SOME WONDERFUL OBSERVATIONS DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Posted on the 21st May 2020
We have been recording species found during lockdown in the Overberg and are reporting on these regularly. A whopping 166 species have in fact been recorded during the month of May until now and we will again share a report on this at the end of the month. Check out this impressive list of species elsewhere on the website. However, quality might even be better than quantity: We are receiving wonderful stories of great sightings and experiences and these are extremely interesting as the examples below clearly suggest. Please forward your interesting stories (preferably with a few images in jpeg) to Anton at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put together a monthly overview of fascinating observations.
AFRICAN GOSHAWKS GALORE: We have received many reports and photographs of African Goshawks during the lockdown period, illustrating how common this bird in actual fact is in our area. Paula Combrink, Ingrid Grundlingh and others had the opportunity to capture brilliant images and Steve Peck recorded a would-be chicken thief on his property. We also got entertained by one of these youngsters:
AFRICAN GOSHAWK CAUSING CHAOS: In reaction to Ingrid’s astonishing images of an immature African Goshawk we felt that we had to share this story. On Saturday afternoon Elaine and I were sitting in my study watching droves of birds representing at least 8 species at the feeders in the trees some three meters away. A sudden explosion of birds scattering is all directions was immediately followed by an immature African Goshawk, this one a bit older than the one photographed by Ingrid, settling in the tree. This bird must still be learning how to hunt successfully as the direction from where it came meant that it had to cross an open park area of at least 50 meters – easy for our garden birds to see. The gossy looked half-mean, half-irritated, half-stupid before flying off from where it came.
Immature African Goshawk detail - Ingrid
Adult African Goshawk detail - Paula
Checking out Steve's chickens
Caught in the act! - Steve (2)
OCEAN BIRDING TO VIEW PELAGIC SPECIES: Lester van Groeningen spent several of his exercise hours in the mornings to look for pelagic species moving closer to shore due to changing weather conditions. He manages to record cracking species such as the Shy Albatross, Parasitic Jaeger, both Southern and Northern Giant Petrels and White-chinned Petrel. Next month we will interview Lester about this exciting edition to birding along the Overstrand coastline when we start with regular chats with interesting birders via Zoom.
White-chinned Petrel and Shy Albatross - Lester
KLEINMOND’S WILD HORSES CHILLING ON THE BEACH: Carl Swart has now twice recorded some of these horses on the beach at Kleinmond. Is this part of the new “environmental normal” due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown?
Kleinmond's wild horses - Carl (2)
SAVING A YOUNG DOVE: Phil and Wendy Harries-Jones sent an email enquiring on what to do with a very young dove that they found in their garden. Later he sent this little note and images: “Wendy spent the night feeding the small Laughing Dove chick baby porridge by mouth as her granny used to do in Jo'burg many years ago. To my amazement the chick was alive this morning! This afternoon we heard the mother calling and we put the chick outside in an enclosed courtyard close to where we had found it. Almost immediately the chick heard the mother and the mother saw the chick. A great reunion and celebration and feeding frenzy then happened in the courtyard on the ground and has been going on ever since. We are going to bring the chick inside tonight so it doesn't get cold and will put it out in the morning. I am very proud of my wife! Thanks for your advice and encouragement.” (We are awaiting a progress report). And Phil reports three days later: "The little bird is progressively getting stronger and getting more feathers. He is starting to flutter round, almost flying. The parents continue to feed him during the day and Wendy gave him sesame paste by mouth last night - seemed to hit the spot! We are still holding thumbs that he is going to make it in the big wide world."
The Laughing Dove fledgling
With Wendy feeding it - (Phil 2)
TAMBOURINE DOVE IN A GARDEN! Steve Peck has for the first time recorded Tambourine Doves on his property at Napier. And to crown it all he photographed an immature bird as well!
Tambourine Dove in Napier garden - Steve
AFRICAN HAWK EAGLES AT BERGSIG WINE ESTATE: Plum Lategan has in recent months reported several sightings of an adult African Hawk Eagle from his garden on the Bergsig Wine Estate between Worcester and Ceres. This was however completely overshadowed by a sighting of an immature bird on 20 May. This clearly suggests that these birds might be breeding in the region – why would a young raptor like this fly all the way from the Lowveld or Maputaland to come and hang around in the Winelands?
Adult African Hawk Eagle at Bergsig - Plum
Please forward your quality experiences and let’s see what outstanding birding compilations we can put together for our region each month.