HomeWildlifeWildlife Weblog – February 2021

Wildlife Weblog – February 2021

The great rains continued by means of February, and after Cyclone Eloise in January had stuffed the water desk, this deluge (228 mm in whole) took all of the dam ranges to the utmost! For the primary time in most likely eight years, Georgie’s Dam in entrance of the lodge has overflowed! Extremely, the hippo responded instantly, and we’ve got counted over 20 hippo on some days. We now have a continuing cacophony of hippo calls resonating up the valley to the lodge within the early mornings and evenings. We additionally look ahead to it attracting many attention-grabbing birds once more.

The bush has continued to thicken up, decreasing visibility considerably. Whereas we normally see various kudu presently of the 12 months, being strictly browsers, they simply disappear and it’s tough to get a very good view of them.

The rains have attracted a whole lot of attention-grabbing birds, particularly people who love tall grasslands and the wetland sort of environments. We’ve seen a lot of African crakes which have been scarce over the previous couple of years, and likewise managed to see (pictured proper) the elusive Corn Crake!

Most of the birds are additionally persevering with to breed, from the massive Saddle-billed storks (pictured left) to the diminutive Little Bee-eaters (pictured under). We’ve additionally began seeing fairly a number of child warthog, particularly out on the brief grass of the massive open clearings.

The younger Ottawa sub-adults have continued to remain in incredible situation, opposite to our expectations. Being so younger and inexperienced, we suspected that they could battle to seek out meals or hunt, however they’ve proved us fallacious and are trying extremely good. All 4 of them are nonetheless collectively, and the older male specifically is beginning to present indicators of being a really large lion!

Lion Pride

Lion Pride

Lion Pride

Lion Pride

The Ottawa females, in flip, don’t appear to be too upset in regards to the children shifting off, and could also be having fun with the truth that they don’t have to battle for meals with the three males. They’re additionally very often aside, with one feminine being with a Thumbela male, whereas the opposite two keep away and luxuriate in some alone time.

Lion Pride

Lion Pride

Lion Pride

Misava has remained in his natal territory for fairly a while. At 4 and a half years previous, it could have been anticipated that he would transfer additional afield however, like Ravenscourt, he has remained near the place he was born, and continues to offer nice sightings. Just lately, he had an impala carcass hoisted in a marula tree, which gave us some nice alternatives to {photograph} him.

Male Leopard

Male Leopard

Thamba and Ravenscourt are nonetheless having their territorial disputes, though it’s in a extra passive manner for now. Thamba has been pushing additional north and west, and plainly Ravenscourt has responded to this strain by coming down south fairly incessantly this month. He nonetheless has Euphorbia placing strain on him within the north, so he by no means stays down south too lengthy, earlier than marching again to the river to guard the core of his territory.

Male Leopard

Male Leopard

Nyelethi can also be nonetheless seen pretty usually, however his boundary with Ravenscourt is far more settled, they usually appear to have come to an settlement as to the place it’s a while in the past.

Male Leopard

The younger females, Khokovela and Tisela, have for a while now been our greatest viewing leopards. Khokovela just lately had a recent impala kill, however earlier than she might hoist it out of attain, hyenas arrived and stole it from her. She had no selection however to slink away, but posed fantastically on a fallen tree to look at her kill being devoured.

Young Male Leopard

Young Male Leopard

Young Male Leopard

Tisela additionally had a kill, however happily she managed to hoist the kill, giving us fairly a number of days of fantastic viewing and, as it’s in her genes, posed completely for the keen photographers.

Young Male Leopard

Young Male Leopard

Young Male Leopard

Our resident male cheetah has been seen fairly various instances and truly used the cooler, wet circumstances on one event to efficiently chase down and kill a younger impala at Nkombe Dam clearing.

The pack of Painted Wolves has not but totally resumed their common visits to the West, however a number of of our company had been lucky to see them on a number of events. As at all times, they’re trying good and hopefully quickly they’ll return extra usually. We hope the identical for our company!

Elephant numbers have been on the regular improve within the Larger Kruger, though we’ve got seasonal actions and sporadic excessive and low numbers within the Sabi Sand as they transfer looking for good meals and water. Typically it may be laborious to seek out the breeding herds, however now in February we’ve got had quite a few nice sightings of those unbelievable animals.

We even have had fairly a lot of giraffe within the southern elements of the Western Sector of late, which is uncommon, as we would not have the perfect habitat right here for them. They’re normally discovered additional north, close to the Sand River, the place we’ve got a better focus of Acacia bushes, which is their most popular food regimen. Nonetheless, we’ve got been loving having these massive ‘Journeys of giraffe’ out on our clearings.

We go away you with an odd sighting, in that we don’t typically get to see or {photograph} these little creatures. We discovered two Mauritian Tomb Bats roosting on the principle stem of a giant Scotia tree, and curiously, they don’t roost in massive teams. Often solely as much as 5 will roost collectively. Additionally they have unusually good eyesight in comparison with different bats, permitting them to detect hazard extra simply. Additionally they use echolocation, which suggests they emit sounds that bounce off their prey, to find and hunt. Many individuals don’t notably like bats, however they’re important in feeding on bugs which frequently carry illnesses dangerous to people. They’ve been recorded as feeding on as many as 4000 bugs every per evening!

We hope that each one our buddies and company have been protecting protected and wholesome, and that your vaccine rollouts are going effectively, which in flip might make it easier to all return to us quickly to witness in particular person nature at its finest.

To make amends for all of the updates throughout our lockdown, please take a look at our YouTube Channel right here.​

With heat needs
Neil, Natasha and The Savanna Crew

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