Birding report October 2013

The weather was about as bad as it could get without closing the show down altogether. Fierce hot winds all Saturday, freezing cold and heavy cloud on Sunday. But the birds always do something. It’s Spring, as the weather suggested, and the tropical migrants have arrived. Not full voice yet, but the Red-chested and Black Cuckoos did not disappoint. Paradise Flycatchers are in the garden too.

Heavy weather does have one bonus. Aerial insects are normally carried ever higher by hot air during the day, which is why swallows and swifts follow them, usually out of sight. But on very cold days they stay near the ground, as on Sunday, giving good views of White-rumped Swifts and Greater Striped Swallows performing their acrobatics.

Yet another new bird for the Cavern, a pair of Wattled Lapwings was seen on the grassland near Duiker Dam. Not rarities, but not common in the berg either.

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