for a walk around the kopje at the Smuts House Museum which is actually the farm that used to belong to General Jan Smuts. I was interested in getting the Little Sparrowhawks that used to breed here but could not find them. The Ovambo Sparrowhawk was present however as well as the usuals around the museum itself including a handsome male Cardinal Woodpecker which was foraging in the white stinkwoods near the restaurant (I was too slow for a picture again). Neddickys are very common on the kopje walk but not so easy to photograph. They are quite drab little birds with non-descript markings and a reedy little call which is not unlike a bicycle pump in action, tseep-tseep-tseep-tseep etc..

Neddicky from different angle

The kopje used to be crawling with Dark-capped Bulbuls but their numbers seemed to have decreased over the years. Another bird which is often found on the kopje is the Cinnamon-breasted Bunting but they are also difficult to approach and photograph (perhaps I should wear my leaf suit to get closer?). A distant shot of this attractive bird was all I could manage.

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

On the way back along the road past the G.E.M. village the seedeaters were having a field day with the tall grass in full seed. As previously mentioned there has been a lot of rain in our area and the grass is quite tall. There were Black-throated Canaries, Grey-headed Sparrows, Red Bishops, Masked Weavers, Common Waxbills and among the more common birds was an adult male Purple Indigobird calling and displaying from the tall trees in the area next to the staff quarters.

Purple Indigobird

A Lesser Honeyguide was observed in the Eucalyptus trees in the parking lot. Not an overly exciting outing as far as birds are concerned but the Indigobird was definately the highlight..

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