Ouberg ringing

Ringing on Ouberg Private Nature Reserve, 21-25 October 2020

Ouberg farm houses


The BDI held a biobash on  Ouberg Private Nature Reserve, a karoo farm near Montagu. A group of citizen scientists searched for birds, scorpions, dragonflies, and other fauna to submit photos to the UCT Virtual Museum.

Ringing was done daily around the farm house to help survey the birds, and to help train Karis and Salome. A total of 164 birds of 35 species were ringed and 17 birds were recaptured on days subsequent to the ringing date.

Top species were the Southern Masked-Weaver (25) and Cape White-eye (22). At least one of all 3 South African mousebird species were ringed. Two species, Cardinal Woodpecker and Pin-tailed Whydah, may have been missed on this trip if they had not been caught in the nets (although recorded on the farm previously).

Some other special catches were Acacia Pied Barbet, Pearl-breasted Swallow, Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler and Fairy Flycatcher.

Cardinal Woodpecker
Pearl-breasted Swallow
Fairy Flycatcher


Red-winged Starlings preparing millipedes for their chicks


23 species had at least one bird with a brood patch, showing a high degree of breeding after some good rain in the area. A Red-winged Starling nest on the stoep had 3 large nestlings which were ringed. They were well fed and it we observed the parents bringing beetles, millipedes, berries, etc. A Rock Martin pair had a nest in the garage, containing 2 eggs and 2 new chicks – these were inexplicably found on the ground far from the nest early one morning. After placing them back, they were still being tended by the parents. One Southern Masked Weaver colony had three nests form which chicks probably recently fledged successfully.

Rock Martin on nest



Table – ringing totals (BP=number of birds with brood patches, retraps on subsequent days)

  Sp no.  Species   Latin  Ringed  BP  Retraps
  316  Cape Turtle Dove   Streptopelia capicola  1
  317  Laughing Dove   Spilopelia senegalensis  2
  318  Namaqua Dove   Oena capensis  3  2
  390  Speckled Mousebird   Colius striatus  1
  391  White-backed Mousebird   Colius colius  4
  392  Red-faced Mousebird   Urocolius indicus  1
  432  Acacia Pied Barbet   Tricholaema leucomelas  2  2  1
  442  Lesser Honeyguide   Indicator minor  1
  450  Cardinal Woodpecker   Dendropicos fuscescens  1  1
  498  Pearl-breasted Swallow   Hirundo dimidiata  1
  506  Rock Martin   Ptyonoprogne fuligula  2  1
  543  Cape Bulbul   Pycnonotus capensis  7  5
  581  Cape Robin-chat   Cossypha caffra  10  3  2
  609  Little Rush Warbler   Bradypterus baboecala  1
  622  Bar-throated Apalis   Apalis thoracica  2
  658  Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler   Sylvia subcoerulea  1  1
  665  Fiscal Flycatcher   Melaeornis silens  2  1
  678  Fairy Flycatcher   Stenostira scita  1  1
  745  Red-winged Starling   Onychognathus morio  3
  746  Pied Starling   Lamprotornis bicolor  2  1
  751  Malachite Sunbird   Nectarinia famosa  3  1
  760  Southern Double-collared Sunbird   Cinnyris chalybeus  8  3  1
  784  House Sparrow   Passer domesticus  1  1
  786  Cape Sparrow   Passer melanurus  10  6  1
  799  Cape Weaver   Ploceus capensis  8  1  1
  803  Southern Masked Weaver   Ploceus velatus  25  5  4
  808  Southern Red Bishop   Euplectes orix  4  1
  843  Common Waxbill   Estrilda astrild  10  5
  846  Pin-tailed Whydah   Vidua macroura  1
  865  White-throated Canary   Crithagra albogularis  5  2  1
  867  Streaky-headed Seedeater   Crithagra gularis  6  3
  873  Cape Bunting   Emberiza capensis  1  1
  1105  Olive Thrush   Turdus olivaceus  8  4  1
  1172  Cape White-eye   Zosterops virens  22  12  5
  4139  Karoo Prinia   Prinia maculosa  4
 TOTALS  164  17

Thanks to Susan Gie for hosting us all! Thanks to Les Underhill for catering and driving. It was great meeting new people, all passionate citizen scientists!

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.