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792, Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius (see species summary here)
Record status ACCEPTED Vm 7302 [on-line data upload (2013-10-22): 53267] Species Lesser Masked Weaver Observer(s) Zaloumis, Alex Country, town, locus South Africa, Limpopo, Phalaborwa,
Locality Spar end, R71, Phalaborwa Latitude, longitude -23.9458, 31.151794444444 [0 m accuracy] Date 2013/10/17 Notes Vm 7191 revisited. No activity, no birds seen. Hot, dry - not rained this season. Early morning visit. 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 7031 792 22/8/2013 29 LMW colony in palm tree fronds next to very busy
intersection on R71 (Van Ek street)
Comment: Position very similar to Malelane colony (Vm 6475), also in
palm tree next to busy intesection with traffic light.
Inspection of photograph reveals a bird sitting on nest. No LMW confirmed.
nests: 29 counted from photograph. Probably all old. 7191 792 6/10/2013 0 Vm 7031 revisited. No new nests or birds seen. 7302 792 17/10/2013 0 Vm 7191 revisited. No activity, no birds seen. Hot, dry - not rained this season. Early morning visit. 7638 792 5/12/2013 21 Vm 7302 revisited. This is first time I have seen LMW and new nests at this exposed site.
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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