Day 584 – What this blog isn’t

This blog isn’t simply going to be a list of posts including photos I have taken of birds. I know there’s been a lot of that of late. But recently, there have been a lot of birds in my vicinity and it was either ignore them completely (which would have been very rude) or take their photos. I’m generally not a very rude person, and so I’ve been taking their photos, and in the absence of being able to do much else at the moment, I figure I may as well share them here.

This little guy might be big on your screen right now but he’s actually just 7cm long and weighs about 8g. That’s less than a R5 coin. On the plus side, he’s actually worth more than a R5 coin in dollar terms, and that’s because our economy is utterly buggered.

He’s a Swee Waxbill (Coccopygia melanotis), part of a small flock that have become regular visitors to our back garden; possibly to visit the plentiful selection of birdbaths and the regularly refilled bird table, but most likely just because of the sparkling company on offer.

Come back tomorrow for possibly fewer bird images with accompanying text.

Day 509 – Recent photos

OK. The first half of the photos from our recent (ok, not so recent now, but I have a decent excuse) trip away are now edited and up on Flickr. Truth be told, I’m a little disappointed with the overall quality. That said, it was a really hard job packing all the sheer scale of the landscape into a camera, and we were there for family time rather than photography time.

And there are one or two of them that I still quite like:

Moody stuff. Go full screen for more effect.

The second part of our trip was less landscape and more animal. But it also makes up about 80% of the photos I took. I’m on it, but with energy and concentration at a premium right now, it is going to take some time.

Please bear with me.

Day 507 – Birds

I spotted this online recently:

And yes, maybe the birds are trying to send us a message about the way we’re treating them and the planet generally.

Most of the time, I’m a big fan of birds, and I’d happily sit and listen to their concerns.

This (Sunday!) morning, however, a couple of sodding Egyptian Geese were having a really loud moan about the environment or something from before 7am.

And I really would give anything for their population to collapse.


Day 504 – Getting stuff done

Since I can’t do much of anything that requires energy at the moment, I’ve been tidying up some stuff on the computer and the internet. My Flickr page is now looking much neater and tidier, with all the images assigned to groups and albums so that they’re easier to find, enjoy and share. So go and do it!
And I have high hopes that (at least some of) my photos from the Matroosberg and Klein Karoo (remember that pre-covid trip?) will be edited, uploaded and equally well categorised by the end of the day.


In other news, we had a further disaster last night as the recently repaired living room roof, beneath which is the even more recently replaced living room ceiling (literally last Friday), decided to allow another several (or more) litres of water through during the frontal rain in the late evening. Those litres missed the furniture completely, because the furniture isn’t in the living room at the moment, because now that the roof is repaired and the ceiling is replaced, the new floor is being installed.

You know: now that everything is all watertight and stuff? Mmm.

I’m so very, very tired of all this now.

Other things you might also like to know:

Yesterday’s post was very popular. Go and have a look if you haven’t already.

And, this:

Remember when BA brought their A380 over to Cape Town? Just after the Germans had left their towels on the metaphorical sunbeds? [Flickr]

I know that this announcement gives us 2½ months notice, but with SA very much on the UK’s reddest of red lists (and with every good reason right now), I can’t quite understand why BA would be taking this step unless they know something that we don’t – or unless they’re just going to cancel it when nothing new happens, of course.

Watch this space [gestures generally at the sky above Cape Town], I guess.

Day 499 – ITAP

One of the things that was ruined by our recent family Covid experience was Mrs 6000’s [landmark] birthday, which was thoroughly annoying, because [landmark] birthdays don’t come around all that often. And one of the plans for that day was for her to go on a gentle horse ride with her friends around some of the local vineyards, followed by a picnic in said vineyards. That didn’t happen because of self-isolation and general crappiness.
But we did manage to get that to happen today.

For the kids and I, the brief was clear: deliver the picnic to the vineyard in time for the end of the ride, and get some photos of the ride for posterity. No problem: I’ve proven that I can drive and the horse place/vineyard is almost literally just around the corner. I can set the boy loose taking photos and the girl and I can unpack the picnic stuff.

And so that’s what we did.

While the boy was away doing his thing, the girl went to chat to some of the remaining horses at the stables and I was left alone with the birds: Jackal Buzzards, Drongos, Sunbirds, White-Eyes – feathery stuff everywhere. And when the boy came back, I decided that I had to shoot the Flycatcher that had been flitting around the car.

This was quite a big deal, because it’s the first time I’ve been out of the car for 3 weeks and the first photo I’ve taken in over a month. I only had to go a few metres from the car to get the shot, but that was knackering enough, especially with a football match to stay up for this evening. But, bread and butter shot of a cute little bird posing on a nicely-textured horse fence: couldn’t resist.

Now just to edit 175 various images of ladies on horses. And maybe a nap.

(Definitely a nap.)