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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Birds

The understorey: The tale of the White Starred Robin

Once upon a time, not long ago and not far away, a White Starred Robin visited our garden pond. If I had the powers to understand the language of robins, what might I learn? Continue reading “The understorey: The tale of the White Starred Robin”

A woodpecker at the window

It wasn’t just a discrete little tap, tap, tap on the window frame, it was a very loud and insistent hammering. The first time I heard it early in the morning I thought what an inconsiderate visitor this is. It must be an emergency. Continue reading “A woodpecker at the window”

Wild Dagga: Cheerfulness in early winter

Bringing good cheer and nectar in the late autumn and early winter, the Wild Dagga’s bright orange flower clusters, arranged vertically on segmented tall stems, brighten wild grasslands and gardens alike. Continue reading “Wild Dagga: Cheerfulness in early winter”

Raptors, rat poisons and us

The appealing Wood Owl is one of the species of raptors that occur in our neighbourhood. Raptors are generally beneficial to us humans because they prey on species that, if their numbers get out of hand, can become problematic to us, in both urban and rural settings. Continue reading “Raptors, rat poisons and us”

Fleeting garden visitors: The Bush Blackcap and the Swee Waxbill

Previously, I have highlighted birds that are daily visitors to our garden. By contrast the Bush Blackcap and the Swee Waxbill appear to be infrequent or very discreet visitors. Continue reading “Fleeting garden visitors: The Bush Blackcap and the Swee Waxbill”

For the birds: Grass going to seed in the autumn garden

Brightening up our mini-grassland this autumn are the seeded plumes of the Golden Bristle Grass. Not only do they catch our eye, but they also catch the attention of seed-eating birds. Continue reading “For the birds: Grass going to seed in the autumn garden”

The security of parental care

Although nearly fully grown, this juvenile Hadeda Ibis still seeks a sense of security from its parent. Continue reading “The security of parental care”

The forest-loving African Olive-Pigeon – a special garden visitor

What has bright yellow legs and bill, is predominantly purple-brown with beautiful speckled markings and hints of iridescence, a soothing deep and almost resonant call, clambers about in large trees with clumsy agility in search of small fruits, and is one of my favourite garden birds? Continue reading “The forest-loving African Olive-Pigeon – a special garden visitor”

Black Sparrowhawks in urban areas: Where to now?

The name “sparrowhawk” comes from the prey (sparrows) of some species of sparrowhawks, and does not refer to the size of the raptor itself. Continue reading “Black Sparrowhawks in urban areas: Where to now?”

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