It becomes particularly difficult when you are based in a nature reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal in September, a time when the environment there is becoming increasingly hotter and drier with each passing day. As the leaves begin to disappear and there is almost no grass leftfor grazers such as zebras and wildebeest, it is hard to watch nature go through these tough times and to push aside the FOMO feelings.
I had been wondering why any animals choose to stay here at this time, especially the birds, which could all up and leave as they pleased. That was until I realised that it is in fact the perfect time for birds to be here, because a certain tree species was providing some sweet, thirst quenching relief from the bleak, drying landscape. Other than the obvious increase in vulture (mostly White-backed and the occasional Lappet-faced), Marabou Stork and heron sightings that occur around the carcasses of animals that have succumbed to the harsh conditions, there seems to also be some benefit for nectar-feeders to remain in the area.
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Natural fish traps in the Okavango
Sightings In The Subregion: Mid-January To Mid-March 2021
After a midsummer that was so busy with rarities, one might have thought that things would calm down somewhat, but the later part of the season continued to deliver a dazzling list of mouthwatering records. Twitchers were kept fully entertained and on their toes!
Deciphering South Africa’s first Crested Honey Buzzard
Observing Striped Crakes
It's A Calling
Warwick Tarboton is a true naturalist and respected as one of the country’s foremost natural history authors and bird photographers. There is little doubt that he has influenced many people to take their interest in birds in particular to the next level.
Redefining Plett Rage
The call I received from my friend Alastair at 06h00 on a Friday at the start of our year-end holiday was inevitable during the advancing second wave of Covid-19 cases, but it was one I had hoped to avoid. His entire family had just tested positive for the virus and we had just given his son, Alec, a lift from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay to join us for a few days of holiday. Alec qualified uncomfortably as a close contact, having spent eight hours in the car with us and then slept in the same dorm room as all my kids for two nights.
Juvenile African Cuckoo Diet
Juvenile African Cuckoo Diet
The Birds And The Beast
Addo’s bird/mammal associations
A Wahlberg's Summer
Wahlberg’s Eagles have always been close to my heart and when the opportunity arose to photograph a breeding pair at the nest, I grabbed it with both hands. It all started when Marius, my future son-in-law, told me early in 2019 about an eagle’s nest in a thorn tree near the Sand River on the farm where he lives in Limpopo. He sent me a photograph of the two eagles at the nest and I immediately recognised them as a pair of Wahlberg’s. To add to my excitement, one of them was a pale morph.