Monday, November 18, 2013


Bokmakierie by andiwolfe
Bokmakierie, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

I love the diversity of birds in South Africa, and I'm very lucky to be able to combine my interest in birding with my field seasons focused on Hyobanche.

The first time I was introduced to this species was in 2004 - a solo field season where I had traveled to the Eastern Cape to work with Hyobanche robusta. On the way back to Cape Town, I stopped at Andrew's Field, near Cape Agulhas. At the time, there was guest accommodation at Tsaba-Tsaba - small self-catering cottages.

The first morning I was there I heard a lovely song just outside the window, just after dawn. I saw a bokmakierie, but didn't know what it was. I bought a bird book in Cape Town and figured it out. Its markings are so striking. I didn't expect this to be in amongst the shrikes and butcher birds based on that lovely song.

This photo is from September 13, 2013 - DeHoop Nature Reserve, the last bit of camping from the 2013 field season. DeHoop is a magical place for plant and animal diversity, and I really enjoyed the early morning birding opportunities.

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