Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Jump for Joy for a Rockjumper

Yesterday I was on a mission to look for good groups of birds to put up the nets for the next two months 'saturation' ringing attempt. I was just heading up Sugarbird Valley when an unusual trill had me scanning the slopes. Could the perched silhouette on a rock be a Cape Rockjumper? I had to scramble up a steep slope to find out and was rewarded with a nice family group of this most attractive of the Fynbos endemic birds. The group consisted of 2 males and a female. Most of the time they were quiet, and perched, or scampering among the rocks.

I had compromised on lenses, taking only my 300mm, as I had not meant the day to be a photography day due to the length of the hike I envisaged. Anyway, my first Rockjumper photos. Several other nice birds crossed my path, and the veld was alive with wildflowers. By the end of the day I had an endemic clean-sweep for my pentad, with Cape Sugarbird, Cape Siskin, Protea Seedeater, Victorin's Warbler and ubiquitous Orange-breasted Sunbirds. Some highlights:

Female Cape Rockjumper with a moth

The two male Rockjumpers

Spot the Ground Woodpecker - the camouflage of the red breast with the red lichen is quite astounding

Klipspringer, amongst Aspalathus sp

Orange-breasted Sunbird - daddy

Orange-breasted Sunbird - daughter

Orange-breasted Sunbird - son

Orange-breasted Sunbird - mom

Yellow Bishop - with angel wings?

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