Roy Sarkin is well known in White River as a jeweller and sculptor but We Are White River received a tweet about his lifelong hobby – birdwatching, which he’s been doing since he was five years old and for over 60 years. That’s a vocation rather than a hobby, we think.
Roy and his wife Debbie spend their free time birding, and that includes the just-home-from-work collapse on the veranda, from where they can inspect their birdfeeders or the leafy foliage that surrounds their house.
A dog bite on his top lip provided an unexpected benefit – afterwards Roy discovered he could imitate many types of birds thanks to the damaged muscle. This talent is both fascinating to hear and could lend itself to some fun practical jokes.
Unfortunately, White River doesn’t have much in the way of waterbirds for keen ornithologists but our gardens and open spaces twitch with a wide range of birds, leading many to believe they live in an aviary. Birds follow habitat, however, and as the plantations surrounding White River make way for orchards and farmland, the Crowned Eagle and Long Crested Eagles take to the skies seeking places to nest. And as long as we have the many watercourses and wetlands, Fish Eagles will continue to intrude on our day with their spine shivering call.
Roy’s advice for anyone wanting to attract birds to their garden is to set out fruit and seed daily – he recommends the bulk feed dealer in town for quantities of seed. Be aware – when a bird finds a fly-by food stop, he calls a friend or 20. So your budget could be nibbled up very quickly. Don’t forget a birdbath, either, that’s another winning draw for dusty feathers.
Roy welcomes calls or mails regarding your bird queries and should you be interested in a birding walk on White River Country Estate or around the dams, he’d be happy to accommodate you if possible.
Cell: 082 941 9808 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
List of birds common in White River (please send in your additions to email@example.com so we can keep adding to the list)
Owls – White Faced, Wood and Spotted Eagle
Eagles – Long Crested and Fish
Hawks – African Goshawk, Black Sparrow and Little Sparrow
Woodpeckers – Cardinal, Golden tailed
Purple Crested Turaco
Pin Tailed Whyder
Barbets – Black Collared, Tinker, Yellow Rumped, Crested
Swifts and Swallows
Pests – Egyptian Goose, Hadeda Ibis J