Skywatch Friday: The midsummer sun sets over the African bushveld at about 19h30. This photo from my album was taken a number of years ago at Dikhololo (a small antelope) Resort just outside Brits in the North West Province, South Africa, about an hour's drive from Pretoria. My family owned a time-share week at the resort and it was a favourite getaway for long walks past grazing giraffe and antelope, bird spotting and close family fun. When our girls left home, I found it hard to stopover; after Richard passed away, I sold it. Some places you just can't visit again!
Today I popped into the office and sought solace concerning a Frustrating Form that I must complete for work purposes. A dear colleague, Cheryl, encouraged me with kind words about my blog which she had visited for the first time this week. She pointed out that, as a keen garden birder, I must surely have omitted two colourful, indigeneous visitors to my garden in the list in my sidebar. To make appropriate amends, I post a pic of the black-collared barbet (Afrikaans: rooikophoutkapper), who is a common caller at the morning fruit table. Not as bold as the crested barbet, its shrill ringing cry is unmistakeable.
The other omission was the olive thrush. This photo (off the Net) belies this little fellow's bossy, inquisitive character as he struts about the damp grass looking for insects or checks out the area around the dogs' feeding bowls for leftover pellets right under their noses.
Galahad wants the last word on the olive thrush:
"These silly birds nest among the twigs on the ground under the jakaranda. So what is a fellow to do now and again? A guy can't help being taken over by primeval urges - the good old hunting instinct and so on! Mom screams frantically and has managed a couple of rescue attempts. But I must confess to all avid birdwatchers, I have to plead guilty to olive thrush homicide on a couple of regrettable occasions. "