09 August 2022
After the excitement during the last two nest-checks, I was in two minds about checking on the chicks yesterday evening. Cynthia was working late, and I therefore had no one to keep an eye on the female. Just before 17:20 however I heard excited chattering of bulbuls and Grey Go-away-birds coming from the Tea Garden and, looking out, I could see the female perched in one of the trees.
OK, if she moves . . . the birds mobbing her will go crazy, and I will at least have some warning that she was on the way. Up the ladder, a quick photo of the chicks, and then down the ladder. And the female? . . . she hadn’t moved!
I checked the nest again this morning – the female was brooding the chicks, with the infertile egg off to the side, and there were the remains of two Vlei Rats at the back of the nest next to her. It’s getting crowded in there.
Because of the growth of the chicks, and also as they become more active underneath her, the female is sitting increasingly more upright and she is now often visible when looking up at the nest from the ground behind the Centre.
By Geoff Lockwood