Monday, 19 March 2012

18th March: A Little Peace & Quiet.

Pic Of The Day.

Morning Drive

( Grant & Andrea.)

Lion ( 2 x Jacaranda Sub Adults: Male & Female) / Ingwelala – Argyle Rd.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / DeLuca – Drongo Drive.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / JayDee – Makulu Rd.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant & Andrea.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Motswari – Sharalumi/ Ingwelala Boundary.
Leopard ( Machaton Male) / Karans – Western Cutline.

Daily Synopsis.

As if suckers for punishment Jacky and I headed off on morning drive in the same direction as we had done for the past week hoping this time our luck would change. Mid way through our now new route ritual we had a change of heart and tried anticipating the movement of our little White friend hoping they had in fact followed after the Buffalo. The roaring that we had heard the previous evening we believed to be the Maghlatini's and after speaking to Johannes he confirmed our suspicions that they were in fact calling North of our traversing boundary. Andrea had also driven out her usual route and was heading past Ingwelala Airstrip and onto the tar road checking for any traces of our feline friends. While we headed out towards our Kruger boundary in the East we received a call from Andrea informing us that she had found two of the Jacaranda sub adults along the tar road East of Ingwelala. With not much else on the table we decided to take a chance and respond but as was with the other day when we sat with the White Lioness waiting for others to respond they got up and headed off to the North and out of our traversing area. Finding ourselves in the area that we had tracked the White Lion the previous day we kept an eye out for any signs of what had become of the two. Driving over our own tracks from the previous evening we discovered the tracks for the two of them on top of our tracks, so we had not been wrong the previous evening our timing had only been a little out. While we checked on the tracks Jacky kept laughing to himself and when I quizzed him why he explained that he got the feeling that these Lions were playing with us, I don't think he was wrong. The only advantage of tracking them North out of traversing area was at least we knew they were not here and we could focus on something else now.

With the wind having picked up considerably during the early hours of the morning conditions were not conducive to game viewing and this was backed up by the silence that was the radio. After viewing a couple of very relaxed Kambaku's we had nothing to lose and decided to check our Northern boundary, maybe we were wrong about the Maghlatini's. 

Strange when you want to be wrong you right, and vice versa, and this was the case once again this morning with us finding no sign of anything, let alone a cat track. Jacky and I then decided to let the wind take us where ever and we drifted along in search of anything and everything. This was mostly nothing but although drive was extremely quiet we still had ourselves a very pleasant and enjoyable drive and before we knew it we were once again late for breakfast. We not going to hold our breaths for this afternoons drive but with the wind dying down and it remaining cool maybe our friends will show themselves.

Conditions did not improve much for the afternoon it was however a little lighter and the wind had died slightly but not enough to instil confidence that we were going to be in for a busy afternoon that we needed. Andrea headed off North to follow up on a tip we received that the Maghlatini's may be moving South from Ingwelala but she was side tracked by a herd of Elephant that she had been desperately looking for in the morning. This would be one of the last times I would hear from her during the drive and I'm not quite sure where and what she got up to. Come to think of it this could apply to everyone on drive. It was to be one of those afternoons and thus days that the bush was at rest, being a Sunday who could blame it. We got off to a flying start as we decided to head South once again and then loop around and check our Northern boundary for the Lions after dark. Along the way we came across two Crested Franklins that were alarm calling from the safety of a couple of dead branches of a Knobthorn Tree. Being a ground dwelling bird we knew there must be a predator about and having killed the engine we began looking around. It was not long before Jacky spotted the white tipped tail of a Leopard not ten metres away from the car trying to remain hidden in amongst a dense group of Raison Bushes. Pulling slowly forward we discovered it was the very nervous Machaton Male, just our luck, and we waited for him to turn and bolt. The tides must be changing though as he seemed more preoccupied with following a scent trail then he did in us and continued his business of smelling, rubbing up against and then urinating on a number of trees and bushes as he slowly walked North. Taking advantage of his distraction we followed him at a distance giving him space and letting him get used to the vehicle. Given time we feel we will be able to habituate him so that he takes no notice of us at all. He has come along way in the last couple of months already and we desperately need a replacement for the ever so relaxed Argyle Male who obviously has been pushed out of his territory by this younger, dare I say bigger, cat. Waiting for another station to arrive we handed over the sighting having spent a good twenty minutes following him.

We then continued our journey South to check Java and the Eastern sections of Vielmieter, unfortunately things went very quiet for us and we barely saw a thing, Impala included, for the next two hours. Having looped all the way around we now found ourselves in the North Western corner at Voeldam where we took sundowners. Resuming after drinks we checked our Northern boundary for any sign of the Maghlatini's as we slowly travelled back to the East and Motswari. The only joy we did have was in finding a beautiful Boomslang and a small Chameleon but other than that the drive remained consistently quiet. Here's hoping the bush has a whole bunch of surprises for us on morning drive.

Anyway I have some good and bad news. The good news is that I head on leave, didn't say it was your good news, and the bad news is so does Andrea so with Chad on sabbatical there is no one to keep the blog updated for the next week. Not to worry though I'm presently in negotiations with Dave, not that he is aware of it, just to add the daily sightings so at least you can get your little fix of the bush and follow what's been seen. Andrea will be back and driving in a week and will therefore bring you up to date with all the in depth goings on. Big thank you for all the support the past eight weeks, we've had our up's and down's, all of them an adventure though and I look forward to returning refreshed and ready to bring you more. Cheers for now, Grant.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the blogs, Grant. Enjoy your leave.
    Tammy Lee