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792, Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius (see species summary here)
Record status ACCEPTED Vm 7300 [on-line data upload (2013-10-22): 53265] Species Lesser Masked Weaver Observer(s) Zaloumis, Alex Country, town, locus South Africa, Limpopo, Phalaborwa,
Locality Hendrik van Eck Street, R71, Phalaborwa Latitude, longitude -23.946255555556, 31.168466666667 [0 m accuracy] Date 2013/10/17 Notes Vm 7030/7190 revisited. No new nests noted. No LMW birds seen in palm or fever tree colony. Hot, dry. No rain but grounds below have irrigation. Village weaver colony in nearby fever tree very active. Nest count 0 Nest site tree
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History of repeat colony counts
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vm Species code Date Nests Notes 7030 792 22/8/2013 0 A couple of clumps of LMW nests seen under fronds of very large Palm trees alongside R71. A few old LMW nests seen in fever tree 20m back. No LMW seen. All old, so not counted. 7190 792 6/10/2013 0 Vm 7030 revisited. No nests seen in fever tree with village weavers. Few, old, multiple nests seen under palm fronds. Colony not active yet. No birds seen 7300 792 17/10/2013 0 Vm 7030/7190 revisited. No new nests noted. No LMW birds seen in palm or fever tree colony. Hot, dry. No rain but grounds below have irrigation. Village weaver colony in nearby fever tree very active. 7635 792 5/12/2013 0 Vm 7190 revisited. Still no sign of Lesser masked weaver activity. Even old nests have disappeared.
This round trip from Orpen to Phalaborwa gate was done to look for weaver nests in the mid Kruger. None were found along roads, rivers crossed or in camps - yet 10 to 50km west, closeby at Phalaborwa, Mica & Hoedspruit the weavers are nesting profusely. The Skukuza reception and Panic dam hide(100kms south) also have many weavers nesting. It was noted that the rivers, stream, dams and pans were mostly dry, except Olifants which was flowing well. The grass & reed beds were green but short. Very few grass birds, (no quelea) etc were seen but Comb ducks were seen in the vleis near Orpen, eating grass, seed heads - or looking for nesting sites. They have arrived late this year even around Hoedspruit. The large LMW colony (Vm 3029), reported by Nuttal in Dec 2002 has not returned to Satara even though the water features have now been restored & the palm trees have new, green fronds. No cuckoos were heard in the camp - sure sign of weaver colonies. The red-billed buffalo weavers are thriving in the park. (I do not have rainfall figures for this part of the Kruger but suspect having a dry season.)
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