The first data collection spot on the RAVE was the low level bridge across the Olifants River, a kilometer from the turnoff to Algeria on the N7 from Cape Town north towards Namibia. These low level bridges are precious to OdonataMAPpers, because you get close to the river. We found only two of the 17 species recorded for this grid cell (3218BD Oliewenboskraal). They were the two most common species, Red-veined Dropwing (left below) and Navy Dropwing (right below).
Both dragonflies were pointing their abdomens towards the sun to minimize the amount of solar heating. It was a warm day!
On the first four days of the RAVE, Monday 27 to Thursday 30 December, the ringers handled a total of 302 birds of 28 different species. The numbers of each species are in the table here:
|Southern Grey Tit
|Karoo Scrub Robin
|Lesser Swamp Warbler
|Southern Double-collared Sunbird
|Southern Masked Weaver
|Southern Red Bishop
|Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
|Total for 28 species
The species with BDI-style texts are highlighted in red. Click on the species name and you get taken to the species text.
The standout species were Cape Sparrow (73), Southern Red Bishop (67) and Lark-like Bunting (61). So almost exactly two-thirds of the birds belonged to just three species. From a sciency perspective,these three species will provide the most valuable data. The total number of Lark-like Buntings ringed on previous ringing trips to Botuin is seven. Birding in the district suggests that there has been an irruption of this species into this area, probably because the past winter has been the wettest in decades, so that conditions were good for breeding. Overall, across all species, a larger proportion of the birds we have handled have been juveniles. The past breeding season was productive.
Of the 25 species with small numbers handled, the most interesting was probably the Red-billed Quelea (which ought not to be here). From the “ooh-aah” perspective, the European Bee-eater was the most spectacular:
On the first days of the RAVE, contributions have been made to LepiMAP, OdonataMAP, ReptileMAP and BirdPix.
These records of Cape Wagtail, Capped Wheatear and African Sacred Ibis were made at the rubbish dump which we need to pass through on the way to the Vanrhynsdorp Sewage Works.
To read about Days 5, 6 and 7 of RAVE, go here!