I’ve always regarded Familiar Chat as a species found in the upper reaches of Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, particularly around Hely Hutchinson dam at the top of Skeleton Gorge, but I recorded it for the second time in the Protea section of the garden on Sunday. I first recorded it here in June 2012 and at the time fired off a quick email to Derrick Longrigg, Author of The Cape Birds Club’s “A Guide to the Birds of Kirstenbosch” (1978) and leader of the monthly bird count in the garden, asking him for his thoughts. Derrick replied with the following:
We recorded the FC in the upper gardens (lawns) first in April 2010, and again in June, August, September and December 2011. We have not seen it yet this year so thanks for your note. Maybe it wanders into the garden from time to time from higher up the mountain.
Another interesting record for this time of year was a single Black Saw-wing flitting over the Dell.
Kirstenbosch bird list: Sombre Greenbul, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Malachite Sunbird, Cape Batis, White-necked Raven, Forest Canary, Cape Robin-chat, Red-winged Starling, African Dusky Flycatcher, Southern Boubou, Karoo Prinia, Cape Bulbul, Familiar Chat, Cape White-eye, Hadeda Ibis, Egyptian Goose, Cape Spurfowl, Swee Waxbill, Black Saw-wing.