Athlone Bird Count May 2015

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

May 2015 – by Dick Bos.

Our group today.

photograph by Dick Bos.

The day was cloudy and cool but dry and there was no wind, in short, good conditions for bird counting. A group of eight gathered for this one and it was going to be another interesting survey with two more new species. Often observers have wondered why there were no terns seen at this site; well, today there was a first for a Swift Tern to be put on record. Today we saw 3 Spotted Thick-knee, which brings the Athlone list up to 78 species recorded here.

Contrary to the usual top position, Hartlaub’s Gull made number 2 on todays list with a count of 245, second to the 311 Yellow-billed Ducks. Other species with 3-digit counts are Blacksmith Lapwing (178) and Common Starling (171).

Other noteworthy sightings? Three species of herons: Black-headed, Grey and Purple as well as 2 Black-crowned Night-Herons. Also three species of egrets: Cattle, Little and Yellow-billed. No Falcons this time, but the Jackal Buzzard was there again as were 3 Black-shouldered Kites.
Last month’s Barn Swallows were not seen, so maybe they have finally travelled north.

All in all 50 species were reported for MyBirdPatch and 1256 birds from 29 species for CWAC.

Many thanks to Jessie Blackshaw, Delene van Dyke, Gillian Ford, Fay Linder, Derek Longrigg, Sybil Majo and Peter Sumner for participating in this count. Many thanks also to Mr Fred Cupido, Manager of Athlone Sewage Works, for permission to conduct bird surveys and to Mr Enver Manual for his support during the count.

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