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Archive for October 11th, 2012

While doing some boat Whale Watching earlier this year I took a few photo`s of the local bird life. Instead of making a blog with many pictures I decided to incorperate them in one. At least they can be seen in sequence. I originaly made an Animation into a .gif file following one of the birds but it was so fast that I have just used stills.

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whitewolf-avitar18

Can you imagine keeping this in your pocket? Then you have to find a way to use it without loosing a finger or two.I have never been a lover of multipurpose knives. I do however have a small Leatherman that was a present, this has not got too many blades and has on occasion been very useful.

swissarmy

This was the writeup supplied with the picture.


The Giant Swiss Army Knife is a monument to the hacker ethos.
It includes 85 separate tools for over 100 functions, ranging from a laser pointer to a fish scaler. Its unparalleled assortment of features has enshrined it in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most multifunctional penknife. At nearly three pounds and over 8 inches wide, it’s a good gift for dads who like multi-functional pocketknives, even though it won’t fit in his pocket.

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hadida3

There is a large tree in Plettenberg Bay, which overhangs a rim flow pool. The Hadida couple moved in just before we arrived, in early August. It is an idyllic spot, with sweeping views of the bay and Tsitsikama Mountains. From a large 2nd storey patio, we became their closest neighbours, with a clear view of their lifestyle and habits.

nest2

What fun we had observing their clumsy nest building techniques, which is not much more than a platform of sticks, placed rather higgledy piggledy in a fork of a tree. Mr and Mrs Hadida participated, often with disastrous results and more often than not dropped the sticks into the water below. They would take turns to feed, while the other one guarded their coveted spot. Both returned at night to roost just next to their budding nest. After even short separations they greeted each other lovingly, rubbing their beaks together.

dad-nest

Just over a month later when the nest was nearly completed we witnessed their mating and from then until she laid her eggs, there was a burst of energy from both, to line their nest with soft material. About 3 weeks ago she laid her eggs.

Mr and Mrs both took turns sitting on the eggs. They would relieve each other after a few hours, and were very rarely late for duty.

How patient they were, positioning themselves so carefully and elegantly,with beaks tucked beneath their wings. Ignoring the flock of Weavers who were noisily building their own nests, 15 in all.

And so the days went by and the embryo`s developed, there was a sense of expectancy in the air. My daughter`s forth child is due on the 26 th and we wandered who would arrive first.

Days and nights they persevered. We were concerned for them during the recent strong winds and rain, but they were not daunted, they were wet , bedraggled and wind blown, but their nest and eggs were intact.

If a large bird perched too closely they would let out a piercing call and extend their wings and fold them protectively over the nest.

I regret to say, we will not be hearing the cheep of baby birds. We will not observe their rearing.

Yesterday , the pool cleaner lady, prodded the nest with her long pole dislodging the eggs, which dropped into the water and shattered, disgorging the nearly formed chick. We only found one egg in the bushes and it had a very thin shell.

We did not witness the event, but we saw the aftermath. The pool lady then admitted that she had pushed the nest to scare the bird away as it was making a mess in the pool.

egg1

The female Hadida was stunned and confused and very distressed. She stood up searching her nest for her egg. Her mate was away feeding at the time. After about half an hour she left with loud calls to locate him. He returned with her just before sunset, and I can only describe their calls as grief. Not long after, a small flock of hadidas arrived to add their cries of indignation and sorrow. It was like a wake. The Hadida couple stayed around the nest for a while and then left, never to return.

Yes as previously mentioned they did drop twigs and excrement into the pool. This obviously caused headaches for the pool cleaning services, and yes, I might be a sentimental old fool, but as I sit here on the patio, looking at the remains of the nest, I cant help wandering at the injustice of it all. If it were at all possible I would have joined that flock of comical birds and added my own voice.

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