Boston Wildlife Sightings – March 2016

Crystelle Wilson of Gramarye:

A GROUP of Grey Crowned Cranes made good use of a pivot at Elandshoek farm, demonstrating their perching skills.

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And it is very pleasing that the resident pair on The Willows, Gramarye and Elvesida has once again managed to raise one youngster. The surviving chick is making good progress. The parents were taking extra safety precautions by sleeping on a little island in a dam at night.

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I love the nests of Thick-billed Weavers, very beautiful, and woven with great skill

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and it was good to spot the inhabitants as well

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A female was visiting a stand of Leonotus elsewhere

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The atlas list for the Elandshoek pentad 2935_3000 also included: African Black Swift, African Wattled Lapwing, Village Weaver, Red-chested Flufftail, African Rail, Grey Heron, South African Shelduck, Steppe Buzzard,

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Southern Boubou, Common Quail, Red-necked Spurfowl, Bokmakierie, Diderick Cuckoo, Fork-tailed Drongo, Olive Thrush, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, House Sparrow, Cape Sparrow, African Dusky Flycatcher,

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African Hoopoe, African Firefinch, Red-throated Wryneck, African Darter, Spur-winged Goose, Amethyst Sunbird,

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Brown-throated Martin, Cape Robin-chat, Hadeda Ibis, African Sacred Ibis, White-breasted Cormorant, Reed Cormorant, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Black Saw-wing, Greater Striped Swallow, African Paradise-flycatcher, Speckled Mousebird, Zitting Cisticola, Cape Crow, Speckled Pigeon, Malachite Kingfisher, Cape Grassbird,

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African Olive-Pigeons and Pied Starlings forming strange bedfellows on overhead wires

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Black-headed Heron, White-throated Swallow, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, Pied Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Duck, Little Grebe, Common Waxbill, Blacksmith Lapwing, Southern Red Bishop, Three-banded Plover,

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Egyptian Goose, Cape Longclaw, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Long-crested Eagle, Wailing Cisticola, Common Fiscal,

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The last of the Amur Falcons before migration, both male and female

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Fan-tailed Widowbird, Red-billed Quelea, Red-collared Widowbird, Cape Canary, Pin-tailed Whydah, Barn Swallow, African Stonechat, Drakensberg Prinia, Cape Turtle-dove, Red-winged Starling, Dark-capped Bulbul, Jackal Buzzard, Yellow-fronted Canary, Red-eyed Dove, Cape White-eye, Sombre Greenbul, and Cape Wagtail.

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Christeen Grant of Sitamani:

There has been a mellowness of autumn creeping in, in milder days between very hot ones, cool mornings and golden tones in the grasses. Beautiful light effects at dawn and sunset.

02 Cover b IMG_4832

Flowers are almost over for the season subtle shades of autumn grass make a perfect foil for silhouetted flowering grasses. However bright yellow Berkheya Echinacea and Helichrysum cooperi shine and it’s also the season for Hesperantha baurii and masses of Plectranthus calycina.

03 Flower Berkheya echinacea IMG_4821

Berkheya echinacea

03 Flower Berkheya echinacea IMG_4822

Berkheya echinacea

03 Flower Helichrysum cooperi IMG_4816

Helichrysum cooperi

03 Flower Hesperantha baurii IMG_4824

Hesperantha baurii

03 Flower Plectranthus calycina IMG_4819

Plectranthus calycina

For the first time I saw what I think is a Drakensberg Crag Lizard, it was very wary; also at a distance, so not a perfectly sharp photo.

04 Reptile Drakensberg Crag Lizard Pseudocordylus melanotus subviridis IMG_4820

A lovely Bush or Forest Beauty butterfly found it’s way inside and I managed to get a couple of photos before setting it free.

05 Insects & Spiders Bush or Forest Beauty butterfly  IMG_478305 Insects & Spiders Bush or Forest Beauty butterfly IMG_4776

One of my favourite insects, the Mottled Veld Antlion, settled in the grass near the house one morning.

05 Insects & Spiders Mottled Veld Antlion IMG_4769

A sparkling dew beaded spider web after rain caught my attention.

05 Insects & Spiders dew beaded spider web IMG_4799

A pair of Malachite Sunbirds flitted busily over the hillside for a couple of weeks. Cape White-eyes, Cape Robin-Chats and the Black-backed Puffback have been enjoying the verandah birdbath. The Village Weavers have dispersed, abandoning their summer nests. A Long-crested Eagle has used the Eskom poles as a vantage point. Several times after an absence I’ve heard the Spotted Eagle Owl hooting.

Most evenings the Black-backed Jackal yip and call. A pair of Duiker are still seen regularly along the drive and in the garden. A Doormouse had a narrow escape, somehow it had fallen into the toilet bowl during the night. I managed to rescue it in the morning and set it free outside. However for a while there was evidence in nibbled fruit and moth wings, that it had come back inside again.

Dargle Wildlife Sightings – March 2016

Pat & Sandra Merrick – Albury Farm, Lidgetton

Gaudy commodore

Garden Commodore or Garden Inspector Butterfly (Precis archesia)

It’s been a dry month – 80 ml in total. I saw the Blue Crane juvenile flying for the first time on 27th February. We see them almost daily mostly at sunset where they wade in the dam which is dropping at an alarming rate. One hot midday I watched in fascination as it seemed the blue crane adults were trying to teach the youngster to swim.

Crane 1 - Come on junior – this is how you swim

Come on junior – this is how you swim

They were swimming all over the dam while he just stood and watched. Not too interested but he suddenly decided to start running through the shallow water in wild abandon.

Crane 2 - Check this, I’m dancing on water

Check this, I’m dancing on water

Then up and down the side of the dam, wings widespread while his parents stood and watched the antics. At one stage mom or dad started running after him. I watched for an hour before they eventually wandered off to look for some lunch. They are a very close knit family and there is a lot of touching of beaks between them. They are such incredible parents. 5th youngster they have raised now.

Crane 3 - Awe come on – give me a peck goodnight

Awe come on – give me a peck goodnight

A malachite baby flew into the verandah door one day – as we had folk for lunch I did not take photos. I put him in a box for awhile and let him loose later where he flew off quite contented.

There have been dozens of moths this month and the frogs have been having a feast on the verandah. No snakes yet!

One morning while having tea on the stoep, we saw 2 Common Reedbuck fighting down at the dam.

Reedbuck 1 - Female reed buck either playing or fighting

Female Common Reedbuck either playing or fighting

We presumed they were males fighting over the females as usual. But as they parted we were surprised to see they were 2 females. A chase ensued and then another charge and more head butting and pushing.

Reedbuck 2 - The Chase

The Chase

It did not look friendly and I wondered if they were fighting over a male!!! But he was nowhere in sight. They eventually parted on friendly terms and carried on grazing. I was surprised at this behaviour between 2 females who are usually so docile.

Reedbuck 3 - The Charge

The Charge

Pat saw an African Jacana at the dam 2 days in a row, but every time I looked for him he was nowhere to be seen.

The Martial Eagle returned to the same dead gum tree a few days after the stork kill. It was a stifling day. His beak was ajar and his wings pulled away from his body. I was so thrilled to see him once again, but that was the last time. A number of raptors around.

Pat saw a black sparrow hawk eating a rat along our driveway. We went for a walk one evening around the dam and found 2 Blacksmith Lapwing eggs lying out in the open a few metres from the dam edge.

Blacksmith plovers eggs

Blacksmith Lapwing eggs

One morning I saw a strange coloured raptor on our dead tree – I went outside to get closer for a photo shoot.

Unknown Raptor 1

Then I heard another raptor making a sort of “peeeoooo” noise which went on for a few
minutes. This one was somewhere in the gum trees opposite our house. The raptor left the dead tree and flew up to the gum trees, found a perch, and he too started his “peeeoooo” calling.

Unknown Raptor 2

Then suddenly the other raptor flew in and joined him a few metres away on the same level. There was a chorus of whistling to and fro and then the one flew off and the other followed shortly after.

Unknown Raptor 3

I have no idea what raptors these are but think they are juveniles because of their light coloured eyes. They are both differently coloured yet whistled the same song. I have asked Ashley to please see if he could find someone to identify them for me. I googled juvenile steppe and jackal buzzards, and also forest buzzards, but got so confused after a few hours gave up.

The skinks (lizards) round the house have become very friendly and enjoy the morning sun in our study. They love the warmth of the sun and sit for some time on the carpet wherever the sun touches it. Strange little creatures and very social. They have now found their way into our bathroom too.

Skink in our study enjoying the morning sun

All day long they slip under the aluminium doors into the study and our bedroom which adjoins both sides of the verandah. The dogs ignore them and they run around freely looking for and eating the dead moths from the previous night and anything else that’s edible.

Skink eating all the dead moths from the night before

They always seem to know how to get out of the house which amazes me. At one stage I used to shush them out the door until I found that they definitely know their way around. Amazing.

Heard several African Fish-Eagles crying this morning over the house – they were miles up – the sky was so blue and bright that I could see nothing, but that wonderful sound lingered in the thermals – a sound that one does not forget – this is our beautiful country, Africa.

 

Nikki Brighton – Old Kilgobbin Farm

The Yellow-billed Kites have gone, but the Barn Owls are back in their box in the farmyard – hope they breed successfully again. I saw just one Reedbuck doe all month and one Common Duiker. Jackal Buzzards, Cormorants, Egyptian Geese, a small brown duck, wagtails, hadedas, a Giant Kingfisher and an African Fish-Eagle watch as we enjoy the last swims of the season in a not yet full dam.

Autumn changes always seem the most obvious, and are much loved by most Midlanders – the chilly ground underfoot in the mornings, perfect afternoons and gentle light of the evenings.

grassland view of Inhlosane

View of Inhlosane

Disperis fanninaea, appears quite at home in the understory of wattle or pine woodlots. Flowers are borne on stems of up to 40cm tall, sometimes singly or in clusters of up to eight. Petals are joined to form a white helmet-shaped hood, flushed with pink speckles and rimmed in green. Dormant during winter, with new shoots emerging from the underground tuber in spring. The pollination of Disperis is interesting; it is carried out mainly by specialized oil-collecting bees, Rediviva coloratat, this is a rare phenomenon in plants. The bees collect the oil as food for their larvae. Once pollinated, the fruit capsule ripens and thousands of minute, dust-like seeds are released and dispersed by wind. As is the case with most orchids, they have a symbiotic relationship with the fungi that live in their roots – supplying them with nutrients absorbed from decaying organic matter.

disperis fanninaea

Disperis fanninaea

Leonotis intermedia and Pycnostachys reticulata are flowering in grasslands.

pycnostachys reticulata

Pycnostachys reticulata

Plectranthus laxiflorus, Hypoestes triflora, Desmondium repandum and Plectranthus dolichopodus flower on forest edges.

desmodium repandum

Desmodium repandum

Ashley Crookes – Copperleigh Farm

Rain has been minimal this month, sometimes we do still get a bit of dew on the grass though.

Dew on the veld grass

This grass was being burnt from the heat of the rocks, until we had a tiny bit of rainfall.

Grass burnt from the heat of the rocks before the rains arrived

Some pink Everlastings and Watsonia flowering in the veld.

 

Sunset over the Dargle

Sunset over the Dargle

Spiky Caterpillar

Spiky Caterpillar

Some kind of worms found whilst digging a hole in the ground, they managed to burrow quickly under everytime I turned the soil over, pretty sure they weren’t maggots

Worms in deep soil
Rainforest Brown Butterfly

Rainforest Brown

A few different kinds of fungi and mushrooms sprang up after the rains at the beginning of the month.

Malvina & Evert van Breemen – Old Furth Estate

March has been extremely busy on Old Furth Estate with multiple celebrations and hordes of visitors, so we have been battening down the hatches more than usual!

No sooner had the dust settled from the last carload of visitors than we had the call we have been waiting for from Free Me that the two Serval were on their way for release on the farm.

Serval 1

Never a dull moment here! We went over to the other side of the Furth River and released there as we know that we have Serval near our dams already and didn’t want to cause a territorial problem.

Serval 5

Serval 2

The male was released first, rather groggy after his antidote, and then the female.

Serval 3

We were very surprised that neither of them bolted, they just took their time sniffing the new territory and then gradually melted away into the surrounding vegetation.

Serval 4

On some of the walks showing everyone around we found some lovely fungi in the forest

Fungi

and a really large bulb which had been disturbed – any guesses on what it could be?

mystery bulb

Jen Fly – Kildaragh Farm

The swallows have been gathering since the 1st March. On a couple of evenings the sky over us has looked just like Mt Moreland . Literally 1000’s. Almost in competition with the Amur Falcons at Mooi River.

This extraordinary “nest” is growing out of or is stuck to a wall in the garden. The fluff looks like human hair clippings. At the top of the nest there is a white lava and below it is the brown pupa. I think we need Dr Jason Londt ‘s expertise again…

Strange Nest

Dr Jason Londt’s Response: “Many caterpillars incorporate their long hairs into their cocoons – I think that is what we see in the photo – the pupal case left behind by the emerged adult moth is frequently found inside the cocoon – or bits of it should it break up. I wouldn’t like to guess at the species that made these cocoons but maybe a Monkey Moth.”

I found this gay fellow on Grandpa’s Hairy Balls (Gomphocarpus physocarpus)

Colourful Caterpillar

The dehisced seed capsule of the Kigelaria africana and below the unopened capsules. The seeds in the capsules are very pretty, black with red flesh. The birds always beat me to it and I didn’t manage to get a photo. The Acraea butterfly breeds on this tree and at times it is crawling with caterpillars. The fruit and larvae attract a huge number of birds and there is constant activity. It is a really worthwhile tree for a larger garden. Cuckoos and Black Headed Orioles feast on the caterpillars. The doves scratch round under the tree picking up seeds, the toppies, sparrows, weavers and white eyes strip the capsules of the fruit. Thrushes and boubous too.

Kigelaria Africana

Wyndham Robartes – Wana Farm

Wyndham sent in a video of some “Processionary Worms”, here is a still from that video.

Caterpillars

David Mann – Knowhere Farm

Rode on the bike up to the top of the farm last week with Ben (the Ridgeback) and as we got to the top a Jackal took off and Ben decided to give chase. He returned a while later looking a bit tired, obviously the Jackal gave him a good run!

Louise Bolton – Robhaven Farm

I recently took a walk up Inhlosane mountain this week and took a few pictures.

Inhlosane View from the top

The weather was perfect as we were up there by 7am. Here is a picture of the view from the top plus a panorama.

Inhlosane Panorama

There were many flowers in bloom but this one caught my eye, Crassula alba.

Crassula alba

Crassula alba

Also saw this lizard basking in the sun. Love how the shadow reveals the jagged edge of its tail.

Lizard

NEMBA Regulations: They Affect Us All!

MCF hosted a very successful workshop on NEMBA (National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act) and its regulations at Michaelhouse recently, with Chris Birkett of Enviroworx as the speaker. This forms part of the MCF’s Invasive Alien Plant (IAP) Clearing Project, which is funded by N3 Toll Concession.

A synopsis of the presentation presented by Chris is given below. For more information, contact Enviroworx directly: Chris Birkett (082 391 4402), Mike Patrick (082 418 2104) or email admin@enviroworx.co.za

NEMBA Workshop at Michaelhouse 2

Does NEMBA apply to me?

NEMBA applies to all landowners. Protected areas and state owned land have to have management plans in place, while sellers of property have to provide a declaration of listed species present before transfer occurs. (See downloads below for “NEMBA 1 August 2014 – Regulations“)

What are listed species?

There are 379 plant species listed, but not all of these have to be removed. Four categories of species are defined, but one species may fall into several of these categories depending on location.

  • Category 1a: must be removed. These are generally species which have proved problematic elsewhere in the world, and the intention is to eradicate them before they become a problem in South Africa.
  • Category 1b: must be controlled to prevent spread. This is the biggest category, and includes most well-known invasive species such as Bugweed and Lantana.
  • Category 2: This category covers plantations with invasive potential. Permits are issued for plants to be grown in a particular area. If they spread, they are moved into category 1b.
  • Category 3: This is a list of new species that could become a problem. The presence of species on this list is recorded so that spread can be monitored. One example is the Mulberry.

(See downloads below for “NEMBA Lists – 1 August 2014“)

Ayanda with alien specimens herbarium res.

What is the difference between a Declaration and a Notice?

Declaration: This is required when property is being sold. It is a list of the species present on that property, and their abundance. The seller must provide a copy to both the buyer, and to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). DEA use declarations to map the area, so that they can monitor the problem potential and decide when to require removal of a particular species. If a category 1a species is present, this must be removed before the property is sold.

Notice: These are issued by DEA inspectors after visiting a property and deciding that certain species need to be controlled. (If a seller doesn’t issue a declaration to a buyer, and a DEA inspector subsequently visits the property and serves a notice, the buyer can hold the seller liable for clearing costs.) Notices give a timeframe for replying, creating a control plan, and effecting removal.

What is the difference between Management Plans and Control Plans?

Management Plans list the species present, and how these will be controlled over a period of time. Management plans are not required for property of <5 hectares.

Control Plans are required in terms of a Notice issued by a DEA inspector. They list the process and the herbicides that will be used to remove and destroy the IAPs present. Category 1a species cannot be removed from the property, but must be destroyed in situ. (See downloads below for “NEMBA Guidelines for Control Plans“)

How does this affect the Property market?

Estate agents and conveyancers have an obligation to make sellers aware of the legislation. If a Declaration shows a major problem with IAPs on the property, the buyer could ask for a reduction in price for the amount that it will cost to do the necessary clearing. The seller therefore needs to be aware of the liability of having IAPs on their property.

Can this legislation be enforced?

NEMBA is a national Act, and therefore overrides both provincial acts and municipal bylaws. The Deeds Office is not responsible for enforcing the legislation. However, attorneys need to ensure that the necessary Declarations are completed to comply with the law.

How does this affect complexes (sectional title schemes)?

Declarations for property that is part of a sectional title scheme must also cover both common property, and exclusive use areas.

NEMBA Workshop at Michaelhouse 1

Can I do my own declaration?

As the legislation stands, you can do your own declaration. However, both DEA and attorneys prefer to employ a specialist to reduce the possibility of landing up in trouble.

When should a declaration be done?

It is preferable to do a declaration just prior to transfer, because IAPs grow so fast. It is important to record the date on which the declaration was compiled, for the same reason.

Do the municipalities have management plans?

Currently, neither Umngeni nor Umgungundlovu Municipalities have management plans in place. However, they are working on these.

What services are provided by Enviroworx?

Enviroworx specialise in declarations, but can also provide management/control plans if required. Declarations identify the IAP species present, the abundance of each, and the category they fall into.

A covering letter is also provided, listing any other information that could be of relevance to the purchaser, eg. the presence of a state-owned servitude crossing the land. On small properties, the data provided will be more comprehensive than for large farms, as data for the latter is extrapolated from transepts of representative samples.

Useful downloads:

Threatened Plant Species – Nerine pancratioides

AMARYLLIDACEAE: Nerine pancratioides [Near Threatened]

Nerine pancratioides, commonly referred to as the White Nerine, is a plant that grows up to 600 mm long. It was previously observed in parts of the Midlands, south-western KZN as well as in north-eastern Lesotho. This gorgeous flower is also featured in the Midlands Conservancies Forum 2016 Wildflowers Calendar.

RB

Nerine pancratioides photographed in the Karkloof by Richard Booth

Habitat loss and destruction has caused a significant decline in the species population size in several of its localities, and in some instances even resulting in extinction. Deterioration of wetlands in the form of overgrazing, invasive alien plant infestation and damming are major concerns for the population’s survival.

Nerine pancratioides

Nerine pancratioides photographed by CREW

The plant grows in moist areas with acidic soils, on banks of streams, in grassy depressions and in seepage areas on steep hillsides. The flowers appear between March and April and are known to respond well after fires have occurred.

Nerine pollinator

Nerine pancratioides photographed in the Karkloof by Richard Booth

The leaves grow to 300 mm long, are narrow, round at base and almost flattened towards the top. The stalk is robust growing to 600 mm long. The sheathing bracts are narrowly egg-shaped with sharp tips. The pedicels are densely covered with hairs, 300−450 mm long. The inflorescence is umbel, 10−20. Tepals are ± 25 mm and white.

Nerine pancratioides seed

Nerine pancratioides photographed by CREW

If you have seen this plant, please contact Suvarna Parbhoo, CREW programme: KZN Node Manager S.Parbhoo@sanbi.org.za

REFERENCES:

  • Baker, J.G. 1896. Amaryllideae. In: W.T. Thiselton-Dyer (ed). Flora Capensis VI (Haemodoraceae to Liliaceae):171-246. L. Reeve & Co., London.
  • Craib, C. 2004. Nerine pancratioides. Degradation of grassland habitats by exotic plantations are threatening the beautiful white Nerine with extinction. Veld & Flora 90:105-107
  • Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2015. Nerine pancratioides Baker. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2016/03/16
  • Pooley, E. 1998. A field guide to wild flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

Dargle Wildlife Sightings – February 2016

Barry & Rose Downard – Oak Tree Cottage

Spiders…we see spiders. Any ID would be great, thanks.

A beautiful Caterpillar

Caterpillar 2

Jenny Fly – Kildaragh Farm

Derek and I are quite astounded by the Mauritian Thorn creeper that has made very intense inroads to the Dargle Forest. We have noticed different plants and trees thriving during this hot dry season we are experiencing, and from our property below the bush, we can see how this invader has run riot. How one eradicates it must be a huge task, as I should imagine spraying is out, and it probably would have to be attacked manually. It could be a touchy subject, however, and I’m certainly not pointing fingers at anyone. It’s just awful to see the weed engulfing the bush in a certain area. It’s bad enough having to cope with our common weeds that love our climate. No sooner does one have them cut or pulled, we have some heat and rain, and they are off again.

A happy corner of the garden. Hesperantha coccinea, Scarlet River Lily, growing near a down pipe.

Hesperantha coccinea, Scarlet River Lily

Hesperantha coccinea – Scarlet River Lily

This little dove arrived out of the blue and decided that life would be great living with us. I think it’s a juvenile Red Eye and she shyly took food from us and would settle near by if we were on the veranda. She even alighted on Derek’s shoulder, looking for seed.

She wasn’t too excited about Scruffy Parrot’s food and he wasn’t too excited about her. I presume that someone had hand reared her in our vicinity. She was around for a week then disappeared.

This snake was investigating the passage window. I passed right next to it on my way outside , without noticing . Once outside I noticed the dogs looking at something and thought the Grandchildren had put a plastic snake there to give me a fright. However , the snake took fright, dropped to the ground and took off in a flash.

Snake

A lovely male Boomslang

Comment from Pat McKrill: “Yes, you’re quite correct, it’s a male boomslang, the scalation – the way in which the scales are aligned – is very diagnostic, as is the relatively small, two-toned head. Although they’re not aggressive, they’re obviously not what one would want in the house. Presumably it went outside after the photo op? Have fun.”

This Hilaria bush next to the veranda is a feeding station for the birds. This chap took up residence for a few days . He had a ready supply of flies that were attracted by the apple. I then saw him climbing higher one morning and he hasn’t been seen since.

Chameleon

Midlands Dwarf Chameleon

Ashley Crookes – Copperleigh Farm

A very tame skink posed for me on one of the farm gate posts

Skink on pole

I moved a rock off of a trail, and found an entire colony of black ants underneath. Within a couple of minutes they had moved all the eggs underground into the tunnels.

Black ant colony

Cousins came to visit, and we found a whole bunch of little mushrooms under an old log in the sheep camp.

A pink Watsonia flowering in the veld

Pink Watsonia

Sunset shot of Inhlosane, taken from just above Lions River one evening.

Sunset with Inhlosane taken from above Lions River

Éidín Griffin

Éidín as been renting one of the Dargle Conservancy Trail camera’s over the
past month and managed to capture a Duiker.

M2E1L0-26R350B300

David & Helen Mann – Knowhere Farm

We’ve seen 8-10 baboons on a couple of occasions over the past month over on the Rathmore farm. We have lived in the Dargle for about 12 years now and have never seen them there before.

Nikki Brighton – Old Kilgobbin Farm

The early morning chill and long, still evenings are a delight that (almost) make up for the scorching days. Flowers are behaving differently this season, and there seem very few around. I did spot these treasures when I was brave enough to venture out in the sun.

Not sure what species this Asclepias is, but it was an exciting find.

r Asclepias sp

With the drought seriously affecting the amount of wild food available, I am certain the berries did not last long on this Searsia (Rhus). Didn’t spot the crab spider and beetle on the bright pink Watsonia densiflora until I loaded it onto my computer! Kniphofia laxiflora have flowered profusely this summer. Delicate Polygala hottentotta has also been more visible than usual.

Sleek and shiny Drongo on the lookout for insects. Weaver’s nest between prickly Berkheya in the wetland.

 

I saw five Reedbuck, one Oribi, one Common Duiker and one male Bushbuck.

r reedbuck doe

In shady areas there have been heaps of mushrooms – obviously the combination of wet/dry/hot has been ideal for fungi this year.

r mushroom

Gorgeous Golden Orb Web Spider just outside my window within easy watching distance. Lucky me.

r golden orb web spider

An Antlion with beautiful lacy wings sensibly sought refuge in my cool cottage.

r antlion 0

Pat and Sandra Merrick – Albury Farm, Lidgetton

The Blue Crane have been visiting the dam about once a week. We saw the juvenile flying over the house about 10 days ago for first time. It must be about 3 months old now?

Our blue crane juvenile still with parents and growing rapidly

One hot morning about 20 white stork flew in and had a bath in the dam. Lots of grooming afterwards with wings outstretched. Pat saw 7 amur falcons flying over the farm. At the beginning of feb one of the juvenile swallows whose nest was on the lampshade was still sitting on the glass shade even though the nest had fallen off. How he balanced there all night I do not know. Looked very uncomfortable.

Pat saw a Black duck with ten ducklings – whenever I went down to the dam to look for them they were nowhere in sight. The giant kingfisher has been visiting every few days as has the hammerkop, jackal and steppe buzzards sitting on the dead tree.

Giant kingfisher

A pair of crested crane in the dam one evening with a number of reedbuck grazing round about.

A pair of crowned crane and female reedbuck

We have about 4 or 5 reedbuck at the dam each evening. Pat climbed the hill behind the house late one afternoon and counted 13 reedbuck which is encouraging. I have only seen 2 duiker this month.

Reedbuck at dam

On 22nd feb I photographed one of our juvenile Amethyst Sunbirds – so exciting to see his “amethyst throat”, so another male. 9 weeks since leaving the nest.

On the same day Pat came racing up to the house and told me to grab my camera. He had been driving along the D18 bordering our farm when he saw something white in the land. His first thought was a dead calf, so he went to check it out. It turned out to be a dead White Stork that had been killed, plucked and eaten. Just the flesh. The organs were exposed.

The kill –white stork –he seemed to only eat the flesh – the organs were left

Pat then started looking for the raptor and saw a beautiful Martial Eagle sitting on a dead gum tree about half kilometre away, being harassed by black crows.

I got out of the truck to take photos and he was very unconcerned about my presence. What a beautiful specimen.

Martial eagle

We have not seen one in the 33 years of living here. He returned 2 days later sitting in same tree. It was a very hot day but could not see if he had made a kill. (I will post these pics next month) We were thrilled to see this eagle in this area as it seems to be very vulnerable. After this the white stork disappeared for a week – probably traumatised at seeing this incredible kill. We thought the jackal would eat the rest of the stork that night, but they didn’t. We haven’t heard the jackal in quite awhile.

Martial eagle sitting in dead gum tree after killing a white stork

On the 24th there was a huge gathering of White-throated Swallows sitting on the electric line at sunset. There were simply hundreds. Quite a number also sitting on the gutters and roof of the house. A Grassbird visited us for the first time. I was drawn to the window by its beautiful singing.

Just after that the male Malachite Sunbird joined the chorus. Our 3 Buff-streaked Chat juveniles are changing colour. One morning a juvenile Cape Robin-Chat flew into the verandah door. I picked him up as he was stunned and put him in a box for a while to settle down. I let him out and he flew off and sat on my hanging basket for about 5mins before flying off. Thankfully okay.

We have had 2 swallow nests outside our study. Pat put up a perch. There seemed to be 5 juveniles and lots of noise for about a week while they were still learning to fly. Some would sit on the perch and the others on the gutters and chimney. Black eyed bulbul eating peaches. Reed cormorant, and Garden Commodore butterfly.

 

Sharon Barnsley – Carlisle Farm

Saw 2 pairs of Oribi, of which 1 pair had a baby with them. I spotted them when riding on the top fields of Carlisle farm. Also saw many pink Watsonia, and the orange Red Hot Poker.

Andrew Pridgeon – Copperleigh Farm

Locusts in the garden.

Locusts in the Garden 1Locusts in the Garden 2

Carl Bronner – Old Kilgobbin Farm

I saw 30 White Storks in the hayfield one afternoon.

Storks in fields 1Storks in fields 2

Malvina & Evert van Breemen – Old Furth Estate

Although we had some heavy rains in the beginning of February and our dams filled up ever so slightly, it has not been enough to get the little streams flowing and they are just tiny trickles, so the dams are still very low.

Dam caught some water

Tyrone found some huge land snails one rainy day.

Tyrone found some huge land snails

I had a lovely viewing of one of the little ‘ball’ millipedes, which took forever to open up and scuttle off again.

The 50/50 film crew were back here this month to finish the filming for the upcoming programme on the Anti-fracking Angels. This time they brought their drone along as well and flew it over the lovely waterfalls on the the Furth River gorge. Some photos of the ‘Angels’ and the chaps with the drone, thanks to Pandora Long.

Evert with 50-50 team member

David Crookes – Copperleigh Farm

A family of Grey crowned cranes (Balearica regulorum) came to visit the very low Mavela Dam early one morning…

Boston Wildlife Sightings – February 2016

Christeen Grant of “Sitamani”:

02 Cover Mist in the valley IMG_4762

Mist in the valley

Hot summery weather continued in February, and several good periods of rain fell. On the 26 February we had a typical summer thunderstorm, wild winds, lightning and cracking thunder. However the grasses and exotic trees are already turning to autumn colours and soft mist fills the valley below us most mornings, quickly evaporating as the sun rises.

02 Cover Autumn colours IMG_4692

Autumn colours

Flowers are sparse, but here and there are surprise jewels. Berkheya setifera glow golden, though most have seeded. Gladiolus ecklonii have flowered well this year. Very dainty flowers, which I think are Golden Swans, Crocosmia masonorum sparkle!
Another orchid first sighting for me is Habenaria ciliosa, and they were out in profusion on the hillside, I counted ±40 flowering plants. Kniphofia laxiflora, Pentanisia augustifolia, Flower Stachys aethiopica and Watsonia densiflora were a few of the other flowers seen.

A couple of flowering grasses and one Mushroom also caught my eye.

Birds have been very active, particularly a Black-backed Puffback who has spent hours defending his territory, unfortunately the ‘intruder’ was his own reflection on the window panes. The Cape Robin-Chats love the birdbath on the verandah in the early evening. Most of the Village Weaver nests have fallen from the Pin Oak, though I saw what could be a juvenile inspecting a remaining nest. A pair of Malachite Sunbirds have been flitting over the hillside over the past couple of weeks.

Not as many moths around now, but I did see a Handmaiden Amata sp. which is active during the day settled on a grass seed inflorescence.

07 Insect Moth Handmaiden Amata sp IMG_4750

Handmaiden – Amata sp.

A tiny spider hung suspended in its beautiful web.

07 Spider IMG_4741

Spider

Most evenings the Black-backed Jackal yip and call. A pair of Duiker are seen regularly together at the moment, one morning they came within 10m of the kitchen door.

Caroline McKerrow of “Stormy Hill”:

In February Stormy Hill has been targeted by a African Harrier-Hawk (previously known as Gymnogene). This large bird has been hunting our smaller birds etc. which has caused a lot of upheaval as the dogs go crazy barking at it every time it comes around. I’ve also seen a couple of Common (Grey) Duiker and some Common Reedbuck. The Vervet Monkeys have visited a few times which is good. So nice to watch their antics in the trees. A smallish black snake slithered through a hole into my bedroom but I’m happy to say that I can’t find it in there now so I’m assuming he slithered back out again. At least I hope so…

Crystelle Wilson of “Gramarye”:

The district put on stunning displays of fields full of Kniphofia praecox along the Elandsriver.

An unusual sighting this month was Ant-eating Chat along the road to Ncwadi. I have seen this bird in the valley below, but not on the ridge before. There was a small group of about six birds.

CW3

Ant-eating Chat

There were still a number of juvenile birds honing their balancing skills. Levaillant’s Cisticola is the one with a rufous crown, while Zitting Cisticola has a streaked crown and darker facial markings.

Youngsters that haven’t developed red bills yet were Malachite Kingfisher

CW5

Juvenile Malachite Kingfisher

And Black-headed Oriole, which also had juvenile streaking on the chest

CW6

Black-headed Oriole

Early autumn, and the Barn Swallows are beginning to congregate prior to their migration north

CW7

Barn Swallows

The atlas list for the Elandshoek pentad 2935_3000: Olive Thrush, African Fish-eagle, Blue Crane,

CW8

Blue Crane

Giant Kingfisher, Barn Owl, Cape Robin-Chat, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, House Sparrow, Cape Sparrow, Black Saw-wing, Purple Heron,Spotted Eagle-owl, Spectacled Weaver, Willow Warbler, Pied Kingfisher, White-rumped Swift, Brown-throated Martin, Black Crake, Red-necked Spurfowl, African Wattled Lapwing, Jackal Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Sombre Greenbul, Wailing Cisticola, Southern Boubou, Red-knobbed Coot, Hamerkop, Common Waxbill, Cattle Egret, Amur Falcon, White Stork, Village Weaver, Cape Glossy Starling, Greater Honeyguide, Cape White-eye, Common Fiscal, White-throated Swallow, Blacksmith Lapwing, Common Moorhen, African Quailfinch, Cape Wagtail, Red-chested Flufftail, African Rail, Steppe Buzzard,

Southern Red Bishop, Cape Weaver, Cape Grassbird, Yellow-billed Kite, Amethyst Sunbird, Speckled Pigeon, Bokmakierie, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Common Quail, Drakensberg Prinia, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Cape Longclaw, South African Shelduck, Spur-winged Goose, Zitting Cisticola, Diderick Cuckoo, Great Egret, Little Grebe, African Firefinch, Red-throated Wryneck, African Hoopoe, Dark-capped Bulbul, Black-headed Heron, Greater Striped Swallow, Barn Swallow, White-breasted Cormorant, Long-crested Eagle, Levaillant’s Cisticola, African Darter, Reed Cormorant, Black-headed Oriole, Secretarybird, Egyptian Goose, African Stonechat, Grey Crowned Crane, Red-collared Widowbird, Speckled Mousebird, Red-eyed Dove, Cape Turtle-dove, Cape Crow, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Little Rush-warbler, Yellow-billed Duck, African Sacred Ibis, Fork-tailed Drongo, African Dusky Flycatcher, Pin-tailed Whydah, African Harrier-Hawk.

Dargle Wildlife Sightings – January 2016

Louis Bolton – Robhaven Farm

A new contributor, hopefully Louis will send us pics on a regular basis… the first is an image of some White-throated Swallows sitting on a mailbox – perhaps the newly appointed CEO of The Post Office will make use of them?

White-throated Swallows

White-throated Swallows

White-throated Swallow

White-throated Swallow

White-throated Swallow

White-throated Swallow

The spider was taken at Misty Meadows School up the D17

An Orb Spider

An Orb Spider

The panorama was from Crab Apple Church bench

Panorama from Crab Apple

Panorama from Crab Apple

Dieter Setz – Wakecroft

Found this “Stinkhorn” Mushroom by pure luck and had my camera. I never saw the early stages of this mushroom, only when it is red and stinks.

Stinkhorn Mushroom

Stinkhorn Mushroom

It sure is mushroom season now after the welcome rain, must say it has not stopped since I am back.

It sure is mushroom season now after the welcome rain, must say it has not stopped since I am back.

Had to catch these buggers, as they were running away, must be from the “speedy” variety.

Had to catch these buggers, as they were running away, must be from the speedy variety

The Locusts are also out in full force on Wakecroft.

The Locusts are also out in full force on Wakecroft

They sure don’t mind what they eat, this one I found on my rosemary bush.

They sure don`t mind what they eat, this one I found on my rosemary bush

One of our cabbage trees is beginning to bloom.

Cabbage Tree

Cabbage Tree

Two’s a party

2 is a party

Emperor Moth (Aurivillius fuscus) Also paid me a visit.

Emperor Moth (Aurivillius fuscus)

Emperor Moth (Aurivillius fuscus)

Malvina van Breemen – Old Furth Estate

2016 started off with a lovely experience for me – I had to drop our youngest daughter off in Petrusstroom early on New Year’s Day, so on the return journey I was looking out for the pair of Crowned Cranes who frequent the little dam next door to Colmonel. They had crossed the road and were keeping company with a few Storks and as I slowed down to have a good look, I was treated to the special sight of them doing a delightful courtship dance!

Since the Cranes are by far one of my favourite birds, I was quite delighted to see this.

Grey Crowned Cranes dancing

Grey Crowned Cranes dancing

On the same morning, we also had a mass visitation of Spoonbills at our nearly dry bottom dam – I have never seen so many here! The quality of these pics is really poor but I only had my phone😦

Spoonbills flying over dry dam

Spoonbills flying over dry dam

Then one Saturday afternoon, we came in at our gate house and saw what we thought was a plastic bag flapping on the wind, hooked onto our fence. We very quickly realised it was a bird! We found a young Jackal Buzzard had obviously misjudged and had hooked itself on the fence by its upper wing. We wrapped it in a cardigan and got it into a big box for transportation to Free Me. They then sent it on to Raptor Rescue who examined the wing and sadly had to euthanase her as the tendon and flesh were too badly damaged. We were very sad, but hope to be able to do our bit in the future as a raptor release site and with that in mind, we will build a rehabilitation area for future releases.

Young injured Jackal Buzzard

Young injured Jackal Buzzard

We are also very excited with the new forest trail which our enthusiastic and energetic youngsters have started working on, watch this space and follow us on Facebook to see the progress: https://www.facebook.com/Old-Furth-Estate-507001752673713/

Forest Trail

Forest Trail

Kevin Barnsley – Constantia, D17

Obviously rich veld and pasture lands attract these awesome birds.
For me they represent an awesome indicator species due to their insatiable appetite for all the little chaps (rodents, snakes, insects, frogs etc) that should be pursuing life down in the undergrowth of this habitat.

Of course mowing a pristine block of veld is going to expose these poor creatures, especially during the summer months. My suggestion to other hay cutting farmers and contractors is to sacrifice some yield by pitching your mowers up a little, in order to leave a little more foliage behind during the summer months. This not only gives the little chaps I’m referring to, some cover and a better chance, but also leaves some of the plants solar panels behind for them to be able to bounce back a little before winter, or even give you a better second cut of the season.
In late autumn one might be able to cut a bit lower, as the affected parties have mostly headed for deeper cover underground for the winter to escape the cold and ravages of fires etc. Of course a short cut at this time does expose the soil for the long winter, but is probably less harmful than fire, however any fire will be far less intense in such cut lands.

White Stork

White Stork

Belinda and Pierre Oosthuizen – Hambledon Farm

We have a small bat I found on our veranda floor this morning. I didn’t want my dogs to kill it so we placed it in a box and will release it tonight. Will update u how it goes. We have seen some huge rabbit’s but don’t know what kind and weren’t fast enough with the camera. We have owls too. And spotted 8 deer (Ed: “Reedbuck perhaps?”) on the short drive from the farm to the turn by the Zenex and Everything shop 2 nights ago. Have heard the jackles call the other night as well.

This is the unfortunate adder we couldn’t save the gardener from killing.

Dead Puff Adder

Dead Puff Adder

We spotted this snake near our stables, which went into the haystack. It’s about 1.2m long. We thought at first that it may have been a Mamba, however, Pat McKrill (the Snake Man) responded with the following identification: “A beautiful Olive House snake. No venom, no problem, not aggressive.”

Olive House Snake

Olive House Snake

Sue & Derek Millier – Buxtons Cottage on Beaconfield Farm

This duiker arrives at dusk and dawn most days to eat the acorns which the
vervet monkeys drop while foraging in our large oak tree.

Common (Grey) Duiker

Common (Grey) Duiker

Pat and Sandra Merrick – Albury Farm, Lidgetton

Well our new year started with a bang – we have had 234 ml of rain this month – wonderful.

Waterfall flowing for 1st time this week

Waterfall flowing for 1st time this week

After having an empty dam and stream, it is now running well and the dam is filling up, much to the delight of the cows and water fowl.

Storm building

Storm building

Wed 27th was not a great day as we had 2 huge hail storms with gale force winds, slicing through my garden. No electricity for 7 hours and pressure pump hit and Pat was knocked back while closing the garage door, but he’s fine. Just a slightly burnt finger thank the good Lord. The good news was we got 38 ml of rain as well. What a blessing it has been in these dry months.

A Hamerkop arrived on our swing looking for another frog but unfortunately our stream and dam were empty at this stage.

A hammerkop looking for another frog in the stream

A hammerkop looking for another frog in the stream

Late one afternoon through the mist, we saw a Woolly-necked Stork sitting on our transformer pole. Once the mist cleared he flew off.

Woolly-necked Stork

Woolly-necked Stork

Our juvenile White-throated Swallows were still returning to their nest each evening on the verandah a month after flying off. Then one morning the nest lay in a heap on the verandah slipping off the glass lampshade that it had been attached to. The one juvenile did appear on our front verandah one afternoon during a big storm. The 2 of them weren’t crazy about getting wet.

Juvenile White-throated Swallow sheltering from the storm

Juvenile White-throated Swallow sheltering from the storm

The Sunbirds have been plentiful this month with lots of shrubs and flowers to feed off. Here the male Amethyst Sunbird:

Amethyst Sunbird (male)

Amethyst Sunbird (male)

Female Amethyst Sunbird

Amethyst Sunbird (female)

Amethyst Sunbird (female)

Double-collared Sunbird

Double-collared Sunbird

Double-collared Sunbird

Female Malachite Sunbird

Female Malachite Sunbird

Female Malachite Sunbird

Male Malachite Sunbird

Malachite Sunbird (male)

Malachite Sunbird (male)

The steppe buzzard has been visiting regularly as has the Gymnogene:

African Harrier-Hawk (previously know as a Gymnogene)

African Harrier-Hawk (previously know as a Gymnogene)

Our most exciting sighting was seeing our Blue Crane with a chick about 2 months old. They arrived mid month when the dam was just starting to fill up but as there was little grass for them (being so short from the drought and eaten by 300 animals) to feed off they vanished shortly thereafter. They do reappear about once a week to wade in the dam. Another pair have also arrived on the farm but no chick.

Mama Blue Crane with her Juvenile

Mama Blue Crane with her Juvenile

We have seen reedbuck every day but not in the numbers that we used to see, which is rather sad.

Common Reedbuck (male)

Common Reedbuck (male)

Also just one Duiker this month. Pat saw a male Oribi on 2 consecutive days near our gum trees. He has also seen a black saw winged swallow down the bottom of the farm on a few occasions. A male samango monkey has been running around and on some days I could drive right past him sitting on a pole and he would just stare at me.

For the first time we had a Long-tailed Widowbird on our lawn eating along with the Sparrows.

Long-tailed Widowbird (male)

Long-tailed Widowbird (male)

Female Cape Weaver

Cape Weaver (female)

Cape Weaver (female)

Olive Thrush and female Malachite Sunbird

Olive Thrush and female Malachite Sunbird

Olive Thrush and female Malachite Sunbird

Rose Downard – Oak Tree Cottage

Just two small sightings: A dying locust resting on top of our owl, perhaps it had been injured, or affected by crop spraying in the area.

Owl-and-Locust

The recently shed skin of a skink.

skink-skin-1

Hayley & Neville van Lelyveld – Benn Meadhon Farm

Oribi
Only four of the original 9 animals were seen. A single male Oribi was seen across the road, more or less opposite the normal oribi paddock. The second herd of 5 animals that used to be above the maize field have all but disappeared.

Reedbuck
Only 4 females were seen out of a previous average count of 20 animals. Once again as per our October visit no males were observed.

Other antelope/Jackal
No other antelope species were seen at all. There has been a very steady decline in wildlife on the farm. No Jackals were seen or heard during this visit.

Other mammal species
No porcupine were observed, however I have been informed by Iain that 19 have been trapped and destroyed by Mannie since our visit in October. We were also informed that 2 Jackals were also trapped and destroyed since our October visit.

Bird life
It was very pleasing to see that the geese on the dam have been breeding; both the Egyptian and the Spurwing geese as there are quite a few goslings of both species on the dam.

General
Over the last past few months we have encountered unwanted people on the farm (in August we encountered a dog IPO club using the farm as tracking grounds. When we confronted them as we always do and as per Iain’s request to confront any strangers on the farm to find out why they are there, we were told that Mannie Delgardo, the land owner, had given them permission to use his farm. Once we informed them that Mannie was not the farm owner they were very surprised.

On Monday the 28th December from around 08h00 until around 11h00 we noticed a small white aircraft (sesna size) flying very low over the area across the road over the natural bush near Lemonwood constantly. We thought nothing of it at the time. Later however due to circumstances it became all too clear as to what the low flying air craft was doing as I believe that it was scouting the wildlife within the natural bush area on that side of the farm and the surrounding farms including Graham Freese’s forest as it circled over that area as well.

Later, Iain informed me that Mannie and his new partner, Clint, have insisted that we leave the farm with immediate effect as they have a problem with our presence on the farm. I firmly believe that this objection to us being on the farm was due to our February 2015 report. We immediately packed up and left the farm.
As Hayley and I are no longer permitted to be on Iain’s farm we can no longer monitor the wildlife on the farm and on the surrounding farms. However, the unexplained radical drops in wildlife on Iain’s farm has now become abundantly clear with this development. Unfortunately the actions of this group of people is well known by Ezemvelo, EWT and people like Robin Barnsley, the probable results of which will result in a major threat to the rest of the wildlife in the greater Dargle Valley area if this situation is allowed to continue. Hayley and I, not been allowed on Iain’s farm anymore does not mean that our involvement with the Dargle conservancy has to come to an end, but rather it will just be a little more challenging, however we will still continue to do our very best to support the Dargle Conservancy as much as possible with all their conservation projects and courses that I still intend to do. It does however affect our Oribi project with EWT as I believe that the few animals left now have no chance of survival and this greatly disturbs Hayley and I particularly since “Baby Girl” was due to give birth during November 2015. The success of this will now never be known. This project was in particular very close to our hearts and it is very painful for Hayley and I to see it totally destroyed in this way. It is very painful for us both to just leave behind 9 years of work and have it all destroyed in a matter of days.

Ashley Crookes – Copperleigh Farm

Continuing with my “macro” images that I’ve been capturing the past few months, had some really interesting little critter sightings in January, starting with this beautiful green caterpillar

1

and again from behind…

2

I found the carapace of one of these bugs last month, this one was still alive and crawling around the natural bush on the farm

3

This poor Watsonia densiflora was being chewed to pieces

4

Whilst this Dragonfly was struggling to fly with a wonky wing

5

I came home late from Quiz Night at il Postino and had this magnificent Rhino beetle to greet me as I was closing the gate

6

The locusts were ‘busy’ this month, though not too many seen

7

Spiders were making works of art in the early hours before the dew came

8

Had a couple of different types of fungi appearing this month, this white one with some spires on top

9

and this orange one growing on an old dead Eucalyptus tree

10

A Giant Kingfisher came to visit us once

11

and to end off, a pic of the clouds coming over Inhlosane

12

Jenny Fly – Kildaragh Farm

More snakes . There have been so many this summer. Natal green snake, just off the veranda.

Natal green snake, just off the veranda.

Natal green snake, just off the veranda.

A slug eater on our driveway.

A slug eater on our driveway.

A slug eater on our driveway.

The beautiful little Erythrina humeana, which is very happy in the Midlands if in a protected spot. The sunbirds love it.

Erythrina humeana

Erythrina humeana

Balloon milkweed or Hairy balls – Ghomphocarpus physocarpus. Host to the African Monarch butterfly. The little prinias and apalis ferret around in it. The sunbirds enjoy the freshly opened flowers and the fluff on the seed is used to line nests of many birds (although it is also poisonous).

Balloon milkweed, hairy balls - Ghomphocarpus physocarpus

Balloon milkweed, hairy balls – Ghomphocarpus physocarpus

While weeding I came across what I thought was a type of fungus that looked like goose down. Then these THINGS started WALKING and they JUMPED (about 20 cm high). Response from Dr Jason Londt : “It’s a plant sucking bug (Hemiptera) – I have the name Orthezia insignis – but I’m no expert on these beasts. They are usually considered pests – but I have never seen a lot of damage caused by them (but may not have the necessary experience).”

Orthezia insignis

Orthezia insignis

the bush looks totally dead.

Beatles eating Buddleja salviifolia

Beatles eating Buddleja salviifolia

Then it slowly comes back to life. It is obviously host to these beetles and they have this incredible symbiotic relationship.

Beatles eating Buddleja salviifolia

Beatles eating Buddleja salviifolia

Beatles eating Buddleja salviifolia

Beatles eating Buddleja salviifolia

Nikki Brighton – Old Kilgobbin

 

Senecio

Senecio

Late afternoon

Late afternoon

Kniphofia

Kniphofia

Helichrysum setosa

Helichrysum setosa

Grewia occidentalis

Grewia occidentalis

Gerbera

Gerbera

damp Crocosmia

damp Crocosmia

Aritea

Aritea

Allophylus dreageanus

Allophylus dreageanus