🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

I can't find the sugar, Hon!

Camera : Canon EOS 550D 
Taken in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

A female African masked-weaver (Ploceus velatus) inspecting a nest to see if it suits her requirements. More often than not, the female will reject the nest and look elsewhere, sending the males into a frenzy of building two or three nests at the same time, sometimes as many as six!

This female was quite impressed with the housing and shortly after her inspection, she flew to the ground, returning with a feather and disappeared inside. the male was ecstatic! He did a little dance on the branch above her, and then joined her inside. How I wish I could have seen what was going on in there!

But the nesting season is all over now, the males have all lost their breeding colours and the garden is strangely quiet with just the odd chirps.

The Southern Masked-Weaver or African Masked-Weaver is a native of sub-Saharan Africa with a short, conical bill. Adult males in breeding plumage have a black face and throat, red eyes, a bright yellow head and under-parts, and yellowish-green upper-parts, whereas females (and non-breeding males) are dull greenish yellow, streaked darker on the upper back, and the throat is yellowish, becoming off-white on the belly, with duller irides. It nests in colonies, like other weavers, and the nests, again like those of other weavers, are woven of reeds, palms or grasses. The Southern Masked-Weaver appears to have established itself locally in parts of northern Venezuela.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Half a beauty!

Artemis during his moult. Half his cape and half his beautiful tail feathers are gone, but it won’t be long before they are all replaced by healthy, more beautiful than ever, new feathers!


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

I saw a flock of birds today...

I think Autumn is at and end now, the days are getting colder. My Swallows left in middle-April and the call of the Red-chested Cuckoo is quiet. I'm looking forward to their return in spring. And will enjoy the birds that stay for winter.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

How to know if it's going to be a beautiful day

Camera : Canon EOS 550D
Taken on our smallholding (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) at 6.15am this morning.

It is purported that thick, early morning mist heralds a beautiful day ahead. Today it certainly has turned out to be true, it turned into a beautiful day with blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Even as I was taking the photos, the mist was quickly clearing and half-an-hour later all the mist was gone and it promised to be a lovely day.


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A place to start

What is an egg, but a place to start,
Nestled under a mother's heart?
What is a nest, but a place to be,
Surrounded by those whose love is free?
What is a chick, but a beginning new,
Fresh and sweet as the morning dew?
What is a pullet but a lady who waits,
For that day when she too can say;
What is an egg but a place to start,
Nestled under a mother's heart?
- Sheryl DéLeon SoRelle



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