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South Africa (ZA)   Summer to Winter break in South Africa  -  Categories: South Africa  -  @ 03:34:07 pm

A few weeks of winter in South Africa - Midrand, Gauteng - August 2011

After the draining and exhaustive summer heat of Kuwait, the cold Highveld winter of Gauteng was more than a welcome relief for our summer break. Birds in this post are the more common urban birds during winter and were taken in the garden and whilst walking our Staffies with my Son, Jaden. Images by Mike Pope

Karoo Thrush are very common in the garden in early morning and late afternoon - also when we feed our dogs where they wait on the fringes for the dogs to finish eating

Karoo Thrush

Cape Robin-chat is another garden skulker that also sings from cover, but this individual was not very obliging for photographs

Cape Robin-chat

The male Cape Sparrow is quite a stiking bird, but generally overlooked as it is very common

Cape Sparrow

At this time of year (late Winter/early Spring), Southern Masked Weavers are mostly in full breeding regalia and have started nest building

Southern Masked Weaver

Southern Masked Weaver

Walking the dogs outside of our townhouse complex provided a little more variety. Streaky-headed Seedeaters calling from the treetops

Streaky-headed Seedeater

Small flocks on winter plumaged Southern Red Bishops

Cape Sparrow

The aggressive Fiscal Shrike

Fiscal Shrike

and the very similar looking Fiscal Flycatcher, but these are normally seen in pairs and are much more delicate in build

Fiscal Flycatcher

Not quite as urbanised as the Red-eyed Dove, but the odd Cape Turtle Dove was seen foraging on the pavements

Cape Turtle Dove

Crowned Lapwings were also seen on the pavements and are generally quite oblivious to the passing cars

Crowned Lapwing

A few Cape Glossy Starlings were seen infrequently

Cape Glossy Starling

Some of the larger trees on the pavement were started to bud with the advent of Spring and many Cape White-eyes were seen foraging in these trees

Cape White-eye

Together with the dimunitive Black-throated Canaries

Black-throated Canary

Black-throated Canary

During a few late afternoons I sat on the upstairs patio and still had some enoyable birding - especially enjoying the calls, which we dont often hear in Kuwait. A male Laughing Dove calling from a rooftop

Laughing Dove

As well as the larger male Red-eyed Dove calling from a different rooftop

Red-eyed Dove

Here a Crested Barbet in the dying sunlight

Crested Barbet

An African Sacred Ibis flying to it's overnight roost

African Sacred Ibis

And not too much later, the magnificent splendour of another winter African sunset - I am a sucker for sunsets and never get tired photographing them

Southern African Sunset


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