Good Afternoon Everybody,
I trust that everybody is enjoying their week and can’t wait for the weekend. To everybody travelling down to Grahamstown for the festival, drive safely and enjoy every minute of the Arty-Party!!!
The last few weeks I have dubbed the “Animal Party”. We have all had a great time viewing the animals and trying to spot a Marula tree that still has green leaves on, its been quite difficult.
As the winter has officially arrived and the bush has turned pale we have been treated with flowering Aloe’s and many sunbirds. While standing on the deck a few days ago, I saw a Scarlet Chested Sunbird swoop in like a fighter pilot, and chase a White Bellied Sunbird off an Aloe. The fight for the sweetest Aloe has begun…dun, dun!
Ellies, ellies, ellies, the last couple of days we have seen the breeding herd and two bulls. The breeding herd was seen at night and it was quite a sight to be able to view them in the dark. Their behaviour is completely different and they are very “unsure” of their surroundings. The reason for this is they have even worse eyesight at night and rely heavily on their huge ears. The bulls have been a pleasure to view, even while in musth they have been relaxed and have carried on with their normal feeding behaviour. Buffalo have been a regular sighting with herds numbering over 40, and many young calf’s have been seen tightly knit to their mothers. The Fever Tree Forest has been a gem, with Buffalo, Elephant, Nyala, Red Duiker, Porcupine and Crowned Eagle sightings. The forest has also provided the guides with excellent fresh Leopard tracks.
Three male lions have been seen trying to hunt a warthog with no result, but the guests were treated to their hunting tactics and the sounds of a warthog laughing at the King of the bush. After all the chaos the guests got a great visual off the lions and we were able to follow the brothers walking through the bush.
One of our guides also spotted vultures in a tree and on inspection found a giraffe carcass. The carcass was surrounded by vultures (Lapet Faced and White Backed) and there was a Tawny Eagle that had joined in on the scavenge. This carcass was not completely open yet, but that didn’t stop the vultures from defending “their turf”
Some great sightings: a pair of Grey Duiker, Lanner Falcon, African Hawk Eagle, Crowned Eagle on its nest and Secretary Bird
It is very rare to see a pair of Grey Duiker as both the male and female are solitary (live alone), and will only be in each others company when the female is ready to mate…a great sighting indeed.
Until next week
The Leopard Mountain Rangers