What the birdwatchers saw …

A number of interesting and beautiful birds have been spotted in an around our suburb in the past weeks …

  • Hedda Inderthal, WRRA exco member for conservation and the environment.  saw a pair of giant kingfishers (Megaceryle maxima) at Maynardville, making a nest in the bank of one of the islands in the pond.  Roberts Birds  says both parents dig a nest tunnel 1 to 3 m deep into a vertical riverbank close to the water mark. They hunt from perches preying on fish, crabs, frogs and aquatic invertebrates. They really are big, up to 44 cm long, and recognized by rufous markings on their chest and belly. “Can’t wait to see if they manage to raise some babies!” Hedda says.
Giant kingfisher on branch

A giant kingfisher

  • Darron Araujo spotted a pair of common waxbills that have moved into Mountain View Road over the past two weeks. These birds are generally seen in  long grass, reeds and scrub, often found near water.
  • Darron also saw a (now rare, once common) pallid harrier (very distinct wing-shape and markings) circling above their block in Mountainview. “This bird  flies here all the way from Russia,” Darron says. “It was being harassed by some pied crows but soared high effortlessly. I’ve seen it only once about four weeks ago; it hasn’t been back.”
A pallid harrier

A pallid harrier. Pic: www.arkive.org

  • A southern double-collared sunbird is raising a brood at eyelevel from Darron’s balcony.
southern double-collared sunbird, male

A southern (lesser) double-collared sunbird. Pic: Mike Golding

Read more: Meet the birds in your backyard

Have you seen any interesting birds in Wynberg? Drop us a line (and a picture, if possible) . . .





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