Athlone Bird Count June 2016

A working partnership with the City of Cape Town and the Cape Bird Club.

June 2016 – by Dick Bos.

A family of Cape Teal.

photograph by Dick Bos.

Unfortunately this count had to be rescheduled due to weather, away from the standard third Thursday of each month to this Tuesday, so not all ‘regular’ participants could join and there were just two of us for today.
Conditions were fairly good so we set off in good spirits. What follows is a brief overview of some highlights.

The number of Red-knobbed Coots seems to go up slowly by the month, 311 were counted today, one pair swam around with one chick. For today this was the species with the highest number. Other high numbers: Greater Flamingo: 114, Hartlaub’s Gull: 282 and Black-winged Stilts: 265. One pair of Cape Teal was observed with eight chicks. African Spoonbills apparently have found Athlone, because the last few counts a double digit group was on the site; today 25 were counted. Another species of note was the Common Fiscal with 3 birds today. This is ‘of note’ because that is the highest number of this species to date. In the tree where the Cape Weavers have had a colony we noted a Hadeda Ibis on a nest, but no Weavers.

We spent quite some time observing the tree line in the south-east where it is fairly usual to find both the Jackal Buzzard and the Black Sparrowhawk, but not so today. There is big nest in that tree line and the Black Sparrowhawk has been seen in the area often but there were never indications that this raptor occupied the nest. We did see something on the nest today, but there was no way to identify what we were seeing. So after observing the nest for a (long) while we gave up.
(Since this report was written in August, we now know that there were actually chicks on the nest; two were clearly seen during the July count.)

All in all 37 species (1566 birds) were reported for MyBirdPatch and 1372 birds from 27 species for CWAC. Many thanks to Fay Linder for joining today. Many thanks also to Mr Fred Cupido, Manager of Athlone WWTW, for permission to conduct these valuable bird surveys and to Mr Enver Manual for his support.

This data is submitted to the Animal Demography Unit’s CWAC and MyBirdpatch, projects.

Counts take place on the third Thursday of every month and start at 13:00.
Anyone wanting to assist should contact;
Dick Bos on 021 423 2546 or alternative