Birds of a Feather Hike Together
It is late afternoon on a warm summer’s day as you lazily make your way along a hiking trail. You sip cool water and take in the scene around you. Greenery as far as the eye can see, fresh and new after the summer rain. Today is nothing but piercing blue skies and large fluffy white clouds. Above you a flock of birds play in the wind – dipping and gliding and changing direction. Around you, hidden from sight, amongst twigs and leaves, birds watch and wait. Some distance from where your feet find the path, in the yellowed stalks, birds pick at the dirt for dinner.
You’re flooded with a sense of peace and tranquillity as you lay your backpack in the long grass and sit, leaning against a rock to take in the splendour of the mountainside. The sound of the wind blowing through the leaves of the trees and a faint babbling brook in the distance causes you to sigh and smile. You get comfortable in the warmth of the sun and wait, patient and content. This is where you feel most at home as you become one with the silence of nature and the resident feathers become acclimated to your presence. In the blue sky above you, a flutter of wings and then, perched on the branch of an Acacia, chirping and gazing into the distance, an Olive Bush Shrike.
This experience can be matched by none, away from the buzzing and noise pollution of the concrete jungle and plunged into birdsong and stillness of the Mpumalanga countryside.
If this describes your ideal holiday or hike, then you know what you need to pack – you are an avid birder after all. But for those of you finding yourself pining for an adventure you’ve yet to explore be sure to bring along the following to our Hiking Trail:
- A pair of comfortable hiking/walking shoes
- Thick warm socks
- A pair of binoculars
- Some snacks and a water bottle
- Your camera to capture the everlasting memories
- A notebook and if you keep a journal
- Print out our spotting list here
Crystal Springs Top Tip: Our new favourite take along item is a smartphone – not only is it more lightweight for taking snapshots of your new found hobby, it also comes in handy when equipped with the Newman’s Birds App, which can distinguish between 900 birds, provide information on the birds and even play you audio clips of their sing-song voices.
So strap on your backpack full of goodies, make sure your shoelaces are secure and head into the wilderness. All of these things, on a journey of self-discovery or as a team effort with the family are sure to make you A-For-Away on your next visit to Crystal Springs Hiking Trails.