09 November 2023

Another special morning at the Farm

10 August 2023 - Northern Farm

I spent a few hours on the Farm arriving just after sunrise and headed down to my first stop at the quarry hoping to hear or see a bird that is special and now synonymous with this site on the farm. I was not disappointed, as a single African Yellow Warbler was singing from the top of the tree I saw it on my previous visit - it was joyful

African Yellow Warbler (Iduna natalensis)


I always end up spending more time than planned at the quarry and added Grey-headed Gull above the small pond. I love how Gulls extend their necks in flight - part of a display, I guess

Grey-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)



Hadeda's are pretty common all round the farm

Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)



A Goliath Heron came flying in and landed in one of the bare Willow Trees

Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)





There was a pair of Three-banded Plovers on the exposed mud of the pond

Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris)




The Wild Dagga did not have any flowers, but still there was a White-bellied Sunbird around

Male White-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris talatala)


I then headed toward the cow pens, finding African Stonechat

Male African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)


And a few Common Starling on the overhead lines, not really welcome - but also a good record for the Pentad

Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)


Continuing on my circular route, a smaller dam had a number of Red-knobbed Coot with young - probably one of the ugliest baby birds you could see, in my opinion

Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata)




In the grassland, I found a small flock of Orange-breasted Waxbill, a really good record for this Pentad - but only managed an image of the juvenile

Juvenile Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflavus)


My last stop was at the main dam, where I had an obliging Lesser Swamp Warbler feeding in and around the spillway

Lesser Swamp Warbler (Acrocephalus gracilirostris)







A few Blue-billed Teal were feeding in the shallows

Blue-billed Teal (Spatula hottentota)



Yellow-billed Duck had bred successfully

Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata)


Whilst this pair gave a great fly by, showing off the distinctive green speculum

Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata)




The Black-headed Heron's have started nesting in the tall Pine Tree

Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)


Whilst below, White-breasted Cormorants are doing the same. Their droppings have almost turned the dead tree white

White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus)




Across the dam, this Cormorant had caught a sizable Barbel and it took quite some time before it eventually swallowed it - not sure how long that meal lasts before it needs to feed again?

White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus)



Whilst watching the Cormorant, a Black Sparrowhawk made a dash across the dam

Black Sparrowhawk (Accipiter melanoleucus)


It was then time to head home, but had a quick stop at the restaurant area where I found the Kurrichane Thrush. It seems to be an occasional visitor and is by no means guaranteed

Kurrichane Thrush (Turdus libonyanus)










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