Tag Archives: Pretoria

Aiming at Diederikkies

The housing complex where we live here in Pretoria has seen a proliferation of Garden Acraea butterflies and their caterpillars over the past few weeks.

These in turn have been a boon for the Diederik Cuckoos that visit our part of the world in summer. Caterpillars are a staple for them.

An added bonus for the Diederikkies are the number of nests of Southern Masked Weavers to be found in our complex gardens. The Diederik Cuckoo is a brood parasite that is especially fond of using weavers as foster parents for their chicks. Of course this isn’t going down too well with the weavers, who frequently dive bomb any Diederikkie found exposed.

These photographs were all taken by Joubert in the past couple of days. His examinations are over and for all intents and purposes his Grade 6 year is concluded – all that he still needs to do is collect his report card and certificates. The dramas of the Diederikkies and their neighbours has been great entertainment and Joubert quickly got very adept at using both stories of our townhouse as photographic hides from which to capture their antics. Of course I am very grateful that he loves photography so much rather than vegetating on the couch with tv games.

Celebrating our natural heritage

It is the Heritage Day long weekend in South Africa, and yesterday we packed the Duster with picnic baskets and grandparents and set out for a most enjoyable morning at our local Rietvlei Nature Reserve. Large sections of the reserve have recently received management burns to clear moribund grass cover (fire being an essential component of Africa’s grassland and savanna landscapes), and the first spring rains have spurred the growth of new grass, attracting a wide range of birds and animals to these areas.

 

Another quick nature fix at Rietvlei

Just as we were starting to experience withdrawal symptoms after spending almost a month exploring eight of our country’s beautiful national parks we were saved from the agony by a good friend who organised his birthday party at our local Rietvlei Nature Reserve yesterday.

A month of monochrome memories: Wading Old-Timer

This lone buffalo bull enjoyed the refreshing coolness of a stream flowing through the Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

Rietvlei 06122015 (13)

Our end-of-year 2015 holidays were absolutely packed to the brim. Apart from our ten-day visit to the Kruger National Park (read more about our time at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi in December), we also made day trips to five other reserves, and will be sharing photos from those (except Suikerbosrand, which we introduced in a post all of its own) daily through the month of February, in a series we call “a month of monochrome memories”.

A month of monochrome memories: Rhino Trio

These white rhinos in Rietvlei Nature Reserve presented a formidable front as they approached the road!

Rietvlei 06122015 (12)

Our end-of-year 2015 holidays were absolutely packed to the brim. Apart from our ten-day visit to the Kruger National Park (read more about our time at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi in December), we also made day trips to five other reserves, and will be sharing photos from those (except Suikerbosrand, which we introduced in a post all of its own) daily through the month of February, in a series we call “a month of monochrome memories”.

A month of monochrome memories: Agitated Eland

This Eland cow in Rietvlei Nature Reserve got so irritated by the swarm of flies buzzing all around her that she set of running to try and get rid of them!

Rietvlei 06122015 (11)

Our end-of-year 2015 holidays were absolutely packed to the brim. Apart from our ten-day visit to the Kruger National Park (read more about our time at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi in December), we also made day trips to five other reserves, and will be sharing photos from those (except Suikerbosrand, which we introduced in a post all of its own) daily through the month of February, in a series we call “a month of monochrome memories”.

A month of monochrome memories: Preening Darter

With its serpentine neck, the African Darter is easily recognisable. The photographic hides at Rietvlei Nature Reserve usually presents excellent opportunities to photograph this and other aquatic bird species.

Rietvlei 06122015 (10)

Our end-of-year 2015 holidays were absolutely packed to the brim. Apart from our ten-day visit to the Kruger National Park (read more about our time at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi in December), we also made day trips to five other reserves, and will be sharing photos from those (except Suikerbosrand, which we introduced in a post all of its own) daily through the month of February, in a series we call “a month of monochrome memories”.

A month of monochrome memories: Watchful Chat

Ant-eating Chats are unusually bold and confiding birds, and a familiar sight in Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

Rietvlei 06122015 (9)

Our end-of-year 2015 holidays were absolutely packed to the brim. Apart from our ten-day visit to the Kruger National Park (read more about our time at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi in December), we also made day trips to five other reserves, and will be sharing photos from those (except Suikerbosrand, which we introduced in a post all of its own) daily through the month of February, in a series we call “a month of monochrome memories”.

A month of monochrome memories: Close-up Zebra

The relaxed nature of the animals at Pretoria’s Rietvlei Nature Reserve allows for excellent close-up photographic opportunities, as was the case with this plains zebra that walked straight past our vehicle.

Rietvlei 06122015 (8)

Our end-of-year 2015 holidays were absolutely packed to the brim. Apart from our ten-day visit to the Kruger National Park (read more about our time at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi in December), we also made day trips to five other reserves, and will be sharing photos from those (except Suikerbosrand, which we introduced in a post all of its own) daily through the month of February, in a series we call “a month of monochrome memories”.

A month of monochrome memories: Proud Hartebeest

Standing tall and proud, a red hartebeest surveys the Rietvlei Nature Reserve for hidden predators.

Rietvlei 06122015 (5)

Our end-of-year 2015 holidays were absolutely packed to the brim. Apart from our ten-day visit to the Kruger National Park (read more about our time at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi in December), we also made day trips to five other reserves, and will be sharing photos from those (except Suikerbosrand, which we introduced in a post all of its own) daily through the month of February, in a series we call “a month of monochrome memories”.