Perseverance Pays Off

roncorylus

Reports of a Western Yellow Wagtail at Betty’s Bay had us rushing off there and searching the beach three times before we eventually saw the little creature yesterday afternoon.  We had spent over two hours looking on the first two visits, but yesterday it appeared as we arrived, so we were very excited.  Not only did we see the Waggie, but the beach has four African Black Oystercatcher nests and we saw both eggs and chicks.

On the path to the beach we got a pair of Long-billed Crombecs and two Southern Bou Bous, making for a good haul.  We had time on our hands, so went off to Rooi Els to see if we could find Cape Rockjumpers, but to no  avail.  Then, looking up at the cliffs for a Verreaux’s Eagle, I spotted an unusual raptor and was thrilled to be able to identify it later as a…

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Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters

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A report from SARBN indicated the presence of these birds on the road into Rooisand, so we wasted no time in going to look for them.  We counted no less than eight birds along the fence.  This was a truly great experience, seeing these beautiful creatures outside of their normal range.  Then, on the way home, we saw a Secretarybird walking in the field just opposite the entrance to Benguella Cove, so the afternoon was well spent, indeed!

IMG_3437 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater at Rooisand

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Christmas Party

 

Around 70 club members attended the Christmas party held last evening at Fernkloof.  It was a fun-filled affair, starting with the photographic competition, in which members were asked to judge images submitted in the categories of Best Picture, Best Caption and Best Fun Photo.  No less than 42 images were submitted – all of a very high standard and the crowd had their work cut out trying to decide which were the best.  In the end Frank Hallett got the award for Best Picture, with his wonderful action shot showing a Jackal trying to make a meal of a pair of Namaqua Sand Grouse.

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Outfoxed by Frank Hallett

 

Margie Ogston won the Best Caption with her image of two very different looking Guineafowl, with the title as below.

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‘THE THOUGHT OF A ZIPLINE IN FERNKLOOF MAKES THE HAIR ON MY NECK RISE’ by Margie Ogston

The Best Fun Photo award went to Ed Meyer, with his great image of interaction between a Little Egret and a Black Heron.

What's under there?  - Kwetsani, Okavango

What ya hiding under your umbrella?

The ‘Bring and Braai’ went well with much jostling around the fire – and the unusual interruption caused by the gas running out and some frantic scrabbling in order to eventually find a bottle which was not empty.  Then there was an interlude of Anagram solving – trying to identify the bird names.  Mariette Pitlo was the star of the show, achieving a good number of answers in quick time.

It was good to see many new members participating and we were all blown away when Wolfgang and Gertrude stood up and gave us an impromptu song in Austrian!  What a surprise and what a great way to introduce yourselves to the club!  I just wish I had had my camera with me to record all the festivities.

Cutie Pie

roncorylus

A chance happening on a juvenile Brimstone Canary right close to our cottage, whilst Orchid hunting at Barrydale, provided an opportunity to get close to this interesting little bird (what a fantastic hairdo!).  It’s parents were nowhere to be seen and it did not appear to be bothered by our presence.  We were worried as it was sitting in a cold wind and had a somewhat forlorn look about it, so I was relieved to note that an adult pair frequented the same area the next morning, suggesting a nearby nest and a re-united family!

_MG_4252 Juvenile Brimstone Canary

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