Thursday, July 30, 2015

Winter Spring-trapping on a remote hill in Gauteng, South Africa

Niall Perrins and I decided to head to Mabusa nature reserve for the day to have a look round. We took a Bal-chatri with the idea of catching and ringing Ovambo Sparrowhawk, or any other raptor we could get. We also took some spring traps.

Mabusa was a bit quiet, we did manage to drop a trap for a pair of Ovambo’s but they were too busy thinking about nests and family!
We attempted to catch a Brown Snake Eagle, but the bird was also not interested.
We decided to go and have a look at a large rock covered hill which has turned up some good endemic birds in the past. On arrival we saw a couple of endemic Cape Rock Thrush. I set 3 traps and in no time had got one! Incredible eyesight, the bird saw the mealworm from some 30m up on a radio tower!
A bit more perseverance and we got a second Cape Rock Thrush, an adult male this time, such stunning birds. AND THEN, a pair of Buff-streaked Chats arrived and in no time we caught a female, a second endemic!  Also in this time we had no time to appreciate getting 2 Familiar Chat! Lovely little birds, but we were too excited about the Buff-streaked Chat! Then when we thought we couldn’t do any better, we caught a Mountain Wheatear! It was the female and we did get the male briefly, but it got out of the trap.

Flushed with success, we drove out, flushing a group of White-bellied Korhaan on the way!

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