Birds

kelp-gull Kelp Gull Sometimes seen flying overhead, especially when cold fronts are rolling in. This is a large black and white gull, common on the sea shore, but not likely to settle on the estate.         hartlaubs-gull Hartlaub's Gull This is a common endemic gull which is sometimes seen flying overhead, generally before a cold front moves in. They are common on Fish Hoek Beach but haven’t been recorded in the estate itself.         reed-cormorant Reed Cormorant These small, fresh-water coromorants resemble the exclusively marine Crowned Cormorant.   They are common on all the dams around the estate and are often seen flying between the wetlands and roosting in the reeds. They feed on small aquatic species.       black-headed-heron   Black-headed Heron This heron is reasonably common around the estate, although I do not see it as frequently as I did when I first moved here. Black-headed Herons forage on open land and are not necessarily associated with water. I have seen them spearing and swallowing moles, Striped Mice and frogs.         purple-heron Purple Heron This shy little heron has been visiting the wetlands and may even be resident. I have seen it a couple of times down in the reeds at the dam closest to the entrance gate. It is very likely that the Grey Heron also occurs here but I haven’t seen one on the dams as yet.       white-stork White Stork Not likely to be seen anywhere close to the estate, but I have observed a flock flying overhead. Not a common occurrence.         hamer-kopHamer Kop  This is a very exciting bird to see. It’s not really common anywhere on the Peninsula and I have seen it twice on the estate- once flying overhead, and another time visiting the dam closest to the gate. I have not seen one here for several years so records of this species would be most welcome. Hamerkops build enormous nests, which are often taken over by Barn Owls and Egyptian Geese.       african-spoonbillAfrican Spoonbill  African Spoonbill has been recorded on one of the dams, but I haven’t seen it recently. This is a really exciting species to have visiting the estate. Watching a spoonbill feed is fascinating to watch.       western-cattle-egretWestern Cattle Egret  Cattle Egrets are sometimes seen on vacant plots around the estate, but are not common. These egrets seem to visit less often, now that the estate is more developed.         hadeda-ibisHadeda Ibis Hadedas are noisy and often seen. I walked past a group of nine feeding in the vineyards the other day. This species moved to the Cape Town area recently (about 10 years ago) and has become well established throughout the region.       african-sacred-ibisAfrican Sacred Ibis I don’t think I have ever seen Sacred Ibis on the ground in the estate, but they are quite frequently seen flying over. They are in the same family as Hadedas but not nearly as noisy or numerous. Even when flying, which they do in formation, their white and black colouring is distinctive.       egyptian-gooseEgyptian Goose These geese are also common everywhere and breed every year on the estate. They are often seen with their goslings on the dams here. They have even adapted to life in the sea, despite the lack of desalinating glands. They are actually ducks, not true geese.       spur-winged-gooseSpur-winged Goose Sometimes seen flying over, but never common. These geese are quite a lot larger than the more common Egyptian Goose and are black and white in colour. They are common in farmland areas. I don’t know of any records of them near the dams.     yellow-billed-duckYellow-billed Duck These indigenous ducks with their distinctive yellow bills are sometimes seen visiting the dams and wetland areas around the estate. They unfortunately hybridize with Mallards which can lead to problems. No Mallards have been seen on the estate.       little-grebeLittle Grebe  Little Grebes (also commonly known as Dabchicks) do occur on the dams but are not as common as the coots and moorhens. It is possible that they will breed in the reeds if not disturbed. They are small and colourful and their call is distinctive.     red-knobbed-cootRed-knobbed Coot  Coots are very adaptable water birds and seem to be breeding quite successfully on the dams on the estate. They build floating nests out in the open. The red knobs are on the head a distinctive.       common-moorhenCommon Moorhen  Moorhens, like coots, occur on most of the dams and have also bred successfully over the past couple of years. They have yellow legs and a yellow-tipped red bill. Can also be confused with Black Crake (red legs, yellow bill), which has not been recorded here yet.       blacksmith-lapwingBlacksmith Lapwing  It is quite possible that these lapwings (formerly known as plovers) do breed on the estate, although I have not recorded any nests. They become noisy and restless when breeding, especially when dogs are around, because they lay their eggs on the ground. They are generally associated with water.       crowned-lapwingCrowned Lapwing  These birds were formerly known as plovers and are also referred to as Kiewiets. I have seen them on the estate, but not for a while now. They are not as partial to water and wetlands as the related Blacksmith Lapwing, which is far more common on the estate. They are noisy and active day and night while breeding although they favour open spaces such as sports fields for breeding.         spotted-thick-kneeSpotted Thick-Knee (Dikkop)  These birds are nocturnal and skittish. They seem to be reasonably common but I am not aware of any breeding activity. It is very possible that they do breed here and could be disturbed by wandering dogs and cats. They become quite aggressive when protecting their nests (built on the ground) and sometimes present the broken wing display to distract intruders from the nest site.       cape-spurfowlCape Spurfowl  These charismatic birds, formerly known as francolins, are common on the estate. They have an attractive and characteristic call, especially during early spring when the males pursue the females before breeding. They can become quite confiding when fed. The eggs are laid on the ground and broods are large. Unfortunately many of the young are taken by mongooses, herons and domestic cats, which can be very destructive to wildlife.       indian-peafowlIndian Peafowl I haven’t recorded the Peafowl/Peacock on the estate for a while. A number of these large colourful birds were kept in the Capri area and they used to sometimes visit the estate. They were also often heard calling. Not sure if this species should even be listed because it is considered feral and the only “wild” population occurs on Robben Island.     helmeted-guineafowlHelmeted Guineafowl  Guineafowl are common on the estate, but tend to have favourite areas, where they are often seen in small flocks. They seem to be fond of foraging in the vineyards and olive groves. They are noisy, especially during the spring months when they start breeding. They were originally not resident in the Western Cape but have moved here and settled. Some are descendants of domestic birds and retain white claws and feathers.         yellow-billed-kiteYellow-billed Kite  Another intra-African migrant, these kites arrive in spring and are sometimes seen flying low over the estate. They are scavengers, so may swoop low in search of food. The kite has a distinctive fork in the tail, which is used effectively for steering. The yellow bill is also obvious when seen perched or flying low.       black-eagleVerreauxs’ (Black) Eagle  This magnificent large eagle, more commonly known as Black Eagle, is sometimes seen flying overhead. It can be recognised by its large size and “windows” in the leaf-shaped wings. These are magnificent, very large true eagles and are easy to recognise if seen close by. They feed mainly on Rock Dassies and the decline in the population has affected local breeding success. The current adult bird that is resident in Silvermine Nature Reserve has been without a mate for over a year now.         african-fish-eagleAfrican Fish Eagle Pairs and single birds are sometimes seen flying over the estate, especially during the spring months. I have been seeing and hearing them more frequently. The call is distinctive and quite loud, especially when a pair is soaring and calling above. The white breast and tail are easy to spot, even without binoculars.       booted-eagleBooted Eagle  Another less frequently seen migrant raptor that is sometimes seen during the summer months. It is the smallest true eagle (having fully feathered legs) and occurs in both a pale and dark morph. I have recorded a pale morph bird flying low over the estate during February and March. I have also seen this bird in Silvermine Nature Reserve and it is quite possible that it is the same individual visiting each year. Booted Eagles, especially the less common dark morph, have distinctive “landing lights” on the shoulders.       steppe-buzzardSteppe Buzzard  Common during the summer months, but usually absent from March. Commonly seen flying overhead or seen perched on the fences. The colour varies considerably. Visiting birds have been known to come back to the same location year after year. They can be confused with the resident Jackal Buzzard, but the markings are not as bold when seen in flight.       jackal-buzzardJackal Buzzard  Jackal Buzzard can be mistaken for the migrant Steppe Buzzard, although the under-wing pattern is bolder and more distinctive and the body heavier in build than its migrant relative. They are common in the area and often seen flying up behind the estate. Some people mistake them for Black/Verreaux’s Ealges.         african-goshawkAfrican Goshawk Another small raptor sometimes seen flying over the estate. African Goshawks tend to be most active in the early mornings and evenings and have a distinctive tchick, tchick, tchick call, often heard from very high up. They are not common here, also possibly because of the lack of large trees on the estate. This species is also difficult to separate from the Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, which is very similar in size and appearance.       black-sparrowhawkBlack Sparrowhawk  These medium-sized raptors depend on exotic trees for breeding and are nesting in the vicinity. This is due to the many exotic trees (eucalypts) outside the estate. They are shy birds, but are usually seen flying over the estate in the early mornings and evenings. They feed on birds- mainly Red-eyed Doves and Rock Doves. The closest breeding pair are both Black Morph (ie they do not have the white underparts characteristic of Black Sparrowhawks). Any info on these birds would be appreciated and forwarded to researchers at UCT.           black-shouldered-kiteBlack-shouldered Kite  These are charming little raptors, sometimes seen hovering over the wetland area. They live exclusively on rodents and have keen eyesight. Also not seen often anymore and generally scarce throughout the region.       rufous-breasted-sparrowhawkRufous-breasted sparrowhawk  This small, fast-flying little Accipter is easily overlooked and can be mistaken for African Goshawk, which is very similar in size and appearance. They do occasionally visit the estate to hunt birds and are also sometimes seen flying overhead. The rufous breast is not always obvious but the overall colouring appears darker than the goshawk.       peregrine-falconPeregrine Falcon  This falcon is resident in the area and sometimes seen. It has a very distinctive shape in flight and is very fast. The population is well established in the South Western Cape. It specialises in hunting birds on the wing and is very efficient at it. They have been known to reach speeds of over 300 km per hour.       african-harrierhawkAfrican harrier-Hawk  This unusual raptor is often referred to as Gymnogene. It is quite common in the area and is also sometimes seen flying around Silvermine Nature Reserve. It is grey and black- the white bar in the tail is quite obvious in flight. I have seen it perched on rooftops in the estate. It has bare yellow facial skin which blushes red when the bird is angry or alarmed. These birds have double-jointed legs which they use to scratch around in nesting holes to retrieve nestling birds. Possibly the most fascinating raptor in the region.     rock-krestrelRock Kestrel  Rock Kestrel is a common small raptor and is very at home in fynbos, so is quite often seen flying over. I have never seen it perched in the estate. Its all over rufous colouring is distinctive, but it can be confused with Peregrine Falcon or any of the other smaller raptors in the region.       red-eyed-doveRed-eyed Dove Red-eyed Doves do occur and are becoming more common on the estate. This species is easily confused with the similar Cape Turtle Dove. It is quite a bit larger than the turtle dove and has a pinkish colouring which is quite obvious. The best way to separate the two species is by call- the Turtle Dove says “work harder, work harder” and the Red-eyed Dove says “I am a Red-eyed Dove”… Generally the same size as the Speckled Pigeon and quite confiding.     cape-turtle-doveCape Turtle-Dove  Not common and I think I have only ever seen one on the estate. This ring-necked dove is similar to the larger Red-eyed Dove. Although common in other areas around Cape Town, the habitat here seems unsuitable for this species.       laughing-doveLaughing Dove This little dove is quite attractive and the colour varies a little, with some birds being darker than others. It has become more established on the estate recently and has started breeding. It is attracted to seed feeders as is not really aggressive towards other birds. It is smaller than the Red-Eyed and Cape Turtle Doves and does not have a ring on the neck.       speckled-pigeonSpeckled Pigeon  This little dove is quite attractive and the colour varies a little, with some birds being darker than others. It has become more established on the estate recently and has started breeding. It is attracted to seed feeders as is not really aggressive towards other birds. It is smaller than the Red-Eyed and Cape Turtle Doves and does not have a ring on the neck.       common-doveCommon Dove  Formerly, or more commonly known as Feral Pigeon, this bird is derived from domestic homing pigeons. They are not common on the estate. This is good news because they are not indigenous. This might explain why the Black Sparrowhawks choose to hunt in Fish Hoek where more of their favoured prey is found.       klaas-cuckooKlaas's Cuckoo I have not, as yet, seen this brilliant green cuckoo on the estate but have definitely heard it. The call “meitjie, meitjie” is distinctive. These birds are generally more vocal in spring. The similar Diderick Cuckoo calls “dee-dee-deederik”. Like other cuckoos, they are brood parasites and can be heard throughout the year.       spotted-eagle-owlSpotted Eagle-Owl  I have had quite a lot of reports of owls seen on the estate. I don’t think any have moved into the owl box provided but it is possible that they will do in time. I see and hear the owls occasionally, especially when it is raining, and they are often seen perched on rooftops in the early mornings and evenings. This is the only species that occurs in the area. There is a slight chance of Wood Owl, but the vicinity is possibly not “wooded” enough to support them.         fiery-necked-nightjarFiery-Necked Nightjar  I have seen nightjars on the estate at night, I have seen them flying about and also heard their distinctive “Good Lord deliver us” call. They are more active during the summer months, but they haven’t been seen around lately. I think it is also possible that these birds have moved off due to disturbance and development.     greater-striped-swallowGreater Striped Swallow  Also intra-African migrants, these swallows with streaking on the breast and rufous rumps are often seen hawking insects during the summer months, especially over the wetland. They are present in small numbers on the estate every year and have attempted to breed. They tend to favour sheltered spots above balconies and under roofs in open areas.       white-throated-swallowWhite-throated Swallow  This extremely attractive intra-African migrant visits the estate every year during the summer months and is a breeding bird in the region. I am not sure if they have attempted to breed here, but they are not uncommon and I have seen them quite regularly. Very possible that they will breed on the dams if undisturbed.       barn-swallowBarn Swallow  These migrants from Europe tend to arrive a little later that their intra-African relatives, but seem to stay quite late in the season. Barn Swallows are not very numerous but they can be recognised in mixed flocks by their appearance. They have long tail streamers shortly before their migration back home.       black-saw-wingBlack Saw-wing  This is one of my favourite swallows. It is a delicate, small black bird which resembles a butterfly. Not common, but sometimes seen in the summer months. They are all black with forked tails. Often seen in mixed flocks.         rock-martinRock Martin  These little brown martins resemble swallows and are sometimes seen in mixed flocks above the estate. They are common in fynbos, but not often seen here. Sometimes present in mixed flocks of swallows and swifts, generally during the summer months. The “windows” in the tail are obvious when flying.       brown-throated-martinBrown-throated Martin A small martin with a white breast commonly associated with water and wetlands. This bird may also be seen in mixed flocks of swallows and swifts as they feed above the wetlands.       little-swiftLittle Swift  This small resident swift is recognised by its short unforked tail and broad white rump. The call is distinctive. Often seen feeding in mixed flocks on warm summer evenings and in the mornings. They are active and vocal after rain.             alpine-swiftAlpine Swift  This is the largest swift in the region. Also occurs in mixed flocks on some days. It is fast flying and has a distinctive white breast and appealing call.       african-black-swiftAfrican Black Swift  Not unlike the migrant Common Swift, this swift is frequently seen in large feeding flocks above the estate. Swifts cannot perch, so are generally seen on the wing. It is very difficult to separate this species from the very similar Common Swift, but time spent with binoculars watching a mixed flock on a clear day can pay off.     common-swiftCommon Swift  This migrant swift closely resembles the resident Black Swift and is very difficult to tell apart. It has a pale throat patch and the wings and tail are slightly longer than the Black Swift. It is best to have a good look at the two in a field guide and then try to separate them when seen in mixed flocks which feed low over the wetland during the summer months, especially after morning rain.       white-rumped-swiftWhite-rumped Swift  This swift is a common intra-African breeding migrant and has been recorded in mixed flocks over the estate. It has a white rump, like the Little Swift, but this one has a forked tail and the white band is not as broad as in Little Swift. Not difficult to identify.       speckled-mousebirdSpeckled Mousebird  These birds are usually seen in flocks and are becoming more established around the estate. They look a lot like mice with their long tails, as they clamber about through large shrubs. I have seen them up on the dunes and they do sometimes come into gardens and perch awkwardly before flying off again. Red-faced Mousebird also occurs but is not as common here.       red-faced-mousebirdRed-faced Mousebird 
This species is not as common on the estate as the Speckled Mousebird. They also occur in flocks and have a distinctive call. The red mask is not always that obvious unless seen from close up. They are fruit eaters.       pied-kingfisherPied Kingfisher
This is the only kingfisher recorded on the estate so far but it is very possible that Malachite Kingfisher also occurs. Breeding is likely if the wetlands are left undisturbed so that birds like kingfishers can become resident and confident about breeding here.
    cape-wagtailCape Wagtail 
These little birds do occur on the estate but their presence is erratic. At times they can be heard calling from the rooftops or seen wandering around but they are certainly not common. Wagtails have been affected over the years by the indiscriminate use of herbicides on lawns and golf courses.
      pied-crowPied Crow 
Crows are common on the estate, especially on rubbish collection day. They are noisy and always on the lookout for something tasty to eat. They are often chased by nesting birds like Red-winged Starlings. Although some people dislike them because of their habit of harassing raptors, they are indigenous to the area and not as much of a problem as the Indian House Crow (not been recorded here).         white-necked-ravenWhite-necked Raven 
Ravens are known as “honorary raptors” in the region because of their cliff-nesting habits. They are sometimes seen flying (usually in pairs) over the estate. They are actually corvids, like crows, and sound very much like them. They are often mistaken for the more numerous Pied Crow, but they lack the white breast typical of the latter species.       cape-bulbulCape Bulbul 
Common on the estate and can be encouraged with fruit. Note the distinctive white eye-ring. Bulbuls are delightful to have around and have a distinctive call. Their cousins further north lack the white eye-ring.     cape-robin-chatCape Robin-Chat
These birds were not common when I first moved here, but I am hearing and seeing them more frequently. They like “wooded” areas and are not often seen in the open, but can be quite obliging. They are now well established and common on the estate. Often recognised by their rufous tails as they disappear into shrubs and bushes. They sing merrily in the mornings and evenings.       familiar-chatFamiliar Chat
This little bird is often overlooked. It seems to be more common on the Fish Hoek side of the estate. It is commonly found hopping about on rocks in fynbos and frequently flicks its wings. It was once known as “Spekvreter” because it used to feed on the fat used to grease wagon wheels.           little-rush-warblerLittle Rush-Warbler
Previously known as African Sedge Warbler, this drab brown warbler seems to have settled well on the estate and is presumed to be breeding. The call is distinctive- likened to a stick in the spokes of a bicycle wheel. This species calls repetitively in the wetland while breeding and displays in the reedbeds. They are vulnerable to disturbance and should be left alone during the spring months when they are establishing a territory.       lesser-swamp-warblerLesser Swamp-Warbler
Previously known as Cape Reed Warbler, it occurs on most of the dams and is as common as the similar Little Rush-Warbler. The Lesser Swamp-Warbler is paler underneath and has a distinct white eye-stripe. Look out for it in the Typha (Bull Rush), where it breeds. Disturbance and clearing of the wetlands will, however, interfere with breeding success and the establishment of territories. The Little Rush Warbler seems to be more vocal and settled here.         cape-grassbirdCape Grassbird
The Grassbird is well known amongst bird- watchers for its very pleasant “typically fynbos” song. It is quite similar to the call of the Lesser Double-collared Sunbird. It also has a distinctive alarm call. A very attractive species which blends in well with the habitat. It is not a typical garden bird, although common in the fynbos around us, but I see and hear it quite frequently in my overgrown garden.       levaillants-cristicolaLevaillant’s Cisticola
This little wetland bird can be recognised by its call. They are not nearly as common as they were in the early days of the estate. They have possibly moved off due to development. This cisticola is generally found in wetland areas and the rufous crown and black back are conspicuous.     karoo-priniaKaroo Prinia
These noisy little birds are common and do come into gardens. I have a pair breeding in my garden at present and they are partial to Wild Rosemary- they, like many other species, use it for lining their nests. These little birds with speckles on the chest (formerly known as Spotted Prinia) are often overlooked because of their size. They eat small insects and spiders, so are wonderful friends of the gardener. I often see them feeding on aphids and other small insects.         common-fiscalCommon Fiscal
Fiscal Shrikes (their previous name) are also common and quite noisy. Their chicks are demanding when fledged. Attractive birds to have around, but they are known to feed on chameleons, which can be a problem if you have these charming little reptiles in your garden. They can also be a nuisance to other birds. They have a habit of impaling large insects, reptiles and even mice on barbed wire and fences.       southern-boubouSouthern Boubou
This is possibly the most charming of all the feathered residents, although it is often scarce. It has a very distinctive call, not unlike that of the more common Bokmakierie, and also often calls in duet. It looks a bit like a larger version of the Common Fiscal, but is quite skulking and does not always show itself. I had one in the garden almost every day for a period and it was noisy and often out on the lawn, but I haven’t seen it for a while.       bok-makierieBokmakierie
Bokmakieries are common and vocal around the estate, especially at the start of the breeding season. They generally occur in pairs and call in duet. They appear to be breeding successfully. They belong to the Bush Shrike family and are very striking with their bold black and yellow colouring. Hard to mistake for anything else, although the immature birds are dull in comparison.         red-winged-starlingRed-winged Starling
These birds are common on the estate and throughout the region. Their red/orange primary feathers are obvious in flight. They are fruit eaters and quite noisy, especially when alarmed. The male is all black and the female has a grey head. They occur in pairs (I had a pair roosting above my deck for about seven years), but tend to form larger flocks when not breeding. Not to be confused with the noisy Common Starling, which is not indigenous and occurs in large flocks.         common-starlingCommon Starling
Common Starlings are reasonably frequent on the estate and generally occur in flocks. They are very noisy and often mimic the calls of other species. They are an exotic species and they can become problematic when numbers get out of hand. The habitat is not suitable and I don’t think they are resident anywhere on the estate.     cape-sugarbirdCape Sugarbird
This is a very impressive bird, endemic to fynbos and generally associated with protea shrubs in flower. Although it resembles a large sunbird, the families are not closely related. Sugarbirds are nomadic and tend to move around the Peninsula depending on which species are flowering at the time. They breed during the winter months, which is unusual for birds, and feed their chicks on insects attracted to the blooms. We are seeing more of them around the estate as the indigenous shrubs become more established. They have a distinctive grating call.       malachite-sunbirdMalachite Sunbird
Malachite Sunbirds are common on the estate and easy to identify due to their large size and stunning iridescent green plumage. Their call is distinctive and they are attracted to aloes in bloom. They are particularly active during spring and are less colourful (eclipse plumage) during the non-breeding months. The females, as in all sunbirds, are drab in colour but obviously larger than the other local species.       southern-double-collared-sunbirdSouthern Double-collared Sunbird
Previously known as Lesser Double-collared, these colourful little birds are not uncommon. Unlike the Orange-breasted Sunbird, this species is not confined to fynbos and frequently visits gardens. They are attracted to aloes in flower and to Cape Honeysuckle and other nectar-producing plants. The red breast band is distinctive.     orange-breasted-sunbirdOrange-breasted Sunbird
Not common on the estate. These attractive little sunbirds are endemic to fynbos, but seldom seen in gardens here. The first one I saw in my garden was during the fires up on Blackhill. Planting ericas and other similar plants may encourage them onto the estate. They are shy and scarce, yet quite confiding when encountered in areas like Silvermine Nature Reserve where they are more at home.       cape-white-eye Cape White-eye
White-eyes are found throughout the estate and visit gardens when food is available. They are fruit eaters and also feed on the flowers of Salvia and other species when in bloom. They form large flocks during the winter months and are often heard early in the mornings when they visit their favourite plants to feed. The white ring around the eye is unmistakable.       cape-sparrowCape Sparrow
This striking endemic bird, also known as “Mossie” has become very well established on the estate and is attracted to seed feeders. It is breeding well and numbers have increased considerably. Numbers are down in other parts of the Peninsula so it is good to know that it is doing well here.           house-sparrowHouse Sparrow
This is an introduced species that is always found around human habitation. It is rare on the estate and I have only recorded it at my seed feeder on one occasion. It can be confused with the indigenous Cape Sparrow, but is quite a bit smaller and less boldly marked.     southern-grey-headed-sparrowSouthern Grey-headed Sparrow
This species is new to the Peninsula and is not often recorded. I had one in my garden for about a month, visiting the seed feeder, but I haven’t seen it for a long time. It can be confused with the female Cape Sparrow, but lacks the white eye-stripe.       cape-weaverCape Weaver
These noisy, bright yellow birds are doing well here. They are breeding in the Typha on most of the dams and visit the seed feeder regularly. Enthusiastic immature birds often attempt to build clumsy nests as they practice their skills with little success. Interestingly, the nest- building birds (the males) collect buchu to line their nests- possibly as an insect repellent. The males become vivid yellow in the breeding season, sing and display incessantly and have several mates.       common-waxbillCommon Waxbill
These beautiful little finch-like birds are very common around the estate. They are generally associated with wetlands, but they are attracted to seed feeders and occur in large numbers. They have a distinctive call. They are the host species of the Pin-tailed Whydah, which has also become common and they are constantly harassed when feeding. I have no record of the similar Swee Waxbill for the estate.       pin-tailed-whydahPin-tailed Whydah
Anyone who has a bird feeder will know this arrogant little bird. He is very attractive when in breeding plumage- red bill, black and white with a long flowing tail. He spends all day defending his territory, chasing off rivals and trying to impress his females. Whydahs are brood parasites- hence the association with Common Waxbills. He tends to disappear when the spring breeding rush is over, but returns early the following season and can be seen transforming into his striking breeding attire.           brimstone-canaryBrimstone Canary
Also known as Bully Canary, this bird is not common on the estate, but has been reported in gardens and I have seen it feeding on my Salvia bush. Generally occurs singly. It is a large canary with a heavy bill and is more striking than the Cape Canary.       cape-canaryCape Canary
Cape Canaries tend to move through in flocks and make their presence known by constantly singing, especially from tree tops. They tend to feed on the ground during spring and perch on fences and bushes. They differ from the larger and bolder Brimstone Canary by having grey heads. The females are duller and less colourful than the males.       cape-buntingCape Bunting
This little bird is recognised by its distinctive call and can be quite confiding. It is quite common in fynbos but not all that common around the estate. I have recorded it in my garden- usually during summer when it comes to drink at the bird bath. I would imagine it may be more common in more open, rocky gardens which resemble its mountain habitat.
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