We moved into our house in the Polokwane suburb of Welgelegen in February 1999. From day 1 I kept a bird list, and not long after Daniel joined the family in 2002, he also started pointing out birds. He is now the official list keeper and I do the vetting. We record all birds we see in or from our garden.
Earlier this year we joined the Garden Bird Centurion Club when we saw our 100th bird in the garden – a Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird. This is quite a rare bird in the Polokwane area. Since then we had a spate of new records and at the moment we stand on 110 birds. I recall the first bird on our garden list was a Common Fiscal and sadly a bird which no longer occurs in the neighbourhood. The latest addition was a Reed Cormorant passing over our house making a beeline for the nearest waterbody. Other noteworthy sightings over the years include Harlequin Quail, African Wood Owl, African Grey Hornbill, four species of Kingfisher (African Pygmy, Giant, Brown-hooded and Woodland), Marabou Storks, African Mourning Dove, Long-tailed Paradise-why-dah , two species of indigobirds (Village and Purple), Violet-backed Starling, Thick-billed Weaver and 12 species of birds of prey: Cape and White-backed Vulture, African Harrier-hawk, Wahlberg's Eagle, African Fish-Eagle, Shikra, African Goshawk, Gabar Goshawk, Little Sparrowhawk, Amur Falcon, Yellow-billed Kite and European Honey-buzzard. Another highlight was at least three Cut-throat x Red-headed Finch hybrids at our feeder in 2014.
What was our highlight? The Harlequin Quail was very special, but since it was seen before Daniel was born, we agreed on the African Mourning Dove which stayed for a few weeks in the beginning of 2014.