Strangely, even though I have been chasing birds around the bush for about five years now, and half seriously for at least three years, I had not photographed a black-faced waxbill (Estrilda erythronotos) waxbill until last weekend at Zaagkuildrift. This waxbill  is a common species of estrildid finch found in southern Africa, especially […]

The black-faced waxbills of Zaagkuildrift

Olive-tree warbler
Last weekend (March 17-19) was spent providing food for mosquitoes and learning warblers with Etienne Marais and Sheleph Burger. Every year many millions of warblers make the journey from the northern hemisphere all the way to Africa, many of them overwintering (the northern winter) in South Africa. Etienne put on […]

Warbler weekend at Zaagkuildrift

Ghost fish seemed an appropriate name the first time I saw one, For a fleeting second, in the light of my diving lamp; a whitish spotted head protruding from the mud disappeared as it swallowed up by the sea floor itself. Closer inspection revealed a 10 cm diameter hole in […]

The wrymouth a ghost of a fish

I have citizenship in two countries, something that sometimes is hard for people to understand. This is particularly true for people who have not travelled, or lived in another country, or who have not thought about what countries actually are in reality. A few days ago, someone asked me which […]

The fiction of countries

This article was published in Diver magazine in 1990. In the sky there is only one moon, but the sea can be packed full of small gently-drifting moons, among which the neutrally buoyant diver can float like an astronaut of magnificent proportions. These lunar animals are, of course, moon jellies (Aurelia […]

Lunar beauty of the summer seas

Crowned eagle
We took a five days in the second week of August 2016 to visit Ndumo Nature Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Ndumo is located in the far northeast district of KwaZulu-Natal Province known as Maputaland,  on the border with Mozambique and adjacent to Swaziland where the Pongola River joins the Great […]

Ndumo: birds of prey with adaptations to the forest