Mabula -Green pigeons

  • mossie
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10 years 2 months ago #6543 by mossie
mossie created the topic: Mabula -Green pigeons
Hi all

Spent Christmas at Mabula lodge near Bela Bela. Whilst Mabula is not my favorite birding venue, as the birding tends to be a bit “thin”, and the diversity, not that great, there were a few highlights. The best birding is found around the main lodge, just walk around the chalets to see a large variety of bushveld birds. At the moment, most of the large fever trees are filled with Spotted back (village) weaver, and lesser masked weavers, which means a great spot if you want to see these, and Diedricks Cukoo being mobbed continuously by the resident weavers. Birding outside the lodge on the game drives can be a bit frustrating, as the Jeep Jockeys will only stop if it has horns or tusks, so best to try commandeer a vehicle for an exclusive birding group, and keep the tranquilizer darts handy to sedate the driver, so that you will have time to ID a lark or pipit. Thank goodness for the white Rhino that were grazing just south of the stables, we were able to pause for long enough to see a group of Temincks Courser with a few sub adults, my Christmas lifer!

Perhaps the best part was the veranda of the chalet we stayed in, that was covered by a massive sweeping Ficus tree. Obviously the draw card for the area, as we were visited continuously by various fruit eating birds and animals, including green pigeon, grey go away birds, plum coloured, red winged, and cape glossy starlings, black colored barbets, woodpeckers, southern black tit, cape white eyes, black headed oriel, tree squirrel, wart hog, baboon, to name a few. I have decided that photographing birds in the canopy is a lot a harder than in looks, and after about 50 shots trying to get one of the green pigeons, at last I got a keeper.

The other nice thing about the tree, is that you can sit there for hours, and you get to see not only which birds visit, but what time they visit, how long they stay, how they interact with other species, and what they do all day. I guess one of the mysteries of birding, is what do birds do during those “dead” times of the day when nothing moves, chirps, or flies, and it seems that they have all just disappeared. If these next three pictures of the Grey-Go Away bird are anything to go by, it seems they do exactly what we would do if were on holiday all the time, basking in the sun, preening, and taking a nap every once in a while.

Another interesting visitor to the chalet, had no interest in figs at all, but just couldn’t decide if it looked better in the rearview mirror of a BMW X5, or a Honda CRV. This must be a new sub-species of thrush, “The Car Scraper Thrush”!

I also saw this sunbird, not sure of the ID. It was busy collecting seed fluff for a nest. By the loks of it a juvenile bird, so I’m not sure why it was involved in nest building. Any thoughts?

That’s all from me, I hope your X-mass stockings were all filled with at least one piece of high end coated optics, and I wish you all a good birding 2008.


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  • JGB
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10 years 2 months ago #6583 by JGB
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Some lovely photos. I agree on the interaction of the birds, most interesting. In Port Alfred where I am at the moment it is fascinating to watch the garden Common Fiscal defending its territory against all intruders, evern Fork Tailed Drongos!

Is the sunbird not perhaps a juvenile or female Amethyst Sunbird?


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