A new year time for ‘listing’

2008-01-19 00:00

New Year is a wonderful time for “listers”, and I am an avid “lister”. January 1 is the moment to bring out a spotless new year list, hopefully the beginning of a record-breaking year when we see the most bird species ever. The first couple of days are frenetic as all the common and garden birds queue up to be entered. This is when Hadeda and House Sparrow take on their own importance; when even a less-than-exciting Indian Myna brings squeaks of delight. Last year we totalled a rather poor 389, and so have resolved to take more holidays and get out and about more in 2008. Now there’s a grand New Year’s Resolution! Must get to the Kruger Park, the Western Cape or just down the road to Durban, all in the interests of adding to The List.

Parenthood sits heavily on our male Kurrichane Thrush. He is such an attentive father, never moving far from his spotted youngster and delivering a seemingly endless supply of tasty morsels. The spotted one has learned how to bathe now, the splashing is a little more violent and noisy than the adults so you can tell who is bathing just by listening, but he emerges wet and cleaner and his preening skills are coming along nicely. But when it comes to finding food — well, why bother when dad is so good at it? I hope he realises that any day now childhood bliss will end, and the loving, food-providing father is going to raise a wing and say “Enough! Find your own, and while you are about it, find your own territory as well!” Oh dear, nature can be so cruel.

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