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: 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

1 September 2020: It’s Springtime in South Africa

We had much more rain than the previous 3 years. The flowers are stunning this year. My fiance and I visited the West Coast National park on 22 August 2020 and I was very happy to see that this year the fields are much more colorful. In 2018 my dad and I went and it was mainly Yellow flowers…. This year there is all the colors of the rainbow…

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Walt Disney

Not saying much Tuesday….

Franklin on the lookout….

Thank you for taking the time to look at my work.

If you can dream it you can do it…..

Fancy a scorpion for lunch?

While driving through Potsberg dad and I spotted a Cattle Egret looking for food. Not long afterwards it was successful and caught a scorpion.

We sat by the side of the road for quite a while watching it fight with the scorpion. This was a first for me. Even dad said he never saw one eat a scorpion before.

This is the reason why I love photography and spending time in nature. One always see something new and if you have your camera with you one can document what you saw…

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

If you can dream it you can do it……

Big birds, big eggs and childhood memories…..

Ostriches are very big birds that can’t fly…. But oh my word they can run very fast and they lay very big eggs….

I used to love to listen to the stories my mother told me about her childhood vacations on the Ostrich farm were her grandparents stayed. She told me how she and her nephew use to go play in the Ostrich penns. They were not aware that it was breeding season and got to close to the eggs. Mom told us that she never knew she can run that fast or jump over the fence….

When I was about 10 years old my parents took us to Oudtshoorn known for all it’s Ostrich farms. My mom also showed us were she spent her school holidays. I remembered that holiday as if it was yesterday. Sitting on the back of that big bird and feeding it. I found it very interesting that Ostriches eats stones well everything they can swallow to be honest. They really like shiny things too.

Ostrich eggs are very big and srong. One can stand on it and it won’t break. I would never believed it but I saw it with my own two eyes. One Ostrich egg equals 24 eggs and it is a taste to get use to. I personally love it especially when you make omelettes of it.

While visiting the Westcoast National Park last year for the first time I had the opportunity to take some awesome photo’s of the Ostriches in a field of yellow flowers.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

If you can dream it you can do it…..

Playing hide and seek…

Tortoises are more visible these days in The Westcoast National Park. Maybe it is just because they have grown and are bigger so one sees them better….

I was very lucky this time around they did not all head for the bushes when I got out to take some photo’s of the.

Thank you for stopping by. Have a Blessed day.

If you can dream it you can do it….

Bontebok…

I read on Instagram that in 1930 there were only 30 Bontebok left in the world….

According to Wikipedia they were killed as pests and at one stage only 17 existed.

Today Bontebok are only found in South Africa in protective areas like our Sanparks.

I was lucky and got a awesome photo opportunity when I visited The West Coast National Park and Potsberg in September last year. The Bontebok walked straight to my car like a model and looked straight into the lens….

At another spot I captured a few in a field. When I edited the photos I spotted a calf and his mom….

Thank you for taking the time to look at my work. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

If you can dream it you can do it…..

Flowers of Postberg

While driving in Postberg you spot a lot of beautiful flowers but one can’t really take nice photo’s from your car. One have to get out and get in close. Only then do you find hidden gems.

I tried to identify the flowers by going through my books. I use Wild Flowers of South Africa by Braam van Wyk, Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa and also Field Guide to Fynbos by John Manning. My only problem is some of the photo’s are so small and some only taken from different angles than mine that I struggled to identify them 100%..

I can only blame myself too. At one stage I was quite clued up on my flower. But if you don’t refresh your mind every now and then one seems to forget… So I have just decided to work on this again. I have so many files with photo’s of flowers, plants and trees. Maybe I must start identifying them and get a expert who will be willing to help me. What do you think?

Hongerblom

Magriet

Magriet and Reënblommetjie

Rooimalva

Bokbaaivygie

Reënblommetjie

Soetuintjie

Soetuintjie

Sambreeltjies

Soetuintjie

Soetuintjie

Bokbaaivygie

Sorrel or Suring

Magriet and Reënblommetjie

Reënblommetjie

Thank you for taking the time to look at my work. Please feel free to comment on my work. I believe that one can only learn from others and your mistakes.

Beautiful Landscapes of Potsberg

Potsberg has some of the most beautiful landscapes. I just love capturing them. During flowerseason it just take it to the next level…

In the past there were more colors visible but due to the drought we had the yellow flowers took over and only here and there you stil had patches of purple, pink and white flowers. Don’t get me wrong it is still awesome and I got some beautiful photos with Bontebok and Ostrich. These I will share at a later stage….

Due to the fact that my trigger finger worked overtime I need to split our Potsberg visit in 3 posts….

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Hope you enjoyed your visit. Please let me know what you think of my work. Have a Blessed week.