Our wild birds at Rondekuil Estates
Our Egyptian Geese, Maude and Marvin are back on the bottom dam again with their clutch of new chicks. This year they only hatched 6 chicks, but we are glad to report that the entire family are doing well, and the chicks are growing bigger by the day. They’re two weeks old, and of course spend their days swimming around the dam, at all times staying close to mom and dad. Everyone at Rondekuil will watch their progress over the next few months, until they eventually fly away.
The pair of Kieviets who have been breeding at our bottom dam for over 8 years, have also once again returned to raise their new chicks. Should any person (or any dog) venture down to the bottom dam, the Kieviets take off and start to dive-bomb the visitor, making quite a racket in the process. They are obviously protecting their chicks which are so well hidden and camouflaged in the surrounding grass and bushes.
The pair of Cape Spotted Eagle Owls is another team who have returned to Rondekuil this year to hatch and raise their young. Each year, the owls make a nest in one of our big 100 year old Blue Gum trees which line our long driveway. They always choose the same Blue Gum, the one with the strong and sturdy trunk, which has a natural hollowed concave in the folk of the tree at middle of the trunk, giving the chicks a natural safe haven from predators, as well as shelter from the sun and wind. Each time dogs walk past, obviously oblivious that the owls are there, the owls silently swoop down and attack the dogs from behind, spiking them with their long, razor sharp talons, and then swooping up again to nestle in one of the high branches. Quite an amazing scene to witness!
A Number of pairs of Barn Owls continue to breed in buildings on the farm – their screech- like calls of an evening remind one of a scene from a horror movie! Five owl boxes have recently been installed high up in Blue Gum and Wild Fig trees on the farm to encourage both Spotted Eagle Owls and Barn Owls to breed on the farm (without being disturbed).
We are both pleased and excited that our bird life at Rondekuil Country Estates continues to thrive and flourish.