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


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Kalaharikind

Your IFC is extremely relieved that her C cyber did indeed fulfil her task and brought news to other parts of the world - and indeed parts of her own country too! 

The pneumonia was naught but a sniffle, and your IFC was quickly cured by some fruit of the vine that her part of the country if famous for.

The camel driver was much affronted by the term used to describe him. He wishes to be called a dromedarist, as his camel dromedary is of much worthier stock. I see not much difference, for they all have four legs and have a noxious smell about them, but I will indulge his wish.

This morning - an extraordinary cold one - with more much snow having fallen overnight, the cameldr dromedarist suggested another trail, to a place he knows very well, for he grew up there and worked the lands there with his father and where snow was sure to be found. The agriculturalist who now is responsible for the land is a good man, and a kind man, and minds not that other people, even strangers to him, use the trails to where they can hold the snow in their own hands, and wonder at the coldness of it, at its fine texture, and how soon it turns to water.

The cam dromedarist also suggested that we first repair to a camel feeding station, where we could purchase comestibles to sustain us later in the day. He wanted a pie, made from meat of donkey spiced heavily with pepper to disguise the donkey; I was not so brave and asked for slices of bread with a filling to hold the slices together and named after a nobleman from Albion. We also purchased liquid to wash it down, for although the snow does give water, it is not flavoured to our liking on such a day.

The trail to our intended destination soon turned to mud from the snow that had melted on the ground and there were many other camels or dromedaries - I understand not the difference - laden with entire families come to partake in the spectacle.

Your IFC, armed, as always, with her sketch book and colouring pencils, made many sketches of the snow on the ground and the trees, and even of people gambolling in the snow, knowing it would not last. But, to burden my C cyber with too many sketches that will be seen by people in other parts of the world where the snow is much plentiful and not such a rare occurrence, would be as if I sent sand to the sister of my father who calls the Sahara her home.

So, your IFC will conclude this missive with one or two sketches of scenes that may be strange to you. They are not good, for it was raining, and your IFC was cold and her hands shook and trembled in the cold.

 

223309106_SneeuVilliersdorp2021(153).JPG.de4e776735b004a3bc4d3e436ecf12d6.JPG

 

670925136_SneeuVilliersdorp2021(152).JPG.10e6525defabe11956a912751fd14ef9.JPG

 

92543263_SneeuVilliersdorp2021(109).JPG.f63eb6c04c173a76ccbf888dbfa90d17.JPG

 

As we had frolicked in the snow, and had snow falling on us, we were famished and glad of the comestibles we had with us. We were standing at the orchard above when the only son of the dromedarist arrived, with his family. Since the pestilential plague that has sorely afflicted the entire globe can only be contained and conquered by keeping to our own dwellings, we have not set eyes on them for a long time, and we were glad that we could see them, and see that they were healthy. We stayed with them for a while, but they wanted to go up on the trail we had been on, so we made our goodbyes to return to our hamlet, where there was the promise of a fire and coffee.

 

 

 

A quick note, before I send off my C cyber. On a turn in the road, visitors from afar and who did not know the trail, forced us of the trail. We are here in a ditch, in the cold. I know not if we will survive this ordeal. Your IFC bids you adieu. Keep doing what you are doing, recording and enumerating the avian creatures you come across. Give them their right names, and do not discard your sketches that you are not happy with, for remember, though they be small and some say insignificant and their song wakes them when they still want to sleep, we know that Every Bird Counts. 

 

 

 

[My name is PA Ramedic. I am adding this note to the above. We found a dromedarist, a passenger (we think she is the IFC that she refers to in her missive) and their dromedary in a ditch. They have sustained grave injuries, and the dromedary may have to be put out of its misery, but we will get our best healers - of people and dromedaries - and they will do their best to save them. I will inform you of their progress and their state of health.] 

 

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Peter Connan

Oh dear...

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Galana

Such a shame. Such literary skills are not easy to come by and IFC will be sorely missed if resuscitation is difficult. I did say that the best snow is on other peoples photos and closer personal approach can damage one's health and wealth.

Good to see the history of food has travelled well but many places put their donkey in a bun and name it after the Scottish lady who founded a chain of fast food outlets when she fled to the Carolinas after escaping the King's axe after Culloden.

I did not look too closely at the Marico SB but your methodology is soundly based.

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Kalaharikind

'Oh dear' indeed, @Peter Connan

 

@GalanaHave they not upgraded to shredded and minced cardboard recently?

 

[I have been reliably informd by Mr PA Ramedic that both the dromedarist and the beast of burden are sound of mind and body. Miraculously they did not sustain even a scratch - they were merely dazed and bewildered after their ordeal. Your IFC, however, was not so lucky. She is in ICU at the moment, and the learned men attending to her health are not sure if she will survive. However, miracles do happen; they are quietly optimistic. I will relay further news as I receive it.]

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Galana
1 hour ago, Kalaharikind said:

Have they not upgraded to shredded and minced cardboard recently?

Only in the De Luxe Asstablishments.

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Towlersonsafari

I am really enjoying your not big year @Kalaharikindso i do hope you pull through

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elefromoz

backtracking her, well done on the 100, lovely little Cuckoo. Powering along there now, and a very beautiful, pristine Martial Eagle.

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Kalaharikind

OK, that was fun while it lasted! Thank you for all the good wishes:D Your IFC might just survive her ordeal, or simply (but humanely) be killed off.

 

Shall we get back to the serious business of birds? And if somebody could call @Galanaback from the tea room? There's work to be done....

 

Let's go back to February this year, to the Karoo National Park, and start with an aptly named 

 

123) Karoo Thrush          Geelbeklyster          Turdus smithi

 

1212674300_GeelbeklysterKarooNP2021(39).JPG.1b57c4aa5b6af587433ee4403cbaa09c.JPG

 

124) Karoo Chat          Karoo-spekvreter         Emarginata schlegelii 

 

1720167540_Karoo-spekvreterKarooNP2021(128).JPG.6a841f3d903f3c0bfba2715555321fa9.JPG

 

125) Dusky Sunbird          Namakwa-suikerbekkie          Cinnyris afer

1837931519_NamakwaSBFKarooNP2021(280).JPG.0125aa4c17dbc0369d6769a49fb69d54.JPG

 

and here's the NBr male as a bonus:

903819910_NamakwaSBNBrMKarooNP2021(67).JPG.504b20de2378546a92cfec6945ec8555.JPG

 

980056048_Namakwa-suikerbekkieKarooNP2021(326).JPG.541a123c587344ed21b94a9ebfb17892.JPG 

126) Red-billed Firefinch          Rooibekvuurvinkie          Lagonosticta senegala 

 

32450432_RooibekvuurvinkieKarooNP2021(302).JPG.8cdd7754cb86dafa1950ac3592b51318.JPG

 

127) Ant-eating Chat          Swartpiek          Myrmecocichla formicivora

 

892674707_SwartpiekKarooNP2021(130).JPG.50670aebfdb4c4da0b2a179ae7b6200b.JPG

 

And here's a beauty of an EBC IF

128) Verreaux's Eagle          Witkruisarend          Aquila verreauxii

 

1885175946_WitkruisarendebcKarooNP2021(179).JPG.73ff4bc69c28647db2a9b277bf38da7e.JPG

 

 

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xelas

Oh my, the narrative of IFC is one to be respected, and enjoyed more time in the future. And the photos are equally good. Although, to be honest, I prefer photos of birds as photos of snow I have plenty, and more, and so much snow i have to work hard to get it out of the way :D.

Edited by xelas
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Peter Connan

But Alex, you must remember, this is African snow. Which is the rarest kind!

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michael-ibk

Agree with Alex. Still snow. Have that about six months a year. Too much of it. No thank you, don't need snow in Africa at all. 😎

 

The birds, OTOH, I love. I'm having African birding withdrawal symptoms, I even enjoyed seeing the Pied Crow. 🙂

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Kalaharikind

@michael-ibknever thought I'd ever hear anybody saying they enjoyed seeing a Pied Crow.... Your withdrawal symptoms might be more severe than you think...

 

Here's another Pied Noisemaker for you, from when I 'did' the Namaqualand wild flowers earlier this month:

 

1873026741_WitborskraaiNieuwoudtville(127).JPG.dd1d646e12f060c404c8ecc4ae5fbf51.JPG

 

@xelas We've had four or five 'snowfalls' this year, so there is a rarity value, as @Peter Connan said. And snow that melts after a day or two doesn't really count, does it? But yes, if I had to live with it month in and month out I'd also complain. Bitterly.

 

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Dave Williams

I know the grass is always greener but how I wish I was stuck in South Africa!

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Soukous
3 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

I know the grass is always greener but how I wish I was stuck in South Africa!

 

rumour is that SA will be of the red list at the next review. :D

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Kalaharikind

@Dave WilliamsYes, there could be worse places to be stuck at..

 

@Soukousand apparently we are over the last wave - third, I think?

 

Weather update: no snow reports and none forecast

 

We could also braai outside 4 evenings in a row, which was wonderful after a winter's worth of indoor braais, but today we're back to grey, cloudy and windy, with rain promised from Friday. Sigh.

 

 

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Soukous
20 minutes ago, Kalaharikind said:

today we're back to grey, cloudy and windy, with rain promised from Friday.

 

I guess it depends on where you are in SA. My friends in Western Cape are happy to get as much rain as possible. It is still very dry after years of below average rainfall.

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Kalaharikind

@SoukousAs I walked to the door to close it to the wind and cold I thought I could've phrased it better - the sigh was for the weather, not the rain. 

 

We live in the WC, close to the Theewaterskloof Dam, which supplies most of Cape Town's water. This is what the dam looked like  a few years ago:

 

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/trending/watch-cape-towns-theewaterskloof-dam-fill-up-since-2017-2021-9

 

 

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Peter Connan

I don't know about you guys, but we had some nice early-season rain up here. about 55m in two-and-a-half days.

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Kalaharikind

Lovely news, @Peter Connan! About 15 mm here over the weekend, slightly heavier showerettes than the usual motreentjie. Probably the last of the winter rains.

 

I miss those Highveld storms; hoping to get one as a Christmas prezzie!

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Peter Connan

Good to hear. Every drop helps.

Love a good thunderstorm. But the poor dogs suffer!

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Kalaharikind

Anybody interested in a weather update? We've had spring, then some of the white stuff during spring which took us back to winter, then some more spring, a few days of summer where the temperature went into the thirties (absolutely lovely), and right now we're back to raging winds, rain, sunshine and, according to a neighbour, white stuff on the mountains about a 100 kms from here. Western Cape weather at its finest.

 

Which also means I have no excuse not to post a few more birds. At the rate I'm going, I should be done just before the next millenium.

 

The next stage in our Tour de Sanparks was to the Mountain Zebra National Park. March 2021.

 

129) Mountain Wheatear F          Bergwagter          Myrmecocichla monticola

 

1336048139_129BergwagterFBergkwaggaNP2021(37).JPG.6426ed75bb838108c4ef0206060a326d.JPG

 

130) Cinnamon-breasted Bunting          Klipstreepkoppie          Emberiza tahapisi

 

744422750_130KlipstreepkoppieBergkwaggaNP2021(45).JPG.18742a76cc382abec0f1ac23b9683eb2.JPG

 

131) Cape Longclaw J          Oranjekeelkalkoentjie          Macronyx capensis

 

1391617497_131OranjekeellalkoentjieJBergkwaggaNP2021(129).JPG.bf2abee656bb1190fe483fbb90776908.JPG

 

132) Yellow-throated Petronia          Geelvlekmossie          Gymnoris superciliaris

 

2028316222_132GeelvlekmossieBergkwaggaNP2021(1.JPG.794491f55bbfbd5b055b6be9f81df880.JPG

This was taken at one of the picnic spots. Mum was still feeding the little one - and it was quite greedy, so she was kept busy the whole time we were there.

 

133) Acacia Pied Barbet          Bonthoutkapper          Tricholaema leucomelas

 

1493972183_133BonthoutkapperBergkwaggaNP2021(157).JPG.3df12ff9f7ff62e904a98e309865a500.JPG

We saw these at every rest camp - this was the first halfway decent pic I could get

 

134) Cardinal Woodpecker          Kardinaalspeg          Dendropicos fuscescens

 

1528466228_134KardinaalspegBergkwaggaNP2021(159).JPG.f28236896938499e802f63670f64bd70.JPG

 

135) Greater Striped Swallow         Grootstreepswael          Cecropis cucullata

 

231499202_135GrootstreepswaelBergkwaggaNP2021(185).JPG.db59a5e6f6d2e279abfc1df200dcb7b7.JPG

 

And the Slightly Better Bird segment of the programme: a Common Scimitarbill, last seen at Augrabies:

 

406754307_47SBBSwartbekkakelaar(2).JPG.3ff19e55de2d9de3637e7af6fb83a68c.JPG

 

Edited by Kalaharikind
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PeterHG

I’never been to that particular SAN park, but it got you some nice birds! I do hope you’re in for some consistent spring weather.

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Kalaharikind

What birding I did there was a mix of campsite birding, picnic spots and some drive-by shots. Nothing very active, and then of course, a lot of birds I saw were repeats from earlier camps, and of no use for my BY count.

 

There's more rain forecast for the weekend, and then summer should be here. It's been a long wait!

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Kalaharikind

Last one from Mountain Zebra NP.

 

136) Neddicky          Neddikie          Cisticola fulvicapella

 

209148736_136NeddikieBergkwaggaNP2021(16).JPG.a6bf887d57606fa1e58989b1fe922c19.JPG

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