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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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South African birds

Following the coastal path at Onrus

The coastal path at the settlement of Onrus meanders through fynbos vegetation above the rocky shoreline. On our recent visit we enjoyed the sea air, wonderful views of the kelp-laced ocean swells and breakers, and walking among the diversity of plants and birdlife. Continue reading “Following the coastal path at Onrus”

Walking in the Gamkaberg

A morning walk following the Tierkloof Hiking Trail through a narrow gorge between towering sandstone cliffs was a highlight of our recent stay at Gamkaberg Nature Reserve in the Little Karoo region of the Western Province. Continue reading “Walking in the Gamkaberg”

Food for birds and wildlife: Planting for heat and drought

In a hot dry spring many birds and animals are struggling to survive even here in suburbia. However, gardens large and small can help wildlife survive in difficult circumstances, especially when gardens are planted with indigenous (native) plants that provide food and shelter. Continue reading “Food for birds and wildlife: Planting for heat and drought”

Love doves (you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone)

Doves may be relatively common, usually their colours are subtle, but they should not be taken for granted. The understated beauty of doves is something to be celebrated. Continue reading “Love doves (you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone)”

Sound and vision: The Purple-crested Turaco

One of the most colourfully eye-catching birds with the most vibrant calls to visit our garden is the truly gorgeous Purple-crested Turaco. Continue reading “Sound and vision: The Purple-crested Turaco”

Woodpeckers foraging two-by-two

We often hear woodpeckers tap-tap-tapping on wood as they search for food in the trees in our suburb most of the year round. They are also quite vocal, but despite all this noisiness they can be difficult to see as they are mostly high up among the branches and foliage of the taller trees. Continue reading “Woodpeckers foraging two-by-two”

The cackling presence of the Green Wood-Hoopoe

Although striking in appearance and obvious because they are gregarious, it is usually the loud cackling that first alert one to the presence of Green Wood-Hoopoes in the garden. Continue reading “The cackling presence of the Green Wood-Hoopoe”

The ongoing saga of the nesting Chorister Robin-chats

Chorister Robin-chats are in permanent residence in our garden, but until now we have not known where they nest. Continue reading “The ongoing saga of the nesting Chorister Robin-chats”

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