Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Lekker Field Base

Earlier in the year, during my surveying rounds of urban nests, I introduced myself to the Bestwick family. During a visit to their house in Westville, with a grand view to an eagles nest, I was invited to do some December house-sitting.

My temporary abode for the latter half of December is a stunning house, on the edge of a gully leading down to the Palmiet reserve, made all the more special with the Crowned Eagles nest just 50 meters from the back patio. The living room is complete with a digiscope setup and connected to the tv, and Kevin has been taking regular footage and photos of the chicks development.  There are fantastic records on the blog *crowned eagle diary*, including our ringing day on the 13th December.

Fortunately this two weeks of house sitting coincided with the most intensive time of the year, and I could be based in the center of Durban with ready access to many of the eThekwini nests that we were working on.

Despite having the traps out at dawn many of our mornings there, we were unable to trap either of the adults for GPS telemetry study, despite several close calls.

In the first real heat wave of the approaching summer, I also made a point of maximizing the use of the pool and was plunging several times every day.  It was a tough time I tell you!

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