Fauna and Flora Friday: 23 October 2020

Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol

Butterfly Lilies are perennial plants. The leaves are in a loose fan and oriented edgewise to the stem. The flowers are in a cylindrical or open panicle on a semi hairy stem. The flowers are yellow to brownish, with dark markings on the base of the upper three tepals.
These plants can be found on damp slopes and flats in southwestern South Africa, flowering best after a fire.

I took the following photos in the West Coast National Park in 2015.

Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol
Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol
Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol
Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol
Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol
Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol
Wachendorfia paniculata Butterfly Lily, Rooikanol

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post. I hope you also learned something new today.
Have a fabulous day. Till next time, please stay safe and healthy.

Coreen

Fauna and Flora Friday: 16 October 2020

Black Harrier Circus maurus

The Black Harrier is a medium-sized African Harrier whose range extends from South Africa to Botswana and Namibia. It has a wingspan of 105–115 cm (41–45 in) and a body length of 44–50 cm (17–20 in). When perched, this bird appears all black. In-flight, a white rump and flight feathers become visible. Its morphology is comparable to that of other harriers, with a slim body, narrow wings, and a long tail. Male and female plumages are similar. Juveniles have buff underparts and heavily spotted breasts.

The Black Harrier feed mostly on small rodents and birds and will occasionally take reptiles, catching them while flying low over its hunting grounds.

In South Africa, the distribution of the black harrier is distinctly polarized in both the Western and Southern coastal plains. Nests are concentrated either along the coastal strip or inland in a more montane habitat. Nests are generally absent from transformed and cultivated lands.

Black harriers are migratory birds and, their annual movements cover the southern half of the land surface of South Africa (including Lesotho). The majority of these birds undertake an unusual west-east migration. Pair members do not travel together and, they don’t use the same non-breeding areas either. It has been suggested that black harriers migrate to deal with declines in food availability.

Unusually, Black Harriers travel almost twice as fast during their summer post-breeding migration as they during their winter/spring pre-breeding migration. In many other species, this is often reported the other way round. One reasoning for this is that it is part of their pre-breeding behavior and that the extra time is used to find the best breeding areas.

Home ranges during the breeding seasons and non-breeding seasons are of similar sizes, suggesting similar levels of food availability. Black Harriers return to breeding areas they have used previously and, they return to their birthplace to breed.

Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Black Harrier Circus maurus

Thank you very much for taking the time to have a look at my work.
Have a fabulous day. Till next time, please stay safe and healthy.

Coreen

Fauna and Flora Friday: 9 October 2020

Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia

Annual herb with stiffly erect stems to 60cm, roughly hairy towards the base, with thread-like or variously lobed leaves and blue flowers with a white or greenish centre. They close at night and in cool weather. Widespread on sandy flats and slopes. They often form massed displays in Namaqualand and the southwestern Cape.

I took these photos of the Sunflax flowers in the West Coast National Park.

Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia
Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia
Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia
Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia
Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia
Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia
Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia
Sunflax Heliophila coronopifolia

Thank you very much for taking the time to have a look at my work.
Have a fabulous day. Till next time, please stay safe and healthy.

Coreen

Fauna and Flora Friday: 2 October 2020 – Greater Flamingo

Good day everyone,

Today I would like to give you some titbits on The Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus.

The Greater Flamingo is the biggest of the two Africa-Flamingos. It has a very long neck and legs. When they are on the ground, they appear to be all white. In-flight bright pink salmon colored coverts are visible and contrast with the black flight feathers of the wings. Their face and bill is light pink with a broad black pointed beak and turned sharply downwards after about two-thirds of its length. It has pink legs.

The juvenile Flamingo is a light grayish-brown and becomes lighter as they grow older. Its bill is light gray with a dark point. The eyes are brown and, its legs are dark gray.

They’re found, at large bodies of shallow water, such as lakes, dams, estuaries, and salt pans. They prefer water that is slightly saline, hence their preference for inland lakes without much drainage.

Greater Flamingos are highly nomadic birds and, their presence usually depends on suitable water conditions. Usually, they are seen in large flocks, wading slowing through shallow water and sometimes seen swimming in deeper water. Using its feet, the bird stirs up the mud, then sucks water through its bill and filters out small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms, and mollusks. The Greater Flamingo feeds with its head down, and its upper jaw is movable and not rigidly fixed to its skull.

The Greater Flamingo are very sociable birds and will not breed unless in large numbers. The flamingos have a unique communal display, consisting of flapping, posturing, preening, and making quite a bit of noise. Flamingos perform spectacular group courtship displays, involving synchronized wing-raising, ritualized preening, and ‘head-flagging’ raising the neck and beak and turning the head from side to side.

They only lay one egg at a time on a mud mound. The chick usually hatches after 27 to 31 days.

I got the above information from different sources. Wikipedia, SA Venues and Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan

Thank you for taking the time to have a look at my work.
Till next time, stay safe and healthy.

Coreen

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Walt Disney

Fauna and Flora Friday: 25 September 2020

Good morning,

Last night I could not sleep. My brain was in overdrive mode. I just could not shut down and go to sleep.

Yesterday I started reading up on organic vegetable gardens and, I think that is what triggered Fauna and Flora Friday.

Over the past few years, I have captured many birds, flowers, insects, and animals. Now is the perfect time for me to start identifying them.
Some of the photos that I am going to share you may have seen in other posts, but I will try to keep those to a minimum.

I aim to broaden my knowledge of flowers, plants, trees, animals, insects, and birds. I am still learning if I am wrong, forgive me and let me know so that I can correct my mistake. I will mainly work with the books I have on my bookshelf and google.

Nemesia affinis Leeubekkie
Nemesia affinis Leeubekkie
Nemesia affinis Leeubekkie

The following information I got from my Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa by John Manning

Nemesia NEMESIA, LEEUBEKKIE

“Annual or perennial herbs, Leaves opposite, variously toothed. Flowers solitary in the axils on in loose, leafy racemes, combinations of white, yellow, orange, pink or blue.

Nemesia affinis: Annual herb to 30 cm, with elliptical to lance-shaped toothed leaves, and white, blue, yellow or sometimes red flowers, with oblong upper petals, a raised, cream-coloured to yellow palate with two velvety crests, and a pointed spur, 3-5mm long; fruit as long as or slightly longer and wide. You will find them on sandy and granite slopes and flats from southern Namibia to the Eastern Cape.”

I captured these photos in the West Coast National Park on 22 August 2015.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my my work and read my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment.

‘Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

Henry Ford