Tseeoo, Tseeuuuu!

This morning, I filmed Cape Clapper Larks (of the sub-species Mirafra apiata marjoriae) in display flight. They were at a distance, so one must look closely at the footage, but this was my first (spontaneous) attempt at recording their performance. Unlike Mirafra apiata apiata (the subspecies I first identified), M. a. marjoriae has two descending whistles: “Tseeoo, tseeuuuu!”

Incidentally, the loud “Kraaaank, kraaaank!” calls you hear throughout the video are those of the glorious—nay, divine—Paradise Crane1 (also known as the Blue Crane, Anthropoides paradiseus, the subject of another poem, “A Crane at Eventide”); the cackling at the 01:36 mark (and elsewhere) is the ubiquitous (and pesky) Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris).

  1. See the “I watched a crane leaping in the wind” heading in “This January” for a brief account of a memorable sighting earlier this year.

Rhebok!

A Rhebok Herd, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
My first sighting of a Rhebok herd.

Imagine my utter astonishment when late yesterday evening, I should see ten of the rare Grey Rhebok on a hillside! At first, I spied only two—a male and a female—near the lower part of the slope, but when the female darted uphill, lo—a herd!

Amazed, I started taking pictures without checking any camera settings lest I miss the opportunity to document the moment; the images you see here are the meagre results.

Rhebok Female, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
The Grey Rhebok female.
Rhebok Male, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
The Grey Rhebok male.

The male I presume the sire. Rhebok herds are comprised of one adult male and a group of about fifteen females and progeny. This is my second sighting of this shy species—and the greatest number yet, having seen only one male before.

Wander and Wonder

Allow me to share with you a few impromptu photographs and videos from my ramble among the hills, late yesterday afternoon:

Of my favourite hillock (at its feet, last spring, I saw a lily)—

My Favourite Hillock in Early Spring, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

Of the gentle “Mist from the Mountains” peaks unobscured—

The Kleinriviersberge's Inland Extremity, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

Of the light on the wheat at sunset—

Light on the Wheat at Sunset, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Light on the Wheat at Sunset, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Light on the Wheat at Sunset, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

Of Southern Red Bishops at the river—

And chattering in the reeds among the foothills (where I photographed them, a year ago)—

Of bramble, clover and grass—

Brambles, Clover and Grass, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

And the Little River (left), Babylon’s Tower (centre) and Steenbok (right) elevations at nightfall.

Mountains at Nightfall, 13 September 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.