Pamela Kleiman of Connington Farm
The month started off with freezing weather and frost to the top of the Oaks the first weekend. After some lovely rain a few weeks later – we recorded 74mms – it was time to burn the veld
We were surprised when the farm dogs found a very young Duiker in the farm hedge. Fortunately it managed to escape and ran into the fields where we later saw a pair of Duiker – he trying to mate and she just not interested.
The only other mammals seen on the farm were a striped Mouse – ? Xeric four-striped Grass Mouse ?
the occasional Reedbuck and Jackal called most early evenings
Not too many insects around, but I did manage to capture a single African White butterfly female.
Early in the month I took a trip to the western area of the conservancy and was happy to discover the Cape Vulture roosting site near Kamberg.
Some of the special birds I encountered:
Southern Black Tit that was very active in the garden this month.
A Fork-tailed Drongo that was trying to devour a mouse it had caught – a very unusual sighting.
During the last week of the month the Yellow-billed Egrets started appearing.
Purple Heron eyeballing a cow
A Dark-capped Bulbul discovering the suet I had just put out in my new bird feeder – available from the RNR Conservancy stand at the Rosetta Market.
As an Atlasser based on Connington Farm in the Kamberg Conservancy, I get around to various areas in the district. I discovered the Hlatikhulu Conservancy sign the other day so have decided to add my bit. Unfortunately I am not sure of the boundaries of this conservancy, so I have only incorporated sightings near and west of the sign.
Some of the species I saw were Jackal Buzzard, Southern Red Bishop, a group of about 10 Pin-tailed Whydahs, a distant male Mocking Cliff-chat, Sentinel Rock-thrush,
Male Anteating Chat showing his white shoulder,
2 Secretarybirds in 2 different areas, this is a photograph of a young Secretarybird with a damaged wing,
African Sacred Ibis, Egyptian Goose, Black-headed Heron, African Stonechat, Pied Starling, Buff-streaked Chat, Cape Vulture and a Barn Owl that must have died an awful death.
It had just caught a few wing feathers on the barb of a barb-wired fence and was unable to free itself.
As it is midwinter and very dry I look forward to Spring and Summer to discover other gems in this area.