Tuesday, 2 August 2011

30th July – Frustrating Felines

Photo of the Day

Morning Drive
(Chad, Marka and Herold)
1 x leopard (unknown skittish male) – Vielmetter, Back 9’s West
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Leguaan Rd
8 x buffalo bulls – De Luca, De Luca Access
2 x buffalo bulls – Java, Western Cutline

Afternoon Drive
(Chad and Herold)
1 x leopard (Nthombi female with impala kill) – Vielmetter, Entrance Dam Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Motswari, Sean’s Celaring
2 x buffalo bulls – Java, Java Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Ingwelala Boundary
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Makulu Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Sweetwater Southern Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Entrance Dam

Daily Synopsis
Apologies for the delay in getting these posts up, but I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather, and with the lodge being pleasingly busy, there is no rest for the wicked!
I guess that isn’t much of an excuse for this post, as I sadly have very little to report about today!  The day started off rather quiet; not unusual for this time of year and the chilly mornings, ad as usual, as it started to warm up, so too did the animals.
I was bumbling about in the north, trying to track Argyle male leopard who had been calling near Vyeboom Dam during the night.  We found his tracks, and ended up tracking him in one large circle until we found his tracks walking back on the exact same spot that they had first been called in, but sadly they left the property into Ingwelala and we gave up.
We did see some nice impalas, kudus, and a couple of sightings of giraffe, although most were not overly obliging!  It was while watching them, right in the north, that we got word that Rockfig Jnr leopardess had been found near the remains of a kill, and she was again in the company of the Machaton male leopard, and while it was all the way south, it was worth the trip to potentially see mating leopards!

Heading south, we found more giraffe near Mbali Dam, a troop of baboons as well as some kudus.

Arriving in the area, there was still a bit of a line up, and the male leopard had disappeared.  I decided to stop for coffee after Rockfig Jnr went down into the Machaton River, hoping that by the time I was done, she would be out of it.  Sadly though, this was not to be, and I arrived to the sighting, in an area of extremely thick vegetation.  While waiting for signs of the now two leopards, we could hear them mating from time to time, even over the howling wind.  Unfortunately for us, the only “sighting” we got of a leopard was when the male dashed past a gap between some reeds, and that was the end – I thought people got rewarded for their patience?
It was late, so we headed back to camp, and saw some zebra, impala, and a couple of buffalo bulls.

The afternoon was not looking promising, especially in light of the wind that was still gusting about, but when the southern stations found Nthombi leopardess on Vielmetter, I got excited and decided to make the trip south again.  It shouldn’t have surprised me then when I had made my decision to go when she crossed off our property and straight towards King’s Camp itself. 
I then took my time in the north, and enjoyed some eagles, impalas, waterbuck and giraffe around Mbali Dam.  It was there that I was surprised to hear that Nthombi was now back on our property and had been for a while.  I once more readjusted my plans and headed in her direction. 

After finding a small breeding herd of elephants near Makulu Dam, I continued and neared the sighting, only to hear that Nthombi had led the guides back to a kill of hers!  She had no doubt used the wind to help her to hunt the young male impala, and was off looking for her boy!  The kill was on the ground, the sun was setting, and there were still several vehicles closer than me, so I had to make the decision to again pull my name from the line up, hoping that she would be able to get her kill up a tree and keep it safe for me tomorrow.  It was a risk, as anything could happen, and the hyenas could steal it, but I was confident that Nthombi would take it up a tree.  Herold got to see her, but I went to Sweetwater Pan for a lovely sundowner instead.

After drinks, we bumped into another two breeding herds of elephants as well as some giraffe on the way home.  Good news was that Nthombi had taken the kill up a tree and then disappeared to try find her boy again – so at least there is something to look forward to tomorrow, as I definitely didn’t have the best day in the bush....but as always, we all know just how easily things can turn around in the bush!

No comments:

Post a Comment