We've been unbelievably blessed with birds in my garden over the past five years. When I first became interested in watching birds, my sister-in-law (who helped with my Red-throated Wryneck identification on Tuesday which you can read about here) told me to identify all the birds who visit my garden in a given day.
At the time (back in early 2007) I wandered around my garden, binoculars in hand and from sunrise to sunset spotted 21 birds which - until then - I'd been unaware of. I noticed Black-collared barbets, African Red-eyed bulbuls, Cape Canaries, Cape - and Orange River White-eyes, Cape sparrows, White-browed sparrow weavers, Cape Robin-chats, Whattled Starlings, Red-eyed doves and mourning doves. I constantly referred to my Roberts field guide and of course, sent frantic messages to said SIL when I was unsure of where to check in the book.
Since that day, I've watched a multitude of birds in the garden, enjoying a bath or drink in the ponds, drinking nectar from my aloes and salvia, and still others who nest in the many trees in the garden. I've had Malachite - and White-bellied sunbirds, Tawny-flanked prineas, Cape - and Pririt batisses, a Diderick's cuckoo and African - and Green wood-hoopoe, Black-throated canaries, Spotted flycatchers, Red-faced - , Speckled - and White-backed mousebirds, African pied wagtail, Karoo- and Olive thrushes, Hadeda ibis and even a visiting Hamerkop on quite a few occasions.
For the past month, I spent a considerable amount of time working with the gardeners and later in the day wandered around taking photos. I thought I'd share three photos of beautiful birds in the garden.
The Cape Robin-chat, who is the first bird awake in the morning, is also the last bird sound at night. I'm talking EARLY morning: 3.30 am in the summer time and about 6am in the winter. And when darkness has fallen at the end of the day, Robin is the bird who is still uttering soft sounds as he readies himself for bed. He has a beautiful melodious call and also mimics other birds. He also maintains territory for life. Here he was on the edge of my second pond almost posing for me. Isn't he gorgeous?
The Karoo thrush and Olive thrush is a regular in my garden. Above is the Karoo thrush. They, like the Cape robin-chat above love to scrummage around in the undergrowth of my wild, grassy garden. They also spend a lot of time around the ponds and more than once, we've seen them catching a frog in the pond, beating it on the rocks (eewgh) and eating it
I have two types of White-eyes in my garden. Cape white-eye (above) and Orange River white-eye. They are very difficult to photograph so I was thrilled to get this photo while the beautiful lad was eating berries in my Karee (Rhus lancea), No prizes for guessing where he gets his name. LOL!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE IT AT THIS TIME!