Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Red-billed Quelea

Our bird feeder/s are attracting many birds; the feeder with chunks of fresh fruit and a tray of wild bird seed; and the feeder with only seed on the platform.

The Red-billed Quelea is one of the most abundant bird species in the world. Although the map next to this bird in my bird book shows (with highlighted shades) that it's a common breeding migrant, the text description says it's resident and highly gregarious!

The breeding male has most commonly a black face mask surrounded by a yellowish or pink ring. The red bill gives it its name. The female has greyish-brown head feathers, a white throat and red bill. In breeding season the female (as usual) hardly changes except for the bill and eye-ring which becomes dull yellow. 
Red-billed Quelea - how many males can you see here ? ( before you scroll to the next photo!)
Here a third male flew in and looks like it's challenging the male looking right. This one is partly obscured by the male on the edge of the feeder in the previous photo (with a yellowish band!)

In these last two photos it looks as though the male with the yellowish band won!

I'm linking my post to Wild Bird Wednesday here

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Smallies' year-end concert

Naturally I attended several year-end concerts with my own two sons; and later when Eryn and Joshua lived here in Marquard, I attended - firstly as Granny but also as newspaper journalist. Since 2010, we've been away in Africa at this time every year so last Friday night was a first (for us) going to Joel and Abby's concert.
Abby received a certificate  from Teacher Maureen - for being soft-spoken 
Joel received a certificate from Teacher Elize - for being diligent
The Grade R's looking so cute in their mortar boards and cloaks
graduated to Grade 0 (don't you just LOVE the bare feet?)

The theme of the concert was The Toy Box. The MC explained to us that although this little play may seem insignificant to an adult, it's one of the highlights of a small child's year. They'd been practicing for this night for many months. 
Abby was one of the Telly Tubbies

Telletubbies, created by British Television, is a very, very popular TV kiddie's program here in SA. Please check here if you've never heard of Telletubbies.  

Ironically, in September while we visited Grant's brother and SIL, Shelley (my birding mentor), their daughter, SIL and two-year-old grandson Jamie were visiting. That evening Jamie watched Telletubbies; Grant was also in the lounge and saw the program for the first time! 

On Friday night at the concert, at least Granddad could relate to who each Telletubbie on stage represented! Abby, of course, being soft-spoken, was Po !
Angelic !

Oftimes a little confusion reigns! 

Very seriously playing the role of Po

In the row behind the performing Telletubbies, are the Ninja Turtles 

Joel, with blue mask,  and his fellow actors patiently waiting their turn

A great time was had by ALL! 

(The brunette in the bottom of each video is the choreographer and did a wonderful job of getting these kids to do their "thing" on stage.) 

I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday here

Monday, November 23, 2015

Two arms...

Hi everyone. My Internet is definitely up and running properly now again.


We've just returned from the city where Grant saw the specialist - had his cast removed - and received a clean bill of health on the arm! 


I should be back with regular blogging and will try earnest to get to visiting you all again soon. Thanks for the kind concern about Grant's well-being and also for continuing to visit and comment even when I was continually absent!

Have a great week.