Saturday, December 31, 2011
This shot has to be my personal highlight due the fact that the Half Collared Kingfisher is such a rare find and this was my first clear sighting, then to have the bird fly towards me and capture the shot..very very lucky. A high shutter speed of 1\2000 was needed to achieve sharpness in the head and eye while capturing motion in the blurred wing movement!
This Pangolin spotlit scene is a close 2nd, the rarity of a sighting and then to have the secretive animal co-operating with his posture was extremely lucky. Slow shutter of 1/20, manual exposure.
Another night time spotlit scene, perfect angle and pose of this young male leopard high up a Marula tree.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Metsi followed her for about 5 minutes, stalking and crouching and marking on top of Tlangisa's scent without her even knowing...we thought a possible clash was imminent! Tlangisa eventually saw her and ran in the opposite direction, avoiding the conflict and confirming that Metsi is on top for now. Metsi seems to be increasing her territory in a south eastern direction and it will be interesting to see if Tlangisa moves north or stands her ground. EXCITING times!!!
Metsi does have two 11 month old male cubs to look after so needs as much space as possible, Tlangisa is very strong for her age but possibly lacks confidence that only comes with experience!
Poor light for photography but great behavioural stuff, enjoy!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I found a pair of Little Bee Eaters on a very overcast morning yesterday so the light wasn't great but I decided to spend some time trying to capture them in flight, not the easiest of tasks as I discovered. High shutterspeeds, ISO and lots of patience required to capture these lightning fast little guys. They have a few favoured perches that they like to use and the trick is to anticipate where they are gonna land...this branch allowed me a few shots!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Eventually our perseverence paid off one afternoon and there they were lying in the river bed, the little 4 week old cubs were very nervous and we waited very patiently for them to show themselves. We kept very quiet and gave them alot of space with just the one vehicle in the thick riverine bush. The next day they had disappeared...probably up a nearby koppie to her den site for safety, we were treated to a brief and very rarely observed moment in the life of a denning lioness and her cubs.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
It was quite a hot day and we found this lioness lying up in the shade fast asleep in an open area close to the lodge. I started chatting about lion behaviour and how unlikely it was that she would move until it cooled down but ever hopeful we waited and spoke about the lion dynamics here in the Western Sands while resting in the shade ourselves.
Then suddenly out of the blue she jumped up and started moving towards a nearby waterhole, for a drink we thought...meanwhile she had actually spotted some warthog wallowing in the mud!
She walked right past us in the open, eyes focused on the warthogs only using a small guarri bush as cover. She got pretty close and charged immediately but the little guys were too quick for her while an impala ram watched in the distance!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
The 3 remaining Mapogo coalition males have accepted them and let's just hope the coalition can remain strong and hold this territory for another 2 years so these cubs make it to adulthood. The other 4 lionesses of the Ximungwe pride are all pregnant or denning so we are looking forward to lots of cubs soon.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
We waited patiently for them to become relaxed with our presence.
Interesting Behavioural Info
There is a strict hierarchy within a group, headed by a dominant pair. The dominant female is usually the leader of the group. All group members cooperate in helping to rear the pups and guarding the group from predators.
Dwarf mongooses are territorial. They sleep at night in disused termite mounds, although they occasionally use piles of stones, hollow trees, etc. Territories often overlap slightly, which can lead to confrontations between different groups.
Generally, only the group's dominant female becomes pregnant and she is responsible for 80% of the pups reared by the group. If conditions are good, subordinate females may also become pregnant but their pups rarely survive.
Normally one or more members of the group stay behind to babysit while the group goes foraging. At 4 weeks of age the pups begin accompanying the group.A mutualistic relationship has evolved between Dwarf Mongooses and hornbills, in which hornbills seek out mongooses in order to forage together and warn each other of nearby birds of prey and other predators. Sometimes the hornbills can be seeing pestering the mongooses to get going in the morning, no time for a sunbathe!
She had just turned 1 year old...maybe a mere 6 months away from independence, Africa can be so harsh!
We are rooting for her and her remaining cub as they try and evade Xinzele who will probably try and find the other cub...
Their first kill, a young bushbuck.
Hours of play, practising hunting skills.
Satisfying their thirst from suite 5 pool.
On the way to a kill with Hlaba Nkunzi
A confident show of teeth, a 1 year old coming of age!
Hlaba Nkunzi and cub
Hiding from a lion high up a tree at 4 months old
Playing and excitement on the way to a kill