Tag Archives: birds


Soar 1



When worries cast you down

Let your spirit soar high

Lifted by soft breezes

And away you fly


Soar 2



Grey Heron

Grey Heron 1

I spotted this large bird as we walked round the lake, St Margaret’s Loch, in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.

I like how from a distance the water looks like molten steel!

Grey Heron 2

I think this is a Grey Heron. They are commonly found all over the UK around wetland areas such as lakes and typically stand with their long necks pulled in, as seen in the first photo.

Grey Heron 3

After I’d taken a few quick shots, the heron decided he’d had enough of me and my camera and slowly waded back towards the shoreline, to hide in the reeds.


It was a grey, drizzly day, and as I said recently, my little Canon point and click camera prefers bright sunshine, being South African!

Still, it did its best in the dim lighting and from quite a distance.


post script: Extra points if you know who said “Like molten steel” and in which movie.


You’ll Never Eat Alone

Seagull 1

Sit down on a bench with a sandwich in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, and you will soon attract some company.

Seagull 2

This handsome chap came over to share my sandwich. (Yes, of course I gave him some.) I think he is a lesser black-backed gull.

Seagull 3

I found it interesting that seagulls were so prominent all over Edinburgh; more so than when I was actually at the seaside in Suffolk.

I would wake to their loud calls early in the morning.

But I did not mind one bit. Their plaintive cries were music to my ears after the cacophony of screeching Egyptian Geese and Hadedas that I am used to here in Cape Town!


photos taken with my Galaxy phone.


Red Sky

Red Skies 1

It is rare for me to see a red sky, with little hint of blue or purple, and this is such a deep red, it is really dramatic.

Red Skies 2

While I was taking my photos at dusk, with the sun rapidly setting, I was “serenaded” – if you can apply that term here – by a couple of Egyptian Geese, standing atop a neighbour’s roof and screeching loudly to another couple some distance away.

It is not a pretty sound!


You can read more about the noisy birds here: Sittin’ on a Roof and Cacophony.


I Tawt I Taw A PuddyTat!

Tweety 1

Here’s a twist on the old Tweety Pie song “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” about Sylvester the cat creeping up on the little bird.

Little Monkey and I were sitting outside in the shade of the trees early one evening, minding our own business, when I noticed movement.

A cheeky Olive Thrush flew down to the lawn and looked about. (I’ve marked his progress with a white arrow to save you having to squint to find him!)

Tweety 2

What did Little Monkey think about this?

I would say by the raspberry she’s blowing; clearly not impressed!

The Thrush, however, was completely unconcerned by our presence. He could plainly see us, but that didn’t faze him one bit.

He started hopping closer and closer to us!

Tweety 3

Little Monkey remained completely unaware of his presence;

Tweety 4

She just wondered why I was taking so many photos of her. She still hadn’t a clue that ‘Tweety” was creeping up on her;

Tweety 5

Closer and closer, till he got to where he wanted to go!

Talk about cheeky!


post script: For more about Sylvester the cat and Tweety Pie, you can click on these links:

I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat Cartoon

Puddy Tat song details

3D Cartoon “I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat” 2011


I must say, I prefer cartoons in the original 2D; certainly for the old ones like Sylvester and Tweety Pie.



Fleeting Visitor

Sunbird 1

Another Sunbird visited my garden some time ago. He seemed bigger than the Lesser Double Collared Sunbird that flew into my lounge recently. (See Sunbird)

I only managed to capture a few photos from quite a distance, so when enlarged they are too blurry to identify the bird easily. However, he is obviously a male, due to the iridescent green/dark back feathers; the females of these types of Sunbirds being the usual drab brown/grey!

The following Gallery shows him searching my large fir bush for food and one of a grey female on the old TV aerial (a Little Monkey deterrent) by my fence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He could be a Greater Double Collared Sunbird, which looks like the little guy from my lounge, but 14cm long as opposed to 12.5cm. I don’t think he is though, because there should be a large red band across his chest and even though my photos are blurry, the chest looks whiter than this.

Sunbird 5

Perhaps he is a White-Bellied Sunbird, but that is also tiny, at 11.5 cm and according to my bird book (Newman’s birds of Southern Africa) not found in Cape Town. (Though that might have changed since the book was published in 1983 and we now commonly have hadedah here, that only ever used to be in the Eastern Cape over 1000 km away.)

Maybe he is a Dusky Sunbird, but again this is also tiny, at 10 to 12 cm and the brightly coloured copper feathers come half way down his chest.

My final guess is a Grey Sunbird, as he has the dark back and pale under belly feathers. Also, though his range down the east coast of SA did not reach us, (in my 1983 book), it quite possibly has by now.

Not being a bird expert and only having poor photos to go on, your guess is as good as mine.

Regardless of the mystery of his species, he was beautiful and certainly brightened my day.



Sunbird 1

A Sunbird in my hand is worth many in the bush.

I have been trying to capture a decent photograph of this little Sunbird for many years. All I had to show for my efforts were lots of photos of empty bushes and skies! (He was far too quick for me!)

Sunbird 2

Today he flew right into my lounge.

He is a Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird.

The first priority, of course, was getting rid of the wolf! So I shut Little Monkey in the kitchen. Then we could set about rescuing this lost little soul.

Sunbird 3

Panicked, he flew round the room, repeatedly bumping his head on the ceiling. Eventually, exhausted, he settled to rest on the burglar bars in a window.

Sunbird 4

We managed to carefully shoo him out of the side window, only to have him immediately fly right back in the door! He ended up on the floor by the security door, so I scooped him up very gently in my cupped hands.

Sunbird 5

He weighed nothing at all. (Well, according to google, 8 grammes!)

As I cradled the poor dazed bird in my hands, we silently regarded each other; he with bemusement and I with wonder.

What a treat!

Sunbird 6

Then I carried him outside and placed him on my honeysuckle bush. This is where I have seen him before, fleetingly. He was a bit clingy, but I scraped him off and left him sitting on a branch, still quite confused.

Sunbird 7

He remained there for a while, then shook his head and took off, gaining altitude and flying strongly towards the trees.

I hope the dent on his head was merely ruffled feathers and he recovered fully.