Monday, 7 October 2013

Highover sings the Blues..

Highover - Blue Swallow custodians
We found ourselves this last weekend at 29S 55' 10.635" / 30E 4' 12.09" - Highover [Southern Natal Midlands: KZN] near Hela Hela, somewhere close to Richmond. Why?

  • Only a travel-masochist, cut from the stupid cloth, would contemplate an overnight, 1500 kilometer round trip from Johannesburg to the Mkomazi River & back for the joy of multiple tick bites & the cost of a full valet; but
  • only a birder would actually make the trip... 

So why the Southern Midlands? Two reasons: - Blue Swallow & their recent extinction in our more conveniently located Mpumalanga province. Bird populations are dynamic at best & particularly so for species with specific habitat requirements. Upland [High-altitude] grassland, a rare commodity in this country, is still heavily utilised by the timber companies. As a consequence where once Blue Swallows may have hawked the skies they no longer do. Notwithstanding this dollar-biased ignorance 80 odd pairs return to SA annually but to locales further afield.

In a rare weekend's perfect score & possibly a hitherto incomparable birding-bonanza we scooped ALL of the Highover specials including two (2) breeding pairs of Blue Swallow, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Striped Flufftail, Black-winged Lapwing & Bush Blackcap. Yes we may pay for the scoop with a healthy dose of tick-borne fever but that's an unlikely fortnight away.. Today we celebrate the freedom of our Blues. Long may they weave their magic over swaying grasslands.

No comments:

Post a Comment