The Challenges of the Migrant Challenge!

Renee and I have just returned from an outing to Rooisand and the Swartrivier Road. We were trying to increase our Migrant Bird List and were reasonably successful at Rooisand, despite the strong wind. Luckily one can seek refuge behind bushes and in the hide and can, therefore hold one’s binoculars reasonable steady. We added three birds there, Common Sandpiper, Little Stint and Bar-tailed Godwit.

We then thought to drive along the Swartrivier road to look for what is probably the most commonly seen migrant bird, the Common Buzzard. If, in a normal year someone had asked me when one might see these birds, I would have said, “Anytime from mid-October” but this is not a normal year. It is the year of the Migrant Challenge, and for once we are taking note of when the migrants arrive. Lo and behold, the Common Buzzards are not yet here!! We searched high and low, but could not find one! Had I not seen a White Stork, I would not have been surprised, but we did see a couple of them.

I guess I will just have to go out again on the last day of the challenge to see if I can find a Common Buzzard, but I am not expecting anything. We live and learn!!


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