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).

March Lilies in February

March Lilies in February, 7 February 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

After an extended period of drought, the Western Cape province of South Africa has experienced a rainy summer. So unusual is this that wild autumn lilies have sprung from the ground a month early!1 Expected only after the first rain of March, this is the Belladonna lily (Amaryllis belladonna) blooming in early February—high summer in South Africa!

March Lilies in February, 7 February 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
March Lilies in February, 7 February 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

  1. The South African autumn begins in March and ends in May.