Tag Archives: birds

Territorial Dispute

Guinea Fowl 4

Haiku 78

Guinea Fowl battle

Staccato machine gun fire

It is 2 a. m.

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It is almost summer here in Cape Town and every animal is twitterpated. We are used to hearing the sounds of Egyptian Geese, Hadedah and Guinea Fowl squabbling loudly over territory all day long; but not usually in the middle of the night!

This is the third morning in a row I’ve had a very early wake up call. Add to this my crippling allergies and I am walking around during the day like a Zombie!

 

post script: For Scooj – I know you’re counting! Strictly speaking ‘fire’ is one syllable, but regional accents may break it into two; ‘fi-yur’. So if you pronounce it that way here is an alternate second line: ‘Rapid machine gun fire’.

I went with ‘staccato’ because it conveys the sound better. 

 

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Natural Selection

Baby Geese

Natural Selection

Tiny Guinea Fowl chick abandoned by your flock

Scratching in the dirt as you’ve seen your parents do

But without their guidance and protection

And only a few inches tall

You will not survive alone

Breakfast for the Magpie chicks?

Sadness

Heart-rending peeps follow me down the path

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Egyptian goose with the badly broken leg

Each halting step agonisingly painful

Yet still you hobble near your chicks

Protecting them alongside your partner

Your commitment ensuring

The survival of your genes

Endurance

Raucous screeches follow me down the street

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On our walks around the neighbourhood Little Monkey and I have come across many new-born chicks: Guinea Fowl and Egyptian Geese.

When I see an injured or abandoned bird it is hard not to interfere, but there is nothing to be done. The injured bird is still protecting its chicks and the abandoned chick will either survive on its own, or not. It had a near miss when LM spotted it before me!

I did search for the parent Guinea Fowl, with the intention of guiding the baby chick back to their safety, but they were nowhere to be seen. Guinea Fowl are notoriously bad parents.

It reminds me that life out there in the ‘wild’ is tough.

It really is the survival of the fittest.

 

If You Plant It He Will Come!

Sunbird 2

We planted these honeysuckle last year and my, how they have grown!

Sunbird 3

We hoped they might bring the sunbirds to our garden more often and we have been amply rewarded.

Sunbird 1

These are Lesser Double Collared Sunbirds; the male with beautiful iridescent colouring and the female a typical drab brown. Both are visible in the above photo.

Sunbird 5

Here you can see just how tiny he is in the grass, next to the raindrops.

Sunbird 4

And you can even see his little feet in the photo above.

Sunbird 6

As usual, I was taking shots from way back inside my house, on the maximum zoom available, with my little Canon camera. I’ll be impressed if you can spot both birds in the above photo.

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So, as the saying goes from the 1989 film Field of Dreams“If you build it he will come”  “If you plant it he will also come!”

 

Tea and Peacocks

Tea Time

Sitting out under the trees

On an overcast day

Enjoying tea and scones

Peacocks 1

You can’t get much closer to Nature

Than the accompaniment of

The plaintive cries of Peacocks

Peacocks 2

As they scramble about

On the thatched rooves opposite

Squabbling over who gets the girls

Peacock 3

Even when not displaying to his ladies

The male is magnificent

Iridescent light on a dismal day

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High Above Me

Crow 1

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

It’s SuperCrow!

I heard one crow cawing high above me as I was bringing in the washing one afternoon. I craned my neck back and saw it circling round and round.

Crow 2

It was soon joined by another crow and then another. I dashed inside for my trusty Canon and leaning right back took a few photos of what looked to me like clear blue skies. I knew the crows were circling away up there because I could still hear them cawing now and then, but they were far away and very hard to see.

Crow 3

However, I did manage to catch all five of them in one shot in the end.

They are Pied Crows, quite large birds around 50 cm in length.

Crow 4

Then after all their aerial manoeuvres they flew off into the deep blue sky. I bet all you can see in the photo above is just that! I assure you there are some birds there.

 

post script: The collective noun for a flock of crows is a Murder or Horde of crows.

And because you are probably thinking of it, here is a link to the song by Tal Bachman, She’s so High.

 

Not Yet Departed

Swallows

Haiku 53

Not yet departed

Borne aloft on southern winds

Spirited away

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Once again I saw many European Swallows flying over my garden. They were milling round overhead, massing together rather than catching insects on the wing.

I dashed inside for my trusty Canon, but when I got back outside they were no longer flocking.

I caught one last glimpse of them over the rooftops, as they headed off – South?

Yep. They were definitely headed South, so I don’t think they’re ready to go back up North just yet!

Also, it was strange to see them flying in a skein formation like this. They’re not geese after all!