Jacky Hangman. Dressed in black and white. As the judge used to wear a black hood, when sentencing a prisoner to death. Yesterday the sparrows, weavers and starlings were spinning in distraught circles. Why?
Then we saw the fiscal shrike – somewhat larger than the song-birds, with a vicious little hooked beak that says raptor. (Think sparrow-hawk sort of bird)
Fiscal shrike. 23 cm. Common in grassland with trees (not so much in fynbos). They will seek and destroy intruding birds, impaling them on thorns. Eat beetles, grasshoppers, lizards, small snakes, frogs, chameleons, and other wild or caged birds. From Joy Frandsen’s Birds of the South Western Cape
After the Argumentative-Little-Cuss, who is all bark and no bite – this one is Bite. He has a harsh, raucous cry. But the fiscal shrikes in turn, are playing their role in nature. Seeking food for their fledglings. He used the hook on top of Spirulino’s cage as a perch to swoop on bugs and beetles, and a careless songbird if he can catch it!
A-sparrow-called-SpirulinO with Jacky Hangman looming over him sat. Perfectly still. Quite quiet. Usually he does a convincing imitation of a hyperactive child. Hopping from branch to branch. Up and down. Endlessly. We get tired, just watching! No wonder, when the sun goes down, he hops up to the highest perch in between the leaves. And sleeps. Like a baby. Till tomorrow comes.
|Pin-tailed whydah in flight|
|Our Lil Cuss|
The Lil Cuss, pin-tailed whydah patrols his territory. He has a new routine. He perches on the satellite dish and swoops past the living-room windows, every few minutes. When he flies he has an elaborately choreographed routine, flourishing his long tail feathers, and hovering, just outside the window. To yell at us a string of blue curses – Get the F*** OUT of My Garden you!!! Becomes a part of the background music of our day. He has even perched on the sash window, so he can yell at that bloody cat sitting on the chair inside!
On a normal day, without the fiscal shriek/shrike, Spirulino is visited by the sparrows and weavers. They hop on the cage and chat back and forth. Spirulino is part of the flock, part of the family. High above the songbirds and the busy parent shrikes, the swallows wheel and turn.
|Masked Weaver Airlines coming in to land|
|Please keep your seat-belts fastenened until ...|
|The plane has come to a complete standstill.|
The Ungardener is learning to use his new-camera. We are amazed - Panasonic has upgraded a little tweak to the software, download it off the computer, and away you go ...
A handful of photography links. Mine, not so technical. I can do macros and scenery but I battle with mid-distance wide views of the garden. Taking-top-garden-photos by Rachel Warne.
The Ungardener's are technical.
Photos to aspire to by award-winning young Hungarian wildlife photographer Bence Mate (sorry I can't do the Hungarian accents on his surname)
For daily updates in the world of photography 1001noisycameras
Why did he choose this camera?
- 25-600mm Leica zoom lens, no changing lenses. Picture quality almost as good as an SLR
- manual functions (WE can choose what it focuses on)
- swivel LCD screen (for bugs down there, or overhead, or against the African sun-glare)
- fast 11 FPS (frames per second) shooting to capture birds in flight (but the camera is only as good as the Patience and Dedication of the photographer)
|Busy bird house|
When tired by the song and dance routine, the Lil Cuss eats peacefully with the opposition. Will you blog for world peace on the 4th of November? Click the link from mine at the top of the side-bar, and you can craft your own LOGO from the basic templates.
Pictures by Jurg, words by Diana of Elephant's Eye