My first ever sighting of a Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius), yesterday. It stood in a field on the left side of the road, but upon seeing me, flew gracefully to a field on the right. There, it alighted, then slowly paced up the hillside. At 1.5 metres (approximately 40 inches) tall, it is an impressive creature both at rest and in flight!

Secretarybird, 14 February 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

Secretarybird, Copyright 1993, 1997, 2002, 2011, Variously Random House Struik (Pty) Ltd, Norman Arlott, F H Chamberlain Trading (Pty) Ltd
Illustration from Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa (mobile app).

Whenever I see birds flying in the V formation, I assume they are ducks or geese. I photographed this skein a few days ago and later upon closer inspection, realised it was neither. Guided once again by the shape of their bills, I believe it to be a flock of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus).

Glossy Ibises in V Formation, 1 November 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

I also photographed this bird perched on a stalk of wheat. I am unable to identify it; all I can tell, by the shape of its bill, is that it is insect-eating. I suspect it is a Cisticola; perhaps Levaillant’s Cisticola1 (Cisticola tinniens) as I saw it near a river and according to my bird guide, it is found in marshes and grassland.

A Bird in the Wheat, 1 November 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

  1. Update: I am now convinced I have identified it correctly, all my searches confirm it.