letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces


Garden birds South Africa

Diverting and delightful Swee Waxbills

Named for their soft ‘swee swee’ call, the small and colourful Swee waxbills are guaranteed to distract me from my work on their occasional visits to our garden. Continue reading “Diverting and delightful Swee Waxbills”

The dancing dove

It is always a pleasure to watch wild creatures going confidently about their business without fear.
Continue reading “The dancing dove”

Winter satisfaction

The glossy red berries of the Solanum giganteum provide satisfaction for birds during the winter months when conditions can be harsh. Continue reading “Winter satisfaction”

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”

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-headed Oriole: Golden bird of the African treetops

Here is a bird that lives up to its beautiful namethe word “oriole” derives from the Latin for “golden”. Continue reading “Black-headed Oriole: Golden bird of the African treetops”

Anticipating attracting a mate

He built this nest in anticipation of attracting a mate.   Continue reading “Anticipating attracting a mate”

Christmas cards and robins

Even in sunny South Africa, European winter traditions are evident at Christmas time. There are Christmas cards that feature red-breasted European robins and there was a time when shop windows sported cotton-wool snow and plastic holly, even though December is at the height of the southern hemisphere summer!  Continue reading “Christmas cards and robins”

Southern Boubou: A bushshrike that’s usually quite shy

The Southern Boubou is most noticeable on account of its ringing duetting call. It is an audible presence in our garden, and we catch glimpses of the pair hopping through low dense foliage, but they are shy and it is difficult to get a clear view of them. These photos were taken on a recent road trip to the Western Cape and back. Cheating perhaps? Continue reading “Southern Boubou: A bushshrike that’s usually quite shy”

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