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Anne’s Birding Tours

BUSY BREEDERS

                ….the Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus Adsimilis)

Here you’ll find the latest Birding News………

But first, please note the sightings reported here are all made in Anne’s Birding Tour

area:

Port Alfred through Bathurst down to the Fish River mouth and back along the coast to

Port Alfred’s Kowie river mouth.

The habitats included in Anne’s area are unique in that many benefit from access to

private land and local game farms - ensuring your visit includes those special ‘out of the

way’ places.

Now 336 species!

New species sighted and identified by Anne in her Birding Tour area!

                                          Its the Caspian Plover pictured below.

It becomes increasingly more difficult to sight new species in our area as our ‘spotting

records’ approach saturation. Spotting a new visitor has become an experience of some

note! Only nomadic movements or ‘out of range’ visitors can do the trick now! And this

336th spotting was quite the prize on March 17th 2018

Bathurst
Seafield/Kleinemonde
R67
R72 
Port Alfred
Great Fish river

Anne’s Birding Tour area

The summer migrants have been slow to arrive this

year and are fewer in numbers. These two are the

last spotted! 

Riet river 
   Kleinemonde West & East rivers 
B
 Great Fish       river 
A - Amur falcon - December 23rd 2018 - Tharfield …’these falcons are sexually dimorphic in plumage with the males blue/grey overall whilst females are whitish below with dark streaks. Females always outnumber males in this area… watch out for these delightful small raptors foraging in flocks over the farmlands, habitually hovering while searching for insect prey…’ B - European rollers - January 31st 2019 - Nyala Game Farm …’ are mainly pale blue with brownish backs. These beauties are mostly solitary in our area and are also avid insect eaters...’

One of the most important functions of birds is to breed successfully. Here a fork-tailed

drongo is patiently incubating in a shallow cup nest. They often make them in a

horizontal tree fork. They have hooked bills and the forked tail is slightly curved

outwards. .

This shows the red eye and rictal bristles at the base of the bill. These assist the drongo

in catching insects. Both male and female take turns to incubate for about 16 days.

My first view of a chick. Once the chicks hatch the parents have a full time job to keep

them fed and both provide food. The 2 photos below were taken by Lou Edward and

show the adult bringing food and feeding the chick.

I  followed their progress. Both chicks eagerly await their next meal. The pale gapes

indicate young birds. Here a chick plucks up the courage to clamber out the nest and

eventually succeeds  to explore the tree. They usually fledge after 18 days.

   

 

Drongos are plucky, cheeky birds that often mob raptors and other larger birds. They

even attack humans and snakes while defending their nests. They are able to imitate

several bird calls, especially owls and birds of prey and even meow like a cat. This

mimicry can help males show off to females and also out compete rivals. They make the

alarm call of suricates which causes the animal to abandon its prey and flee from the so

called “predator”. The drongo takes the opportunity to snatch the prey. They can be

useful by acting as sentries in bird parties and in removing ticks from cattle.

A

BUSY BREEDERS… in the garden

….Collared Sunbirds (Anthreptes collaris)

This completed nest is in a hanging pot plant in our courtyard. It was built in 2 days and

exclusively by the female Collared Sunbird. She worked frenetically, making 2 – 4 trips

per minute with nest material.

It is ready for occupation with its trademark untidy tail. At this stage they seemed to

abandon it.  But this is a cunning strategy to fool would be predators because a few days

later she slipped in quietly and incubation began on the 4th December.

The male acted as sentry, appropriately settled on our sundial nearby.

This front view shows the male’s glossy green head, back and throat with a narrow blue-

purple breast band.

The long and lonely task of incubation began - once more undertaken by the female

alone. Yes – you’re getting the picture – these females do ALL the work!! The male was

very scarce. After 14 days the chicks must have hatched as the female arrived at the

entrance often and appeared to be feeding them although they couldn’t be seen and she

was extremely cagey. Both adults were silent and secretive near the nest and I never

heard the chicks begging for food.

Feeding begins in earnest and once more only by the female by means of regurgitation.

The male starts helping occasionally after 3 days. The female also takes care of nest

sanitation. We finally got glimpses of the youngsters at about 6 days old.

   

On 1st January I was shocked to find the nest empty and convinced they’d been

predated as we never saw the adults or chicks near the nest. I was devastated. However

a couple of weeks later all four were busy foraging in our garden. What a relief. Once

fledged, 13 – 17 days after hatching the young follow the adults, begging constantly.

Anne’s Birding Tours
Bathurst
Seafield/Kleinemonde
R67
R72 
Port Alfred
Great Fish river

Here you’ll find the latest

Birding News………

But first, please note the sightings reported

here are all made in Anne’s Birding Tour

area:

Port Alfred through Bathurst down to the

Fish River mouth and back along the coast to

Port Alfred’s Kowie river mouth.

The habitats included in Anne’s area are

unique in that many benefit from access to

private land and local game farms - ensuring

your visit includes those special ‘out of the

way’ places.

Now 336 species!

New species sighted and identified by Anne

in her Birding Tour area!

     Its the Caspian Plover pictured below.

It becomes increasingly more difficult to

sight new species in our area as our ‘spotting

records’ approach saturation. Spotting a new

visitor has become an experience of some

note! Only nomadic movements or ‘out of

range’ visitors can do the trick now! And this

335th spotting was quite the prize on March

17th 2018

Anne’s Birding Tour area

Great Fish     river
Riet river 
   Kleinemonde West & East rivers 

The summer migrants have

been slow to arrive this year

and are fewer in numbers.

These two are the last

spotted! 

A - Amur falcon - December 23rd 2018 - Tharfield …’these falcons are sexually dimorphic in plumage with the males blue/grey overall whilst females are whitish below with dark streaks. Females always outnumber males in this area… watch out for these delightful small raptors foraging in flocks over the farmlands, habitually hovering while searching for insect prey…’ B - European rollers - January 31st 2019 - Nyala Game Farm …’ are mainly pale blue with brownish backs. These beauties are mostly solitary in our area and are also avid insect eaters...’
A
B

BUSY BREEDERS

 ….the Fork-tailed Drongo

 (Dicrurus Adsimilis)

One of the most important functions of

birds is to breed successfully. Here a fork-

tailed drongo is patiently incubating in a

shallow cup nest. They often make them in

a horizontal tree fork. They have hooked

bills and the forked tail is slightly curved

outwards. .

They have hooked bills and the forked tail is

slightly curved outwards. This shows the red

eye and rictal bristles at the base of the bill.

These assist the drongo in catching insects.

Both male and female take turns to incubate

for about 16 days.

My first view of a chick. Once the chicks

hatch the parents have a full time job to

keep them fed and both provide food. The

2 photos below were taken by Lou Edward

and show the adult bringing food and

feeding the chick.

I followed their progress. Both chicks eagerly

await their next meal. The pale gapes

indicate young birds. Here a chick plucks up

the courage to clamber out the nest and

eventually succeeds in exploring the tree.

They usually fledge after 18 days.

   

Drongos are plucky, cheeky birds that often

mob raptors and other larger birds. They

even attack humans and snakes while

defending their nests. They are able to

imitate several bird calls, especially owls and

birds of prey and even meow like a cat. This

mimicry can help males show off to females

and also out compete rivals. They make the

suricate  alarm call which causes the animal

to abandon its prey and flee from the so

called “predator”. The drongo then snatches

the abandoned prey. They can also act as

sentries in bird parties and remove ticks

from cattle.

BUSY BREEDERS… in the

garden

   ….Collared Sunbirds (Hedydipna

collaris collaris)

This completed nest is in a hanging pot

plant in our courtyard. It was built in 2 days

and exclusively by the female Collared

Sunbird. She worked frenetically, making 2

– 4 trips per minute with nest material.

It is ready for occupation with its

trademark untidy tail. At this stage they

seemed to abandon it.  But this is a

cunning strategy to fool would be

predators because a few days later she

slipped in quietly and incubation began on

the 4th December.

The male acted as sentry, appropriately

settled on our sundial nearby.

This front view shows the male’s glossy

green head, back and throat with a narrow

blue-purple breast band.

The long and lonely task of incubation

began - once more undertaken by the

female alone. Yes – you’re getting the

picture – these females do ALL the work!!

The male was very scarce. After 14 days the

chicks must have hatched as the female

arrived at the entrance often and appeared

to be feeding them although they couldn’t

be seen and she was extremely cagey. Both

adults were silent and secretive near the

nest and I never heard the chicks begging

for food.

Feeding begins in earnest and once more

only by the female by means of

regurgitation. The male starts helping

occasionally after 3 days. The female also

takes care of nest sanitation. We finally got

glimpses of the youngsters at about 6 days

old.

On 1st January I was shocked to find the

nest empty and convinced they’d been

predated as we never saw the adults or

chicks near the nest. I was devastated.

However a couple of weeks later all four

were busy foraging in our garden. What a

relief. Once fledged, 13 – 17 days after

hatching the young follow the adults

begging constantly.