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Kalaharikind merel(y) lark(ing) about in 2021


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Kalaharikind

I first became interested in bird-watching during a pretty unproductive early-morning drive (animal-wise) near Letaba in the KNP. I tried to describe the birds I saw to my brother, who promptly lent me his bird guide and pushed me out the door again. When I returned much later that day, I was completely hooked. That turned into 'wanting' then 'needing' and eventually 'getting' something better than the P&S that I had. Ah, the joys of click now, ID later! Years later, and  I'm still not a very knowledgeable birder, and even worse as a photographer - but I love doing both.

 

So, let's see how this BY lark pans out. 

 

I can't give you a proper blackbird as per my thread title, but here is a black bird from the garden:

1) Fork-tailed drongo          Mikstertbyvanger          Dicrurus adsimilis

_DSC3643_1203x800.JPG.6795e258568cdb4b3e266eb582384b40.JPG 

 

 

And the lark: a red-capped lark, photographed in the Bossieveld a year or two ago, so not added to my 2021 count. Quite a heavy crop. (Cropping is just about the only PP technique I use. The other is to straighten skew horizons. My tripod is used very little - and it shows :(.) 

 

DSC_1128_1280x851.JPG.88848a45b4050134b1da7815c9983402.JPG

 

 

 

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I first became interested in bird-watching during a pretty unproductive early-morning drive (animal-wise) near Letaba in the KNP. I tried to describe the birds I saw to my brother, who promptly lent m

Gather round, good people from BY - we have to celebrate! I'm not going to be coy and post my 100th bird and pretend I didn't notice. I'm damn proud I got here - albeit mostly with EBCs - but this one

I still have some shots from January to post - but after that the cupboard is bare....   All pics from the garden    26) Cape white-eye          Kaapse glasogie          Zosterops

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Tdgraves

Welcome to the big year @Kalaharikind

you are right, it is very addictive....

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Galana

Very welcome. Your description on how you got hooked fits a lot of folks I know.

 

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PeterHG

Welcome to this thread @Kalaharikind! I'm glad you got hooked and decided to join us here. Looking forward to many more from your beautiful country!

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Zim Girl

Welcome to Big Year, have fun!!

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Kalaharikind

Thank you @Tdgraves@PeterHG, @Galanaand @Zim Girl! Certainly much more fun and more addictive than baking sourdough bread!

 

The West Coast is a harsh and desolate pat of the country - and beautiful in its own way. We were a group of about 12 people who camped there to say goodbye to the nightmare that was 2020 and to welcome a 2021 that we all expected to be even worse. There were a lot more campers there than in 2019 - some camps were so big that they almost qualified to have a mayor! We arrived on 28 December, and that same evening the President had one of his dreaded 'My dear fellow South Africans' chats. We were moved to a stricter lockdown level, the booze ban was reinstated and all camping within 150 m of the highwater mark was prohibited (this last part was announced a day or two later). Technically, we were on the wrong side of the law - except we did not know it! Thank heavens for our remote location, as some people farther south were actually told that they had to pack up.

 

Despite all this, it was thoroughly good to get away from everything, and sleep in a tent again. We had hot showers (engineers will engineer, even on holiday), lots and lots and lots of wood, excellent food, good conversations (we avoided talk of the virus like the plague, as much as possible). Not quite our usual Namibia/Botswana holidays, but with all of us smelling of woodsmoke from Day 1, the ambience was there!

 

Birding was sparse, but that was not the point of the getaway. 

 

2) White-fronted plover/lapwing          Vaalstrandkiewiet          Charadnius marginatus

 

1546746053_2whitefrontedploverSewejaarskop2020(405)_1203x800.JPG.ea5d5594da49204d89a4d4c23d59318b.JPG

 

3) Karoo robin          Slangverklikker          Erythropygia coryphaeus

 

350865322_3SlangverklikkerSewejaarskop2020(360)_1203x800.JPG.7a3cd6606c4afcbaa22a8cc03f8f1b8d.JPG

 

4) Karoo prinia          Karoolangstertjie          Prinia maculosa

 

197720509_4Sewejaarskop2020(522)_1204x800.JPG.bc6bad8d65b5f52ef1af8f1630f89bd1.JPG

 

The prinia could also be Namaqua warbler (Phragmacia substriata) - here are a few more images:

 

Spot the rude bird!

 

651060994_4NamakwalangstertjieSewejaarskop2020(513)_1203x800.JPG.141ea696e975ebc9f8f654394e655b19.JPG

 

Sideways:1626792237_4Sewejaarskop2020(519)_1203x800.JPG.bc7cca4817779a0279805f4984fac6c9.JPG

 

From rude to almost hiding in shame:

 

611605163_4Sewejaarskop2020(518)_1203x800.JPG.af7d2a5099fe08559ce082d688cd1a9a.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Namakwalangstertjie Sewejaarskop 2020 (514)_1203x800.JPG

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xelas

Ahh, a new member! Warm welcome from a not so warm place. Looking forward to a steady stream of SA birds :)!

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Kalaharikind

@xelasYour wish is my command :rolleyes: Confession time: when I started lurking and reading here, one of your Namibia TRs was one of the first I read - thank you so much for all the care, attention and humour you put into them!

 

From the coast to closer to home: the Bossieveld. It's mainly a farming area, but there's still enough renosterveld left to make any trip there pure pleasure. Best of all: the opportunity to drive on a dirt road!  https://www.capetownbotanist.com/what-is-renosterveld/ gives a nice introduction to renosterveld to those who may be interested.

 

5) Stonechat (M)          Gewone bontrokkie          Saxicola torquata

 

1137326548_5GewonebontrokkieBossieveld(202)_1024x681.JPG.effd93e09878b70cf9c0e0c23977393a.JPG

 

 

And here is the female, looking pretty much the way I do when faced with yet another LBJ.

 

1865136669_5GewonebontrokkieBossieveld(5)_1024x681.JPG.79fbd1cb9c847194612c92376741a25a.JPG

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kalaharikind
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Kitsafari

yay more variety of birds!

 

welcome to the BY. 

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Dave Williams

Indeed, welcome! The more from South Africa the better as I try to fathom where and when are the best places and times to visit. Sadly just cancelled this years planned trip, the third in four years , but we will be back!

 

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@KalaharikindThanks for including the names in Afrikaans, I love to read that language

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Kalaharikind

 

 

7 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

yay more variety of birds!

That's what I enjoy about the BY - so many birds, from so many different parts of the world.

 

4 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Indeed, welcome! The more from South Africa the better as I try to fathom where and when are the best places and times to visit. Sadly just cancelled this years planned trip, the third in four years , but we will be back!

So many people have had to either cancel their dreams or put them on hold. I think the best plan, for now, is not to plan at all. Stay safe!

 

3 hours ago, Biko said:

@KalaharikindThanks for including the names in Afrikaans, I love to read that language

My first bird guide was an English one. One of my (many) brothers had an Afrikaans one. When he came to visit me in Botswana, we'd fit in at least one birding trip, even if we only went to Mokolodi of Gabs Game Reserve. We had many conversations along the lines of: 

Me: Did you see the (English whatever)?

Brother: No, but did you see the (Afrikaans whatever)?

Frantic leafing around in our guides, only to discover that we'd been talking about the same bird:D.

 

 

 

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Kalaharikind

Even more than the fish eagle, the boubous sing 'Delta' to me. It was wonderful to discover that we have a Southern Boubou that keeps in town.

 

6) Southern boubou          Suidelike waterfiskaal          Laniarus ferugineus

 

1570218093_Suidelikewaterfiskaal.JPG.42b9cd8e1ece3a5741f7b4056e4468f6.JPG

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elefromoz
On 1/28/2021 at 2:48 AM, Kalaharikind said:

Years later, and  I'm still not a very knowledgeable birder, and even worse as a photographer - but I love doing both.

Me too and I'll settle for that. As a bonus, Ive decided IDing birds is a good brain challenge. Here you'll also get to enjoy others Gardens, their weather updates, their walking habits, their mood of the day, sometimes even what they ate for morning tea. The big Year with it all.

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TonyQ

Welcome to the Big Year! An excellent start.

Edited by TonyQ
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michael-ibk

Welcome to the Big Year, great to have another African member participating!

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shazdwn

Welcome @Kalaharikind, great to see another BY participant and looking forward to some more SA birds

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Dave Williams
On 1/29/2021 at 2:23 PM, Kalaharikind said:

So many people have had to either cancel their dreams or put them on hold. I think the best plan, for now, is not to plan at all. Stay safe!

 

Without a plan there is little hope and besides if you don't book early with SANParks you won't get what you are after in terms of accommodation.

 

Our Guest House in St Lucia has agreed to postpone our stay for a second year but agreed to not increase the price either. Very kind of them but makes it slightly awkward me asking if I can extend the stay!

 

Meantime our my photography specific trip to Spain in late April is as good as dead in the water and that will have to be postponed for a second year too. 

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Galana
1 hour ago, Dave Williams said:

 

Without a plan there is little hope

An old man once told me "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!".

Even Baldrick had a 'cunning plan.'

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Peter Connan

Very nice start @Kalaharikind.

Trying to figure out where you are from your comments and photos. Is julle naby Bredasdorp?

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Kalaharikind

Thanks, @Peter Connan We're in Villiersdorp - the small village near the big dam that feeds CT with water. (We had some rain last night - lovely - and it's still overcast, so let's hope for a few drops more today.)

 

@Dave WilliamsSorry about Spain, kudos to the guest house, though. 

 

 

 

 

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Kalaharikind

On Saturday I drove from the small village to a small hamlet via the Van der Stel pass. Not much of a pass, but it's wind-y and bend-y and gravel-ly, so lots to enjoy.

 

This one posed nicely for the obligatory BoW:

 

1743060700_7FamilieswaelVDStelpas(110)_1024x681.JPG.5171ecaf7e4a89e365b7ad4ebb827907.JPG

7) Barn swallow          Europese swael swael          Hirundo rustica

 

and then the comedians took over: the headless wonder

 

1846782165_7FamilieswaelVDStelpas(119)_800x532.JPG.962470226cff0c41e28d4cb362e7e971.JPG

 

and the director of traffic

260767885_7FamilieswaelVDStelpas(123)_800x532.JPG.ca3acb1d4f619c99ddae3a5c4c3baf88.JPG

 

And the obligatory EBC (mind, most of my images are of the EBC variety)

 

8) Alpine swift          Witpenswindswael          Apus melba

350843208_WitpenswindswaelVDStelpas(275)_1024x681.JPG.7f4fcd78f6f56d15c222d35adcc271dd.JPG

 

9) Little swift          Klein windswael          Apus affinis

1013041983_9KleinwindswaelVDStelpas(277)_1280x851.JPG.9cd96cc2c108b2ebf2c641df7afa4767.JPG

 

 

Edited by Kalaharikind
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Kalaharikind

Still on the Van der Stel pass:

 

10) Cape bunting          Rooivlerkstreepkoppie          Emberiza capensis

 

771621200_10RooivlerkSKVDStelpas(263)_1280x851.JPG.3ccf17d7508d370e63333cc7ffdc5b7d.JPG

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Soukous
20 hours ago, Galana said:

Even Baldrick had a 'cunning plan.'

 

not one that I'd ever follow :unsure:

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Soukous
22 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Meantime our my photography specific trip to Spain in late April is as good as dead in the water

 

Know the frustration. Mine was for March. It went in the bin a month ago. 

22 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Without a plan there is little hope and besides if you don't book early with SANParks you won't get what you are after in terms of accommodation.

 

The same pretty much applies to the UK this year, with so many people not taking the risk of making overseas travel bookings.

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