If Pelicans are my favorite ocean birds, then Secretary birds are my favorite land birds. Loooove these guys. Don’t ask me why, I just do.

As a kid I always wondered where they store all the notes they keep as secretaries….

©Mariette du Toit, 2011, The Note Keeper

As pelikane my gunsteling see-voëls is, is sekretaries voëls my gunsteling land-voëls. Ek kan net nooit genoeg van hulle kry nie.

As kind het ek altyd gewonder waar hulle al die notas bêre wat hulle as sekretaresses moet maak.

Birding locations are usually associated with thick forests like Brazil or wild coasts like you find along the coast of Isle of Skye. A semi-desert environment can’t really be all that great for birding, right?

Well, what do you know… when it rains in Namibia, the birds come to decorate our skies and trees. A true birders paradise and one of the best spots in Namibia besides the Caprivi Strip and the Epupa Falls is the Etosha National Park.

©Mariette du Toit, 2011, Eurasian bee-eater

Woestyne word nie regtig vir eenselwig met voëls nie. Woude soos in Brasilië of water ryke lande soos Indië is baie meer gewild onder die voël kykers. Maar as dit reën in hierdie woestyn dan versier die voëls ons horison en beblom ons doring bome.

Een van die beste voël kyk areas in Namibië naas die Caprivi en die Epupa valle, is dan Etosha Nasionale Park.

Sea gulls have a way to annoy me. Just like certain humans don’t gel with me, sea gulls don’t gel with me. They can’t help it I suppose. Born loud and all over the show, robbers of the first degree and bullies to beat. That is how they survive, and that is the way it always will be.

Generally I won’t even bother taking photos of them. But this gull, just sitting there, grabbed my attention and I took a quick snap shot of him. It turned out to be the one I pretty much-loved.

© Mariette du Toit, 2019, Sea Gulls at Walvis Bay

Ek hou nie see meeue nie. Hulle skaaf teen my grein soos ‘n korreltjie sand onder die oog se lid. Net soos seker mense onder my vel inklim, is see meeue ook net te veel vir my.

Hulle kan dit seker nie help nie. Van nature lawaaierig, die hele plek vol, boellies en bo-baas kos stelers. Dis hoe hulle oorleef. Dis hoe dit was en dit is hoe dit sal wees.

Maar hierdie een wat so eenkant, stil gesit het, het my oog gevang. Ek sal nie gewoonlik my tyd mors om hulle af te neem nie, maar hierdie foto is vinnig besig om een van my gunstelinge te word.

 

I have been after this little bugger for a very long time and I have to say, the joy was great when I finally found it sitting peacefully on a Makalani Palm branch.

You know how you will have the perfect bird shot, but you either don’t have your camera with you or you have the wrong lens on. That happens to me sooooo often! But on this day, I was sneaking around taking photos of the staff at work, so I was equipped with all the right equipment. Success!!

© Mariette du Toit, 2019 Epupa Falls – Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush

Ek is al baie lank opsoek na ‘n foto van hierdie karaktertjie – juis omdat hulle net in Epupa voorkom, maar op hierdie dag het ek hierdie Rooistertmorelyster rustig op ‘n Makalani Palm se tak gevind – min gepla met hierdie mens wat so stil-stil nader gesluip het.

Enige iemand wat graag foto’s neem sal weet dat daar niks so frustrerend is as om die perfekte foto voor jou geestesoog te sien en of nie jou kamera byderhand te hê nie of die verkeerde lens op te hê. Op hierdie spesifieke dag het ek rond gesluip om die lodge se werksmense af te neem en het dus my paparazzi lens opgehad. Sukses!!

rufous-tailed-palm-thrush_mariette-du-toit

As a child I often dreamed of being able to fly. Not with a drone or a plain, but like a bird. Quietly slicing through the air. Not in a mad dash like the song-bird, or heavy and unplanned like the pelican. More gracious and at ease like the eagle or even the swift.

I think I would have liked it.

©Mariette du Toit, 2019, Walvisbay

Om te kan vlieg

As kind het ek dikwels gewonder hoe dit sou voel as ek sou kon vlieg. Nie vinnig en haastig soos ‘n mossie oppad na kos toe nie. Ook nie lomp en in almal se pad soos ‘n pelikaan nie. Eerder soos ‘n arend of ‘n swaeltjie wat so sweef-sweef oor ons gly. Hoe stil moet dit nie wees daarbo nie? Tyd om te dink en die lewe te bepeins…

Ek dink ek sou nogal daarvan kon hou.