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The malachite sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) is a small nectivorous bird.
The breeding male malachite sunbird, which has very long central tail feathers, is 25 cm long, and the shorter-tailed female 15 cm. The adult male is metallic green when breeding, with blackish-green wings with small yellow pectoral patches.
Most sunbird species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time. As a fairly large sunbird, the malachite sunbird is no exception. They have long thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to nectar feeding. Some plant species from which malachite sunbirds feed include many Aloe species, such as Aloe broomii, Aloe ferox and Aloe arborescens, and Protea species, such as Protea roupelliae as well as various other bird-pollinated plants such as Leonotis and Strelitzia.
The call is a loud tseep-tseep, and the male malachite sunbird has a twittering song
The Honey Badger is also known as a Ratel. Ratel is an Afrikaans word, possibly derived from the Middle Dutch word for rattle, honeycomb (either because of its cry or its taste for honey). It is primarily a carnivorous species and has few natural predators because of its thick skin and ferocious defensive abilities.
This species is about 12 cm long with rounded wings, strong legs, and a conspicuous ring of white feathers round the eyes. The upperparts are green, and the throat and vent are bright yellow. The members of the nominate group have a pale yellow central belly with peach coloured flanks. The members of the capensis subgroup have a grey breast and belly, while the virens subgroup have a greenish-yellow breast and belly.
They are very vocal, and constantly keep in touch with soft trilled pee, pree or pirreee callnotes. The song consists of repeated long jerky phrases of sweet reedy notes, varying in pitch, volume and temp, usually starting off with teee teee or pirrup pirrup notes, then becoming a fast rambled jumble of notes, which may incorporate mimicked phrases of other birdcalls.
This is a sociable species forming large flocks outside the breeding season. It builds a cup nest in a tree and lays 2-3 unspotted pale blue eggs. The eggs hatch in 11–12 days, and fledging occurs in another 12–13 days. The peak breeding season is September to December.
The Cape white-eye feeds mainly on insects, but also soft fleshy flowers, nectar, fruit and small grains. It readily comes to bird feeders.
Mickey is a regular visitor to my garden. I leave bones and fat out for him. Small rodents are the most important item in their diet. Insects are taken in smaller quantities, but is nevertheless an important part of the diet. Opportunistic hunter, and as such sight and smell play a significant role in procuring food.
Small-grey Mongoose / Now officially called the Cape Gray Mongoose [Galerella pulverulenta]
The Cape Gray Mongoose is one of the more regularly seen Mongooses on roadsides and in urban areas, having adapted well to urbanisation. They are however known to take eggs and young domestic chickens which often brings them into conflict with homeowners.
Nestling in the Redhill Valley, just 3km from Scarborough and on the Cape Point route, the Cape Farmhouse Restaurant offers you a truly unique local experience. Sheltered under the oaks on a 250-year-old farmhouse, there is fresh air, endless space and great food. You can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast using free-range eggs, a delicious lunch from our menu or a choice of farm baked cakes to go with your tea and coffee. Expertly cooked by Chef Phil.
The Restaurant hosts Saturday afternoon concerts featuring the best of local music. These events provide outdoor food and a cash bar.
Do you have a problem with caterpillars on your Crinum and Clivias?
This innovative method was sent to me via Jeremy Taylor from Sydney.
Simply drape netting over your plants, this stops the butterfly from laying her eggs on your plants.
Photo credits Jeremy Taylor