Drought in the Kalahari - an update

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10 years 3 months ago #5205 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Drought in the Kalahari - an update
Spent another 2 hours in the veld near Hotazel yesterday afternoon to try some birding.

It's official - most of the birds have left for greener pastures! In 2 hours walking through the bush I managed to see 2 Southern Pied Babbler, 2 Groundscraper Thrush, 1 Pririt Batis, 1 Kalahari Scrub-Robin and 1 Pearl-spotted Owlet. Dusk at the small (artificial) but full waterhole usually brings large numbers of Cape Turtle Dove and Cape Glossy Starlings - not one, not one bird of any kind!

The usual dawn visitors to the trailer were absent this morning - NO Cape Glossy Starling, NO Crimson-breasted Shrike, NO Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, NO Grey Hornbill, NO Chestnut-vented Titbabbler. I had to settle for 1 Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill and 1 White-browed Sparrow-weaver.

They need some rain - SOON!

Neil Gray

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10 years 3 months ago #5208 by mossie
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Any ideas on what happens to them?

I presume their options are to go West to Namaqaland for a bit of winter rain, or to head east to wetter parts of the country.

or simply die of starvation?

Mossie

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10 years 3 months ago #5212 by Arnold
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Don't know how far they will trek ... But the Southern Grey-headed Sparrow is a regular visitor to my feeder in the garden - I presume it is the dry conditions in our region as well forcing them to come to town to find food

Regards
A

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10 years 3 months ago #5219 by mossie
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I have seen them raiding the feeder in my JHB (orchards) garden twice. Once in summer, and again two months ago. What I have noticed is the enormous number of fiscal flycatchers that are around JHB this winter. They seem to be everywhere.

Mossie

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10 years 3 months ago #5239 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic:
Mossie,

I must admit I'm not very versed on nomadic movements in response to climatic conditions.

I had just assumed that there has been a sort of musical chairs in an easterly direction, with the furthest east population of say Larklike Bunting moving a couple of hundred kilometres to the east and being replaced by those to their immediate west and so on. Rather than a mass movement of Northern Cape birds to the Lowveld. I had't really thought about birds moving across to Namaqualand.

And what about the odd winter visitor to the Hotazel area, like the truly (locally) migratory Fairy Flycatcher? Do they simply not migrate or do they all head for Gauteng?

Perhaps someone in the know can shed some light on this issue.

Neil

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