Ann Burke – Conservation and Reserve Manager has had her eyes peeled.
Young (half-grown) bushbuck in J. Bates’ gum plantation (17 September); pair of oribi in Camp 5 and pair of oribi in Camp 6 (23 September); on several occasions in September, I observed individual and pairs of White-backed Ravens on the reserve (a sighting I have not recorded in a long time).
Wattled Crane Pair: Checked pair on 3, 11, 17 and 29 September on foot. On each of these occasions, one bird was on the nest incubating while the other was in close proximity, foraging in adjacent upland. On 21 September (per Tanya Smith’s request), I attempted to observe the clutch size, but was unable to see the nest from the high point north of the nest due to low water levels. Not wanting to cause further disturbance to the pair, I did not visit the nest. On 30 September, I observed the pair for approximately one hour. Based on the pair’s behaviour, it appeared the chick had hatched (both birds in close proximity entire observation period – male extremely vigilant, female frequently in head down posture, moving very slowly around proximity of nest site).
Blue Crane Pair: Pair observed flying and flight calling over camps 9 and 9A on 3, 7, 11 and 12 September. On 12 September, the pair landed in Camp 9 and promptly unison called. Less than 2 minutes later, a single Wattled Crane (likely the male of the pair) was observed walking at a rapid pace towards them, coming from the direction of the nest. When the male got within 100m, the pair took flight, circled once around the camp, flight calling and then disappeared over the horizon to the west. This was the last time I observed Blue Cranes on the reserve in September.