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 Post subject: Re: Is it a Bird in the Bush...?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
Magic. As kids we do not question magic. We accept it for what it is. Pure magic. Our parents told us stories off Santa Claus and how he delivers presents to all children across the world. He flies through the air on his sleigh which is pulled by his reindeer. One of them has a red nose which shines and shows them the way. All of this was a magical world full of wonder.

We also believed that a magician can perform magic. Martino entertained us with his tricks; he pulled cards and coins from behind our ears and even a rabbit from a hat. The cheer from the crowds, as the lady who was just sawed in half miraculously stood up, still sounds in my ears. All of this was pure magic.

...and then we grew up...

One of the things Don Tour Guide and I started was to try and identify birds. Well I did the most trying where Don Tour Guide had a natural feel for this. Well, that would be expected if he wanted to do his name any good. Very soon this became a challenge as who can correctly identify the birds. Not the easy ones we all know...

"Ostrich!!!! There is an Ostrich!! I would shout.

...but the smaller variety such as the Little Brown Jobs or better known as LBJ's. Also to score more points in this everlasting battle of mine is to identify a bird in flight. So while we are driving, a dove would fly past us, almost breaking the sound barrier so fast it goes, and Don Tour Guide will casually respond with...

"Emerald-spotted Wood Dove".

"Impossible!!!" I would object. "There is no ways that you can identify a bird at such a speed."

Don Tour Guide will look at me as though he wants to demand how I dare to question his authority. He would casually turn the car around, drive back until he finds the bird in question. Most of the time I would lose, which means the next morning before sunrise, all coffee making tasks will be my responsibility.

(Come to think off it, I always make coffee...)

Something interesting I noticed in the Kruger National Park is that the doves fly a lot faster than in the cities. The doves in the Kruger are almost like fighter pilots busy with a dog fight. The fly extremely fast from tree to tree and pulling high-speed turns to get to their destination.

The doves in the cities on the other hand are on a Sunday afternoon stroll. They would stop every now and then to see if there is something to eat. If you live in the city, you would know that trying to get a dove to fly away from your window sill is next to impossible. Even if you wave your hand at them, they would rather duck or roll over than to fly away.

So Don Tour Guide always wins these little challenges between us, but this one time he has gone too far. A small little bird was sitting in a tree branch next to the road, and as we drove past just below the speed limit, Don Tour Guide at once shouted...

"Witliesbosbontokkie, also known as Chinspot Batis in English. Check your Sasol Bird Reference 4th edition on page 374." He then looked at me as if he were daring me to challenge him. Something that looked like a grin was forming on his face, daring me...

…and so I did...

Image

"No ways can you identify such a small bird in a tree while we are driving. Then you know the name that is more than a mouth full in Afrikaans and English, and then to top it all ... call a page number."

Without making a big fuss, Don Tour Guide slowly stopped the car, turned around, and went all the way back. We stopped next to the bird still sitting in the tree and I took some photos. I grabbed the Sasol Bird book and opened it at page 374...

and there it was ...

Image

.. the Witliesbosbontrokkie... page 374...

I was amazed. Don Tour Guide has just performed magic, which I could not explain. It was as though I was back as a child watching in awe as my own personal magician has just performed one of his greatest magic tricks.

I am sure there was fowl play on his side, but I don’t want to know how he did it. This was magic. Magic that can only be performed by a master of his trade in the Kruger National Park where anything is possible. That is why he is called Don Tour Guide.

The next morning before sunrise, I was making coffee as per normal ... wondering... how did he do it.

Only thing I could come up with, ... Magic. Pure Kruger Magic.

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


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 Post subject: Re: Is it a Bird in the Bush...?
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:53 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
Some more pictures of the Chinspot Batis ...

Image

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is it a Bird in the Bush...?
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:55 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
The Chinspot Batis did not sit for more than a few seconds on one place. It was difficult to take a photo as once you get the big lens out and focus, you take a photo of where he was ...

I just love Bird Photography !!!!

Image

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is it a Bird in the Bush...?
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:55 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
Image

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is it a Bird in the Bush...?
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:56 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 848
Location: Under African Sky !!!
Image

_________________
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”


Top
 Profile  
 
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