Wings over Kalahari
Morning at the water hole.
We hear them long before we see them. To a beginning it is difficult to hear exactly where the soft, intermittent chucking sound comes from. But after a little while I pick up a group of dots against the azure sky high over the greyish green bush. There are about fifteen birds in it, and they make a wide circle around the little artificial water hole.
As the circle becomes narrower and the birds come closer, their warm brown colour, plump little bodies and pointed wings become discernible.
And just like a flight of suspicious ducks they circle the little pond a few more times until the bravest, or maybe the thirstiest, decides to go down and the others follow and land in a flutter of wings at the edge of the shallow water.
For a second or two they check the surroundings with stretched necks before they sink their beaks into the water and drink eagerly for maybe five seconds before they take to their wings and leave for the sunbaked dryness of the Kalahari bush they came from.