Friday, 20 July 2012

19 July -Short but sweet

Photo of the Day
Morning Drive
(Herold & Andrea)

Leopard (Makepisi & Shindzuti) / Java - Buffalo Kill
Leopard (Argyle Jnr and cubs) / Peru - Long Road (close to Xinatsi Dam Road West)
Buffalo (breeding herd) / Vielmeter - Entrance Dam

Afternoon Drive
(Herold, Peter & Andrea)

Leopard (Argyle Jnr's cub) / Peru - Long Road
Leopard (Machaton Male) / Western Cutline, Moeniejag Crossing
Buffalo (breeding herd) / Vielmeter - Entrance Dam
Elephant (Kambaku) / Argyle - Argyle Dam

With my guests main request being leopard - I set off with one plan in mind! Swinging through Tawny Eagle Road towards Mbali, Marka suddenly called in Makepisi and Shindzuti on Java. I raced off - thinking that this could be my only chance at leopard. By the time I got there, Shindzuti had run off, typical and unfortunately Makepisi was not being his usual co-operative self as he decided to loop along the riverbed thicket just out of easy driving terrain. This meant that most of the morning was spent trying to keep up with him just to get a bit of a visual - definitely not my luck this morning. We had one or two glimpses but soon he wandered across the riverbed altogether proving difficult to follow. 

We headed off for a morning coffee stop finding a small group of bull giraffe on the way. This group included the old, large, very dark male which is usually seen on his own and I felt stupidly relieved that he was part of a group today. A breeding herd of buffalo had been found at Entrance Dam which was incredibly far south and I planned to visit them in the afternoon, however, the report was that they were moving south and out of fear of losing them to the adjacent property we quickly shot down for a quick look. The most amazing part was there were one or two Yellow -billed oxpeckers (red billed oxpeckers being our most common) which are particularly rare for this area. 

Already knowing I was running late, we started back up north only to hear Herold call across the radio that he had found Argyle Jnr and her two cubs. Why these leopards never pop out in front of me when I need them, I am not too sure. We tried to approach the sighting but could barely see at all which is why we started afternoon drive by following up. The afternoon proved a little more successful and we were able to briefly see one cub before he hid away under a fallen Knobthorn Tree.

My guests still had not seen hyena - so of c ours we started towards the hyaena den. 3 adults were outside, with one youngster. They were very sleepy and not very active so after a short time we decided it would be worth stopping for drinks.

Entrance Dam seemed a good place to stop, however, as we stood sipping away, the herd of buffalo from earlier made there way down for their afternoon drinks stop as well. My guests jumped back in the car very quickly. We very hastily packed up the landy and moved around, allowing us an amazing sighting as this herd came for their dusk time drink. It was rather tricky photography wise - but I did think the shots came out looking like softly done paintings.  We watched them until it was quite dark before starting back towards camp. En route home we saw a civet, nightjar and a side-striped jackal and a lot of dust (accidentally being caught behind another game viewer!!!). All in all, a very good day!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the extra pics in Windswept, Andrea. I'm already anticipating what you guys will bring us in the next blog.