Sunday, April 28, 2013

Aprils Insects

I hadn't, until very recently, appreciated the vibrancy and diversity of bees and wasps that rivals the glamour of the butterflies that have recently been highlighted on the blog.

It all came about while inspecting the emerging autumn blooms of one particular Dune Soapberry.  I camped out here for a few hours and while initially I was struck by the number of blue butterflies and others stopping by it was soon apparent that wasps had much more of a fancy for the nectar and pollen this tree provides. 

And then, yesterday, I spent the day at Cumberland Nature Reserve, I was invited to tag along with the Witteveen family for a picnic and to make a plan with the landowner about revitalising a regular bird ringing station here.  We couldnt have planned a better day, one of the classic winter days, the air was cool and calm, the sun beating down onto the canopy of paper-bark acacias that cast beautiful shadows among the picnic area.  A zebra and foal loafed around just off to the side while we ate and enjoyed the lazy pace of the day.

While the bird list was just reasonable with 33 species, there were some interesting species that could be had in future ringing weekends: groundscraper thrush, golden-breasted bunting, and grassbird to name a handful of my picks.  Also there seemed to be a guarentee of long-crested eagles as they nest on an approaching tree, while it was interesting to see black-breasted snake-eagle there too.

By infact, my attention was forever drawn to the butterflies… yup, its been a recent focus of mine, and the new Canon sx50 is getting tested on its macro and short focal distance capacity. Pretty pleased with the results.

brown-veined white

bush brown

caterpillar of african monarch

african monarch

maybe speckled red acrea

maybe a dotted border

To finish off a trilogy of greebly interests, and to wrap up the most recent blogging emphasis on entomological critters, here are a few more dragons, and my first pictures of damsels.  All taken at one lilypopnd in Plett last week.

The Witness. April 16, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fynbos Flora

There have been two occasions to explore the fynbos around Plettenberg in the last few weeks.  The first was coastal fynbos and the second being at the Groot River Pass in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park.

The fynbos is a world renown biome - the Cape Floristic Region - that comprises a stunning diversity of 9,000 species of flowering plants, two thirds of which are endemic. [more detail] 

The coastal fynbos on the Robberg coastline.... 13 April 2013

On the 14th April further inland at the Groot River Pass, the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park...

Revisiting the Groot River Pass area on a wet morning on the 4th of May, and then fortunately a dry morning the following day...