Our garden avifauna in Nelspruit is pretty good to say the least. Since moving here in 1993, we’ve recorded 101 bird species at ‘Turaco Wood’ which is the name we’ve given to our unkempt, natural ‘garden’ in the suburbs bordering the Nelspruit Nature Reserve. We have a small lawn in the front which gets mowed now and then, but the rest is a jumble of trees, shrubs, climbers, aloes, grasses and leaves – lots and lots of fallen, decomposing leaves.
The list of 101 features only those bird species that have actually foraged or landed in the property, which I define as anything at or below tree canopy height. Species such as African Crowned Eagle and European Bee-eater – which fly overhead – are not considered ‘garden birds’ so don’t make it onto the list.
My workspace is situated above our garage and the windows provide views into the branches and canopy of the surrounding trees. I usually keep my camera close at hand so that I can try and capture some of the birds that distract me as they call, feed and move outside. Featured here are 11 birds photographed through the windows over the past couple of years: Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Batis, Black-backed Puffback, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Purple-crested Turaco, Gorgeous Bushshrike, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Collared Sunbird, Cape White-eye and Olive Woodpecker.
With winter now approaching, more birds will visit the garden – often in mixed feeding flocks known as ‘bird waves’ – and visibility will improve as many trees shed their leaves.
Nelspruit, South Africa. May 2013