Bird Ringing Course at Botuin, Vanrhynsdorp: 31 January to 6 February 2024

This was the seventh BDI bird ringing course. You get links to the previous courses and other bird ringing events here.

Although we had some extremely hot (over 40°C) and windy days, the last 3 days started with overcast conditions. Our week long ringing course was based at Botuin in Vanrhynsdorp, from 31 Jan to 6 Feb 2024. We caught 285 birds, including retraps, of 37 species. As on previous trips, we visited the sewage works and Gifberg veld in addition to ringing in the Botuin gardens.

Three-banded Plover ringed at the Vanrhynsdorp Sewage Works

The species diversity was highest in the Botuin gardens, with some exciting species being Namaqua Warbler, Chestnut-vented Warbler and a Fairy Flycatcher (Table 1). Most birds were caught at the Vanrhynsdorp Sewage Works, with a total catch of 65 Southern Red Bishops on two visits. Exciting species here included four Three-banded Plovers and a Little Stint. The karoo veld on the slopes of Gifberg had lower numbers and species but this site produced five Rufous-eared Warblers (a pair caught in a spring trap simultaneously!), three Large-billed Larks and a Karoo Chat.

Overall the most caught species were the Southern Red Bishop (67 birds) and Cape Sparrow (59). Lots of retraps from previous ringing events at Vanrhynsdorp were processed, including several that had moved between the sewage works and Botuin, a straight line distance of 1.5 km (see more here).

Table 1. Number of birds caught by species and site, 31 January-6 February, 2024

Sp noCountEnglishSewage worksGifbergBotuin
2383Three-banded Plover3
2531Little Stint1
31718Laughing Dove18
3185Namaqua Dove41
3911White-backed Mousebird1
3924Red-faced Mousebird4
4633Large-billed Lark3
4951White-throated Swallow1
5092Brown-throated Martin2
5444African Red-eyed Bulbul4
5661Karoo Chat1
5764African Stonechat22
5811Cape Robin-chat1
5835Karoo Scrub Robin113
6041Lesser Swamp Warbler1
6064African Reed Warbler13
6195Rufous-eared Warbler5
6462Levaillant’s Cisticola2
6535Namaqua Warbler5
6584Chestnut-vented Warbler4
6651Fiscal Flycatcher1
6781Fairy Flycatcher1
6863Cape Wagtail21
7331Common Starling1
7603Southern Double-collared Sunbird3
7846House Sparrow24
78659Cape Sparrow1643
79912Cape Weaver813
80320Southern Masked Weaver128
80867Southern Red Bishop6511
8655White-throated Canary41
8661Yellow Canary1
87124Lark-like Bunting969
8732Cape Bunting2
11723Cape White-eye3
41391Karoo Prinia1
Total birds28513328124
No. of species37181323
Thanks very much to Salome for hosting us so well!

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.