Ticking the Tweeters

We share our home with a geriatric, milky-eyed Yorkie. He tolerates his own company - halitosis & flatulence his bedtime mates - much to the dismay of most everyone else in an ever-widening circle of influence... He's done his time; is a steady fixture & knows his way around the place but if there's a rat in the kitchen, he'll get bitten on the arse. #BBD2018's Wilge River Valley proved to be 'our ...

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Birdlife’s #BBD2018: ‘Preparations’

Birdlife's Birding Big Day [#BBD2018], juxtaposed on our local 'Wider Gauteng Challenge', lends some black & white authenticity to what is usually a colourful year; at least it should do, but doesn't always. We're committed to another #BBD, at the 11th hour, in a quest for exclusivity that is almost an obsession. It's laughable. What fun eh, if you can't have a poke in the mirror? ...usually a colourful year For those of you who don't know, Birding Big Day is a ...

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A bird in hand – Zaagkuilsdrift

We were pulled-over by an admin account sailing at full-mast with an old bangerful of bookclub friends. Foregoing the usual how-de-dos & the other social subtleties that hint at good-breeding, we 'paid homage' to the pseudo-intellectual & drilled down to sub-species for a Yellow Wagtail  (we'd seen earlier). The interrogation, designed to put me in my place, was accompanied by sniggers from the juvenile squad in-back; fun to anticipate... High in impudence & low ...

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Easter in the N. Cape

The Easter weekend is South Africa's traditional weekend for a pilgrimage to the coast or to family residing further afield. The ensuing chaos is a SANRAL [South African National Roads Agency ie: toll co.] bonanza. N, Far E & SE attract more than their fair share of traffic - we avoid those sharp-ends like we would one prick too many. With that in mind, we chose to meander through the eye of the storm & cover ...

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Africa update – Lions

Moral-decrepitude is the non-negotiable, basic premise on which the South African captive-bred lion 'hunting' industry relies. The 21st century has its challenges. Existential issues confront humanity across a broad front. The media's focus on suffering, particularly children, is usually more than meets the eye. Ineffective leadership, graft, health, energy, the status of women, religious intolerance & racial division are current, calamitous & in urgent need of redress. Global ethics, therefore, especially w.r.t anthropogenic ...

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Crime – Africa’s wildlife

The Guardian's proposed poll on whether South Africa should shoot rhino-poachers on sight is an absurdity. The answer is NO. Quite frankly and let's be fair, the insinuation that Africa's rule of law is flawed and as a result reliant on the bullet, is distasteful if not derogatory. The article smacks of predisposed geographical superiority; an ambition which history records differently. It gets better... Mid-way through the article ethnicity or race ...

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Kruger 300 – Part 4

If you like your bubble & squeak, Days 4 & 5 boast those ingredients. It’s not for everyone but lick the spoon & it seems to work. As each day morphs into the next, numbers-added to The List become less important. Finding specific birds has become more central to the attack. That’s not to say we’ve dropped the baton; far from it. The compound interest of 10 or even fewer ...

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Big Birding Day

At 06h00, on Friday the 24th of November, Alisha added a line-entry to the thesis I've called (privately) 'My daily toil'. [By then I'd completed the ironing, vacuumed the house - seen to Sebastian's lunch; developed a plausible theory to bend time & therefore solve the mysteries which vexed my predecessor on the Enterprise; mowed the lawn; and fed the menagerie]. I was instructed asked whether I thought it 'a good idea' to participate ...

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Moonlighting

Existential threats to our integrity is the imbroglio of our crowd-sourced hobby. ID confirmation is often didactic in tone. We're a capricious, eclectic community & yet no community is served when only the elite have control. Too many birders are silenced by the embarrassment of being wrong or having to defend a sighting. It's a shame. Those who think birding is binary and a consequence of criteria satisfied, miss out ...

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Veni vidi vici

I bang on about bad form & our veni, vidi, vici wits, the cuckoos of the domestic birding fraternity. Social media adds spice [or salt] to that platform but that's a laugh for another time. I do, however, want to spend a few words on the field-technicians who consistently root out vagrants; those selfless, tireless men & women who walk the hard-stare & who generously (timeously) share their spoils with the ...

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