Saturday, 22 January 2011

21st January: Little Boy Murphy has Lost his Mammals!

Pic of the Day!

Morning Drive.

Leopard ( Rockfig Jnr & Ntombela) / Vielmieter – Vielmieter Access.

Afternoon Drive.

Buffalo ( 6 x Dagha Boys) / Argyle – Hamerkop Loop.

Daily Synopsis.

The morning got off to a gloomy start with dark clouds all about threatening heavy rain, they were backed up by the weather man's forecast of a 60% chance of 40mm. So immediately we knew we would be safe and would remain dry on drive. The wind had also picked up and this always makes finding animals that more of a challenge. With not many drives out from the Lodges, and us the only one from Motswari we decided to stay and check up on things in the North. It also gave us the opportunity to catch up on all the smaller things we did not have time for the day before. So we spent the first half of the drive mainly looking at birds, the majority of them being summer migrants, and sitting with a herd of Impala as they roused themselves and went about their daily business of grooming, feeding and keeping out an ever watchful eye for any predators. We finally left them to expand the area of the predator search.

Receiving news they had found Ntombela, and with us having no luck our side, we headed in her direction. Half way there we received a message from Johannes that he had Argyle Females cub sitting in a Marula Tree on Motswari Airstrip, directly opposite our Impala herd, hmm.......damn Murphy! Having committed to Ntombela we continued, but shortly before reaching her, we received news she had momentarily been lost, but we must check around Entrance Dam as they had heard her mom calling. Arriving at the dam, there stood Rockfig Jnr in the middle of the road with Ntombela heading in her direction at full speed. As she got within distance she launched herself at her mother, landing a big hugging embrace on her followed by wrapping herself around her neck as if to give her loves.

They proceeded to groom one another before getting involved in a very playful game of cat and mouse, chasing one another around taking turns in being the pursued and pursuer. They used an African Weeping Wattle as their battle ground, which was highly entertaining as it was very small and could barely support the weight of one of them let alone the both of them. It was a great sighting and it is not often that we are privy to such playful behaviour. It goes to show how relaxed the both of them are with our presence and how they go about their normal behaviour regardless of us, a true privilege to witness.

Not quite sure what to say about this afternoons drive, as there was not much out there, actually there was nothing but the pleasant landscape scenery. Chad I now understand why you post landscape shots. Even my go to birds failed me, and the little things also went into hiding. I think if trees weren't rooted to a spot they too would have made a break for it, in fact, I found a few that had fallen over, maybe in an attempt at doing just that. We knew things had hit rock bottom when I went in search of a Guinea Fowl to show my guests an example of what they had eaten the previous night for dinner. Lucky for them it wasn't on tonight's menu as we would have gone hungry because we couldn't even find this now elusive bush chicken. Having said all this, this is what I love about working in an open system without any fences. You wake up every morning not knowing what the African bush has in store for you, who knows what surprises tomorrow holds.

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