Wakkerstroom – again

Whew it worked the first time – thanks for those who commented – given me the strength to try again!

Great relief, Wakkerstroom has had rain. We have not had a very wet summer although, like most places, had a huge amount in a short space of time but little before or since – and it was getting a bit scary with winter just around the corner. And who would want to be a farmer – first, after the big rains, the young maize plants started turning yellow from their “feet” being in water all the time – and now they are all turning up their leaves as they die of thirst!

My next trick is try to attach a picture – who knows, before I retire I may even be able to do all these amazing things!

This picture is just to introduce you to “crane spotting” – or not! No prizes – this time around.

Grey Crowned Cranes, inconsiderately, prefer tall reed beds – in my area anyway. My colleague Tanya was horrified at the thought of going into these reeds to find a chick to ring.

Actually the reeds in the Wakkers wetland are even taller than in this picture (Groenvlei) – one year when Samson Phakati was still working here, we decided to ring a chick in this wetland. We parked on the road bridge which is about level with the height of the reeds and checked where there was a change over. I stood on the roof of the Venture, so now I am really high while Sam disappeared into the reeds – and except for the odd movement, I did not have a sighting of him for ages. I kept thinking how pleased I was that crocs do not live in those reeds! Every now and then, Sam clambered onto a mound for directions. And to my relief he eventually returned – with a big grin – nearly as large as mine at his return – he got to the nest and nearly died of fright when a huge crane took off almost in front of him and he had not even known he was almost on top of the nest – that had 2 eggs!

The trials field workers face!

‘til anon


About Glenn Ramke

Nearly 18 years ago I moved from Johannesburg to live in the sleepy little town of Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga. Little did I know then that my life would turn into a love affair with those lovely big birds that grace the grasslands – cranes. Our SA National bird the Blue Crane adds even more beauty to the extensive highveld grasslalnds and the sometime comic and much loved Grey Crowned Cranes are many visitors’ favourites. And on occasions even a majestic Wattled Crane may be seen. So this long spell with the EWT-Cranes entitles me to the title of “matriarch” amongst my very dear colleagues.
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One Response to Wakkerstroom – again

  1. Wolfram Zwecker says:

    Great stuff, keep it going.

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