Ringing at Klipbokkop, 1-3 October 2019

Verreaux's Eagle
Verreaux’s Eagle resighted


From 1-3 October some 25 students from Imperial College, London, staying at Klipbokkop, Worcester, South Africa, underwent basic training in bird ringing skills.

Ringing was conducted in the mountain-side fynbos around the comfortable accommodation. This provided low numbers as expected, but great diversity of fynbos specials including sunbirds and a Cape Sugarbird.

Two mornings were spent ringing next to the reeds of the Modder River, on the plain below Klipbokkop. Ringing was conducted for a short time to reduce disturbance at the colony of breeding Southern Red Bishops and weavers. Nearly all female bishops had clear brood patches, indicating that breeding was synchronised in this colony, and at the incubation stage.

Julia found a nest with 2 eggs of a Three-banded Plover. She made a chicken-mesh cage and caught the incubating bird. After ringing, the bird continued incubating.

Three-banded Plover
Ringed Three-banded Plover, shading eggs


A list of birds was also kept. A highlight was a Eagle with a wing-tag – it had been ringed 5 years previously as a chick about 50 km away towards the coast. It was seen for a few days in the area and then apparently moved on.

Table. Ringing totals at Klipbokkop in two habitats, 1-3 October 2019

  Species   Latin  Fynbos  Reeds
  Three-banded Plover   Charadrius tricollaris  1
  Malachite Kingfisher   Alcedo cristata  1
  Familiar Chat   Oenathe familiaris  1
  Cape Robin-chat   Cossypha caffra  2
  African Reed Warbler   Acrocephalus baeticatus  3
  Levaillant’s Cisticola   Cisticola tinniens  1
  Cape Wagtail   Motacilla capensis  1
  Cape Sugarbird (endemic)   Promerops cafer  1
  Malachite Sunbird   Nectarinia famosa  1
  Southern Double-collared Sunbird (near endemic)   Cinnyris chalybeus  1  1
  Cape White-eye (near endemic)   Zosterops virens  4
  House Sparrow (introduced)   Passer domesticus  2
  Cape Weaver (near endemic)   Ploceus capensis  1
  Southern Masked Weaver   Ploceus velatus  6
  Southern Red Bishop   Euplectes orix  58
  Cape Siskin (endemic)   Crithagra totta  2
  Cape Canary   Serinus canicollis  4
  Cape Bunting   Emberiza capensis  1
  TOTALS    19  73

Thanks to the staff of Klipbokkop who provided comfortable accommodation and amazing meals every day!

Would you like to ring amazing birds in the Western Cape? Book a trip with Birds4Africa!

Dieter is a qualified Bird Ringer and trainer, registered bird guide, and Weaver expert. 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.