Ulovane Update: March 2018 Marine and Bird Guides

28 Mar

Ulovane update: Marine Guides Week 3

As challenging as this course is I can not even begin to say how rewarding it is, to start understanding how the ocean works and being able to identify what is around you starts to make all the hard work worth it. This last week has  spent focusing on identification of all forms of sea life in Port Alfred and we also had the privilege of going to Grahamstown to a talk given by the Branches, the authors of their new book Living Shores, what an eye opening experience that was! To hear about two people’s life long work and dedication to the ocean was incredible, definitely think we need so many more people doing work like them.

What a difference it makes being able to go out and practically identify things and not just sit and look at a book the whole day. The variations of shells and the variety of animals and plants we have on our beaches is spectacular.

This course has opened my eyes as to how little we are doing to protect such a vital part of our survival. The ocean is responsible for 70% of the world’s oxygen production and supports numerous forms of life that are still being discovered today. I definitely think more needs to be done to educate people worldwide of the impact the ocean has on us because only then will people begin to understand the damage that their influence has on the oceans. “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” this quote from Baba Dioum sums it up rather well I think, it is only through education that we will be able to inspire the conservation of our oceans.

– Grant Perry

“The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer

Ulovane Update: Bird Guides Week 2

The time I have spent at Ulovane went so fast that I had completely lost track of time. It went so fast in fact, that I can’t believe it’s already week 2 of the birding course!

Ever since we’ve started the birding course, I’ve seen and heard so many different kinds of bird, that I had not noticed before. Some birds were easy to identify by both sight and sound. While others looked and sounded similar to each other, which makes them a bit tricky to distinguish from one another.

For instance I don’t think that anyone can get confused with the sound of the African Snipe that sounds similar to that of a jet. As well as the unmistakable African Fish Eagle’s call. While some species like the Larks and Pipit’s are quite challenging to tell apart. We didn’t only learn about birds in the classroom, by pictures and sound recording, but also went out into the field to look for them. This way we could see where they naturally occur at different times of the day, in different weather conditions and different habitats.

This week we went not only to Amakhala Game Reserve to look for birds, but we also went to Addo National Park where we saw a few new birds that we have not yet come across on Amakhala. For example the Blue Crane, African Black Duck, Common Moorhen, etc.

We also went on a beautiful walk in the Woody Cape where we saw the Forest Canary, Grey Cuckoo shrike and the Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler which are all very exciting birds for us to find!

We have all already learned so much about birds, I cannot wait to see what the last week of the course has in store for us!

– Henco Alberts

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle

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