Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius)

The Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius), also commonly known as the common social weaver, common social-weaver, and social weaver,  is a species of bird in the Passeridae family endemic to Southern Africa.  It is monotypic within the genus Philetairus.  They build large compound community nests, a rarity among birds. These nests are perhaps the most spectacular structure built by any bird.

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It is found in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana but their range is centered within the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.  They are literally everywhere in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  Be careful when you are driving as they love to dart across roads in front of cars – some kind of strange kamikaze game maybe?

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LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIABLE WEAVERS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Audubon

VIDEOS

Some huge nests here!

David Attenborough’s doco on Sociable Weavers.

 

The Birds Of Pretoriuskop Restcamp

As promised, here are some of the amazing birds of Pretoriuskop Restcamp.  I was thrilled to see so many Brown-headed Parrots which were my main target bird, but there were lots of other great birds too!

This first batch of photos was taken near the laundry room in the late afternoon.

Helmeted Guinea-fowl

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African Green Pigeon

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Purple-crested Turaco – stunning bird, photos don’t do them justice!

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Black-collared Barbet

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These remaining photos were taken early in the morning.  We were up around 5:30 and we spent a good 3 hours just wandering around following the birds (especially the parrots) as they went about their daily activities.

Grey-headed Bush-shrike

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Finally!  A flock of Brown-headed Parrots!

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They really like the trees just outside cabin 124!

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African Mourning Dove

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Scarlet-chested Sunbird

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Meanwhile back at the cabin, Ina was watching the Crested Guinea-fowls who came right up to us and the monkeys who were trying to rob some campers of breakfast.

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The Brown-headed Parrots beckoned again and we were off chasing them as they flew from tree to tree.

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We also saw several Purple-headed Turacos!

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The Grey Go-away Bird told me to g’wayyyyyyyy……………so I did and kept following the parrots.

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Black-collared Barbet

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G’waaayyyyyyyyyy!

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Crested Barbet

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Dark-capped Bulbul

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Blue Waxbill

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Southern Black Flycatcher

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Red-headed Weaver

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Black-backed Puffback

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Yellow-fronted Canary

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As we were pulling out of the camp, I spotted this Purple Crested Turaco and anther Bulbul in the trees outside reception.

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Other Birding Locations Near King William’s Town

Although the Cape Parrots were by far the main attraction, there are some other birds to keep an eye out for in and around King William’s Town.

HOSPITAL AREA

High up on a hill just in front of the hospital are a few trees with hundreds of birds – herons, egrets, ibises all crowding together in a few select trees.  The sight and sounds of these birds has to be seen to be believed!

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Undaunted by the larger birds, it’s business as usual for these little Cape Weavers.IMG_2989 IMG_2992 IMG_2984

POND OUTSIDE OF TOWN

I’m not sure if this pond has a name but it does attract a lot of different waterbirds such as various ducks and geese.  I forgot to take notes so hopefully someone can help me identify them.  Sadly there is a lot of rubbish dumped around the pond by locals which made me a bit uncomfortable being around there.  What kind of people would want to spoil what would otherwise be a nice, peaceful area?IMG_3029 IMG_3031 IMG_3033 IMG_3035 IMG_3037 IMG_3039 IMG_3040 IMG_3045