Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weekend visit to the farm Groblersdal Limpopo SA 18th to 20th of March 2011

First evening got 3 nets up and got 5 Barn Swallow and 2 Marsh Warbler before closing.
Next morning opened at 0530 and got a Red-backed Shrike among bucket loads of Red-billed Quelea and Southern Masked Weavers. Got a retrap Southern Masked Weaver from October 07 which was good, also a couple of Willow Warblers, both just finished moult.

That afternoon, took a drive round the game farm in search of Steppe Buzzards and was very surprised to find a young African hawk Eagle sitting in a Merula tree. Managed to get a trap down against the fence and the bird came in at once, only to sit on the top strand of the fence above the trap! eventually it dropped down on the other side of the fence! Now what I thought, but the bird just climbed straight through the fence strands (100mm apart!) and onto the trap where it got caught!
It weighed 1.850kg and probably a female, ringed it and set it on its way.

Later on still driving round the game farm, came across a Steppe Buzzard which came in immediately and was caught. The bird was a second year.
In the afternoon managed to get quite a few Kurrichane Thrushes including a 2.5 year old retrap. Other retrap were a Fiscal Flycatcher from 2008 and a White-bellied Sunbird from 2004, making it 6.5 years old!
Getting 3 Brown-hooded Kingfishers on the trot was interesting and wonder if there was a bit of local or not so local movement.
Saw a Spotted Flycatcher on the fence a couple of times with a ring on, probably one of mine from 2 years ago being the last time I got them here.
Managed to call a Levaillant’s Cuckoo into the net area, but the thing was too wary as were a couple of Dideric Cuckoo, one even perching on the shelf string!
Saw a good thermal of 75 White Storks heading north with a couple of Steppe Buzzards among them. Also a hunting young Black-chested and a Brown Snake Eagle and a single White-backed Vulture.
Found a Genet in a tangle of vines in the tall Tambotie tree attracted many bulbuls and sunbirds.

1 African Paradise Flycatcher - 7 Cape White-eye - 5 Barn Swallow - 1 Lesser Striped Swallow - 2 Greater Striped Swallow - 1 Amethyst Sunbird - 2 White-bellied Sunbird –
1 Rattling Cisticola - 4 Willow Warbler - 3 Marsh Warbler - 1 Red-backed Shrike - 2 Black-cheeked Waxbill - 1 Cape Robinchat - 2 White-throated Robinchat - 2 Fiscal Flycatcher –
1 Cape Wagtail - 8 Dark-capped Bulbul - 8 Kurrichane Thrush - 1 White-fronted Bee-eater - 3 Brown-hooded Kingfisher - 1 Spectacled Weaver - 1 Steppe Buzzard –
1 African Hawk Eagle

Total 55 new birds and 5 retraps of 24 species

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