Tag Archives: serval

Dargle Wildlife Sightings – April 2014

Josh Dovey and Claire Weston – Rathmines Farm
Found this little chap in the Hydrangeas last week!ChameleonandInhlosane

David and Helen Mann – Knowhere Farm
Have been hearing some loud barking coming from the forest across the uMngeni river from their farm. Baboons perhaps? Somebody mentioned it might be Samango monkeys calling (Ed: perhaps we need to setup a trail cam there sometime?)

Nigel Anderson – Lane’s End

Nice flock of Crowned Cranes that are very common adjacent to Lanes End farm at the moment, feeding on the spilled maize.

Grey Crowned Cranes

CranesCrowned in flight

Rose and Barry Downard – Oak Tree Cottage
Two sightings this month of female Flufftails, possibly the Redchested Flufftails as I have heard their calls a few times recently in our garden. On both occasions she came fairly close to me, quite unconcerned by my presence as she seemed to be more focussed on foraging for food. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera on hand either time to take any photos. No other unusual wildlife sightings this month, but lots of gorgeous sunrises and sunsets! The sunrise on Easter morning – the entire sky was a beautiful pink and golden colour, quite spectacular!

Sunrise-Easter-2014

David and Alvera Crookes – Copperleigh Farm
Spectacular sunset over Mavela dam
autumn sunset over mavela dam

Pink Everlasting (Helichrysum adenocarpus)
Helichrysum adenocarpum

Senecio madagascariensis (Canary Weed)
senecio madacgascarins

Dieter Setz – Wakecroft
Saw 7 Eland at the bottom of Wakecroft towards the umngeni a few days ago And lots of autumn colours.

Saw 7 Eland at the bottom of Wakecroft towards the umngeni a few days ago And lots of autumn colours.I found this little Datura man ready to pop, the other morning

I found this little Datura man ready to pop, the other morningNoticed these 2 beetles hiding from the cold and feeding on one of the last evening primroses.

Noticed these 2 beetles hiding from the cold and feeding on one of the last evening primroses.

Evert and Malvina van Breemen – Old Furth
In April we saw a young Honey Buzzard who took up residence in the trees near our bottom dam for a while and who was very clumsy about landings, causing great consternation to the Dabchick family on the dam. The Teal seemed largely unconcerned about it. The bottom dam also saw a long residency of a Spoonbill who kept the Herons and Egyptian Geese company for a few weeks. We also had a superb sighting of a juvenile Martial Eagle in the trees alongside this dam one morning. The ever-clumsy Gymnogene is still raiding the trees around the house and down the driveway.  Spider wrapped up this moth very neatly.

jsuu_Spiderwithmoth
A jackal was run over on the P130 outside Sagewood’s gate at the end of April. The jackal have been extremely vociferous at night and have been coming down quite low from the hills surrounding us, as have the baboon and vervet monkey troops. The plague of locusts is diminishing at last and we now have large flocks of little seed birds swarming all over the grasses on the hillside next to the house. The waxbills and firefinches come into the garden areas as well, which is a delight. The Sunbirds are also still very active in the garden.
We also had a surprise visitor in the kitchen early one evening in the form of a dark upper bodied snake with a salmon pink underbelly, who was fairly relaxed about being posted into a very large tupperware and taken outside. It behaved rather like some form of constrictor – any guesses as to the uninvited guest’s identity? We did not try to introduce ourselves

Thanks for the response from Pat McKrill about the snake sighting: “No guarantees, but it fits the description of a brown water snake, Lycodonomorphus rufulus – iVuzamanzi (Zulu) – pretty common up in that area, feeding mostly on fish, tadpoles and frogs. Just an observation, but at first glance, a relaxed Mozambique spitter making its way across the lawn can look pretty similar. Caution always urged.”

Brandon Powell – Bukamanzi Cottage

Last week I saw a genet or a serval (I don’t know which, but it was long legged and spotty with pointy ears) on the D17! Update after viewing pics of both on Wikipedia: I think a Genet, the Serval looks too big.
You can also mark me down for a couple of Duiker (D17, daytime and night-time) and Petrustroom Rd (night-time, opposite David Fowler’s) and Francolin (my house, D17) although the latter have stopped their calls now but they were going mad a few weeks ago. And a hare and a jackal (D17)  Eds note: Perhaps you saw an African Wild Cat?  that’s pretty special.

Ashleigh Crookes – Copperleigh Farm

Black Ants and eggs found under a rock  on the farm

black ants and eggs

lots of locusts still about

locust

mom found this tiny toad in the garden.

jsuu_DargleTinyFrogMomFoundPic22014_2

we rescued this mole from the dogs

jsuu_Mole_2

Nikki Brighton – Old Kilgobbin Farm

My favourite things this Autumn month of April have been:
The sound of thick billed weavers snacking on Celtis africana seeds
A purple heron rising elegantly from the reeds
Forest edges festooned with yellow Senecio tamoidesr senecio thamoidesVery early in the morning, tree dassies calling – (why so late in the season?) the occasional wood owl and jackals, of course
Athrixia phylicoides, Bushman’s tea – The muted mauve flowers and dark leaves felted grey underneath, blend beautifully with the rest of the faded colours in the landscaper athrixia phylicoidesThe shiny new leaves on Prunus africanus and the old ones swirling off in the breeze
Lots of Reedbuck in the occasional still-green fields
Birds feasting on Vepris lanceolata fruit
Many interesting spoor in the mud as the dam level recedes

r spoor
A lone Cape Parrot flying between forest patches – hope he finds his friends
A Bush Black Cap on a branch outside my window
Tiny bright purple Monopsis decipens flowering on forest fringes

r monopsis decipiensAll the little birds which frequent the water bowl on my veranda – furtively looking about to make sure it is safe. So many butterflies – mostly white, but some emerald swallowtails too.
Masses of Phymaspermum acerosum – Curry’s Post Weed – in full bloom
r phymaspermum

Bridgette Bolton – Robhaven Farm

caterpillar

Please can someone put to rest my curiosity, and end a debate… What on earth is this caterpillar? (in fact, is it a caterpillar???)

Does it cocoon? Does it turn into a moth or butterfly? Are those its eggs on its back?

 

 

 

Why do they suddenly drop dead at the bottom of the tree in a stinky pile?

mass of caterpillars

caterpillar wasp eggsEd’s note: Pretty sure those are the eggs of a wasp that lays them in caterpillars to hatch. Were the caterpillars on a Celtis africana tree?  Why not post them on this wonderful  facebook page and see if an insect enthusiast can help you?https://www.facebook.com/groups/Butterfliesandbugs/

Jason Londt, an expert in creepy crawlies tells us “The caterpillars are those of an emperor moth, and the eggs on the back of one are actually cocoons of a parasitic wasp”

 

Pat and Sandra Merrick – Albury Farm

Sunset - think the birds are hadedas

Pat saw 3 jackal running around the farm mid-morning. A striped pole cat on the D 18
Buffstreaked chats spent many hours bathing in our rock pool over the past hot couple of weeks.

This buff streaked chat had a lovely bath one hot morning

Buffstreaked chat and malachite sunbird in eclipse

Common bulbul mom been feeding her 3 fully grown babies with worms. They sit just outside our kitchen on a tree branch, although I think mom is getting a bit fed up now and flies off to eat her own worms.  Common Stone Chat.

Common female stonechat

Cape Robin flew into our window

This cape robin flew into our veradah door and took ten minutes to recover before flying off

I was looking for our 3 blue crane one morning and found them in a newly planted rye grass land next to the natural bush. As I watched a jackal ran out the bush and ran towards them. Thankfully they saw him and flew off. The jackal slunk back into the bush. Our crane are still around and arrive at the dam in the evenings, hopping up and down or running up and down the edge of the dam.

Blue crane dancing at sunset

A pair of crowned crane have also been here nearly every day.

the crowned crane kept flying ahead of us and landing.  They were very curious.

They do not like the Ngunis to come and drink near them and open their wings and run forwards trying to chase them away.

I took 3 pics of crowned crane flying

One evening I took the dogs for a walk. They were prancing around the dam, jumping and running for joy. As we walked on they flew ahead of us and landed in front of us on the hill. They seemed curious and kept following. Eventually when we were about 20 metres from them they flew off.

Crowned crane dancing for joy and one unconcerned spoonbill

Saw jackal buzzard on stone wall. Reed cormorant on dead tree. He sat for a few minutes and then flew into the pond. He was on the ground for a while but could not see what he was eating as grass too long. It would have been a crab or frog.

reed cormorant

4 natal francolin live in our garden somewhere where the grass is long. They are very shy and run off when approached. A black stork arrived at the dam and stayed for 2 days.

black stork
4 white breasted crows around house area. One morning, Pat saw a pair of Stanleys Bustards on lower part of farm.

A pair of Stanleys BustardsA hamerkop arrived in the garden after a storm

This hammerkop always seems to arrive in our garden after a rain.

Wayne and Kathy Lourens – Aloe Ridge Farm

We have seen the usual Reedbuck, a duiker, Giant Mongooses etc. on Hopedale in general. Early in the month, our manager, David, found an injured raptor at his off-grid house on the top-farm. Kathy took it in to FreeMe for treatment, but here are some photos David took of it…

rufous sparrow hawk2As far as we can make out, it’s a Juvenile Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk (Accipiter rufiventris)

rufous sparrow hawk3Over Easter weekend, we camped out with our caravan (called “Kat-a-Van”) on a new site above our top-farm dam, and on Sunday morning, hosted a short visit from our neighbours, Mike & Ann Weeden & their family, to be greeted by a Fish Eagle flying over the dam, & settling into one of the trees at the old ruin site. A week prior to that, while restocking our dam, a juvenile Fish Eagle gave us a regal fly-by. Its great to see offspring from breeding pairs in the valley.

While clearing the tall grass on our new off-grid campsite, I spotted an amphibian hiding in the grass, a Striped Stream Frog (Strongylopus fasciatus), as there is a stream not far from where it was seen.

On Easter Sunday, as we were breaking camp on the top-farm, our manager, David, contacted us urgently on the cellphone, to say a large black & yellow snake was in the paddock where our breeding mares & their offspring were grazing. As the pack-up was nearly done, Kathy & I asked David to keep an eye on it, as we were leaving within 10 minutes, & would sort it out when we got down to the main Aloe Ridge farm. Kathy had her quadbike, so left ahead of me, & when I’d negotiated the 4X4 route down to Aloe Ridge as quickly as was safe while towing the off-road caravan – envisioning meanwhile that I’d be dealing with a possible M’fesi (Mozambican Spitting Cobra – Naja mossambica) or Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemachatus) – then collected my snake-stick from my study at a gallop, I arrived at where Kathy was standing under one of the old Pecan Nut trees, where she pointed out the well-camouflaged culprit, which, I was relieved to see, was a rather beautiful uMbalulu (Puff Adder – Bitis arietans), about 1 metre long. With Kathy’s help I carefully snared it in my snake-stick, & put it in an empty feed sack, then took it for a ride on the quadbike to the far end of the flood plain, where I released it on the fence line.

jsuu_PuffAdder_2

Going out from the farm to fetch staff in Howick after one of the holiday weekends, Kathy spotted a juvenile Serval on the D.244, about a third of the way up “Hopedale Hill”. She took a photo with her mobile phone camera, but it was not at all clear. After having both our tractors in pieces, our haymaking got off to a late start when Kathy’s tractor was rebuilt.

jsuu_WildDagga

While out baling hay, a one-legged Stork followed Kathy quite closely, hopping towards her more than once. Perhaps its injury is keeping it local when the remainder have migrated?

one legged Stork

Boston Wildlife Sightings – April 2014

Crystelle Wilson – Gramarye

I couldn’t believe my eyes one Saturday while I was having lunch on the stoep to see a family of Buff-spotted Flufftails feeding on the lawn. These secretive birds are normally active at dawn or dusk and during breeding season their long drawn-out calls continuing right through the night can drive some people crazy. But there they were in broad daylight.

Boston_6362_Buff-spotted-Flufftail

It was interesting to see they kept to the shadows falling across the grass. The adult was walking backwards and forwards, picking up things to eat. Sometimes it made a dash for something, when the chicks would come dashing forward as well from underneath the shrubs. Together they pulled at the prey, and then the chicks followed the parent for a while, before retreating under the shrubs again.

Other interesting finds included Yellow-breasted Apalis in the forest at Mt Edgeware. This is as far inland of their range as one would find them.

Boston_6230_Yellow-breasted-Apalis

African Marsh-Harrier and Southern Bald Ibis were also welcome sightings.

The list for the Elandshoek pentad 2935_3000 was: Greater Striped-Swallow, Cape White-eye,

Boston_6591_Cape-White-eye

Hadeda Ibis, Black-headed Heron, Amethyst Sunbird, Black Saw-wing, African Dusky Flycatcher, Egyptian Goose, Cape Turtle Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Cape Crow, African Rail, Le Vaillant’s Cisticola, Cape Longclaw, Common Waxbill, Spur-winged Goose, South African Shelduck, African Stonechat, Cape Grassbird, Cape Robin-Chat, Grey Crowned Crane, African Sacred Ibis, Fork-tailed Drongo, Cape Wagtail, Giant Kingfisher, Greater Honeyguide, Yellow-fronted Canary, Bokmakierie, Red-necked Spurfowl, Cape Weaver, Yellow-billed Duck, African Darter, Red-knobbed Coot,

Boston_6593_Red-knobbed-Coot

Little Grebe, Village Weaver,

Boston_6201_Village-Weaver

Common Fiscal, Cape Sparrow, Southern Greyheaded Sparrow, Dark-capped Bulbul, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Pin-tailed Whydah, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Southern Red Bishop, House Sparrow, Red-billed Quelea, Jackal Buzzard, Pied Starling, Drakensberg Prinia, Common Moorhen, Red-winged Starling, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler,

Boston_6277_Dark-capped-Yellow-Warbler

Speckled Mousebird, Barn Swallow, Olive Woodpecker, Red-throated Wryneck, Secretarybird, Yellow Bishop, Sombre Greenbul, Black-backed Puffback, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cape Glossy Starling, African Hoopoe, Southern Boubou, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Red-collared Widowbird, Helmeted Guineafowl, Long-crested Eagle, Black-headed Oriole, Cape Canary, Wattled Crane, Malachite Sunbird, Reed Cormorant, Cape Batis.

Boston_6262_Cape-Batis

Rob and Celia Speirs – The Rockeries

Emily, the bathroom spider was inclined to obstruct shaving by walking daily onto the shaving mirror, enlarging his/her self in the curved glass. Emily was a regular feature till 9 April – suddenly gone missing – and a search around revealed the ugly truth – her/his remnants lay on the floor where she/ he had been despatched (and snacked on) by a voracious Wasp.

David and Barbara Clulow, visiting on 10 April

Pied Crows, pair of Red-necked Spurfowl with young family; the pair of Grey Crowned Cranes with two large juveniles feeding near Melrose dam; and another pair with one large juvenile near Elandsvlei dam; Long-crested Eagle; large flock of Spur-winged Geese at pan on The Willows; Red-knobbed Coots, Yellow-billed Ducks and a Darter on Melrose dam; flocks of Egyptian Geese and Sacred Ibis in numbers on Melrose farm; heard Southern Boubou in The Willows garden

Christeen Grant – Sitamani

April has been a busy, I have been away more than I have been at home, so haven’t seen as much this month. A few spectacular Grasshoppers, including Foam Grasshoppers, have been around. They are now in their final adult stage. Insect Foam Grasshopper

I recently learnt that the small brightly coloured black and orange grasshoppers we see at the beginning of summer, are actually the hopper stage of the Foam Grasshoppers,(included is a photo of one taken in Jan this year).

Insect Foam Grasshopper hopper 2014 01 05

I loved the heavy ‘armour’ on the green species.

Insect Grasshopper (1)

There are still many moths about, the ones I’ve seen have all been ‘carpet’ designs in shades of brown. One interesting one was not about to stay still and flew off before I could get a good photo, Pustule Plume moth, Family Pterophoridae, Genus Agdistis. At rest it looks much like a large mosquito.

Moth 03 Pustule plume moth

Another was the Stolid Lines moth, Grammodes stolida with a wingspan of about 34mm.

Moth 01 Stolid Lines moth

The last one I photographed, I was not able to identify.

Moth 02

A Wild Cucumber, Cucumis hirsutus, found a sheltered sunny, spot in front of the house and was busily clambering over a shrub.

Plant Cucumis hirsutus

The Plumbago bush near the house has been covered in flower and lying in wait was a beautiful pink Crab Spider, it caught and then devoured a fly.Spider Crab Spider Bees were busy around the flowers as well.

Insect Bee

In the evenings the mournful call of the Black-backed Jackals rises from the valley below. Common Reedbuck come near to the house at night to graze on Kikuyu grass and as the sun rises later, I often surprise Duiker in garden when I get up. Most of the usual birds were around, but the LesserStriped Swallows have departed. We did see Cape Glossy Starlings on Mondi’s Mount Shannon, as well as Dorsal dropwing Dragonflies, Trithemis dorsalis

Insect Dragonfly Dorsal dropwing

and a delightful, minute Leaf Beetle.

Insect Leaf Beetle

Philip had the best sighting this month on our servitude road through Mt Shannon, a Serval with two young kittens! One was having difficulty climbing a steep bank, so we had really good view from the bakkie. All three eventually safely disappeared into the pine trees

Dargle Wildlife Sightings August 2013

Sue Robinson – Ivanhoe Farm  I enclose a couple of photos of the more than 150 Cape Vultures which visited our Vulture Restaurant after we put a cow there which had to be destroyed after being attacked by jackals while giving birth.

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Cape Vulture in Flight

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vultures Gathering

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres), also known as Kolbe’s Vulture. It is endemic to southern Africa, and is found mainly in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and in some parts of northern Namibia. It nests on cliffs and lays one egg per year.

Rose & Barry Downard – Oak Tree Cottage 

Birds:  Two grey crowned cranes are seen and heard regularly on Moyeni farm next to us. On 30/8, four cranes were seen flying towards Finchley. Three grey crowned cranes were also seen earlier this month over the Sinclair’s farm. Grey herons, yellow-billed kite, amethyst sunbirds, prinias, sparrows, black and pied crows, olive thrush, southern boubou, hoopoes, fiscal shrike. The Egyptian Geese who took over the crows’ nest last month have been sitting on eggs, but have needed to guard the nest from another pair of keen Egyptian Geese. A Cape Robin has become a daily visitor inside our house, and occasionally flies off with some of our cat’s dried kibble in his beak!

Also seen:  Duiker, Natal green snakes, bees, butterflies. Heard:  Fish Eagles, Cape Parrots, Jackals. In flower:  Scadoxis, Freylinia, Kniphofia, Strelitzia, Proteas, Watsonias, Clivias

Nigel Anderson – Lane’s End Farm

There were about 40 Crowned Cranes on Laurie Boshoff’s farm in Lion’s River vlei on Petrus Stroom road

Cranes and farm 009

Gaudy Commodore Butterfly (This is the winter form of Precis octavia sesamus)

Gaudy Commodore  (3)

I have just photographed a Spotted Bush Snake on Lane’s End

IMG_8041

Spotted Bush Snake (Philothamnus semivariegatus) is a non-venomous snake in the family Colubridae, distributed from South Africa to Sudan and Guinea. Mostly found in trees in bush and forest areas, where it hunts lizards and Treefrogs. They are excellent climbers and swimmers, and have very good eyesight. Very common and completely harmless to humans.

Craig Cameron: Swallows are back at the Dargle Store!

 Andrew Pridgeon – Copperleigh Farm:  Saw a Red Duiker in the gum trees near La Bon Vie, as well as a Civit Cat in the same spot earlier in the month.

 Ashley Crookes – Copperleigh Farm

The usual array of Yellow Billed Duck, Red-Knobbed Coot, Spurwing Geese, and a pair of Egyptian Geese on our dam. We were also visited by the African Harrier-Hawk or “Gymnogene” which was busy trying to catch something in the Bottle Brush tree. Other birds we spotted included: Starlings, Cape Weaver and sunbirds.

We also had a gorgeous sunset the one evening, we had visitors from up country staying with us and they called me to have a look. I only had about 5mins to capture a few before all the colours disappeared.

sunset mavela

Whilst doing the rounds on the farm, I stopped off at a smaller dam and captured the pic below. Mavela Dam with Inhlosane in the distance

mavela dam inhlosane

Large moth found one night

moth

Wild Aloes flowering in the veld

Aloes

Malvina van Breemem – Old Furth

We had a Spoonbill here and saw an Otter pair with a youngster on our road.nLots of reedbuck, duiker and bushbuck, plenty of Owl calls, and we heard some Jackal pups in the one plantation near the gate, they must have been calling for their mum.  We have also had numerous sightings of water mongoose.

Nikki Brighton – Old Kilgobbin Farm

Birds: A big group of Spurwinged Geese flying North early in the month. Yellow billed kite spotted on 28 Aug.  Bush black cap, Thickbilled weavers, masked Weavers, Southern Boubou, Olive Thrush, Ring-necked dove, Chorister Robin Chat, Cape Robin Chat, Mousebirds, White Eyes, Sombre bulbuls, Bulbuls,  Cape Parrots, double collared sunbird, amethyst sunbird, Stone chat, fiscal shrike, Grey heron, yellow billed ducks, Jackal Buzzard, Egyptian geese, Cardinal woodpecker, Rock pigeons, ring necked doves, Bronze mannekins.

Mammals: Duikers, reedbuck, bushbuck, scrub hare, Samango monkeys. Lots of vervets along the D17. Other creatures: Gaudy commodore butterflies, frogs starting to call in wetlands, lots of tiny black caterpillars hatching.

Plants: Leucosidea sericea, Halleria lucida, Nemesia (below), Apodolirion buchananii, Cyrtanthus breviflorus, Ursinia tenuiloba, Senecio speciosus, Morea modesta.

nemesia res

Pat and Sandra Merrick – Albury Farm

Took photo of a fiscal shrikes larder on the barbed wire fence (a snake and a frog) and a decapitated bird staked at the end of a pin oak branch.

Steam train 20.7.13 152

Fiscal Shrike Larder (Remains of other birds)

Steam train 20.7.13 151

The chats are busy nesting as have not seen them around the garden for awhile.  A pair of orange throated longclaw arrive now and then. Malachite sunbirds, Olive thrush, cape robins are all in the garden. The yellow bill kites arrived a few days ago.  One had a fight with a jackal buzzard just near our house, probably about territory as the buzzard has been here for some time. Saw a few swallows around the house this morning.

We have a pair of black sparrow hawks nesting in the fork of a very tall gum tree in our avenue.  This is the 2nd year that they are nesting there.  Very hard to see them as the trees are dense and the light not very bright.  When we walk around the area, they fly out and make a lot of screeching noises, so have found it difficult to get a photo. 4-5 spoonbills in dam everyday. 1 sacred ibis arrived a few days ago at the dam.  They never come up to this part of the valley. 4 blue crane at the dam most days, mornings and evenings.  They are eating mielies on the neighbouring farm after combining.  Also saw 3 crowned crane there yesterday.

Sunset in all it’s Glory

August Sitings 2013 028

Many reedbuck on the hills. A few days ago, a ram spent hours chasing a doe around the hill next to the house. A female oribi is seen about twice a week on our boundary. A number of duikers daily.  Coming home one evening we saw 3 duikers and a beautiful bush buck ram about a km from our house on the D 18. A jackal on our private road at noon.  We have seen jackal hunting through the day quite often lately and of course lots of noise at night. The bush pig are digging up large sections of kikuyu on neighbouring farm.

August Sitings 2013 020

I saw some Nguni calves trying to chase a crow off an old cage in our land.  The crow would not budge and seemed to be eating something on top of the cage.  Then as the ngunis got closer, he bent down and it looked either that he was giving the calf some of his food, or just a good morning kiss.  I thought it so special,then mom arrived to see what all the fuss was about.

August Sitings 2013 009

My most exciting moment this month was when we were driving up our road on way home, we saw a reed buck doe suckling a fawn. This was about 5pm and I did not have my camera, and the dogs were on back of bakkie. I raced home, threw the dogs off, grabbed my camera and raced back down the road, thinking what chance of them still being there?  Well they were there, but the fawn had finished feeding.  I got out the bakkie and they stood frozen, looking at me for 10mins. Eventually the doe decided that everything was okay and turned around and walked away. The fawn looked at her for awhile, disappearing in the distance. She then started eating the green shoots for awhile and then lay down next to a rock and long grass. She was so well hidden that I battled to find her in my lens.  I stayed there for half an hour until dark but mother did not return. It was a special sitting for me and I have not seen them since.

August Sitings 2013 016

Éidín Griffin – Witsend

This month has been rather busy at Witsend with a natal green snake in the garden and two puff adders on the veranda. The green snake slid off into the undergrowth and the puffys were caught and relocated up the mountain near indigenous forest with lots of rocky outcrops…nowhere near anybody’s homes or livestock!  Juno very carefully helping to untie the sack with a Puff Adder inside…

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Also spotted were the olive woodpeckers, some duiker and a mongoose out hunting (he should have come to the veranda…) A gang of mousebirds made a dramatic appearance, demolished my peas and left. Not at home but in the Dargle neighbourhood I saw 3 crowned cranes below Lemonwoods and two blue cranes at Ivanhoe. What a gorgeous sight.

Mike and Anne Weeden – River Run

We have been fortunate to see two serval, one quite large one which we spotted on a Sunday morning quite close to the house and which I managed to photograph.

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We also had a porcupine walking in front of the car for a few hundred metres before it disappeared into the grass. This is the first one we have seen since buying in the Dargle six years ago. The reedbuck and duiker have again been plentiful this month while the swallows which nested under the eaves of the house last year returned on the 21st August; hopefully they are not too early.

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Kevin & Margi Culverwell – The Wallows

Lots of bushbuck on our rye pastures in the evenings, with youngsters at foot. We have a male “melanistic” black sparrow hawk spending a lot of time chasing pigeons around the farm. “Our” small flock of 7 Spoonbills has returned to nest in the driveway again, which is delightful. The pair of Spectacled weavers busy building their very tidy long tunnelled nest. All the normal garden birds very busy with their spring activities.

Graham & Vicky Griffin – The Dargle Farm

Some recent sightings with pictures taken by our trail camera. First there was a dead Dassie that we found which we then put down in front of the camera hoping to see something exciting taking it.  We had seen a Serval take a Dassie the week before.  We think it’s a mongoose taking the Dassie.  Otherwise some Jackal, a bush pig and lots of bush buck.

Photos By Trail Camera

Photos By Trail Camera