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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Giga Birding Twitch - Rufous-tailed scrub Robin in Cape Town

The Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin is commonly found in the northern parts of Africa and southern Europe.  It was an incredible find for Peter Steyn and Andre Demblon to spot this little fellow in the Southern tip of Africa.  They are known to come as far south as Kenya, but to find him here was a true find indeed. People from all over the country cancelled all their plans and hastily booked their flights to enjoy this beautiful little bird on the banks of the Zeekoei Vlei dam in Cape Town, in the Western Cape of South Africa.

He escaped my camera when we first came to see him, but I was determined to tick this one off, and returned a week later to capture these images.

"The rufous-tailed scrub robin (Cercotrichas galactotes) is a medium-sized member of the family Muscicapidae. Other common names include the rufous scrub robin, rufous bush chat, rufous bush robin[2] and the rufous warbler.[3] It breeds around the Mediterraneanand east to Pakistan. It also breeds south of the Sahara from the Sahel region east to Somalia; these African birds are sometimes considered to be a separate species, the African scrub robin (C. minor). It is partially migratory, wintering in Africa (Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia) and India. This is a very rare visitor to northern Europe.

The rufous-tailed scrub robin is a bird of dry open country with bushes and shrubs. It builds its nest a few feet off the ground; there are three to five eggs is a typical clutch.

The rufous-tailed scrub robin is larger than the European robin. It has brown upper parts, whitish under parts, and a prominent whitish eye-stripe. The western race has a paler, warmer brown back than birds in southeastern Europe and Asia. The long rufous tail is frequently fanned, showing the black and white tips of the tail feathers. The adult male and female have similar plumage and the juvenile resembles the adult but is paler. These birds feed on insects mostly caught on the ground. Their clear thrush-like song has a sad tone." Source WikipediA

Friday, July 22, 2016

Addo Elephant National Park Birds 4

Addo Elephant National Park birds was a fun project that kept us very busy during our recent trip to Addo.  Herewith the last of our series of images captured in Addo.









Sunday, July 3, 2016

Iconic Baobabs of Africa

We share a passion for trees, and how lucky are we to live in a country that has one of the worlds most majestic trees on our doorstep?

The baobab is known for its resilience, but has also been a vital part to our wildlife and its ecosystem. This medicinal giant takes care of the life that surrounds it and is known to live for thousands of years. 

Each tree featured in this album is over a thousand years old. The oldest one (over 6000 years old) collapsed a few years ago, but its was worth sharing the remains of this fallen beautiful giant
The Glencoe Baobab, Hoedspruit, Limpopo

Baobab near Punda Maria and Pafuri, Kruger National Park

Baobab near Pafuri, Punda Maria, Kruger National Park

Baobab in Leydsdorp near Gravelotte, Limpopo

Thulamela Ruins Baobab, near Pafuri, Kruger National Park

Wasini Island Baobab, near Diani Beach, Kenya
- this beautiful island is littered with baobabs everywhere -

Thulamela Ruins Baobab, near Pafuri, Kruger National Park

Wasini Island Baobab, near Diani Beach, Kenya

Diani Beach Baobab, near Mombassa, Kenya
- on the far north side of this pristine beach lies a patch of beach baobabs worth visiting -

Diani Beach Baobab, near Mombassa, Kenya

Baobab near Hoedspruit, Limpopo

 The Glencoe Baobab II, Hoedspruit, Limpopo

The fallen Glencoe Baobab, Hoedspruit, Limpopo
Glencoe Baobab is the stoutest and second largest baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) in South Africa, and possibly the stoutest tree in the world. The tree is located in Glencoe Farm, near HoedspruitLimpopo Province and had a trunk diameter of 15.9 m (52 ft).
The tree divides into several trunks close to the ground. The main trunk had lowered into the ground a long time ago. In November 2009 the tree split in two parts, opening up an enormous hollow.[1]
The diameter of the tree before the split was 15.9 m (52 ft) with a circumference of 47 m (154 ft). The height is 17 m (56 ft), and the spread of crown is 37.05 m (121.6 ft).[2]
The dates "1893" and "1896" are carved on the tree's stem.[3] Radiocarbon dating performed in 2013 suggested an age of 1,835 years.[4] Source: Wikipedia

Manutsa Baobab, near Hoedspruit, Limpopo
We enjoyed the beautiful Manutsa hike from above the Strijdom Tunnel, that follows the stream down valleys and never ending rock pools, to end at the bottom by the Olifants river and came upon this hidden beauty within the community who live here.

Manutsa Baobab, near Hoedspruit, Limpopo

They say the locals swim inside the trunk of this tree on a hot day... we did not investigate it, but we are sure it will be an interesting swim.

Diani Beach Baobab, Mombassa, Kenya

Hoedspruit Roadside Baobab, Limpopo Province

Thulamela Ancient Ruins Baobab, Kruger National Park

Thulamela Ancient Ruins Baobab, Kruger National Park

Thulamela Ancient Ruins Baobab, Kruger National Park