It’s a quiet time of year for birds. The aloes are still flowering, but the main flush is past. Gurney’s Sugarbirds were still present, but no longer jousting over prime spots.

mocking-chat-f-cowie

But every change sees something happening. The trees and bushes that produce small fruits do so most abundantly now. There’s a very good reason. Small omnivorous birds cannot find enough insects, so are “grateful” for berries. Of course it’s all finely honed business, with the backing of thousands of years experimenting. Berry-bearing plants offering fruit at the height of summer would largely be ignored. Cape White-eyes were flocking, up to 32 at a time, around the trees offering the most fruit – in the present case Rhamnus and Rhus.

mocking-chat-cowie

The Mocking Cliff-Chats had bred successfully. A threesome was much in evidence on the thatched roofs, the second “female” being obviously duller than its mother.

It’s usually supposed that all the cuckoos migrate north for the winter, but at least some Klaas’s Cuckoos remain. One called at regular intervals, could it imagine that spring is just around the corner?

3 thoughts on “Birding Blog June 2016

  1. Great, going to stay here for 2 nights – arriving on 17/7. I’m a amateur bird photographer – having a full day (18/7) in the Cavern what would you advice on doing that day. Is there still opportunity to photograph birds and if yes what species (bare in mind I understand it is winter and not the perfect season for birds but it is my first trip to South Africa so every single specie is new for me and much of interest – so not looking for anything special as all species will be special to me. I’m staying with my wife and 2 teenagers, not sure what is on the programme… Hoping on a response, Many thanks, Pascal

  2. Dear Pascal

    Many thanks for your enquiry.

    The Cavern is a naturalist’s paradise set in the Drakensberg foothills. The mature rambling garden alone boasts nearly 100 species of birds. Much of its charm lies in its use of indigenous plants, and in the way informal corners are allowed to regenerate naturally.

    Having a full day on the 18th, soon after breakfast you could join our guided morning hike to one of the many beauty spots surrounding the Cavern .Our Guides will be able to provide a list of birds found in the area that you can look out for during your hike.

    We are looking forward to welcoming you.

    Kind Regards,

    Michelle

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