28 October 2022

Kyalami Estates - September Round-up

30 September 2022 - Kyalami Estates

I missed the August round-up, but as we were away quite a bit, there was not too much report. September means spring has sprung and the cold days of winter give way to longer and warmer days from here on out. 

September also means the imminent arrival of migrants with the intra-African migrants being the first to arrive. So, I recorded White-throated and Greater-striped Swallow as well as White-rumped Swifts. 57 species were seen in September including; Freckled Nightjar, Green Pigeon, Grey Hornbill, Cardinal Woodpecker, Red-throated Wryneck and Greater Honeyguide amongst the usual residents.

On walks around the main Park there were the usual African Olive Pigeons

African Olive Pigeon (Columba arquatrix)


A Streaky-headed Seedeater had been quite vocal for a week during September

Streaky-headed Seedeater (Crithagra gularis)



Green Wood-hoopoe's move a lot around the Estate

Green Wood-hoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus)




The pair of White-throated Swallows were nest building and also seen  consummating their relationship 

White-throated Swallow (Hirundo albigularis)




In the reeds, the Southern Red Bishops were slowly transitioning to their summer/breeding plumage and even starting to woo the ladies

Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)











At the St Ledger Dam, Thick-billed Weavers were also starting to get busy

Male Thick-billed Weaver (Amblyospiza albifrons)


As were the Cape Weavers

Cape Weaver (Ploceus capensis)


A lot of the action was in my garden, as my Weeping Boer Bean was in full flower and this attracted a good variety of species for most of the month; Cape White-Eye's

Cape White-eye (Zosterops virens)










Green Woodhoopoe's

Green Wood-hoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus)



Red-winged Starling

Red-winged Starling (Onychognathus morio)






Common Myna's

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)



and even Cape Sparrow's

Female Cape Sparrow (Passer melanurus)

Male Cape Sparrow (Passer melanurus)







27 October 2022

In search of a cat

25 September 2022 - Pilansberg National Park

It had been many years since I last visited Pilansberg, but today's visit was not for birds but rather to try and find that elusive cat, the Serval. There had been reports that it has been seen quite frequently in one specific area in the Park in the past few months - this is one cat that has eluded me on all my visits to National and Regional Parks.

I was at the Kwa Maritane gate just after sunrise and was surprised at how many cars were already in the queue. Unfortunately, the first 8km into the park is quite narrow, so it was really frustrating waiting for people to stop looking at Impala and Zebra when I was on a mission. I did stop for a Chestnut-vented Warbler

Chestnut-vented Warbler (Curruca subcoerulea)


Once I reached the right area, I crawled along looking through the vegetation and grass - of course I was also going to find birds - so snapped a Black-winged Kite. In earlier years they were call Bob-tailed Kite, you can see why!

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)


Rufous-naped Lark's were all over displaying and singing

Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)




Not sure about this one - probably Rufous-naped, as I never got a look at its front

Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)?


There were quite a few Marico Flycatchers

Marico Flycatcher (Melaenornis mariquensis)


and good numbers of seedeaters on the side of the road, including Violet-eared Waxbill

Male Violet-eared Waxbill (Granatina granatina)


But no sign at all of any Serval


I had a mid-morning stop at a picnic site, finding Kalahari Scrub Robin

Kalahari Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas paena)


and then did the loop twice more in the diminishing hope of finding this cat. By midday, it was too hot and I admitted defeat, disappointed I headed back home in time for a late lunch..


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