Birding at Honeywood Farm, Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

This last weekend was spent relaxing at John and Miranda Moodie’s Honeywood Farm, which is adjacent to Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. The area has finally had a sprinkling of rain so it was back to its lush, green self. Not too much time was spent behind the camera or bins, but birds are difficult to avoid at Honeywood. Just to give you an idea of how idyllic this place is, this was our accommodation. It was a tough weekend…

Hunters Lodge Panoramic reduced

Grootvadersbosch is known for its status as the western limit of several forest bird species ranges, but I spent most of my time walking and riding the fynbos mountain slopes that surround the reserve. This area is particularly good for the shy Victorin’s Warbler. I managed to grab this shot very close to our cabin.

Victorins Warbler

Something of interest that I noted was a Cape Bulbul completing a display of sorts. I can’t recall ever seeing them do this, but perhaps I don’t pay them enough attention? Has anyone else ever seen any bulbul species displaying like this?

Cape Bulbul display

A quick peruse of Roberts indicates I clearly don’t watch Cape Bulbuls closely enough because there appears to be a fair amount of literature about this display. This from Roberts VII:

Wing-flicking display given as greeting to mate by female leaving nest during incubation, and by male in conflict situations or as greeting. This display accompanied by loud chattering given in upright stance, with tail fanned, and wings rapidly flicked from vertical position over head down to side of body. In low intensity threat display, crest flattened, head lowered and wings slightly raised. At high intensity, tail spread wide and depressed. When threatening another sp, wings spread, and back and back and rump feathers fluffed out.

Apart from the above note and photos I also managed a shot of this Forest Canary (male) and two dodgy shots of an Olive Woodpecker (female) and Forest Buzzard.

Forest CanaryOlive WoodpeckerForest Buzzard

David Winter

Bird list for Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, 21 March 2010: Black-headed Heron, Greater-striped Swallow, Greater Double-Collared Sunbird, Sombre Greenbul, Plain-backed Pipit, Alpine Swift, Black Sawwing Swallow, Olive Bush-shrike, Cape Crow, Hadeda Ibis, Victorin’s Warbler, Southern Boubou, Cape Robin-chat, Olive Woodpecker, Knysna Woodpecker, Blue Crane, Orange-throated Longclaw, Cape Batis, African Dusky Flycatcher, Brimstone Canary, Cape Canary, Cape Bulbul, Jackal Buzzard, Steppe Buzzard, Streaky-headed Seedeater, Specked Mousebird, African Stonechat, Olive Thrush, White-rumped Swift, Neddicky, Cape Turtle Dove, Cape Wagtail, Bar-throated Apalis, Fiscal Flycatcher, Lesser Honeyguide, Blue-mantled Crested-flycatcher, Forest Canary, Cape White-eye, Malachite Sunbird, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Terrestrial Brownbul, Karoo Prinia.

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