We were standing in our garden one evening, not long after we’d moved in. There were birds in the high branches of the tree that stands outside our wall, on the street. “They look like lovebirds,” I said. “But they can’t be. You don’t get lovebirds in Johannesburg.”
But they looked like lovebirds, so I got out the binoculars. Unmistakable. I got out the Roberts bird guide. Again, unmistakable. These were Rosy-Faced Lovebirds, a resident flock who live in the rafters of the townhouse one block up from us. You see them in the evenings, gathering in the same tree, or in the morning, in the tree that stands across from my study window. And I was right, in a way – according to the bird book, the lovebirds are endemic to Namibia and the north-west corner of the country but are not resident in Johannesburg. They must have moved in recently, since the book was published – climate change, perhaps, and changing habitats.
But it’s nice to think of them here, making their new home in the city, filling the air with their calls and colours. Migrants, like us. And a kind of a welcome party.