The Pink Parade & human frailties

Is 'Conservation' trailing an elongating shadow as the sun sinks on common sense? - If we consider this year's 'partially-failed' Lesser Flamingo breeding attempt & the subsequent rescue of abandoned chicks, en mass, it isn't enough to leave well-alone. In 2006 a large, S-shaped island was built by Ekapa Mining on Kimberley's Kamfers Dam. The island provided scalable habitat on which Lesser Flamingo could breed; and breed they have. Given their limited access to ...

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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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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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Thank Flock

  The sea calls to us and the draw is usually strong, for some more so than others. Gone are the days of wind, t'gallants, hornpipes & rum. Even so, we joined the return-ticket migration ex Cape Town to Namibia's Walvis Bay and we did so on the MSC Opera for some champagne and a la carte dining.. On the whole Birdlife's Flock at Sea 2013 was relatively successful whilst the MSC Opera was, ...

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River Dance

  We'd heard that Leeupan, an ephemeral pan, someway north of Skukuza in South Africa's Kruger National Park, was the temporary home for a family of African Pygmy Goose & an Allen's Gallinule. We needed both for the challenge but we were neither concerned nor in a hurry to make the trip. Both species are readily common elsewhere. That all changed, however, rather abruptly, as soon as we'd processed another reliable reporting of River ...

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Bewitched

Ornithologically speaking, the term Twitch, used to describe the pursuit of a rare bird & which originated in the early 1950s for the nervous disposition of Howard Medhurst, a birdwatcher, is acceptable only if the twitcher finds the chase. Fail to tick the twitch & most avid birders are left gripped-off, particularly if the bird is seen by someone else. If, however, one was to attempt a twitch which proves neither twitchable nor chaseable, for a ...

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Citizen Science

We're rather proud of our Citizen Science projects in this country. One of the more, dare I say it, relevant projects & I say relevant for selfish reasons only, is the South African Bird Atlas Project 2 or by its acronym - SABAP2; a joint venture between Birdlife South Africa, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town. SABAP2 aims to map ...

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