Written By Kelly Landrey
The alarm clock goes off, most days it’s dead on time, and currently, due to summers arrival the days are lighting up earlier, it’s about 6.03 am.
I don’t own an alarm clock or watch, who needs one when the local resident Fish Eagles shake out their feathers, throw back their heads and tell everyone it is time to wake up! You could, if you had a watch, set the time by these spectacular birds. Around camp, there are several breeding pairs, each within their own little territory.
Suitably awake, our kettle goes on… we need that tea, Pete and I! Throw on a kikoi, slip down the stairs, sprinkle a handful of corn flakes around and fill the birdbaths (2 old dustbin lids and a grinding stone).
Cornflakes are the favourite of all and sundry, Grey and Red-billed Hornbills arrive, with a whisper of wings and gentle whistles of excitement, Boubou Shrike sneaks in and snatches a flake or two, and the jekeke call of the neurotic Yellow-bellied Greenbul tells the neighbourhood that breakfast is served.
The stream of little-feathered people to my birdbath starts shortly after the first fish eagle call, Blue Waxbills, Jameson’s and Red-billed Firefinch, an assortment of weavers, the secretive shy Grey-backed
Camaroptera, skulking hopefully unnoticed in the undergrowth. Baldy the beaten up Dark-capped Bulbul arrives with his cronies and causes chaos taking over both birdbaths and the corn flakes. The exquisite little Green-winged Pytilia is always a late arrival, preferring to bath when everyone else has almost left.
Often there is a noisy early morning bird party in the bush around the bungalow. Arrow-marked Babblers, White-browed Scrub Robin, White-crested-helmet shrikes, Terrestrial Bulbul and our bush chickens, (a little family of Crested Francolin), that sweep through the undergrowth, leaving not a leaf unturned or spider left hanging!
Please purchase Issue 4 for more Feather-filled facts!