Rainbow’s gold

"It's just after nine", said the clock on the wall. "It's off we go; tally-ho - hi-ho", sang Mrs Nutter, to herself, mostly. "Where to?", said I, with great patience, humility and forbearance; fearful of the second verse. "To see the Golden Pipit, of course - don't be daft!", finished the ebullient Mrs Nutter.  "The bird in KZN over the hills & hills & hills and very far far away?", said I with knitted ...

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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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Up the sharp-end without a scope!

By some quirk of fate, we found ourselves in the company of others facing an unpalatable truth. We'd left the spotting-scope on the lee-side of chaos, two fuel-stops further west. Reduced to mayhem, our only option was to scan the wetland - ID the common folk - dismiss these from the assembly - & move on to others with more potential. We were squinting against failure & the stakes were ...

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A big cat diary

Over the years we've nailed our share of Big Cat sightings to our totem. We've seen them in action too; a fast-tracked byte to the protein bar. Even so, 2017 was an exceptional year for spectacular sightings / start-to-finish kills. In no particular order of grab-'n-go dining: - a leopard at Phinda [See it here]; 2 cheetah & a wildebeest calf near Babalala [Kruger](read here); a leopard [see below] at Engelhard Dam ...

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Makalali Main Lodge – reviewed

  The Good Traverse rights on 27000 ha [reclaimed bushveld] offers all-year access to the Big 5 including Black Rhino. Spacious rooms have an outside shower, an outside patio [two chairs & a small table], cotton percale linen, durable mats and the other / expected amenities including free Wi-Fi, in-room spa treatments and a small bar-fridge. Contemporary décor & a well-appointed common, offers a suitable balance between comfort, luxury and value. ...

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Off-road safari

We enjoy letting our hair down once in a while & the best way to do that [in our world] is on a 5*-safari. This silver spoon doesn't come cheaply - punters need deep pockets & a shallow outlook. It's a topsy-turvy, unbalanced world.. Safari-by-numbers has its limitations, of course. This is important. The cornerstone of an African bush experience is the anticipation of what comes next. Why? Luck plays a part ...

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Birding – an on-demand generation

Weaned on rarity reports, has birding become the outdoor poster child for an on-demand generation? It's pay-per-view reporting - pick & choose - get there - tick it. Load it - boast it & confine the field-clip to a binary yes or no. Life's an adventure: a paper-bag of water - seeping madness. It's also sweeter on the soul running uphill against time. Keeps us chirpy. Is there anything more annoying, less-relaxing even, than the chime of ...

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