After a particularly mild winter here in the Waterberg, the birds have started to return. Even though the trees and grasses regained their colour first, it’s nice to see them with the purples, blues, reds and oranges of the migrant birds that decided to spend their summer with us.
There are a few different types of migration that occur every year and different birds do different things. The ability to migrate is genetically passed on, it happens without prompting from others or parents, they simply go on holiday twice a year depending on food and climatic conditions, sort of like us really.
The three main types of migration are:
- Palaearctic Migrants – Northern Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere
- Intra-African Migrants – Within Africa
- Altitudinal Migrants – Usually breed on high mountain plateaus and come down in winter.
The sky is teeming with new arrivals including some of the high flying predators enjoying the thermals above the mountainside, weavers building their nests under the thatch roofs and the cuckoo’s causing trouble by using everyone else’s nest. The time for the birds is now upon us and brings a new dimension to our game drives. Some of the Migrants we have seen at the lodge are Village and Red Headed Weavers, Plum coloured starlings, Steppe Buzzards and the African Pygmy Kingfisher. If we can see these birds just at the lodge, imagine what the drives are like with different species in the different areas of the reserve. If you are a keen birder come and check out some of the 260 species we have.