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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Birds

Black cuckooshrike – named for the unicoloured male, this is the female

Recently a bird I had not noticed in the garden before caught my eye. With all that barring on its underside could it be a cuckoo I wondered? It sat for a fair amount of time in a small tree not far from one of the birdbaths, quietly watching.

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Logging on again

I am back and logging on again after some absence from the blogosphere. My husband became ill very suddenly and had to be hospitalized.

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The secretarybird and the rising sun

A secretarybird with wings outspread and crowned by a stylised rising sun, tops the South African national Coat of Arms. The light, energy and splendour of the sun signifying the rebirth of every day at sunrise, and the soaring flight and power of the secretarybird are intended to inspire confidence and evoke potency.

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Winter solstice birds in the garden

In our dry winters, visiting birds make the most of the birdbaths in our garden. In this winter solstice week I decided to spend time photographing some of our mid-winter avian visitors.

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Sombre greenbuls can be loud and splashy too

The sombre greenbuls that visit our garden all year round are mostly evident from their loud and penetrating contact calls as they forage while concealed in dense vegetation or high up within the tree canopies.

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Meanwhile back in the garden: Images of early winter

Shorter days and cooler nights bring changes as the daytime temperatures vary between hot and mild. With the dryer air the sunshine has a golden clarity enhancing the colourful winter flowers and mellow berries, and brightening the visiting birds and insects in the garden.

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Looking out to sea: The shoreline, the estuaries and the coral reefs

Aquatic biomes include both freshwater and marine biomes. The marine biome is divided into three main ecosystems: the oceans, coral reefs and estuaries. South Africa has a coastline that is over 3000 kilometres in length and it features coral reefs on its eastern coastline and numerous estuaries along its length.

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Here’s looking at you: Some special encounters with African wildlife

Even in conservation areas, wild animals do not always tolerate the presence of approaching vehicles or people on foot. Some are nervous and dash off immediately and others may hesitate before deciding to turn away. But happily many do grant us the privilege of a calm encounter, even continuing as they were before, ignoring intruding visitors or even showing some signs of curiosity. In some ways it’s a shame to view such wild animals mostly through the lens of a camera, but for better or worse here is a random collection of photographs that are special to me.

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Caught on camera: Birds in the suburbs

After last week’s post on doves, I thought I’d share some bird pics taken in the garden over the past year or so. This is an entirely random and not at all representative selection.

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