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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friday, 26 September: Skywatch Friday & miscellaneous

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. "

21 comments:

willow said...

Glorious sky! And amazing garden birds, Eleanor. I still enjoy reading my Innisfree when I pop in to visit. :)

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

Don't birds have wonderful personalities? Our blue jays are inquisitive, too. They used to take the hard dry nuggets of dog food, grab one in their beak, then fly over to the watering bowl to soak them until they were tender enough to eat! Hard to get angry with them when they're so clever.

Smilingsal said...

God made so many beautiful creatures.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wow! I would love to see these birds at my feeders! They're beauties, especially the barbet. The olive thrush sounds as though he has a similar personality as our blue jay. A bit too big for his britches.

Gretchen said...

Gorgeous sky and what a neat bird!

Eddie D. said...

Super sunset!

Melissa's Cozy Tea Time Readings said...

Love that sunset. My mom would ask you, 'did you wash your hands after touching that bird?!"
lol
Happy swf and thanks for the comment.

Wieneke said...

Hello Eleanor, thanks for your visit. It is very nice that you can understand Dutch, but my Afrikaans is not that good :-) so I will write in English. What a spectacular shots on your blog. I have seen a few posts and will be back for sure. Kind greetings from the Netherlands!

gen/entry here said...

Wow that is a nice shot dear...

bookbabie said...

Great pics and fun blog too:)

Quiet Paths said...

Transfixing photo for sky watch - thank you for sharing this part of your world. I've been reading and enjoying your blog.

mannanan said...

Cracking sky. Well captured.

Hildegarde said...

A beautiful sky. It must have taken some courage and evoked some emotions to place it here, I think, when I read your text. The rooikophoutkapper is pretty and what a beautiful name he has ! Afrikaans is such a beautiful and colorful language and it's fantastic that we can understand each other's language :-) I recently read 'hamerkop' in a book of Alexander McCall Smith, fantastic birdname. In Dutch that is rather different : specht. Beste wense !!

Tabib said...

The birds pic is better than the sky!.
Love that black-collared barbet, never seen here.

Bobbie in Hawaii said...

Thanks for a very nice sky image, and for introducing me to two birds I knew nothing about before visiting your blog today.

Arija said...

Great sunset and birds. Nice to see the different varieties around the globe.

The Brenda Blog said...

What a beautiful blog! And I have Nola to thank for leading me here. I will certainly be back. You have a lovely home.
Brenda

Deborah Godin said...

This is my first visit - you have a beautiful blog, words and images!

CurtissAnn said...

Ohmygosh, Nola in Texas is sure bringing people together with her birthday! I got here from thebrendablog, and so glad I did. What a beautiful blog you have, Eleanor. Thank you so much.

Barbara Martin said...

The birds are amazing and beautiful. I love coming here to read about your experiences in south Africa.

Birds have quite the personalities. I have African lovebirds and senegals, and they have their early morning chatter, then pipe down to eat their breakfast. Throughout the day the senegals make whatever sound they have found interesting and repeat it over and over. The male senegal, Richard, will say 'hello' for a peanut. If I'm slow in getting it to him he will rapidly repeat 'hello' as if he is a wind-up toy.

Mary Hughes Studio said...

Stunning sky! The birds are adorable!! Enjoyed your blog!