A BDI team visited Vondeling Wine Farm to do some exploratory ringing and bird monitoring from Thursday 13 April to Sunday 16 April 2023. Besides the ringing, we did repeat counts of waterbirds on four farm dams, and made a special effort to get as many photographic records as feasible for the BirdPix section of the Virtual Museum.
Friday morning was very windy, the ringing was slow, and we caught few birds – there were many birds in a fynbos patch next to a small dam on the slopes, but we could only place nets around (and not in) the patch.
On Saturday we ringed at a nearby farm, Schoon – it was still windy but we had a good catch, with many recaptures from previous ringing sessions here. We caught 16 species, with top numbers being eight Southern Masked Weavers. Interesting species included Cape Turtle Dove, Malachite Kingfisher, Brimstone Canary and Streaky-headed Canary.
On Sunday we ringed at a weaver roost at a dam at Vondeling – there were a few hundred weavers, of which we caught 27 Cape Weavers, 13 Southern Masked Weavers and one Southern Red Bishop. The highlight was catching a male and four female Swee Waxbills.
Most of the birds we handled had completed primary moult, and some were near the end of moult. A few young weavers had started their first moult (post-juvenile moult). A few of the Swee Waxbills had new and old primaries – none had growing feathers. Little is known about the moult of this species, so hopefully we will catch many more of this species here in the future.
The bottom line was that Vondeling proved an excellent venue for bird ringing, and we are planning to have a bird ringing course here sometime soon. Visit this website to check for upcoming dates for courses and other BDI events! Our next bird ringing course is happening 10 – 16 May 2023 at Ouberg Private Nature Reserve near Montagu in the Western Cape. Contact Megan at megan[at]thebdi.org for details.
Birds caught at Vondeling and Schoon farms, 14-16 April 2023
The species with links have descriptive texts of the BDI website.
|316||Cape Turtle Dove||1|
|760||Southern Double-collared Sunbird||1|
|803||Southern Masked Weaver||22|
|808||Southern Red Bishop||4|