Tuesday, September 15, 2015
SOUTH AFRICA, PART 2
In the previous post I mentioned looking out over the lake as the sun rose in the African sky. Later in the morning, birds dropped down to the exposed rocks near the middle of the lake to bathe and to drink. The balcony was an excellent spot to just sit and see what turned up - before I took this photo, Blacksmith Lapwings had been busy at the waters edge feeding and preening. When they took off, the Indian Myna's arrived followed by the Moorhen. The two Cattle Egrets had been there for some time and were later joined by another. Hawking insects over the lake were Lesser-striped and White-throated Swallows along with a few Rock Martins. Weavers were busy at the lakeside reeds and an early male Stonechat was joined by a female just below where I was sitting.
There were plenty of other birds around at that time of the morning - mostly common winter species but as it was warming up to an early Spring, many were nest building. Later walking around the estate, we found the nest of a White-bellied Sunbird - the male singing nearby. The female once stuck her head out before retreating again. Stonechats (male pictured above) were seen most mornings feeding in the garden and amongst the dried grasses and rocky areas to the right of the house.
I did the painting above as another example of the South African landscape - just a typical scene one would come across driving around the highveld in Winter. I'm not trying at this point to do anything too adventurous as I'm still feeling my way in so to speak and I don't expect to be able to come close to what I feel about what I am seeing around me. 'Near Harrismith' is an oil on canvas, size 5" x 9" (13cm x 23cm).