Just a quick update since the last depressing post – I am back at Blue Hill! Yay, have been for nearly 2 weeks, but a baboon, ate our internet cable again. Then I lost our 3g modem which is the key to getting us internet beamed from a hill to our house, and the new one is giving hassles. So this post is brought to you from the top of our hill – its a bit windy, the rock I'm sitting on is uncomfortable, but otherwise a nice office environment.
I thought I'd post these photos I took in my last days in Cape Town, where I visited a keep guardian of Elsie's Peak sugarbirds. Renee feeds these guys every day and they are very habituated to her. She also keeps a log book of all the tagged and ringed birds she sees. This has been very helpful – especially since it appears the local population is suffering severely from Avian Pox – see the swollen feet of some of the birds lower down. One poor chap could not even stand on his one foot.
|Note the pollen load on this guy (or girl)|
|Colour banded bird on top|
|Tarsal thickening - we're attributing to Avian Pox|
|This poor bird's foot is so sore he can't stand on it - I only realised this looking through the shoot later and he was balanced on one foot for all 15 odd photos.|
Her secret recipe is:
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons golden syrup
quarter teaspoon Bovril
½ teaspoon multi-vitamin syrup for birds
4 drops red food colouring (optional)
1.5 litres hot water
Sounds so tasty I want to drink it too. And all feeders get cleaned thoroughly every day, and once a week with Jik (disinfectant). Bird feeders of course can be a source of infection for birds.
Otherwise, we've had some volunteers helping open a new section of hiking trail at Blue Hill – its taken 2 weeks to do 1.5km!