Monday, October 29, 2007

Wild birds of Drakensberg

The subject of ornithology has never been my favourite, but staying at Giants Castle may have changed that forever. Here I sat down on a chair and watched birds that flew and walked over the lawn, not knowing what attention they got from an eager foreigner. Here are four different species I saw around our cabin.

Greater Double Collared Sunbird

And did I get some snapshots. Just look at the picture. I watched the wonderful coloured bird sitting on one of the flowering plants. What I did not see was that its female (yes it is definitely a vain man, here) counterpart that probably was looking with less honourable intentions than I. Remember this is spring, and that has certain unmentionable consequences.

I found a poster and identified it, and its female counterpart as a Greater Double Collared Sunbird (cynneris afer afer), and it is mating all year around, but its peak was during our stay, from July to November.

Common Bulbul

Then we saw this little guy, and there there were a lot of them flying around our cabin. This may be a Common Bulbul (pycnonotus barbatus layardi), a bird found throughout Africa with a lot of different subspecies.

Funny enough, according to the Wikipedia, that I use a reference, its song may be describes according to this little verse: doctor-quick doctor-quick be-quick be-quick. Funny - as I say it, I remember its song.

Is this a Chorister Robin?

Then I did not see any of the other birds on the posters out in the wood. This black bird my be a Chorister Robin (Cossypha Dichroa), but I am not entirely sure.

The Chorister Robin on the poster had a yellow breast. so had this, I recollect, but this guy may far too black to be a Chorister Robin, as on the poster it had some brown feathers on its tail.

If it is a Chorister Robin, it is a common bird, found in tropical and subtropical areas of South Africa and not under threat, so it will be there when you visit the Drakensberg Mountain.

If any of you may tell me whether I am right or not, I would be very grateful

An wonderful unknown bird

I absolutely love this golden bird, that wandered around on our lawn. This species and the Double Coloured Collar Bird were the most colourful birds we saw. Whereas the Sunbird was more shy, these beautiful yellow birds were everywhere to see.

If anyone of you know the name of the species, let me know.

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