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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Birds

Wild and free canaries in the garden

This Forest Canary didn’t seem to notice me sitting with my camera in a corner of the garden, and it approached really close, even drinking from the nearby birdbath before seeing me and flitting up into a tree. Continue reading “Wild and free canaries in the garden”

The courtship dance of the endangered Grey Crowned Crane

A practical way of letting nature back in is through the activities of the Conservancy movement. There are nearly 100 Conservancies in KwaZulu-Natal, and in addition to their conservation work, many host activities enabling people to visit these special areas. For example, the Karkloof Conservancy in addition to hosting guided walks, has two bird hides in the wetland where three species of cranes may be seen.  Continue reading “The courtship dance of the endangered Grey Crowned Crane”

The forest-dwelling Lemon Dove

Because the Lemon Dove forages discreetly on the ground or in the shrubby understorey it is often overlooked. It occurs in forest habitats and also in gardens that are well wooded. Continue reading “The forest-dwelling Lemon Dove”

Mannikins: Gregarious seed-eaters gracing the garden

Small flocks of mannikins are frequent garden visitors, arriving in a sudden flurry often accompanied by high-pitched chirping. These are very small birds weighing only 10 g (less than half an ounce). Continue reading “Mannikins: Gregarious seed-eaters gracing the garden”

The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious

Among the first spring flowers are the delicately scented lilac-hued blossoms of the shrubby Puzzle bush. Continue reading “The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious”

A charming visitor: The Cape Robin-Chat

The Cape Robin-Chat rather paradoxically can be shy as well as confiding. These lovely little birds occur over much of South Africa where there is dense enough vegetation to provide for their needs. Continue reading “A charming visitor: The Cape Robin-Chat”

Weekly Photo Find: Baby Marico Flycatcher

Continuing with the baby animal series is this photo of a fledgling Marico Flycatcher. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Baby Marico Flycatcher”

Weekly Photo Find: Camel thorn tree of the arid regions

Portraits of trees is another category of photography that I greatly admire. I love photographing trees, but find it too be much more challenging than I initially expected. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Camel thorn tree of the arid regions”

Midwinter basking: Soaking up the sunshine

Winter and sunshine are not mutually exclusive where I live in KwaZulu-Natal. Of course too much of a good thing is not a good thing. May 2018 was the fourth-hottest May globally on record, with the other hottest Mays all occurring in the last five years (for details see here). Continue reading “Midwinter basking: Soaking up the sunshine”

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