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Birding


The Greater Blue-eared Glossy-starling or Greater Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) is a bird that breeds from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south through eastern Africa to northeastern South Africa and Angola. It is a very common species of open woodland that undertakes some seasonal movements.

Wikipedia

 

Below is a picture I took a couple weeks ago walking in Lushington Valley. A mass of starlings , about 50 or so, were flying from thorn bush to thorn bush. My camera is a beginners, but changed a few of the colours using Picaso and there you have it? how many glossy starlings can you spot in the trees?

 


Chickens are a necessity on every farm. So far our biggest fans, Soulsby farm, have given me a bit of inspiration for chickens, and have an article I have read a few times, Why everyone should own chickens . Lovely to connect with other small farmers from around the world. Much easier than buying books!! They have written 10 reasons why one should own chickens. I would like to add to that.

Great news is yesterday my chickens produced their first egg. It was exciting, I never knew a chicken egg would make me smile, and has been a talking point for me for over 24 hours. I feel like I am a farmer now. We have suffered only two losses of chickens in the last few weeks. And from very kind neighbours and new friends I have been donated quite a few wonderful chickens, all different shapes and sizes. I do have too many roosters, but not worried about too many cocks spoiling the broth. I am considering building a chicken tractor to assist in housing the roosters and keeping them separate from the hens, aswell as assisting in soil regeneration.

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Only 7 kilometres down the R67 and through the four-way stop in Bathurst Town, with the Pig and Whistle on your left, go across the stop street, along a dirt road, you will get The Waters Meet  Reserve after a  few kilometres. A small fee per person is requested at the gate. About 200 metres to the left there is a viewing deck of the Horseshoe Bend on the Kowie River.

Directly below is a nest of an African Crowned eagle. Many different species of birds can be spotted in the Waters Meeting Reserve from kingfishers to buzzards, woodpeckers and more. 3km down a steep rough road, there is a picnicing and braaing spot next to the river. Hiking and mountain bike trails go around the reserve and reasonably well maintained. You can also organise canoeing adventures up the Kowie river from Port Alfred with stopping points along the way. The total distance from Port Alfred is 30km.


Late in the afternoon a flock of Trumpeter Hornbills arrive and land in the pine trees that line some of the fencing. They seem to feed off the pine cones and make a raquet. They are quite inqusitive birds and will hopefully get a better picture.

The Trumpeter Hornbill (Bycanistes bucinator) is a medium-sized hornbill,with length between 58 to 65 cm,characterized by a large grey casque on the bill,smaller in females. The eyes are brown or red,with pink surrounding skin. They are similar to Silvery-cheeked Hornbill. Distinguishing features include an all-black back,white belly and white underwing coverts (in flight,wings present white tips),and red facial skin

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