Categories
Birding

Little Grebe Breakfast

Also known as Dabchicks the Little Grebes are common on water bodies across the Western Cape. Their epic territorial battles are wild and noisy and totally unmistakable. What I didn’t know is that they eat frogs. They catch them by diving under the water for long periods and then reappearing with prey in beak. I was lucky enough to see the whole process enacted under the bird hide I was in.
The bird was swimming along and then suddenly disappeared. Only to emerge with a frog in in its beak.

The disappearing act

Categories
Flowers Photography Trees

Snow in Summer Tree

One of our neighbours has this amazing tree which, in early summer breaks out in white blossoms. The whole tree gets covered.
Enjoy the sight of a Snow in Summer tree

Categories
Birding National Park Travel

Our KZN Trip

We went to KZN in October and took lots of pictures – as usual. Join us in a brief journey through Hluhluwe and St Lucia

Narina Trogon
Narina Trogon

The Narina Trogon was the sighting of the trip so it takes pride of place and for the purists, we saw it in St Lucia.

Burchelss Cougal
Burchelss Cougal

Burchels Cougal or Vlei Loerie or Rain Bird. Such a beautiful bird

Finding that bird
Finding that bird. St Lucia again.
Wild Jasmine

Wild Jasmine grows all over Hluhluwe.

Rain on the Petals

It rained for most of the time we were there. Kept the temperature down, but was a bit disappointing for the birding.

Buffalo in a wallow

This buffalo was getting rid of parasites in a hollow. Looked a bit foolish

snorkelling st lucia
Amanda getting ready

The viz was awful and the sea rough

together diving

Together Diving.

Rhinos

Rhinos in Hluhluwe. Family outing

Rhino Video
Warthog

Warthog and Red Billed Ox Peckers

Crowned Lapwing

Crowned Lapwing

Dung Beetle
Spoon Bills
Categories
Birding

Vagrant

We went to Bontebok National park on Sunday. On the way down to swim in the Breede River we noticed a bird we didn’t recognise. Out came the birding books and the camera as this tiny, sparrow looking bird dodged in and out of the road margins.

The only bird that matched the description, had one small issue. It was completely out of range. The southern most border of its range was north of Ceres in the Tankwa Karoo. Diagnostic feature? Solid black under wings.

An SUV thundered past and the bird took flight.

Black under wings A communal “Oh!”

We get home and consult the experts and they agree that what we saw was a vagrant Black Eared Sparrow Lark.

Pardon the awful picture but seeing as how the picture is now on the Rare Birds webpage with my name attached it cannot be all that bad.

Categories
Flowers Travel Western Cape

A trip to the West Coast National Park

The west coast of South Africa is a dry semi-desert region with an average rainfall of 280 mm (12″). For most of the years the vegetation is low scrub and thorn bushes with patches of dry dusty ground. In August after the winter rains things change dramatically. The flower come out in raging colours. This display lasts three months and by the end of October the flowers are gone and the dry dusty veld is left.
We drove up to Langebaan in mid August after good winter rains and enjoyed the glory of the flowers

The flowers spread across all the open ground and wild profusion. If you drive through quickly you only see the carpet of flowers. If however you stop and look, there is a wealth of beautiful flowers hidden within the showy flash of white, yellow and orange.

Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy

Jupiter and Venus

On 1st February 2008 Jupiter and Venus were very closely aligned to one another. These pictures, taken with a digital camera show that event. And some other stars as a bonus.

The Moon in Scorpio
Categories
Birding Photography

Nest making

A double collared sunbird female collecting cotton scraps from stakes we used to support plants.

Double collared sunbird collection cotton for nesting
Double collared sunbird collection cotton for nesting
The male looks on
Categories
Birding Photography

Random photographs

Some photographs from our trip to Riviersonderend

Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy Photography

Partial Solar Eclipse 2020

I have never photographed a solar eclipse for so when the December 2020 eclipse happened I was thoroughly unprepared. Despite this, I managed to get some sensible picture. Not crisp and clear cut, but the eclipse is visible. Note that these pictures were taken as and when the sun popped out from behind clouds. The sun had set before total which was a disappointment though not unexpected.

Categories
Birding National Park Photography

Random Photos

We went to the Bontebok National and got some great pictures.