Boston Wildlife Sightings – November

Terry Cuthbert saw about 37 Grey Crowned Cranes on Nigel Murray’s farm
on 17 November.

Christeen Grant – Sitamani

Suddenly summer green and in the last week of November good rain, over 50ml in a few days. The flowers are appearing in abundance; Berkheya setifera,

2013 11 Berkheya setifera

Convolvus natalensis,

2013 11 Convolvulus natalensis

Cyphia elata,

2013 11 Cyphia elata

Dipcadi viride,

2013 11 Dipcadi viride (1)

Eriosema salignum,

2013 11 Eriosema salignum

Graderia scabra,

2013 11 Graderia scabra

Haemanthus humilis subsp. hirsutus,

2013 11 Haemanthus humilis subsp hirsutus

Merwilla nervosa,

2013 11 Merwilla nervosa

Vernonia natalensis,

2013 11 Vernonia natalensis

Wahlenbergia cuspidata

2013 11 Wahlenbergia cuspidata

and a white Watsonia which I haven’t seen before, although the field guide says that white forms of Watsonia densiflora do occur, the growth and flower structure don’t really fit. Only one on the hillside amongst hundreds of orange Watsonia socium.

2013 11 White Watsonia

A beautiful Common Emperor moth settled on the vegie garden fence.

2013 11 Common Emperor moth

Red-collared Widowbirds, Common Waxbills, Dark-capped Bulbuls, Black-headed Orioles, Fork-tailed Drongos, Hadeda Ibises, Grey-headed Canaries, Cape Sparrows, Southern Black Tits, Malachite and Amethyst Sunbirds, Lesser Striped Swallows, Red-chested Cuckoos, Cape White-eyes, Glossy and Red-winged Starlings, Black-shouldered Kites, Jackal Buzzards, Long-crested Eagles, Rock Kestrels, Steppe Buzzards and Grey Herons are a some of the birds seen this month.

Several early morning encounters with Duiker and Reedbuck around the house and Black-backed Jackal calling at night.

Bruce and Bev Astrup of Highlands Glen:

During thunder storm, an Eagle-Owl perched briefly in a Basket Willow tree over the Elands river at dusk; hoots for a brief period, then swoops away; suspected to be a Cape Eagle-Owl; if it wasn’t then a Spotted Eagle-Owl. On 19 November Grey Crowned Cranes calling a great deal on The Willows next door from the wetlands.

inhlosane from boston view

Ian and Jenny Lawrence of Endeavour farm: Pair of Grey Crowned Cranes near the pumphouse and the bridge over the Elands river in the wetlands.; but on 19 November, in the same area, at 12 noon, came across a pair of Blue Cranes with two chicks which were very recently hatched out.

Nigel and Tracy Murray of Trelyon: Large flock of Grey Crowned Cranes roost at nights in large tree near the R617

David Lawrence and Trevor Scheepers: Checking fences on the boundary of the wetland of “The Willows”, near the Elands river,   four snares were discovered one of which had the remains of a Common Reedbuck female

David and Barbara Clulow, visiting Boston View: Surprise photo of Yellow Bishop

yellow bishop

Crystelle Wilson Gramarye

On 17 November I hosted a dozen members of the BirdLife Port Natal club from Durban at Gramarye and at Rob and Gail Geldart’s fishing cottages on their farm. This gave the visitors an opportunity to see wetland, grassland and forest birds and we managed a list of more than 70 species. My atlas card for the weekend had a tally of 104, which is a sure indication summer is here with the migrants arriving. Interesting species in the forest were Bush Blackcap, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler and a Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher. They were also delighted with seeing reedbuck and a duiker.


On the Tuesday I witnessed an African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene) systematically raiding a Cape Weaver colony in a tree on a small island in a dam on The Drift farm. During an hour it took about four or five chicks out of nests suspended over water and even flew off with a chick at the end.

Boston_5993_African Harrier-Hawk

The list for the Elandshoek 2935_3000 pentad was: Grey Crowned Crane, Cape Robin-Chat, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Cape White-eye, Cape Sparrow, Cape Canary, Greater Striped-Swallow, Fork-tailed Drongo, Hadeda Ibis, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Le Vaillant’s Cisticola, African Stonechat, Dark-capped Bulbul, Drakensberg Prinia, Spur-winged Goose, African Reed-Warbler, Little Rush-Warbler, Southern Red Bishop, Common Fiscal, Egyptian Goose, Common Waxbill, Pin-tailed Whydah, Steppe Buzzard, Cape Crow, Blacksmith Lapwing, Diederik Cuckoo, Black Sparrowhawk, Red-eyed Dove, Cape Turtle-Dove, Olive Thrush, Black Saw-wing, Cape Wagtail, Brown-throated Martin, Village Weaver, Red-collared Widowbird, Cape Grassbird, Yellow-fronted Canary, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Giant Kingfisher,

Boston birds_5531_Giant Kingfisher_fem

African Hoopoe, African Firefinch, Red-knobbed Coot, Little Grebe, Amethyst Sunbird, Cape Longclaw, Yellow Bishop, African Pipit, Red-chested Cuckoo, Southern Boubou, Barratt’s Warbler, African Dusky Flycatcher,

Boston birds_4626_African Dusky Flycatcher

Sombre Greenbul, Bar-throated Apalis, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cape Batis, Bush Blackcap, Terrestrial Brownbul, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Forest Canary, Black-backed Puffback, Green-backed Camaroptera, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, White-starred Robin, Jackal Buzzard, Yellow-billed Duck, Plain-backed Pipit, Helmeted Guineafowl, Red-winged Starling, Long-tailed Widowbird, Red-necked Spurfowl, Speckled Pigeon, African Rail, White-breasted Cormorant, Reed Cormorant, Common Quail, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Zitting Cisticola, Green Wood-hoopoe, Red-billed Quelea,

Boston birds_5746_Red-billed Quelea

Banded Martin, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Neddicky, Yellow-billed Kite, African Sacred Ibis, Burchell’s Coucal, Black-headed Heron, Bokmakierie,

Boston birds_4542_Bokmakierie

Three-banded Plover, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, White-throated Swallow, Speckled Mousebird, Southern Greyheaded Sparrow, Wailing Cisticola, African Harrier-Hawk, Hamerkop,

Boston birds_4548_Hamerkop

Spotted Eagle-Owl, African Darter, African Snipe, Pied Crow, House Sparrow.

1 thought on “Boston Wildlife Sightings – November

  1. David Clulow

    I am quite bowled over at the super photos of Christeen’s wildflowers and Crystelle’s indigenous birds. The quality is amazing and the fact that all these were in one month is quite overwhelming. Well done. Particularly knowing that this is but a tiny fraction of the month’s outdoor activities !!!!.



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