Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pink-backed Pelicans return to Modimola Dam

Pink-backed Pelican's crest on head fairly distinct

Today, while birding at Modimola Dam, I witnessed the return of Pink-backed Pelicans. They were last seen in the area in February/ March this year. There were both adult and juveniles in the group of ten.

Pink-backed Pelican giving some guttural notes

During their presence just before winter they were in  the company of Great White Pelicans. This time the Great Whites were not present.

Pink-backed Pelican emptying the big pouch

Pink-backed Pelicans just after arrival

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Amur Falcons arrive to confusion at Mahikeng uprooted roost tree site

Amur Falcon arriving to an uprooted roost tree

Today , after a night of heavy rains, a group of Amur Falcons together with some more Lesser Kestrels arrived for their annual migration in the Mahikeng CBD to find their favorite roost tree uprooted.
They circled lower than ussual around the spot where their roost tree was and perched on nearby buildings and dead trees. A bigger number had turned out  today and it was interesting to see them hovering lower than ussual around the spot where their favourite tree once stood.

Graph showing how over the years the numbers have increased

The year 2010 had a record number of migrating kestrels and falcons coming to roost at the tree in the Mahikeng CBD than  past years. The numbers are likely to drastically decline this year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Migrating Kestrels arrive to find familiar roost tree uprooted in Mahikeng

Lesser Kestrel back to overwinter but familiar roost tree no where to be found

The first group of a  handful of Lesser Kestrel, mainly males, arrived at the uprooted roost tree in the Mahikeng CBD on Monday the 14th November 2011 at 18h15. They are one day later than last year.
After circling the area in search of their annual roost tree they took refuge on a dead tree nearby.
More than 3000 birds came to roost in the uprooted tree last summer.It will be interesting to see how they are going to react to the new situation.

The giant roost tree ready to be brought down last winter