Goodness, almost the end the year already. It feels like just yesterday I shared with you my year in pictures for 2017.
My proudest moment was when I became a grandmother!!
My beautiful little grand-daughter Cloe’ Bell was born on 29 November. What joy she has brought to the family. Sadly, I have not yet met her, but the plan is to hold and cuddle her early next year.
Below are some highlights from 2018. It’s rather photo intensive, so keep strolling.
Tick for my Bucket List
For a long time, I wanted to visit the far north-eastern part of Kruger National Park. When my friend Simone invited me to join her I just couldn’t say no.
So 2018 started with a tick on my bucket list!
One of the many highlights of the trip was enjoying sundowners at Crooks Corner. Besides an interesting history, this is where the Luvhuvhu and Limpopo Rivers join and South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet. The drive to this remote part of South Africa is spectacular in itself. Magnificent trees such as jackalberry, fig and fever trees line the road and spectacular birds are there to be enjoyed in large numbers and variety.
We were fortunate enough to watch a herd of elephants crossing over to Mozambique as the sun began to set and I had a gin and tonic in my hand. Bucket list stuff!!
Another Visit to Australia
The biggest attraction for me to fly over 14 hours to Sydney is my son Devan and daughter-in-law Shanely. So once again I went over but also had the privilege of visiting Melbourne, Port Macquarie, Jervis Bay and Kiama.
Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay
Lyn and myself exploring Sydney on the ferries
With my cousin Gill in Dandenong Mountains, Melbourne
My best swim in 2018 was here at Wash House Beach near Port Macquarie
Beautiful seaside walk along shortline in Port Macquarie
Needless to say, I spent many hours with binoculars around my neck, most times a camera glued to my hand in search of birds.
A visit to Capertee Valley was certainly a highlight
Capertee Valley is a huge valley north of Sydney and is a birder’s paradise. Marie, a birder friend who lives in Sydney introduced me to this magnificent place and for two whole days, it felt like it was raining birds.
Below are some of the birds seen this trip. Remember, not all are good photos, but they are special to me.
Was thrilled to see my first Frogmouth (Tawny)
This beautiful Rose Robin posed so fantastically, giving us all an opportunity to get a good look at him
Hooded Robin, one of the specials found in Capertee Valley
Cutest bird in Australia – Owlet-nightjar
This is my very favourite photo. On a pelagic trip off Kiama they were ringing birds and I was privileged to have this magnificent albatross sitting on my lap.
Want to know more above my favourite bird the Albatross? Visit Albatrosses, Masters of the Air
In an endeavour to learn how to identify LBJ’s (Little Brown Jobs), Penny and I attended a LBJ Bird Course in Letaba Kruger Park. Joe Groesel did a wonderful job in unravelling the mystery of these confusing creatures, not that I am proficient as yet!!
I can now confidently identify a Sabota Lark – wow, making progress.
Marsh Own, Zaagkuilsdrift. See my post An Owl of a Weekend
Sabota Lark, Western Shores, Isimangaliso Wetland Park
Grey Sunbird, Sand Forest Lodge (Hluhluwe)
December – The finale to 2018
December was busy. First I sold my apartment and started making plans to move to Cape Town. At least I will be starting 2019 with another Hello – this time “Hello Cape Town”.
In between the packing, I managed a visit to the beautiful Overberg town Greyton.
Finally, a family weekend at Proudfoot Farm in Mooi River. Instead of game reserves this time I was surrounded with beautiful farmlands, cows, horses, donkeys and goats.
Looking back, it was a good year and I am grateful.