A “BDI – Birds4Africa” bird ringing course was held from 1-7 February 2023, with a base at Botuin Cottages & Olive Farm on the outskirts of the Karoo town of Vanrhynsdorp. Botuin is a 5 ha farm with 400 olive trees, a lucerne field and a wide variety of fruit trees. Consequently, there is an impressive range of bird species present. Seven attendees enjoyed the week of daily ringing, with most ringing being in the garden of Botuin. Two morning sessions were held at the local sewage works and two short morning sessions on a quiet road on nearby Gifberg farm. The other mornings, and all afternoons of the course, we ringed at Botuin. Our final analysis is that this was just the first of many bird ringing courses at Botuin.
The habitat diversity meantg that the number of species handled was higher than usual for a one week ringing course. We caught 29 species in the garden and 21 species at the sewage works. Top species were Cape Sparrow (69), Cape White-eye (58) and Southern Red Bishop (31).
Few birds were caught at Gifberg, but some exciting species were caught including Large-billed Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Red-capped Lark and Rufous-eared Warbler.
At the sewage works we had some exciting water birds in the hand including Cape Teal, Moorhen, Three-banded Plover, Blacksmith Lapwing and Little Stint.
Overall there were 43 recaptures, some from earlier days of the course, and others from previous visits over the last three years. Trainees were also given time to practice putting up and taking down nets, setting spring traps, doing data entry and other aspects of ringing.
Thanks to Salome Willemse for hosting us so well at Botuin! We are looking forward to the next bird ringing course at Botuin.
Table. Numbers of birds caught (ringed and retrapped) during the bird ringing course at Botuin, 1-7 February 2023
|Sp no||English||Botuin||Gifberg||Sewage works||Total|
|525||Southern Grey Tit||1||1|
|583||Karoo Scrub Robin||2||2|
|604||Lesser Swamp Warbler||4||4|
|606||African Reed Warbler||3||1||4|
|760||Southern Double-collared Sunbird||1||1|
|803||Southern Masked Weaver||14||16||30|
|808||Southern Red Bishop||6||25||31|
|4142||Southern Grey-headed Sparrow||3||3|