Dargle Wildlife Sightings September

Andrew and Susi Anderson -Lane’s End

After the recent rains, as usual, our property filled with water. Fortunately it drains once the river returns to it normal level. This has the benefit of attracting unusual critters to the property – or perhaps we are just out more to keep an eye on water levels and therefore are seeing them!.  On 21 September I saw a lovely large water mongoose foraging on Lanes End.

Walking on a neighbour’s property on 23 September I counted 16 reedbuck and saw a flock of in excess of 30 crowned cranes as well as 2 blue cranes flying overhead.

On 25 September we woke to the sound of a distressed reedbuck, it was being pursued by 2 ‘hunting dogs’ which had chased it into the uMgeni river, it clambered out  on our side and fortunately the dogs did not cross.  It escaped along the river, well be thought!  Unfortunately 3 days later our staff discovered it unconscious and badly mauled around the neck, it had to be put down.

This lovely big Natal Green snake was photographed sunning itself in the late afternoon on the riverbank.

Paul Smit – Blesberg

I have seen 6 Oribi on my property at one time.

Jethro Bronner explored iNhlosane a couple of time in September

I saw 2 Oribi, a small bright green snake and a rock python slithering into a small cave. A huge rock had dislodged and fallen down, which was a bit disconcerting. At the peak, birds of prey were flying below me.

Sipho Mbaso – Honeywood

Two big porcupines and 4 Reedbuck in the evening.

Sam Rose and Shine Murphy

We spotted 7 Eland about 200 metres from our house, making their way up our mountain.  We have a pair of Egyptian geese that regularly frequent the pond near our home.

Justin and Karin Herd – Bee Tree Farm

BIG infestation of locust Pyrgomorphidae species Phymateus cinctus.  I believe the infestation is widespread and once eggs are laid and hoppers produced, there will be much feeding and destruction of vegetation.

Eidin Griffin and Malcolm Draper – Witsend

We’ve had a pair of Eygptian geese very busy around the place- they were having an aerial argument with a disgruntled crow the other day. We were worried that the resident reedbuck were gone as we saw hunting dogs chasing one across the fields below the Hanburys at high speed but were relieved to spot three yesterday. (One of the dogs was huge and white and looked like a greyhound cross.)

I dug up a molesnake in the garden, it was unharmed and slide back under the soil swiftly. Mlungisi (who really enjoyed Pat McKrills farmworker snake talk) caught a brown house snake in the woodpile on the verandah and instead of killing, it got it into a sack and left it on the table for us…and forgot to tell us about it til the next day.  It was also unharmed and we released it further away from the house. I’ve had a lovely blackheaded oriole singing happily behind the house and seen lots (up to thirty) guinea fowl in the fields. We also found a dead baby monkey in the garden, we think an eagle that has been hovering around killed it.

Sifiso Zuma D17

I saw 2 jackals at the small dam

Sharon and Robin Barnsley

have seen Bush buck ram and doe close to our dam and others close to Portmore dam, Cape battis flycatcher, African harrier hawk, loads of Guiney fowl, 11 crowned cranes and a pair of Black storks.

Nikki Brighton

A most perculiar thing in my garden this month:

I found one of our chickens with it’s head eaten off, under the shrubs beside my fence. The next day it was dragged across the fence into my garden. The next night it disappeared and a couple of days later an egg appeared on the bed of feathers! I think some creature is using this spot to store food. This week another headless chicken appeared in the same place – partially covered over with leaves and twigs – a few days later it too was gone. Does anyone know what animal does this? It would have to be something that climbs, because my garden is porcupine and chicken proof.

Bright yellow Cyrtanthus breviflorus in wetland. Scadoxus in full flower. Disvclis repens, Helichrysum adenocarpum, Valeriana lanceolata(I think), Ledebouria ovatifolia, Nemesia, Hemizygia teucrifolia, albuca, Clausena anisata, Canthium mundianum.

3 Sept was an exciting day: saw Yellow Billed Kite, African Hoopoe, Red winged Starlings and heard Fish Eagles.

A few Cape Parrots are around. Jackal Buzzard, Bush Blackcap, Pintailed Whydah, weavers, bronze mannekins, double collared sunbird, Knysna loeries, forest canaries, francolins, Egyptian geese.

Heard: Blue Cranes, tree dassies, jackals Lots of Samango monkeys about. So many grasshoppers! They are really splendid to look at but have put paid to my kale and I fear from my broad beans.

Carl and John Bronner – Old Kilgobbin

2 Duiker, 6 Oribi, 9 Reedbuck, Bushbuck ram and doe.

Rob Mackintosh – Carlisle Farm

I have seen 7 Spurwing geese on our dam during the last few days.

Barry and Rose Downard – Oak Tree Cottage

All the lovely new spring growth has attracted lots of bees and butterflies. Lots of bird activity too, including Sunbirds, Wagtails, Olive Thrush, Cape Robin, Cape white-eyes, Canary, Weavers, Orioles, Bulbuls, Doves, Mousebirds, Sparrows, Drongo, Hoopoes, Redbilled Woodhoopoe, Crows, Southern Boubou, Cisticola, Fiscal Shrike, Crested Eagle, Grey Herons. The Scadoxus have been fabulous too.

Dennis Sokhela – Old Kilgobbin farm

3 Cape Parrots – I love those birds. I saw this snake in the driveway and took a photo of it. I named it Bongani so I don’t think it will be back! (Pat McKrill suggested that when you give a snake a name, it disappears!). I saw many reedbuck and 2 oribi.Sandra and Pat Merrick – Albury Farm

Red throated wryneck nesting in fence post. We are thrilled to have a pair of blue crane = the female is sitting about 20 metres from our dam so we can watch her progress from our house.  What a privilege.  Last Sunday saw a group of 7 blue crane on crest of hill.  Stunning sight.

A pair of wattled crane have been flying to the dam about 2 or 3 times a week.  One evening got a photo of them together with the blue crane. Last week was fortunate to see the Wattled crane swimming across the dam which I have never seen before.  We have seen the blue crane swimming on various occasions but never the wattled crane.  They had a great bathing time splashing around and then grooming for about half hour.

Few days ago saw our one and only olive thrush was hopping around at water feature in front of verandah.  I heard a squeaking noise and went to investigate.  The thrush had a small frog in its beak and was beating it on the paving!  I have never seen this behaviour from a small bird before.  I thought only raptors and snakes ate frogs!  Went to get camera but it flew off with frog dangling from its beak. Shame. Our white throated swallows are back nesting.  One arrived in our study last week.  Pat and I did a complete aerobic workout trying to get it out the double doors and windows.  I am not sure who was more exhausted after half hour, the swallow or ourselves, but it did eventually get the message and flew off.

Saw a gymnogene looking for lizards on rocks. Yellowbilled kite and jackal buzzard every day.  Have not seen secretary bird for some time. Malachite sunbirds, cape robins, wagtails, drakensberg prinias, chats.  Heard the black cuckoo in the gum trees yesterday. We see a pair of shell duck at the dam daily.

Lots of reed buck eating the green burn.  Duiker.  Porcupine coming home one evening in the driveway. Pat saw jackal running up hill at 7am.

Kevin Barnsley – Portmore and Constantia

4 Crowned Cranes in 3rd week of September are now resident again on Portmore pastureland. Now permanent resident purple heron on Constantia dam. Woolly Necked Stork brazenly using my garden for a day ignoring all human activity – must be from amberfield/glen judging by thick skinned behaviour. Black Ducks and Samango Monkeys making their annual raids on my maize laden cattle feeders in the beef paddocks. Gun shy Rameron Pigeons looking for refuge around cattle feeding stations.

1 thought on “Dargle Wildlife Sightings September

  1. David Clulow

    Dargle Sightings get better and better. This month’s is terrific. It gives an idea of What Africa was like and is still in the Dargle. Excellently compiled and a real pleasure. Thank you so much.



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