Weaver ringing trip to KwaZulu-Natal, Jan 2008

SAFRING is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2008. To kick off the year I spent a week in Durban and Pietermaritzburg to ring the Ploceus and Quelea weaver species that occur here, to look for clues to help identify, age and sex them. Males in breeding plumage are relatively easy to identify, while females are more difficult to distinguish.

The dates (in January 2008) and ringing sites were:
23 Northern Sewage Works, Durban
24 Umhlanga Sewage Works, Durban
25 iPithi Nature Reserve, Durban
26-27 Mount Moreland
28 Bisley Valley Nature Reserve, Pietermaritzburg

The following weaver species were caught, measured, and studied:

Adult male Spectacled Weaver

Adult male Yellow Weaver

Adult male Golden Weaver

Adult female Brown-throated Weaver

Adult male Village Weaver

Adult male Thick-billed Weaver

Adult male Red-headed Quelea

Adult male Red-billed Quelea

Also caught were Lesser Masked Weaver and Red Bishops.

Thanks to the ringers that helped organise sites and helped with the ringing: Garth Aiston, Andrew and Ivan Pickles, Alan Brooks, and Barry Taylor. Thanks to Ted and Hilary Vickers for providing accommodation at Mount Moreland and sharing their knowledge of the swallow roost. Thanks to Charlie and Denise Fox for providing accommodation in Pietermaritzburg.