Crown Eagle and GP City Dwellers



Above: An adult female African Crowned Eagle. Below: The African Crowned Eagle being released and the massive claw of the eagle.


The African Crowned Eagle was knocked unconscious by a vehicle in pursuit of a Hadeda.  Local residents in Umtentweni came across the accident scene, where the bird was already picked up by some individuals who had supper in mind and managed to rescue the unconscious bird from them and then took it to their home.  The local Conservancy assisted them. I did the rehabilitation until the bird was fit enough to take to the sky again.  Bird ringer, Andre Pickles, first took some measurements and ringed the eagle before the release.  What a magnificent sight to see the bird flying off. This is one of those “highlights” when you love the feathered and furred.

It mainly eats mammals (especially hyraxes and antelope), doing most of its hunting from a…

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Birding on the Lower South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal


The last couple of days I enjoyed quite a bit of birding in various habitats.  There were the African Black Oystercatchers, Little Egret, Three-banded Plover, Giant Kingfisher, Hadeda Ibis, Banded Martin, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Western Osprey, Blacksmith Lapwings and a Fish Eagle at the lagoon. Some Kelp Gulls were flying in for a cross the ocean.

mar 21 african black oystercatcher1 b kelp gullmar 20 Western OspreyThree-banded Plover

In the coastal forest the best sighting was that of a Knysna Turaco and then there was the Black-collared Barbet, Brown Hooded Kingfisher, Bark-capped Bulbul, White-bellied Sunbird, Village Weavers, Cape White-eye, Amethyst Sunbird, Black Flycatcher, Paradise Flycatcher, Black-headed Oriole, Bronze Mannikin, Cardinal Woodpecker, Green Wood Hoopoe, Fork-tailed Drongo, Red-eyed Doves, Black-bellied Starling, African Pied Wagtail, Cape Wagtail, Spectacled Weaver, Thick-billed Weaver and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird also showing up. Not to mention the other bird species hopefully correctly identified from their melodies and sounds in the thickets.

mar 19 green wood hoopoeMar 20 Amethyst sunbird1 cape white eyemar 19 thick billed weaver

With the seasons changing, the Village Weaver males…

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African Goshawk versus Laughing Dove


I have heard people say: “As dumb as a dove”, well I cannot agree with that.  I have hand reared most likely over 500 hundred of various species of doves and pigeons while I was doing wildlife rehabilitation over those years.  I also had a good share of hand rearing or rehabilitating injured birds of prey. And why I changed my mind about the above mentioned statement? Well, let me tell you this story from my rehab past.

I released some hand reared laughing doves and was standing on the front veranda at the centre when I noticed a African Goshawk was in hot pursuit of a laughing dove.  With every wing stroke, the gap rampantly was closing between predator and prey.  I whispered “O, no! My thoughts with the laughing doves I just released ….

Then to my horror I knew that the next wing stroke will have the…

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#pinussylvestris #pine #bonsai #bonsaipine looking good for a nice even flush this year. #apex will be stronger so a good cut of the candles will be required. #bonsaiwales

Where do the rules get you? 

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

I’ve been thinking a lot recently. I know, it gets me into trouble a lot when I do that but I think I’ve finally figured out some things and it’s time to share. Let’s begin at the end, which seems fitting.

Over this last weekend I had the honor to give a demo and lead a workshop at a new bonsai boutique down Ft Lauderdale way, The Bonsai

It’s run by a young couple, Jerome and Mariannjely. He is from Switzerland and she is from Venezuela.Stole that pic off their Facebook.

The demo involved an interesting and difficult buttonwood.Now, I’ll tell you a secret that only a few people knew: I was sick as a dog, an intestinal thing. I, as you may know if you’re a longtime reader, have a cyborg attachment to my lower GI tract and when I get any type of stomach…

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Japanese Black Pine PW

Nebari Bonsai

I nickname a few trees after the pros who have worked on them. I have a Ben Oki azalea, and a Peter Warren Black Pine. This is how it looked a year after I bought it from Brussel’s in 2010.

And during the initial styling; where my daughter was a lovely and able assistant:

Taming a big bushy black pine is more than should be tackled in a single workshop, so Peter made some decisions on the front, moved some primary branches, and we made a plan for the future.

Little did we know he would have an opportunity to return in 6 months and revisit the tree, which now looked like this:

And we advanced the design a bit to this:

Skip forward 5 years to fall 2016, and I’ve continually pushed growth back toward the trunk, and replaced big branches with finer ones. I’ve had several failed graft…

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