Bird ringing at Vondeling Wine Farm, April 2023

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] for details.

Birds caught at Vondeling and Schoon farms, 14-16 April 2023

The species with links have descriptive texts of the BDI website.

Sp noSpeciesCount
316Cape Turtle Dove1
391White-backed Mousebird2
397Malachite Kingfisher1
543Cape Bulbul8
581Cape Robin-chat5
646Levaillant’s Cisticola2
665Fiscal Flycatcher6
707Fiscal Shrike1
760Southern Double-collared Sunbird1
786Cape Sparrow7
799Cape Weaver34
803Southern Masked Weaver22
808Southern Red Bishop4
825Swee Waxbill5
863Brimstone Canary2
867Streaky-headed Canary1
1105Olive Thrush1
1172Cape White-eye13
4139Karoo Prinia3
Bird ringing on Vondeling wine farm
Bird ringing at a dam on Vondeling wine farm
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.