Aargh!! I Haydid !

I hate it! *** For years before 1989 I wanted to see a Bufftail – a Buff-spotted Flufftail. I heard plenty, but saw none. First at Hella Hella; Then in 1989 we moved into our first home in Westville and there was one in our yard! We heard him all the time! But still IContinue reading “Aargh!! I Haydid !”

New Worm !

Dizzi discovered a new worm, sent a picture and asked: ‘Pete – What is this? Hamerkop Worm? About 5cm long.’ I didn’t have a clue, and guessed – incorrectly – that it might have been from the dogs. But Dizzi soon came back with an answer: Bipalium – a genus of large predatory land planarians.Continue reading “New Worm !”

Bufftail Hoot

It’s been a long time since I last heard the plaintive, mournful-sounding hoot of the Buff-spotted Flufftail, Sarothrura elegans. But the last few nights he has been hooting gently outside my window in Westville above the Palmiet River: Hope they stay awhile . . . I heard it for years at 7 River Drive onContinue reading “Bufftail Hoot”

Lazy Sunday Rainy Sunday

I woke to a confidential sort of murmuring / chirping outside my window. What birds are those, I wondered and peered through my window, then my bathroom window. Then I went to the scullery and peered through the window. Still nothing, so I opened the top of the stable door and they scattered. Six BandedContinue reading “Lazy Sunday Rainy Sunday”

Face-Palm Nut Vultures

As British birding weirdo Bill Oddie rightly said: ‘Bird-watchers are tense, competitive, selfish, shifty, dishonest, distrusting, boorish, pedantic, unsentimental, arrogant and – above all – envious’. Driving down SinJim avenue one morning I had to brake for a Fruit and Nut Vulture perched on the busy tar road! Right here, on the way out ofContinue reading “Face-Palm Nut Vultures”

I’m, um, Normal!

Such a pleasure to meet weirdos who prove I’m normal. Friends Petrea and Louis – speaking of weirdos – cracked me an invite to an early morning visit to Bill Oddie’s house in David Maclean Drive to spot some twinspots. To do some twin spotting. Actually Roger and Linda Hogg’s home – what a beautifulContinue reading “I’m, um, Normal!”

At Last, A Visual

I’ve been bothered by a thrush. THRUSH Poetry Journal considers thrush songs to be among the most beautiful birdsong in the world. ‘We love that, and that is how we feel about poems,’ they say. Thomas Hardy was feeling bleak when: At once a voice arose among       The bleak twigs overhead In a full-hearted evensongContinue reading “At Last, A Visual”

Techno-fob-ia?

Stefanus wrote about a new thing. I paraphrased his rant: What a bloody stupid idea. The ‘Key Fob’ or ‘Keyless Start’ or ‘Keyless Go’ or ‘Proximity Key’. I have always thought it was a stupid idea but I wasn’t sure why. Tonight I found out why. Our friend John gets home with his wife afterContinue reading “Techno-fob-ia?”

Please Call The Police

‘Please call the police; my friends are fighting and I’m very worried.’ The sound of a young woman’s voice early Saturday morning on my gate intercom. Luckily the intercom was in one of its working phases. They’d had a party, she said. Funny, I hadn’t heard anything. Sometimes the parties are really loud. I dialedContinue reading “Please Call The Police”

An Armrest Kink

You need to kick back with Binocs, Beer, Telescope on Tripod and – lately – Camera to do your front porch birding justice, and I have just the chair for it on my porch – a Lazy Boy thingamiebob. Newish . . An Argentine-African United Nations veterinarian writes a lovely blog he calls A BushContinue reading “An Armrest Kink”

An Old Friend Returns

I heard this call in River Drive – that’s the Mkombaan river – Westville KZN in 2002 and went looking. And I found a new bird to add to the long list in our first home: An Olive Bush Shrike! This year on the other river in Westville, the bigger Palmiet river, I heard theContinue reading “An Old Friend Returns”