Die Oog new update November 2012


Went to Die Oog yesterday. The place looks good. Was greeted at the gate by a family of egyptian Geese. 9 juveniles and the mom and dad. They were followed by 4 Helmeted guineafowl.

Walking around the lake I heard cheeping of chicks. I looked zround for a nest with chiscks in the reeds by the side of the water but could not find the nest. Next thing the trees above my head exploded as a couple of cormorants took off out the tree. Looking up I saw about 15-20 cormorant nests in the oak tree that gets used by the weavers. There were a coouple weavers still using their nests too but not as many as earlier in the year.

The Dabchicks also had 4 chicks swimming about and diving for food. Also the Coot had chicks on the nests. What disturbed me was finding a white quacker casualy enjoying the water with the Yellow-billed ducks. Not a good situation.

Had sightings of Crows , Common starlings, Karoo prinia, Cape white-eye, Cape weaver, Cape bulbul, mousebird, cape sparrow, hadeda.

Die Oog still looks good and the water level looks very high, the muddy banks where the Blacksmith Lapwings were foraging is all but covered. Incidently there was no sign of the lapwings. One bad aspect is very few Leopard Toad tadpoles this year. Saw a sign up requesting people to refrain from taking tadpoles home.

Anyway had an enjoable trip there. Hope to be back there soon.

Birding Big Day

Hello all.

Today 24 November 2012 is this years official Birdlife SA Birding Big Day, the day allocated to support Birdlife SA in fund raising for Avian Conservation.

Already so far I have seen Rock Pigeon, Common starlings, Cape Turtle dove, Laughing dove, Feral pigeons, Hartlaubs Gulls, House sparrows, Cape sparrows, Cape and Southern Masked weavers and Common waxbills galore. Most of them are congregated around my birdfeeder.

Last night we had supper at the beach again and connected with the grey headed gull again, seems he is resident on Muizenberg beach. There were Hartlaubs gulls, Kelp gulls and African Black Oystercatchers in that group. Later on the way home I saw a tern over Zandvlei lagoon again.

Will be going to Die Oog a bit later today to see whats buzzing there. Oops and now its turning out to be a dreary day in Cape Town. Its drizzling and vey windy. And then the sun makes a brief appearance again.


P.S. Just had a Rock pigeon having a nice shower right in front of me. He was opening up both wings and having the rain wash under his wings, how interesting was that.

A bit of a Lark, I think Not.

In a blog titled ‘A bit of a Lark’ i read rescently the author was commenting about her twitching ability or rather her inability to twitch properly she commented about her lack of being able to decide which Lark she had photographed.

Now if she had Doug Newman and Gordon Kings book Southern African LBJ’s made simple she would have found it easier to find the right type of Lark. Just because we have 22 larks and another 5 sparrow-larks does not mean you have to battle to find your bird. With the books easy way of finding the right LBJ you will imediately find which bird it is. This will come in handy on days like 24November2012 when @birdlife SA have their Birding Big Day where you have to identify the most birds in a 24 hour period.

The birding fraternity divide themselves up into teams of 4 and proceed to count up their lists.
I have heard rescently that the Karoo specialist Japie Claasens will be in CT and was looking to team up with a local group.

Would this not make a formidable team: Japie Claasen, Trevor Hardaker, Brian van der Walt and Mariaan Delport. How would they fare against Ettiene Marais, Faansie Peakock, Doug Newman and Gordon King. Interesting topic………. Think about it. Who would win?

Latest Garden List addition

Hi all.

Just a quick update. The latest addition to my garden list was a group of Cape Bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis. They came to check out the action at the feeder where there was a big barney on the go between the pigeons and the weavers again. The weavers are still coming to collect food for the nests. Have seen quite a few scragly looking juveniles around.

Another exciting note is that I have seen an African Fish Eagle on a dry tree on Zandvlei dam. Exciting. My favorite raptor.

Cheers .

Latest Gossip

Latest Gossip.

Hi There,

Seems my wife enjoys buying Fish and Chips and the going to have supper at Muizenberg Beach. Thats what we did agian this evening.

Arriving at the beach just after 5pm I noticed a great group of Kelp Gulls congregated on the rocks. They we’re collecting mussles an then flying about ten to twelve foot up in the air and dropping the mussles on the rocks, then there’d be a mad dash of about six to ten adult, juvenile and immature gulls to see who gets the morsels that fall out the shells. This went on for a good part of an hour.

Later we emptied out the rest of our chip scraps to the pigeons and Hartlaub’s gulls. Did not manage to see the Grey-headed Gull from the other evening but the greyish rings are bocomimg more noticable on the Hartlaubs on Muizenberg beach.

Also filled up my bird feeder at home again and within 20 minutes every weaver and Rock Pigeon was feeding merrily again.

Want to go wandering around Zandvlei tommorrow. Will keep you posted about anything special.

Happy Birding.
Wolfgang in Lakeside,Muizenberg.

Fighting Attitude

Fighting Attitude.

Am I responsible for the latest trend of the birds fighting each other when coming to the Feeder?
Seems its the latest trend with the biggest bird being first to get seeds. The toughest fights take place between the male Southern Masked Weavers and the male Cape Weavers. Even the tiny waxbills land up fighting with the weavers even though they don’t feed from the feeder but from the ground where the weavers mess a lot of the seeds from the feeder.

Went to have supper on the beach at Muizenberg this evening. We were mobbed by a flock of Hartlaubs gulls. I noticed a couple Grey-Headed Gulls amoungst the Hartlaubs. What made me sure of this is the very light coloured eyes. Also noticed a lot of the Hartlaub’s were juveniles with a lot of brown blotches on their wings. Did not see any Kelp gulls though.