22 June 2024

Kyalami Estates - February Round-up

29 February 2024 - Kyalami Estates

My Hilux got trashed in the apocalyptic hailstorm in November last year and the panel-beater had no capacity in December to start the repairs. So, it went in for the repair work at the start of February. That curtailed any birding, other than within the Estate for this month. On top of that, I had to send my 1Dxii body in for repair which impacted any photography for almost 3-weeks.

Nevertheless, I recorded 52 species which was 5 more than in 2023 and all the pics for this month were taken once I got my Canon body back and in and around the main park. 

Hadeda Ibis are mostly an unwelcome bird in our urban suburbs, as they can be really raucous - especially if they roost in your garden. Here is one probing for grubs in the park

Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)


It is not often you see the spurs on Lapwings, but this normally docile looking Blacksmith Lapwing, looks much more intimidating with his spurs visible

Blacksmith Lapwing (Vanellus armatus)





I had some excitement one overcast morning when the marauding Pied Crows harassed a young African Harrier Hawk in the sky above

Immature African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)





The triumphant Pied Crow after chasing the Harrier-Hawk away. Pied Crows are also becoming a menace, especially for the raptors and owls in the area.

Pied Crow (Corvus albus)


European Bee-eaters passing by overhead were heard and seen quite often - but normally pretty high up

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)


The Red Bishops were now feeding young and males were still displaying

Male Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)


Female and young Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)




I caught up with the resident pair of Tawny-flanked Prinia's, also out with their young birds

Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava)






A few of these delicate Mushroom's popped up in the park

Mushroom - You always keep me in the dark



Kyalami Estates - January Round-up

31 January 2024 - Kyalami Estates

After all the excitement around our Flufftail, as well as returning from holiday, there wasnt much birding done during January. I still managed to record 55 species on morning walks with Marley, which was still 2 more species than January 2023.

From the garden, Palm Swifts were seen most morning - it does help that my neighbour has tall Palms in his garden that they use to roost in

African Palm Swift (Cypsiurus parvus)



In the main park, Bronze Mannikin's enjoyed feeding on the new seeding grass

Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullata)


Along with Black-throated Canary's

Black-throated Canary (Crithagra atrogularis)



A Brown-hooded Kingfisher entertained for a few days, using the children's jungle gym as a perch from which to hunt

Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris)


Whilst looking and listening for the Flufftail, I photographed a few other species - Red-eyed Dove

Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata)


Tawny-flanked Prinia

Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava)


and Yellow-fronted Canary

Yellow-fronted Canary (Crithagra mozambica)



At the main dam, the White-throated Swallow's were present

White-throated Swallow (Hirundo albigularis)


As well as the Red Bishops, the males still resplendent in their summer regalia. I tried another low key image against the light

Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)




In my garden, there were numbers of Brown-veined White's

Brown-veined/Pioneer Caper White (Belenois aurota)



And an array of Carpenter Bee's - both male (2 colour variants). Carpenter Bee's derive their name from their nesting behaviour - nearly all species burrow into hard plant material, such as dead wood or bamboo. The Carpenter Bee genus includes around 500 bees, in 31 sub-genera.

Male Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa caffra)




Male Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa caffra)





and females

Female Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa caffra)





Lastly, a dramatic B+W image of the moon behind some clouds

Daytime moon







River Warbler - Dip # 3

17 March 2024 - Zaagkuilsdrift It is that time of year - River Warbler! Again Richard Crawshaw, Selwyn Rautenbach, Marlina and I met early a...