BDI Bird Ringing Course at New Holme, Hanover: 30 October to 6 November 2022

The second BDI bird ringing course at the New Holme Lodge, in the KhoiSan Karoo Conservancy, has been completed. Eight attendees had an exciting week of ringing new species, enjoying birding, going on a night drive, and tasting excellent meals! Some special birds seen included Osprey, Jacobin Cuckoo and Melodious Lark. (Cover photo: Little Stint)

Bird in mistnet at BDI bird ringing course at New Holme
Cape Sparrow treasure at the end of the rainbow

The total number of birds caught was nearly 500 birds of an amazing 30 species. The top species caught was the Southern Red Bishop (162), followed by Cape Sparrow (119), and Southern Masked-Weaver (98). The weavers were actively breeding, with most females having brood patches. The bishops were preparing to breed, with lots of activity.

On our way to New Holme, we visited Rietaar farm where we were able to ring some Barn Owl chicks (5 of 9 nestlings were large enough for ringing). At New Holme we also ringed 3 Hoopoe chicks from a tree hole cavity – at least 2 more chicks could not be reached. A family of Common Fiscals, including 4 juveniles, was caught in the mistnets.

Wattled Starlings were seen in the fields, but not near the homestead where most ringing was done. But we did catch some Pied Starlings and the resident pair of Cape Glossy Starlings.

Cape Glossy Starlings at BDI bird ringing course at New Holme
A pair of Cape Glossy Starlings

A day of ringing in the karoo veld did not produce many birds because of high winds. We also experienced some unseasonal thunder showers with lots of rain on one or two afternoons, but still had exceptional numbers of birds when it wasn’t raining.

We visited neighbouring farm, Mielefontein, where we caught a good number of birds. The potential is great, with many interesting species seen, including 3 Painted Snipe.

To join a ringing course, see dates and contact person here.

African Hoopoe
African Hoopoe in hand!

Table of ringing totals, KhoiSan Karoo Conservancy, 30 October to 6 November 2022

Sp noSpeciesRinged+RetrappedRietaarMieliefonteinNew HolmeRetraps
238Three-banded Plover1  1 
253Little Stint2  2 
316Cape Turtle-Dove1  1 
359Barn Owl55   
383White-rumped Swift3  31
391White-backed Mousebird3  32
418African Hoopoe4  4 
502Greater Striped Swallow5  5 
506Rock Martin1  1 
509Brown-throated Martin2  2 
544African Red-eyed Bulbul2  2 
570Familiar Chat2  2 
581Cape Robin-Chat4 131
604Lesser Swamp-Warbler4  42
606African Reed-Warbler19 7125
686Cape Wagtail1  1 
707Southern Fiscal10 192
722Bokmakierie3  32
737Cape Glossy Starling2  2 
746African Pied Starling8  83
784House Sparrow1  1 
786Cape Sparrow110 310718
803Southern Masked-Weaver98 118721
805Red-billed Quelea28  28 
808Southern Red Bishop162 615613
865White-throated Canary1  1 
1104Karoo Thrush4  43
1172Cape White-eye5 411
4139Karoo Prinia1  11
4142Southern Greyheaded Sparrow 6 15 

Thanks to all the staff at New Holme Lodge for hosting us so well!

Well done to Karis who can now be upgraded from trainee to ringer!

The next BDI bird ringing course will be held at Botuin, Vanrhynsdorp, in February 2023. We plan to hold the next BDI bird ringing course at New Holme is planned for 1 to 7 September 2023 (details of all future ringing courses in Events).

Happy bird ringers!
Sunset at New Holme
A stunning sunset over the New Holme in the KhoiSan Karoo Conservancy.
Dieter Oschadleus
Dieter Oschadleus
Dieter Oschadleus leads the BDI bird ringing expeditions, and is able to organise bird ringing courses (having run many courses in South Africa, and some in the Seychelles). Dieter is also a registered bird guide in South Africa, and has birded widely in Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.