Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Man from Nam

You know like when you drive your car abroad you used to have those oval bumper stickers that displayed the cars country of origin? Like Great Britain was GB and South Africa ZA? Well, cars from Namibia – say NAM.

Anyway – to get back to the actual story here – you may know I'm training to get my ringers license, but don't have a Trainer – so I have to beg, borrow and steal training where I can get it. In this case, Neil and Gudrun took me up on an offer for free accommodation in exchange for ringing some new birds – after all we have some good ones here in the Fynbos.

Our first day out we headed to the Protea forest (well, thicket might be a better description – the 'trees' are no more than 4 meters high). It was a cold and misty morning, so it was foot stamping weather while we waited for the birds to get tangled in the mist nets – it brought a whole new meaning to the term 'mist netting'. The haul included a few Sugarbirds, Malachite Sunbirds, Orange-breasted Sunbirds and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds, most in some eclipse (non-breeding) plumage.

Day 2 we set up nets on the stream – which yielded huge hauls on previous ringing sessions. However, its been raining a lot, so birds were not thirsty. Still – a Victorin's Warbler, Cape Siskin and Protea Seedeater all presented themselves – much to the Man from Nam's delight. To make up numbers we trapped the Cape Weavers at a feeding table.

All too soon they were on their way again and I had to get back to finding out how depressingly the range of our Fynbos endemic birds has decreased – more on that another post.

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