The Garden Surprises

So the garden birds came to the party big time the other day!

I stepped out into the garden to do some birding and thought wow its really quiet right now, I’m not gonna be out here long.  The first bird I saw was a Cape Starling, which was cool because they’re not our usual garden birds but we do still see them quite frequently.

But then…………..All Excitement Broke Loose…..

An African Paradise Flycatcher!!!!  What! Really! Yes!

What an epic start to my garden bird list!

Now I have seen this bird before, in Botanical gardens and nature reserves, etc but never in our garden.  About a year ago I did catch a fleeting glimpse of something orange/brown flying through the trees.  I hoped it was the Flycatcher, but without a definite visual I just put it down to being a Cape Robin-chat.

 

Not the best photo, but wow im just glad I got this shot

But this fleeting glimpse of orange/brown turned into a good look at a confirmed sighting of a female African Paradie Flycatcher in our garden!  A very exciting moment for me and gave me such a good feeling that this year is gonna be awesome.

Just goes to show that when you just go out and look that little bit extra or little bit harder, you start to see things you wouldnt normally notice.  The Flycatcher has probably been in our garden all along but we’ve just never noticed it.  We also see and hear the Black-collared Barbets in our garden often, but now I paid more attention to them and saw them actually calling and how their body moves as they call.

I also found another first for our garden, well you know, first time I’ve noticed it anyway.  Standing in the drive way I noticed a small sparrow like bird at the top of the tree right next to me.  I checked it out with my bino’s and realised this was not just a regular sparrow, this was something else but I really wasn’t sure what! I took a bunch of photo’s of this very curious, chirpy little bird and later identified it, with the help of some second opinions, as a Streaky-headed Seedeater!  I’ve seen this bird only once before, so to see it again and right here in the garden was very cool.  The bird seems very inquisitive and doesnt fly away when I approach it, it actually seems like it wants to see me better and moves around the branches to get a better view.

 

White eyebrow definitely visible here.

 

Very curious little guy! Streaky head markings visible here.

Well this post was mainly just about the garden highlights and the fantastic start to my year of birding.  I will do another post documenting the rest of the garden birds later on.

xxx I’m 99% sure on the identification of the Streak-headed Seedeater, but if i’m wrong please tell me what it is! 😉

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