14 April 2013 – kirstenbosch beckons…
We decided to take a walk around Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens this morning and see what we could find. We arrived there fairly early and headed up into the top area of the gardens. Bird activity was surprisingly quiet apart from the regular buzzing around of many Southern Double-collared Sunbirds. Surprisingly, only a couple of Malachite and Orange-breasted Sunbirds were seen (none posed for photos!) as well as a single Amethyst Sunbird whilst there was no sign of any Cape Sugarbirds. We thought this to be a little unusual given the good numbers of Southern Double-collared Sunbirds, especially since they were all nectar feeders.
Raptors were also decidedly quiet. A couple of African Goshawks and a single Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk were the only raptors passing overhead during the course of a few hours spent wandering around and they were all so high that it was impossible to photograph them. The usual suspects in the gardens were still around though. Numbers of Egyptian Geese (some with goslings) wandered around on the lawns, Cape Spurfowls and Helmeted Guineafowls scratched around in the many flowerbeds and the larger trees echoed with the calls of Sombre Greenbuls and Southern Boubous.
There were also many African Dusky Flycatchers and Cape Batises around whilst, at one stage, we heard a Brown-backed Honeybird calling, but were unable to actually locate the bird. We searched for the resident Spotted Eagle Owls and Lemon Doves, but were unable to find either of them – perhaps as a result of the many Capetonians out to enjoy the glorious autumn morning in the gardens.
There were also quite a few butterflies around and, although we don’t know all that much about them, we were able to identify several common species.
Eventually, we headed down to the restaurant to grab a late brunch, not before enjoying a small group of Swee Waxbills, a fitting end to an enjoyable morning out.