Forest whispers

A day's birding in any forest is generally frustrating, a pain in the neck & paradoxically, incomparable in reward. Add the vagaries of shifting weather & the brew becomes a perfect recipe for a breakdown. Early mists tease the dawn & as the skirts of grey lift above the green an introspective battle of the senses rages unrepentant. Auditory signals contradict the visual certainty.. Bird calls seemingly emanate from thin air. ...

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Elysian Fields

Imagination is more important than knowledge.... [Albert Einstein] Before I caption this weekend's activities, some housekeeping. Our intended migration south for four coastal species turned out to be a figment of our imagination. Unintended consequences imposed on us by reality ruined what would have been a thoroughly enjoyable weekend; at least as far as I had envisioned. Hoping for a reprieve from the airlines turned out to be as bizarre as Merkel's ...

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Thunderstorm

Throw a handful of hungry mouths, a camera bag & a hotbox into the back of the Land Rover; depart in brilliant sunshine or under a twinkling dawn-sky & more often than not, arrive in rain... At this time of year in the southern tropics & if you're time-constrained; susceptible to juju; or targeting specific birds for a ridiculous, self-imposed program of patience or just a paid-up fan of Murphy, weekends are, without exception, drizzly-wet, ...

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Zimbabwe’s compendium

If 'to blog' means to record a personal opinion, then by rights an opinion is moot in every post. Even so, this post has been particularly difficult to write, not for lack of material, but because it's important & it's difficult to resist an angle without bias. I've said before that I detest the '..and then we went there & then we did this report..' - an imagination stillborn. That ...

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Stranded & an army escort

Wrapped in a blanket of déjà vu, face-down & buried in leaf litter, oily-dank & a mustard-gas-like assault on the senses, I found some solace in the week's success. A nearby skittle & a whisper in a language I know not, I assume a call to arms, confirmed the impending arrival of my new-found 8-legged, 4-eyed kinsmen. Somewhat susceptible to bursts of imagination, the arachnid out on point & on final ...

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Footprints in the hourglass

  As the dust settles on the thrills, spills, trials & tribulations that was [at the time of writing] our 800 Challenge, three, as yet, unanswered questions spring to mind - Each has an Old & a New; a past & a future, some tense, some not. In the context of our global village we consider http://www. We consider the hard to truthfully pinpoint: // Where, What & Who or even the who, what & ...

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800 Challenge – that’s a wrap

2014 has kicked off with a bang if the traffic in uptown Johannesburg is anything to judge these things by! To close off last year's challenge one or two stats - We covered a little over 100 000 km cumulatively ie: for the year as a whole; inclusive of commercial / chartered flights, ships, boats, vehicles, buses, flat-bed trucks, rickshaws, bikes, ferry, by helicopter, by horse-back & in a makoro. I ...

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Mall in the mirror

Carry a pair of binoculars, on an early morning walk, out in the countryside & most everybody else finds you eccentric-enough to pity. As an outdoorsman [sans the khaki, wide-brimmed hats & unkempt hair, just in case you were wondering.] I've been the subject of derisive curiosity often enough to know what simple-folk think we haven't learnt. We're considered peculiar; touched by too many suns on those hat-less days when we ...

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