During the early summer months, the migrants arrived and we noted again how few WHITE STORKS (Ciconia ciconia) made SIBUYA their stopover point. EUROPEAN ROLLERS (Coracias garrulus) were disappointingly absent this last season. Industrious nest building took place among many of our feathered friends and some species were observed tirelessly feeding nestlings. The AFRICAN HOOPOE (Upupa africana) really has to be admired for its efforts! Those broods were constantly ravenous..... fortunately food was abundant after the wonderful rains but the hard-working adults were still at it from dawn to dusk!
A pair of AFRICAN FISH EAGLES (Haliaeetus vocifer) were fussing over their juvenile off-spring and guests to SIBUYA were regularly treated to sightings along the magnificent Kariega River Estuary as they went by on many a cruise.
African Fish Eagle
The most noteworthy sighting during early December was by our newly arrived guide, Chris Ovens. While out with his guests, he spotted a raptor without a tail and wondered how this had happened. Luckily he had his camera handy and took a photograph because he was not sure of what he was seeing, only having arrived from up north a day or two before, he was not familiar with our local birds. Checking facts later, he was amazed to note that the bird was a BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) and indeed a juvenile but way beyond its “normal” range! The Rarities Committee are delighted and so are we all at SIBUYA as there are two birds, not only one as thought before and sightings are taking place almost daily! As their adult plumage only appears when they are 7 or 8 years old... we eagerly await seeing if they're a pair and if so, hope that they'll choose to make SIBUYA their home!
Another great sighting by Chris was two REDBILLED OXPECKERS (Buphagus erythrorhynchus), which also have not been seen in the area for a couple of years. A number of Reserves in the Eastern Cape have attempted to re-introduce them, so we're delighted that they've found their way to SIBUYA! They were enjoying a quiet feast on ticks while sitting on the back of a rhino... long may they stay!
Red Billed Oxpecker