Thursday 4 October 2012

WAD MEDANI GARDEN BIRD LIST, August 1958 to December 1961 - By Peter Dare

I appologise for some of the formatting here. What I see on my screen when I am compiling a post is often very different to what appears on the finished blog. I am still trying to figure out some of these issues, especially where lists are concerned. Please note that these are errors of mine and not Peter's. Tom Jenner

Birds seen in or flying over the  gardens of the two houses where I lived on the Gezira Research Station. The gardens were about 200 yards apart and most species were seen at both, although the first garden was much larger and contained mature trees. Changed from the large rest-house grounds to my own  abode with a small lawn and shrubberies in February 1959.  General status notes for these at GRS are in parentheses.
(0)  = overhead,  all others in the gardens ; further details are in the diary records.

Reed Cormorant 8.8.59, one on the flooded lawn
Purple Heron  (0) 19.4.59, one over – spring migrant?
Cattle Egret  (0) frequent flocks passing to and from fields
Green-backed Heron 3.11.58, one in a tree  (22.7.59, on another flooded lawn)
Night Heron (0) 27-30.4.59, a dozen at dusk from nearby roost (adult & immature nearby on 25.7.59) 
Marabou  (0) occasional 1-2 soaring high in rainy season
Abdim’s Stork  (0) daily in rains, soaring or passing to and fro.
White Stork  (0) 22.9.59, 3 flying south
Woolly-necked Stork  (0) 25.4.59, 2 passing fairly high over (30.4.59, 2 over GRS)
Sacred Ibis  (0) daily in rains, May-October (as Abdim’s Stork)
Glossy Ibis 24.8.61, one (9.9.60, one high elsewhere over GRS)
Egyptian Vulture  (0) occasional 1-2 soaring high
Nubian Vulture  (0) often 1-2 soaring high  with other vultures
White-backed Vulture  (0) occasional soaring birds
Ruppell’s Vulture  (0) often several soaring high
White-headed Vulture  (0) a few records of high soaring birds
Hooded Vulture  (0) often a few soaring
Peregrine  (0) 25.7.60, an immature low over the garden
Common Kestrel  (0) autumn to spring, frequent ; 76 kestrel sp. flying north 10.2.59 might have been the next species
Lesser Kestrel  (0) flock of 7 hawking insects on  4.10.59; 9 on 21.10.59  
Black Kite numerous resident, nesting nearby (up to 500 at roosts)
Buzzard sp. 13.3.61, one low over, possibly a Long-legged Buzzard
Short-toed Eagle  (0) 9.1.59, one soaring
Tawny Eagle  (0) 9.1.59, 2 soaring – occasionally thereafter
Bateleur  (0) 26.4.59, one passed over
Honey Buzzard  (0) total of 119 on spring passage 1959, April 26-May 21
Common Sparrowhawk  (0) 4.11.58, one soaring
Shikra various sightings, possibly resident
Chanting Goshawk 28.8.58, a very confiding bird ( seen elsewhere at GRS)
Gabar Goshawk  (0) occasional ( successful nest nearby in May 1959)
Harrier-Hawk one 30.8.59 and 4.9.60 (9.10.60, 24-29.8.61 elsewhere)
Pallid Harrier 12.2.59, male low over hedge (and elsewhere at GRS) 
Montagu’s Harrier  (0) 13.3.61, male low over – spring passage probably
Marsh Harrier  (0) 9.1.59, one circling over
Tufted Guinea Fowl 1.9.58, in rest-house garden
Demoiselle Crane  (0) a few flocks high in winter, and elsewhere at GRS
Little Ringed Plover 6.2.59, one on lawn being watered (up to 15 in fields)
Green Sandpiper several times one on flooded lawn; others flying past
Wood Sandpiper 13.2.59, 2 over; 23.4.59, 7 on flooded lawn, 4 next day; (11.8.59, 14 on a flooded lawn elsewhere at GRS)
Collared Pratincole  (0) 2.9.58, 12 over; 6.9.58, 50 over hawking insects
White-winged Tern  (0) 18.4.59, flock  ~12 past (12.8.59, 25+ at GRS floods)
Turtle Dove frequent and common late summer - spring
Mourning Dove probably daily (common resident in GRS gardens)
Long-tailed Dove probably daily (common resident in GRS gardens)
Abyssinian Wood Dove probably daily (common resident in GRS gardens)
White-browed Coucal resident pair ; nest with eggs and young on 4.6.59
Abyssinian Roller fairly frequent singles during the rains
Pied Kingfisher  (0) 18.2.59, one over  (regular along field canals)
Carmine Bee-eater  (0) small groups frequently over during rainy season
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater  (0) 30.8.60, small flock; daily Sept/early Oct 1960; 1.11.60, 2; 13.3.61, 2 low over 
Hoopoe 12.2.59, 2 low over  (5.9.60, 2 of European race at GRS)
Blue-naped Mousebird resident and near daily visitor in a small group
European Swift  (0) autumn passage migrant in small groups
Palm Swift resident breeder in rains (nest found in another garden)
Yellow’ Wagtail ssp. frequent over  autumn/winter;18.2.59, Blue-headed male
Grey Wagtail 22-24.8.61, one on the lawn
White-vented Bulbul resident, daily presence; 2 nests with eggs 17.4.59 nearby
Spotted Flycatcher frequent  on extended autumn passage in ones and twos
Rock Thrush 13-18.2.59, female; 15.3.59, male ( several spring/autumn passage elsewhere at GRS)  
Black-eared Wheatear one in and around the garden each winter, roosted on the house at night; subsong heard
Common Redstart regular autumn migrant, a few winter/spring records
Black Bush Robin pair resident in and about the garden (others at GRS)
Rufous Bush Chat 19.4.59, one on the ground near the shrubbery
Thrush-Nightingale 1-2 skulkers on passage each autumn, Sept – early Nov.
Lesser Whitethroat common winter visitor, almost daily, Oct. - March
Common Whitethroat one in winter from 29.12.60 to 26.1.61
Garden Warbler 1.11.59, one
Olivaceous Warbler common winter visitor ( a few possibly resident at GRS)
Chiffchaff frequent in autumn and winter in small numbers
Grey-backed Camaroptera occasional (resident in GRS gardens)
Common Crombec occasional  (resident in GRS gardens)
Fan-tailed Warbler 26.4.59, a pair (noted occasionally in GRS fields)
Ethiopian Swallow  (0) regular during the rains; ~50 over on 30.4.59
European Swallow  (0) frequent during autumn passage in small parties
House Martin  (0) 14.9.60, one over low
Common Drongo resident nearby and daily on wires  (other pairs at GRS)
Nubian (Masked) Shrike one wintered in and around the garden each winter
Red-backed Shrike 23.9.59, a male close to my window; 7.9.60, two males; 19.10.60, a female
Black & Red Shrike often heard duetting in cover (1-2 pairs resident at GRS)
Golden Oriole 9.10.60, two green birds in the garden (from a party of up to 7 females/immatures in nearby  fig trees during 7-9th
Pied Crow (0) often overhead in ones and twos (resident at GRS)
Beautiful Sunbird resident, nest found with two eggs on 5.9.61
Green-tailed Starling a few passing by during the rains (when often at GRS)
House Sparrow frequent (common resident at GRS)                     
Little Weaver 24.4.59, a pair – male started nest building on 26th
Purple Indigo-Bird frequent visitor (resident at GRS)
Cordon-Bleu frequent visitor (resident at GRS)
Cut-throat Weaver frequent visitor (resident at GRS)
Rosy Fire-Finch frequent visitor (resident at GRS)
Cretzschmar’s Bunting 6.2.59, a pair on the lawn

Total = 89

Additional species seen elsewhere at GRS  -  in or around other gardens, flying over, or on adjacent irrigated  experimental cotton fields.

White Pelican  (0) one record 
Black-headed Heron  (0) frequent in the rains, May-October, foraging in fields
Squacco Heron occasional records in nearby irrigation ditches
Great White Egret 25.7.60, one beside an irrigation canal
Wood Ibis  (0) one or two sightings
Open-bill Stork 29.8.58, several; others in gardens in spring 1959
Little Bittern 10.10.58, one flushed from ditch and again on 15.10.58; 30.9.60, one of Palaearctic  race brought to me with broken wing, died after 2 days.                           
European Bittern 23.12.61, live bird brought in with poisoning symptoms
Teal/Garganey  (0) several small flocks passing in autumn
Red-necked Buzzard 12.8.59, one in a garden during the rainy season
Buzzard sp.  (0) 9.9.60, one Buteo flying high to south-east
Booted Eagle  (0) 7.1.59, one low over the gardens
Crested Eagle 3.9.58, one in a tree during the rains
European Quail 12.9.60, a live bird brought to me was released in a garden
Harlequin Quail 13.8.59, a female found dead under telephone wires
Crane sp.  (0) 3.10.58, several; 6.3.61, skein heading north; other indeterminate sightings, some probably of European species
Ringed Plover occasional records in the fields
Blackhead Plover  (0) occasional records from the irrigated fields
Black-winged Stilt  (0) occasional records over the fields
Common Snipe  (0) several single snipe over in autumn, presumably this species
Ruff  (0) 12.8.59, 12 on flood water after heavy rain 
Common Sandpiper a few records of singles from irrigation ditches
European Cuckoo 11.8.59, adult; 20.10.60, dead immature of Palaearctic race
Pied Cuckoo 26.6.59, an adult; 4.9.59, an immature – both in gardens
Senegal Kingfisher one or two resident in rainy seasons 
Little Bee-eater several rainy season records
Grey Hornbill 12.8.59, a pair in the gardens                       
White-faced Scops Owl 3.3.59, one; resident, occasionally seen after dark by torch
White-bellied Barbet 3.5.59, one in big trees
Grey-cheeked Woodpecker 29.8.58, one in rest-house garden
Chestnut Finch-Lark 3.10.58, noted in the cultivated area
White Wagtail  winter visitor, October to March
White-headed Babbler resident in gardens
Paradise Flycatcher rainy season resident; pair 16.5.59; a winter record 11.2.59
Semi-collared Flycatcher 4.9.60, a female/immature
Sand Martin  (0) autumn passage migrant in small flocks
Common Wheatear a few in  autumn and winter
Blue Rock Thrush 21.10.58 & 1.12.58, a male on office buildings
Grey Sparrow resident in small numbers
Red-billed Quelea small flocks in the dry season; often trapped for food
Red Bishop fairly frequent records
Silver-bill fairly frequent records
Pin-tailed Whydah fairly frequent records
White-rumped Seed-eater 8.6.59, noted

Total =  44       

GRS Total  = 133

Peter J. Dare

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