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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Really enjoying your thread, Pete! In late April 2010, I returned from one of my RSA trips to find that robins had built a nest atop a light fixture on my (3rd floor) back porch. They were not too thrilled to have their quiet nesting site suddenly 'invaded', but as their eggs were already laid .... They raised four chicks and I really enjoyed watching their progress. It took about 10 days from hatching to fledging. So your flycatcher thread is bringing back great memories of watching a bird family's progress 8) My robins were very tolerant of me once they'd realised that I was a permanent resident :roll: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:36 pm 
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Oh my goodness, Pete. :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
Be careful!


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Location: Paarl
Visited the nestlings today after 17:00 - in a howling wind and I did not always feel safe on my perch. I have included these three pictures as they give a slightly different perspective of the nest. The nestlings are not fazed by me at all. The parents were not worried about me but did keep an eye on me. Over the weekend I hope to get more shots of feeding. To get about 5 useful shots today I took nearly 60 photos - the light was playing havoc as the wind caused the chicks to be in sunlight for half a second then shade for half a second and so on . Exasperating, but like golf, bird photography means having faith the NEXT shot will the perfect one.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:01 pm 
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:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:08 am 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 2:33 pm
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Location: Paarl
Not good news. Yesterday a combination of late work, a very high wind and just plain tired after the week meant that I decided not to visit the nest and rather to go early this morning. The first photo shows what greeted me - an empty nest. I don't believe they were ready to leave yet. Also despite searching I coudn't find any one of them alive or dead. I shall be going out later today to see if I can find more. The parents were not really distracted at all. The nest is in perfect condition. Not a feather around which means not a cat - and anyway there are no cats on the farm that I have seen. It is a wine farm, protea farm, produces bottled spring water (and hence has a large work force) and also has lovely accommodation for tourists so birds are habituated to people. The only likely predator is an African Harrier Hawk (I have photos of these flying high overhead taken earlier this year). There are two in the region. The farm is very tree rich especially around the guest accommodation so there are plenty of nests (incuding one of an Olive Woodpecker).
There is plenty of time for the adults to produce another brood so I am not giving up - I shall vist regularly. The visits to this farm are my anti-stress and chill-out daily pill.

To make up for the loss I include a photo I took last year at the very same spot of a fledgling raised in the same nest. I am guessing that it had the same parents.

I am rather sad at the moment but do realise that nature must take its course - but that doesn't mean I hadn't formed an attachment to my three little Dusky Flycatchers. The emty nest photo is attached and one taken this am of one of the adults hanging around the nest. Remember the last photo taken last year is meant to cheer me up. I hope it does the same for you!

Granjan, ndloti, arks, CuriousCanadian: thanks for your encouragement. It meant a lot to me.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:13 am 
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Location: On my stoep. Sell by date not expired yet!!
Just returned from outside where I
double checked my recent discovery
of Spotted Flycatcher and yep still there
flitting about. This bird was hard to id
and thus when stumbling across this
thread I thought, let's see what the
comments are.

And yah, but lets not go soft in the
middle now. Fact is our flycatcher looks
more like the pics you posted than what
my bird book shows and also the dusky
flycatcher is not found in these areas.

Amazing how the feathered ones are able
to captivate the human mind.
Nice thread to read and hope this loss will
not be the end of it.

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It cannot be made more or less for that matter but it can be altered to suit.- The universe.


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:45 pm 
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Pete, how sad but as you say nature must take its course.
Thanks so much for posting and I'm keeping my fingers crossed to see pics of that second brood.


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:07 am 
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Location: Worcester , Cape
Hey Pnm , just caught up with this thread . Very nice pics under difficult conditions :thumbs_up:

Don't feel bad about the chicks not being in the nest anymore . Those little birds grow up very very quickly . I had something similar , with a couple of Robin-chats in my farmshed , using an old plastic-hessian sack to hide their nest in ( two years in a row too ) .
I think after hatching the little ones only took about 12 or 14 days before leaving the nest . The one evening they were there , the next morning gone . I thought maybe the cat got them , but even now , more than a month later , I still see the youngsters around in the garden .

And the grown-ups will probably also start another brood before end of summer .

So , just hang in there , I am sure they are around , happily feeding on insects in the undergrowth :D

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Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:47 pm 
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Location: Paarl
Hi Okie - thanks for the encouragement. I am the eternal optimist and as a result of your post I have been out twice today to search for the fledglings. No sign of them. I observed the adults hawking insects but they doid not vanish anywhere to go to feed chicks. Still, as the eternal optimist I shall go as often as I can to see what is going on.

H Erectus - don't worry - I'm not soft in the middle - I just am an unashamed supporter of the underdog (underbird?). I know nature must take its course - but I was rather cheering for the three chicks. Also the Dusky Flycatcher is not an agrressive bird and seems unable to protect her brood from serious threats. Again, I champion the underdog.

The farmer told me this morning they have trouble with a feral cat that is living in the roof of the barn. I doubt if this is the culprit as there was absolutely no sign of the usual cat mess at a nest. It could have beena Coucal - I have never seen one at the farm but have heard them calling and I reckon one could easily have swallowed all three. Such is nature. And the Coucal is one of my favourite birds, too!

So - I remain optimistic over a second brood and shall keep tabs. I have been so heartened by the interest of all of you forumites in these little grey birds that are so often overlooked. There are plenty on this farm and unless one is aware of them they can easily be missed. To end on a cheery note I include a photo I took last year of the female on the nest where I know she successfuuly rasied one chick. I read Roberts on the issue of success on rasing broods and I reckon we are par for the course here. So, a picture of a contnented brooding bird on the nest to end. Watch this space for news - if it goes to the top of the list of active topics then you will all know that a second brood is on the way or have found the missing three.

Keep well all
Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Location: Worcester , Cape
:thumbs_up: As I said , hang in there :wink:

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Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 2:33 pm
Posts: 203
Location: Paarl
Good news. Okie was right. I hung in there and visited the nest site nearly every day and today I found one of the fledglings - but it is now a juvenile. See photo.

Just for fun I include a picture of one of the farmer's dogs - it somehow manages to regularly climb onto the barn roof to chase the feral cat I have as a suspect for eating chicks. I think I can include him on this forum as he is an honorary bird protector on the farm (He never chases birds). He has amazing "roof sense" and I think is safer than me on a roof! Also the photo includes a branch of the tree in which the nest is.

Keep well
Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Posts: 1664
Location: Worcester , Cape
Hey Pete - :thumbs_up:

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Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:47 pm 
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Location: On my stoep. Sell by date not expired yet!!
Yah PNM what shall I say. Just had
my fair share of fledgling swallow.

Yet again the parents flit in and out
the "buitehuisie".... all over again.

Just hope the one from the previous
batch still happens to be flying up there,

the one lying in my hand when the......

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It cannot be made more or less for that matter but it can be altered to suit.- The universe.


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:41 am 
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Location: cornwall uk
Hi Pete,

Great that at least one of the nestlings survived :thumbs_up:
and there's nothing wrong with being a bit soft in the middle - all the best folk are.
Have a great Christmas and keep posting.

Jan


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:38 am 
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Posts: 194
Location: Fourways, Johannesburg
Smple if you know what it is.... So what is it? Taken in Kruger in August. My best guess is some sort of flycatcher? :doh:

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