Orion is slowly sinking into the West and as Scorpio begins to rise you can feel that Winter has started to make its’ mark.
For me, one of the first signs of change is the high pitched call of the Malachite Sunbird. These magnificent birds are normally found much higher up, in the mountain ranges that parallel the coast. When the cold starts to be felt they descend onto the warmer coastal flats and target the Winter flowering succulents such as the Aloes and Pig’s Ear(Cotyledon orbiculta), another favourite is the bright orange Wild Dagga flowers that are filled with nectar.
A pair of Brown-backed Honeybird’s have also been seen a couple of times and it would be fantastic if these uncommon birds become resident at Reflections. While mentioning honey I should add that our 2 bee hives where both raided by a now resident Honey Badger. I am so excited that this incredible animal has graced us with its presence and hopefully it too will stay(although I will have to re-reinforce my hives).
Our pair of Fish Eagles have begun their mating so we will be watching carefully for further progress and the mating display flights of the pairs of African Marsh Harriers are being heard throughout the day. Grass-birds are being heard regularly in the mornings at the moment as well, and these are new birds for us since we removed the Pine trees. They like rank grass tufts and fynbos and for me they are indicative of our maturing eco-system and restored habitat.
The Brown-hooded Kingfisher trail is one of my favourite walking and birding trails in the area and it gives consistently good forest birds but I was very pleasantly surprised when walking there yesterday with sightings of both a Black Stork as well as a Black Harrier. Both of these are uncommon in this area and yet I saw them both flying together, another example of unpredictable nature.