Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I hope that I can do justice to what turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable trip. As we move through the memories, you will be meeting many characters who provided moments of enjoyment and companionship.
Indeed, Ecojunkie, you are correct, the name of the thread has it's own explanation.
In actual fact, I will focus on the name in this episode.
We did eventually arrive at Pafuri Gate reasonably intact and after checking in, Mads was given the honour of driving.
Now let me paint a picture of this threesome to understand some of the dynamics of some of the drives.
GP is an enthusiastic, "leaving the nest", birder
. That means, she has feathers, birding wings that are developing, a well used Sasol bird guide, and a lot of patience.
Mads is an experienced birder
. That means that she has well used wings, a tatty Roberts bird guide, has migrated to other regions a few times and has many tales to tell.
MM is a stuck in the egg, don't know if I want to be one, birder
. That means she has a new Roberts, often under the seat, and spends her times with other biders being amused, bemused or bedonered.
GP had a very special request this trip, to see birds, and
Mads is a walking field guide, so it just seemed the right combination.
Our first bird was a European Roller. That is where the first 20 pictures were taken, with the Roller providing all of about 2 poses, one with the mouth open and one with the mouth closed.
Oh dear, thinks MM, this is going to be a loooooong trip.
Next, Wooly Necked Stork were found, and the next spool of pictures was taken,
granted, there was a greater variety of poses. That is also where MM realised that her "camera clip thing" that has memory and stores pictures, was finished.
MM lost concentration at that point as she had the task of deleleting photos, just in case more pictures were needed of birds opening and closing their mouths.
Mads then starts a game, at least I think it was a game.. she asks, "what do you think will be the next bird we see?"..
For MM, that is an easy answer...she knows that those cheeky black birds with the forked tails are everywhere a dro-go
she replies..full of enthusiasm
there is a moment of confused silence..
"you know", says MM, "the black ones with a forked tail".
2 angels think
A little while later MM is still deleting pictures and another bird is spotted.
The 2 angels in front then start this strange birding ritual. The birding bibles come out and comparisons are made. They ask profound questions like, "is that a stripe, or a spot?" "Is that yellow or maybe red?" "Could it be a lesser or a greater?", "maybe is a grey headed or a open chested?".
You must understand, that at this point, MM feels like an anthropologist studying the habits of a strange secret ritual. As we drive off, MM looks up and takes note of the bird that has caused so much consternation. Its black, grey and little.
We drive futher, GP in front, scanning the trees and Mads multi-tasking on her side... MM is now on full alert.
From the back of the car a shout suddenly comes out, MM has seen another of the birds that caused so much consternation look a lesser grey dingus
There was an explosion of laughter from the front.
"MM" says Mads kindly later, "in Afrikans we call those black birds with the forked tails, dronk ous, because that is how you pronounce the name in afrikaans".
MM thinks that is very funny.
GP suddenly chirps, "you know, that would be a very good name for a thread, a dronk ou, and a lesser grey dingus"..
and so the thread was born.
I am sure that my other companions will provide some lovely pictures of birds with open mouths and closed mouths, plus their view of dinguses. There is a lot more to come..
Wait till we get to the meaty bits.