Saturday, 13 July 2013

Enjoying a very warm winter

I'm supposed to be seeing how our endemic birds behave in freezing conditions, this time of year is when its meant to happen, and its not. Okay, its been around zero on a couple mornings first thing, but its been quickly up to over ten once the sun has come out. I shouldn't complain I guess, last year I was camping in the snow and watching raging floods. Weather is anything but predictable.
Well, in truth, the days have been beautiful. Its odd to say this mid-winter, but spring is in the air. Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, there are buds on the Mulberry tree. Birds that nest in spring are in full breeding plumage (Malachate Sunbird) and I discovered a nearly completed nest of a Southern Double-collared Sunbird too not long ago – the female was busy bringing in fluff for the inner lining.

I did have one challenge – loosing a R3000 piece of equipment on a survey on Monday, so I had to abandon my survey in order to traipse the mountain to find it. Unsuccessfully. Today I roped in my dad to drive me up in the Landcruiser so we could get a different perspective on the search and rescue mission, and we'd found it after about an hour. Shew!!!
Other survey highlights include a resighting of a color ringed Cape Sugarbird from the Welbedacht section of Baviaanskloof, a Hottentot Buttonquail (more on that one day I promise), and several signs of leopard, including near our campsite and from another nature reserve down the road – Quaggasberg. Here are a few pics.

A toad stops to smell some Eriocephalus flowers

Protea Seedeater sits atop his breakfast - Protea repens seed
Colour ringed Cape Sugarbird, nicknamed Rasta

Leopard track

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