The Cardinal Woodpecker tree

tree
The Cardinal Woodpecker tree (on left) (photo by Marc Baumann)

 

Fynbos Estate, near Malmesbury in the Western Cape, has a variety of good sites for bird ringing. One of the best sites for diversity is along a road between a fynbos patch and a row of trees on a drainage line. On a recent ringing expedition here, we had our ringing table near a large dead tree (caused by a 2011 mountain fire). A wide variety of birds perch in the tree, and we could enjoy watching these while ringing. At least 4 Cardinal Woodpeckers visited the tree regularly, displaying, chasing, hammering and calling.

Birds seen in the tree:

Brimstone Canary
Brimstone Canary, feeding young

 

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow (photo by Marc Baumann)

 

Cardinal Woodpecker
Cardinal Woodpecker (photo by Marc Baumann)

 

Jackal Buzzard
Jackal Buzzard, juvenile

 

Fiscal Flycatcher
Fiscal Flycatcher

 

Greater Striped Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow

 

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

 

Klaas's Cuckoo
Klaas’s Cuckoo

 

Black Sawwing Swallows flew past but were not seen to perch here. Also seen in the tree on previous trips were Fork-tailed Drongos.

We decided to put two nets at the tree to catch the woodpeckers and other interesting species. The nets were put at 3 poles height, instead of the usual two poles.

tree2
Nets at tree

 

The nets were open for 3 mornings. All we caught was quite a few weavers flying past, but none of the other interesting species! We did at least catch and ring a Cardinal Woodpecker, although it was caught in nets at the reeds! This also happened on a previous trip!

Cardinal Woodpecker
Cardinal Woodpecker (photo by Marc Baumann)

 

But we will try again. Next time we will put the nets even higher!

 

Dieter
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.