Delta Park, Northcliff, Emmarentia and Parkview

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11 years 2 months ago #2707 by gordon
gordon created the topic: Delta Park, Northcliff, Emmarentia and Parkview
Took Jeremy out again on Saturday afternoon to show him the local birding spots in Johannesburg.

Starting off in Delta Park, produced a nice view of a Spotted Eagle Owl in one of the tree's close to the centre. Further into the walk around the park we got fantastic views of a very red mongoose with a black tip on the tail (not sure which species this is?) and nice views of Cape Weaver up near the top dams.

From here we headed off to Emmarentia and took an easy stroll around the top dams looking specifically for Pied Starlings without luck. I suspect being a Saturday there were too many dog walkers and runners about for birds to stick around.

We now took a quick drive up to the top of Northcliff hill to see if we could get any of the Cisticola's that enjoy this kind of habitat. Fortunately we were in luck despite the strong wind blowing. We had three Wailing Cisticola's literaly posing for us and giving their calls. The ridge and water tower make wonderful swift zones and we were not dissapointed with both Little and Horus swift flocks putting on their aerial displays. The resident Pied Crows were also quite entertaining to watch.

On our way back we stopped past the Parkview Golf Course which is fast becomming the only realiable spot in Johannesburg's northern suburbs for Pied Starling. This time we were not dissapointed when one showed up on the pavement right next to the road.

In all, three lifers in an afternoon for Jeremy.

Cheers,
Gordon

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11 years 2 months ago #2709 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
HI Gordon.

If the tail was very bushy I would make it Meller's Mongoose but that has a very narrow range and only just reaches JHB so that might be quite a special sighting. If the tail was slender than it would be a dwarf mongoose which is much more common. On the meller's the tail has a tip that is black fading to a greyish tip (the bulk of the tail is still reddish).

Also the size difference. Meller's is 83cm long vs 38cm on the dwarf mongoose.
Compare this with 51cm for the normal yellow mongoose we often see. Also dwarf's legs a rather short, having a body close to the ground like Yellow compared with Meller's which has longer legs almost giving it a small dog with a long tail look.

There is also slender mongoose which varies in colour from greyish to reddish and als has a black tail tip. Size wise it is very similar to yellow mongoose at 60cm.

I am sure on the size difference you may be able to say which one it was.

Cheers.
Doug

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11 years 2 months ago #2710 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Hi Doug,

Thanks for the info. I reckon from the descriptions that it must be a Dwarf Mongoose then.

Cheers
Gordon

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11 years 2 months ago #2711 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Excellent.

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