It seems so long since I was able to get on-board here. Been busy at Wingate and Sishen Golf Club with their OH and Safety induction. What a wonderful experience to be back up early everyday preparing for work before sun up….
We had a weekend off last and my son took us to Witsand, a place we had as yet not been to, this is what they say about it on a website…
“Witsand Nature Reserve in the Northern Cape is an exceptional eco-destination featuring geological and climatic anomalies that cause the desert sand to ‘roar’. This natural attraction is one of the Green Kalahari’s best-kept secrets. The birding here is exceptional, and you’ll see plenty of dry land wildlife.”
You have to know we went there full of excitement and I made the cardinal sin a photographer can make… I went with low batteries, no backup charged ones and of course forgot the charger at home. My video camera had just enough for me to capture something Linda and I would not have believed if we did not experience it….
It happened whilst sitting at the camp fire latish in the evening, having eaten well and just enjoying the noises of the bush, also feeding the genet cat that came to visit. Three springbok came up to the fire to visit with us. Linda and I kept quiet at first and stared in disbelief. ANIMALS ARE SCARED OF FIRE my brain screamed.
One started to lick on the braai grid that was cool, then came and started to lick in the ash of the fire. “THE FIRE IS HOT” I screamed under my breathe…. these springbok actually started to seek out pieces of charcoal that were not still glowing red, but warm and ate them.
This all happened within two to three metres of us and when we started to talk to each other in disbelief they carried on totally ignoring us…. I captured this on video and when back in civilisation I will download it to “youtube” and add a link for you to see…. here are a few photos first from Witsand and then a few from yesterday which I had a chance to get out and capture…
We leave tomorrow for Pretoria for a short while (a week) and then on the road again… but this will give me a chance to catch up a bit with you all… look forward to that… and to the odd blog I’m going to be able to post…
A bronze statue that adorned the lawn in Parliament street now stands at the Voortrekker monument site.
It represents the corner stone of democracy, the Afrikaner bull represents the people of South Africa, and the powerful child as the youth of South Africa.
This statue, completed in 1961 by Hennie Potgieter took up its place of pride in the Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site in 2008.
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
The Little Egret is a small white heron and is very similar Snowy Egret, in fact I don’t know how these experts tell them apart. The Snowy is slightly smaller and the yellow around the eye extends down to the beak..
The little Egret is an all white bird with a long beak and black around it’s yellow eye. It looks as though it is wearing yellow socks, which you can clearly see in my photos. It grows to approx. 55–65 cm long with an 88–106 cm wingspan.
Little Egrets eat fish, insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and reptiles. Stalking their prey in shallow water, they often run wings up or jump in the air to land near the small fish. They will also stand still and wait for their prey to venture close enough to strike.
They nest in colonies, laying 3 or more eggs and both parents are involved in raising the young that leave the nest after approx. 6 to 7 weeks.
A few Photos I’ve just captured… played “hooky” from my office and went to a bird hide I love.. got a quick 130 photos of which 60 are OK.. just shows one shouldn’t sneak off…..
Black Heron (Egretta ardesiaca) also known as the Black Egret.
The Black Heron I’ve been trying to capture on film for years.. it has the most spectacular fishing technique I’ve ever seen… it uses its wings like an umbrella, and uses the shade it creates, to attract fish, this interesting hunting method’s called canopy feeding.
It is a medium-sized (42.5–66 cm in height), black-plumaged heron with yellow legs and feet. It is found south of the Sahara Desert, and prefers shallow open waters, such as the edges of freshwater lakes and ponds. It may also be found in marshes, river edges, and seasonally flooded grasslands.
Some Black Herons feed solitarily, while others feed in groups of up to 50 individuals, 200 being the highest number reported. The Black Heron feeds by day but especially prefers the time around sunset. The primary food is small fish, but it’ll also eat aquatic insects, crabs and amphibians.
Here is a short time line of a hunt……..
I decided to do something different yesterday, to photograph a building rather than birds or animals.. so a visit to the Voortrekker Monument (Voortrekker is Afrikaans for Pioneer or trailblazer) was on the cards. I last visit this site in the late 1970’s so why not… a massive monument 40 x 40 x 40 metres or 125 x 125 x 125 feet, should test my imagination, to attempt to copy some of you brilliant photographers… I found the place so different to my last visit that I took 100s of photos and am now trying to put together in as short a post (posts) as possible, what I hope will interest you all..
But the gardens were magnificent so I’m starting today with a few photos of the flowers…
The flowers or actually just some of the flowers in the gardens surrounding the monument….