While walking yesterday the Italian leprechaun and I spotted these blue cranes, (Anthropoides paradiseus) earlier in the day I had heard their call, a sort of loud, guttural, kraaaarrrk, but I did not see them. This pair was back again this evening.
Blue cranes are considered vulnerable, their having been reduced from a historical 100,000 to about 20,000 in the 1990's. What there numbers are now I don't know. They occur across most of South Africa except the far west, with the highest concentration in the eastern parts and Drakensberg.
The long trailing feathers are inner wing feathers (tertials) and not the tail. In the old days, Zulu warriors put great store in having some of these feather in their headdress, not an easy thing to obtain.
Sissie putting on a burst of speed trying to catch herself a blue crane. The big dog in the background is Bear, my landlords dog, he doesn't seem to know what he's chasing.
This is a big bird standing one meter + tall and a wingspan of almost two meters. These birds were not too fazed by the dogs, and actually intimidated them by crouching low and spreading their wings.
A tiny purple wild flower in the last rays of the sun.
A golden sunset haze over the hills.
The sun almost gone, a month ago the sun was setting well to the north, (right) of this hill.