After my very interesting encounter with the wasps cache, I had to head back to the camp or at least by in line of sight, so that my son wouldn't worry overly about me. I feel young, but I'm still Daniel's "old mother" and its a joy having a son who worries about my welfare so I try not to put any burden on him while he works.
I climbed the little dune, took one last look at the Swartvlei river, took a deep breath and moved on toward the camp.
I hadn't gone very far when I spotted a solitary Hadeda bird. Ibis are generally very sociable birds that gather together in large flocks and they mate for life, so I'm guessing something happened to this ones mate....I also wondered why he/she was alone?
He didn't seem much bothered about me (as did most of the creatures out there, obviously people have not harmed them for them to feel this relaxed around people). I did also sit very quietly on a tree stump and quietly photograph his grubbing for food.
I noticed that he was limping really badly, I wondered where he had gotten hurt?
Because of their relatively large size, the ibis has few natural predators other than wild cats and foxes of which there aren't any in this particular area. So that would leave humans....maybe a pellet gun or something like that...I could be way off too. Who knows??
He kept scratching and first I thought it was just that...scratching, but it happened too often, I think it's claw was hurting, and possibly scratching to stop the pain.
I was surprised to learn that the Egyptians used to worship the Ibis and had them protected.
"Whosoever shall kill an ibis or a hawk, whether it be with his will or against his will, must die.
Herodotus, Histories II." WOW today it is considered a scourge by some and yet anyone back then who hurt them, even accidentally had to die.
I left the Hadeda alone so that he didn't have to fly away till he was good and ready (considering his injury), and turned my attention to a pair of little Wagtails that arrived and joined in the hunt for food. These were harder to photograph because as Wagtails do....they run and run and run, barely ever standing still.
I managed to get these few.
I was so pleasantly surprised when one of these dear little birds settled on the stump nearest me and began his cleaning and sunning routine. What a delight to see.
As quiet as I thought I was being, I must have made some sound or movement they didn't like because suddenly both birds took off into the sky.
I moved on. I had spotted Guineafowl feathers all morning on my walk, but as yet had not seen any. Then I turned a corner and there they were. The make a most fabulous sound when startled as they were by my sudden appearance.
For those who do not have these gorgeous birds in their territory, this is their sound.
Guineafowl's are a gregarious species, forming flocks outside the breeding season typically of about 25 birds that also roost communally. Guineafowl are particularly well-suited to consuming massive quantities of ticks. Ugh what a diet. They can't fly very well, having short burst of flight and then rely on their ability to glide which covers extended distances. but they are great runners, and can walk 10 km and more in a day.
Like most animals in the wilds, there is always a look out while the rest eat.
I guess he had that job.
They really are beautifully polka dotted. There feathers vary from dark gray to greeny gray with white polka dots.
Imagine if we wore this make up....we'd be freaks of society lol yet it works so well on them.
This bird is called a Helmut guineafowl....you can see why too.
LOL my mom says "no ones going to believe you work when they read these blogs", but I count on your intelligence. Of course I work. On top of being a stay at home mom who not only cares for her house, and garden, and dogs, and car washing etc., I also have a little sewing business with the African shirts, I do photography for my son and a few select others, and additionally I now care for two young peoples finances. So I am busy, but the nature of ALL my work allows me to some weeks be crazy busy and then a week or two goes by where I can take time out for myself. This was actually a paid job which didn't take that long to do, but the event took 3.5hrs and since I was in the same vehicle, I had all that time to just TIME OUT and so I did.
My most interesting photo of my outing, in my opinion is this one of a raindrop dangling on the end of a leaf.
My past week has been so full of walking and such healthy eating, I cant wait to jump on the scale on Monday evening......oooh boot camp starts for me at 5.30am on Monday....I'm gonna die