We have now reached over a 100 different species spotted, in our travels and in our garden (see our bird-list). As there are close on 600 different species recorded in Botswana, we have a long way to go.
In general birding in a desert has been a new challenge as there are plenty LBJ’s (both Little and Large Brown Jobs). It is made simpler however, by the fact that in our area there are not many species to be found. So if you can figure out what family of bird you are looking at, the distribution maps often gives you the only possible option.
Between the pond, feeding and winter coming, our garden has become probably the top bird spotting area of Letlhakane. Apart from the large number of Sparrows and Laughing Doves we are getting cute little guys such as the red headed and scaly feathered finches, black throated and yellow canaries, red billed firefinch, black cheeked waxbill, long billed crombec and black chested prinia.
Attracting so many little birds into the garden has fortunately/unfortunately made it the hunting grounds for a Little Sparrowhawk. The speed, agility and rapid change of direction of these small raptors is incredible to watch – but of course we don’t like loosing any of our birds.
Then this weekend we were amazed by having 3 stunning birds visiting us. The most striking of all and probably one of the most in southern Africa was the crimson
breasted shrike. The brilliant red stands out for miles and it was jumping from Mopane tree to Mopane tree looking for insects to feed on.
The next guy we have only seen in the game reserve and on telephone lines along the side of the road. But we had great
pleasure watching two little bee-eaters swooping down from our fence and trees to catch insect just above the pond water.
The third bird we saw which actually brought up our 100th bird species spotted in Bots was the white bellied sunbird. Its
bright white belly and iridescent green throat and back caught the sunlight as it posed for us. With one of our aloes beginning to flower, and it feeding on nectar, we hope that it will frequent our garden more and more.