Sunday, April 3, 2011

Migrating Kestrels depart from Mahikeng Roost tree

Yesterday, was that time of the year again when the migrating Kestrels that annually fly down to Southern Africa from their breeding grounds in Asia and Europe had to depart on their long journey back again. They normaly spent four months at this roost tree at the corner of Hatchard  and Tillard Street in the Mahikeng CBD before flying back.
The birds were counted in January this year during the national Kestrel count day; and  ± 3000 birds were recorded inclusive of those in the adjoining trees. That was an increase in number from last year.
This year they departed almost at the same time as last year but only a day earlier.In 2009 they arrived and departed earlier (look at the table below).It will be interesting to watch their arrival and departure in the coming season.

The roost tree is now deserted after the departure. The evenings are all quiet now. 

 The morning of the departure. Getting ready for the long journey back to Asia and Europe.Mostly are Lesser Kestrels and Amur Falcons

Arrivals and departures in the last three years
 Year period         Arrival               Departure
   2008-9            28/10/2008            23/03/2009
   2009-10          09/11/2009            03/04/2010
   2010-11          13/11/2010            02/04/2011

You can also  follow the link below for more information on their migratory route: 

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