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Something new for Someone new

It seems that whenever I add something new, someone new turns up to inspect my garden … A week or so ago when I spotted the little Rooibeksysie (Common Wax-bill) eating the apples in the bird feeder, I asked what I should be doing to attract different and new birds to my garden. One suggestion I got from Clare at Curbstone Valley Farm was to add different fruit and she suggested citrus. Other suggestions included different seeds, more water, other fruits, different feeders and a few other ideas including supplying the birds with nesting materials.

With thanks to everyone for the suggestions, so far I have added another bird feeder – a wooden free standing feeder which I’ve filled with seed, apple and granadilla pulp, (will try some oranges tomorrow) and I added some water bowls (we have bird baths and plenty of moving water in the pond for them in the front garden, but no drinking water in the back shade garden, hence the addition). After finding the adorable baby doves sitting in the shade garden last week I realised they need some water nearer ground level, as those babies would not be able to fly up high to reach the nectar bottle or the water in the bird baths and pond.

Twenty-four hours later I have new bird visitors …

Cape Robin-chat

Armed with my new book, “Birds of Southern Africa”, identifying the the new visitors was a breeze. Above is a Cape Robin-Chat (Cossypha caffra). It’s a cute 17 cm little bird with a pale orange throat, upper breast and rump and white belly. According to the book its song is a series of melodious phrases, usually starting with ‘cheroo-weet-weet-weeeet’ and also often mimics other birds. It’s a common resident in gardens in the Western Cape.

Below is a Cape Sparrow (Passer melanurus), 15cm little bird that nests in bushes or small trees or in a wall or roof cavity. The male has a striking black-and-white head. They like to eat seed, fruit, buds, nectar and insects. The Cape Sparrow is near-endemic and lives in grassland, fields and large gardens (so obviously just “passing through” my back garden).

Cape Sparrow

A few more photos …

[one_half]Cape Robin-chat, first, furtive look around …A first, furtive look around ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cape Robin: “Ok, this looks pretty cool …”Ok, this looks pretty cool ...[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The Cape Sparrow is not shy at allThe Cape Sparrow is not shy at all[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cape Sparrow getting stuck into the foodCape Sparrow digs in to the fruit and seed[/one_half_last]

[one_half]New feeder under the big treeNew feeder and water bowls[/one_half]

[one_half_last]New water bowls under the treeNew water bowls under the tree[/one_half_last]

Tomorrow we’ll try oranges and see who turns up …

Happy gardening

List of Birds seen in my garden so far
Cape Sparrow
Cape Robin-Chat
Common Red Waxbill'(Rooibeksysie)
Doves, doves & lots more doves
Red-winged Starling
Southern Double-collared Sunbird
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Hadeda Ibis
Cape White-eye (Witoogie)

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

13 replies on “Something new for Someone new”

Some beautiful birds! I have had so much fun putting up bird feeders this year. I definitely found that different types of birdseed attract different birds, so I have 3 feeders. My small yard is getting rather full!

Oh how beautiful!! I love the Cape Robin, wonder why they call it Cape Robin-Chat? It is amazing, when you write a list, how many visitors actually do come to your garden. I have similar but also different birds – like the mouse bird, weavers and the red bishops. I hope to also catch them on camera 🙂

Isn’t it thrilling to get a new bird in your garden? For some reason it seems magical. You can look at the same birds in the forest, in the parks, in a book, at a wildlife refuge and enjoy the beauty. But it just seems more personal when a bird ‘picks’ your garden. I love those moments. What a beautiful pair for this post. I hope the come back all season.

Great photos! It is so rewarding to make a garden attractive to wildlife. I am thrilled whenever I see a new bird in the garden, though it can be a real challenge to get a good photo of it!

How exciting that you have new bird visitors! Your sparrows are much more interesting than the ones we have here. Ours are just plain old brown. I hope your birds help you out by eating some of the bad bugs in your garden.

That Cape Robin-Chat is a beautiful bird! Good luck with enticing more birds into your garden. I can imagine that these birds will tell others, and soon your garden will be filled with beautiful birds. I bet those oranges will be irresistible to some new bird, too.

Awww…….lovely. Do you get more birds during summer or during winter? Any of these birds migrating from other countries in North to South Africa now?

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