Spotted thick-knee

The spotted thick-knee or dikkop (the Afrikaners and the English disagree about which part of the bird is thick…) always looks kind of sleepy. Its plumage gives excellent camouflage in the long grass, so it can be hard to spot this bird. At night, the bird becomes active and starts to hunt for whatever it can find on the ground: insects, lizards, and even small mammals.

African wattled lapwing

The wattled lapwing prefers wet grasslands to breed, but will be found in other grassy environments to catch insects. I love the look of surprise on this lapwing’s face!
Photo taken in Rietvlei Nature Reserve.
Nikon d750, 420mm, f4, 1/1000, ISO 100.

Ostrich in a field with purple flowers

A male ostrich is foraging between the purple flowers of the pompom weed. Pompom weed has been called an ‘evil beauty’. It makes the fields look beautiful, but in fact it is an invasive plant that threatens indigenous grasslands. It makes me wonder how we define beauty… Now that I now that this plant is a threat, I look at it in a different way. Somehow, beauty seems to be informed by knowledge as well as aesthetical value!
Photo taken in Rietvlei Nature Reserve
Nikon d750, 420mm, f4, 1/1000, ISO 100.