10 February 2024

Early Spring Migrants

27 October 2023 - Northern Farm

It had been sometime since I last visited the farm, so I planned an early morning blitz to see if any migrants had arrived. I was through the gate by 6am and driving toward the quarry when this White-throated Swallow preening on the fence above a canal in golden light caught my eye. Yes, it is on a fence, but that is what they roost on...

White-throated Swallow (Hirundo albigularis)




The quarry was fairly quiet, with one migrant in the form of a Wood Sand in cracking plumage on the mud bank of the dam

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)



Close by, a young Three-banded Plover was foraging along the exposed mud

Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris)


Levaillant's Cisticola's were pretty vocal around the dam

Levaillant's Cisticola (Cisticola tinniens)


A few Black-headed Heron's passed by overhead on the way to their breeding location in the reserve

Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)


Continuing on the farm roads, a Black-winged Kite on the overhead lines

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)


Followed by a small flock of European Bee-eaters - their calls represent the true start of spring for me

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)



At one of the other dams, there were around 5 Black Crakes feeding on the floating vegetation

Back Crake (Zapornia flavirostra)


Adjacent to one of the canals, the resident Long-crested Eagle was surveying it's domain

Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)


And finally in the grasslands, Zitting Cisticola where I normally find them

Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)




After 2-hours, it was back home with a respectable 74 species with a couple of early migrants in the mix and which also included Cape Teal - always a good species to see on the farm




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