< Bird nerd alert > Surrounded by the sweet sweet sound of birdsong, we spent over a week watching birds and noticing how the colours on this piece of Cape Fold Mountain constantly change.
Representing what is so iconic in Cape fynbos, is the stunning Cape sugarbird. This is a male with his long tail feathers that fly behind him like fancy coat tails. But they also unbalance him, pulling him down so fast that he has to fly almost vertically up before diving down to where he wants to be. What it feeds on are mostly flower heads of fully grown protea bushes, the ones that stand about 6 feet tall and bear beautiful big proteas, one of the most recognisable in the fynbos kingdom!
We were so fortunate to have a “green belt” of indigenous fynbos in front of the holiday house. It is part of the conservation plan for Vermont to create “connecting corridors” of local plants from the mountain to the coast.
This is so vital in a seaside town like Vermont where modern houses are planted in urban rows, parallel to paved roads, and removing the natural plants and with it the winged and crawling creatures that live among them! (And boy have we seen a lot of insects of all shapes and sizes!) I’ve grown up knowing and loving birds, what is what, and what eats what, and why. Like the sugarbird, I love how it’s curved beak allows it to reach into the deep proteas to extract nectar! A beautifully designed synergy as the heavy-weighted sinker-style sugarbird needs lots of nearby protea bushes to flutter and land on in between, and the protea bush needs the sugarbirds to pollinate them!