It was mid winter in 2012. The fishing club committee had arranged a week-end on a large stillwater, for us to see if we could help the hatchery there boost it’s brood stock with some hens and cocks.
On the Saturday I enjoyed taking my good friend Win out on the canoe. Win had had a rough year, health wise, and I enjoyed the opportunity to help him “break the fishing drought” so to speak.
Some of us took a few minutes to find our sea legs! The boat is stable in that it will never tip over, but it has this little “wobble zone” where it rocks without resistance through about five degrees. It’s the sort of thing that is a bit disconcerting when the Great Dane stands up and leans over one side for a drink. Win was a lot more co-operative than the Dane, and we soon settled happily into the fishing off a steep side on the Northern shore.
(Note the box between us: used for keeping brood stock)
The water was just seven degrees C, according to the journal, and the air temperature around 12 degrees, but with a moderate Easterly wind blowing. Despite an apparently mild mercury reading, it was cold. Properly cold! Win was wrapped up for the occasion.
I still call this one a Stanley bustard, but they tell me it has changed its name.
I wonder if it knows, that it’s is now called a Denham’s Bustard.
It is a really large bird, that struts confidently in the veld. I haven’t often been able to get as close as I did this day.
The shelduck is most distinctive in that the male and female are equally striking, but different, and I always seem to see them together.
They inhabit our still-waters here in KZN, and provide a welcome distraction on slow days.
To my fishing buddy on his birthday: