South Park Self

hadedi, hadeda, life goes on

As New York sort of quails beneath Hurricane Irene, I note for posterity that there were two hadeda ibisis on the lawn this morning. (Ibissis? Ibisisisis? Ibi? It's a word like banana, in that it's difficult to stop spelling it). Hurricanes and hadedas are not, in fact, completely unrelated, at least in the wayward meanderings of what pass for my train of thought. We've had the hadedas go over every evening for a couple of years now, with that characteristic loud, mournful, cacophonous, slightly self-satisfied call which characterises them - not a shriek, really, more a sort of a bellow. (I don't know where they're heading to, although it's towards the mountain: either an unspecified roosting destination, or a night on the town).

The evening chorus didn't used to happen when we moved into this house, which was, gawsh, getting on for thirteen years ago now. Back then the hadedas could be found pottering around on lawns in the leafier, more verdant suburbs like Constantia, but over the last decade they've gradually migrated into the more built-up areas. I think the two who were with us this morning have actually claimed the area as a territory, over the last couple of months I've started to hear them yelling at each other/passers by/neighbourhood cats/other birds at odd intervals during the day.

So, hadeda ranges are changing. Something is happening to make the population expand, or to make hitherto unpalatable areas suddenly desirable. Their food sources must somehow be affected. I blame global warming in a vague, undirected sort of way (hence the link with hurricanes), but I'd love to know what the actual mechanism is.

Right, it must be 6pm. I know this because I've just said to Hobbit, "Your butt is ringing. This is what happens when you sit on my cellphone." He looked horribly offended. It's my daily Warfarin alarm, so I dash off now to imbibe pink pills and blue pills and giant purple capsules, O my. (The latter are various vitamin and herbal remedies to attempt to address the psychotic PMT, which I am amazed to say seems to be working. Also, in the interests of good taste and TMI I shall not talk about the effect of Warfarin, compounded by the absence of contraceptives because they Increase The Chance Of Blood Clots, on the Monthly Girl Troubles, other than to say Ouch).
Hadeda ranges are indeed changing. When I left, you didn't see or hear them in Cape Town at all. Penguin populations have also been steadily expanding.
Yup. Growing up in CT I'd never even heard of hadedas. I saw my first one visiting with AHS's family in Joburg in the early nineties. Now they hang about in my back garden and tease my cats' imaginations.
My favourite story about hadeda range extension is that they're lawn birds, and have migrated down the coast from the Eastern Cape on a wave of new golf course developments. I can't remember the source of this and I have zero evidence for it, but any new reason to detest golf course developments is ok with me.
Ah-hah! therefore obviously this pair has moved in because our struggling lawn is actually starting to cover. Which will be sad for the thrushes, who love running around on the bare earth looking for worms, but is generally more pleasing to the eye.
I've never been able to take the wonder pill for my girl troubles...and do suffer most gloriously from the Troubles. Until about a year ago when my GP suggested conception multi-vitamins...which while an extremely awkward thing to have in the cupboard and have to explain to sundry love interests...are an absolute miracle—it is reassuring to discover that you have experienced a similar affect from multi-vitamins and I am not being tricked by the placebo effect!
Weirdly, they're probably only working because of the Warfarin. I'm useless at remembering to take vitamins, but Warfarin dosing is important enough that I have a reminder alarm on my phone, so I chug the whole lot together. As well as the serious anti-PMT vitamins (with lots of B-vitamins and evening primrose oil), there's a weird herbal thing called agnucaston which my nice new gynaecologist lady swears by. Given that I'm still perpetually exhausted from the post-embolism effects, and that it's pulled up the jolly old glandular fever symptoms in spades this week, I really should have been growling and worrying people, and I really haven't been. I am cautiously optimistic.
A far as I know, Hadedas did migrate down from the Eastern Cape, possibly over the last 20 years or so (I am happy for golf courses to take the blame for this). Boo hates hadedas and either shrieks in indignation if he hears them or dives for cover if one gets too close.

In other news, the tree-felling at Cecelia Plantation has dislodged quite a number of birds. I have been told of quite a few owl-sightings, and our young chickens attracted the attention of a Peregrine Falcon the other day, as a result of which they now have to stay firmly inside their coop.
I drove past Cecelia the other day and was vaguely horrified at the barrenness; I hadn't thought about the effect on the bird life, but I suppose even Evil Alien Trees are a habitat. Woe.
Wow, hadedas ... familiar from Durban, but I thought I'd never see any in Cape Town.
I'm occasionally made to feel slightly satisfied at being the gender that I am, with this being one of those moments. Your post prompted me to the realization that men seem to get all the vitamins they require from beer.