Sunbird Centre, Silvermine 15th November 2014

Greater Striped Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow

There were 16 birders at the Sunbird Centre in Silvermine for the CBC outing on 19th November 2014. The wind was blowing quite hard so we weren’t very hopeful of actually seeing many birds.

The Greater Striped Swallows provided us with our first sighting: they were flying very low over the reeds and even landing on the yellow flowers in front of our cars, so we all were able to get great views of them – although I believe they were too quick for the photographers amongst us! There were some White-Rumped Swifts around at that time, too.

We started walking downhill, following where the Swallows were headed, and found Common Waxbill, Karoo Prinia and Levaillant’s Cisticola along that path. The Bokmakerie was calling but never sighted – presumably it was sheltering from the wind.

We turned to the left after crossing the river and saw both a single female Cape Sugarbird along the first part of the path and Cape Bulbul. A Bar-Throated Apalis was heard, but not seen. We had a wonderful view of a pair of Jackal Buzzard flying up from the direction of Ou Kaaps Weg.

We crossed over the Silvermine River and started to head back towards the cars. We witnessed an interesting interaction between a Malachite Sunbird chasing a Greater Striped Swallow – the sunbird had flown up from the Wild Dagga (Leonotis leonurus) and the chase continued for quite a while.

There was a rustling in the grass beside the path and we found an Angulate Tortoise burrowing in there.

We counted 35 species of birds, 26 seen and 9 only heard – ’twas very windy!

Linda Hibbin.