- Wildlife

Wildlife Weblog – February 2021


The nice rains continued by way of February, and after Cyclone Eloise in January had crammed the water desk, this deluge (228 mm in whole) took all of the dam ranges to the utmost! For the primary time in in all probability eight years, Georgie’s Dam in entrance of the lodge has overflowed! Extremely, the hippo responded instantly, and we’ve 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 sit up for it attracting many attention-grabbing birds once more.

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

The rains have attracted lots of attention-grabbing birds, particularly people who love tall grasslands and the wetland kind of environments. We have now seen numerous 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 big Saddle-billed storks (pictured left) to the diminutive Little Bee-eaters (pictured under). We have now additionally began seeing fairly just a few child warthog, particularly out on the brief grass of the big 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 wrestle to search out meals or hunt, however they’ve proved us incorrect and are trying extremely good. All 4 of them are nonetheless collectively, and the older male particularly is beginning to present indicators of being a really huge 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 struggle 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 At 4 and a half years outdated, it could have been anticipated that he would transfer additional afield however, like Ravenscourt, he has remained near the place he was born, and continues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 present nice sightings. Not too long ago, 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 method for now. Thamba has been pushing additional north and west, and evidently Ravenscourt has responded to this stress by coming down south fairly steadily this month. He nonetheless has Euphorbia placing stress 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 be nonetheless seen pretty commonly, however his boundary with Ravenscourt is way 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 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 alternative however to slink away, but posed superbly on a fallen tree to watch her kill being devoured.

Young Male Leopard

Young Male Leopard

Young Male Leopard

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

Young Male Leopard

Young Male Leopard

Our resident male cheetah has been seen fairly a lot of occasions and really 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 just a few of our friends had been lucky to see them on just a few events. As all the time, they’re trying good and hopefully quickly they may return extra commonly. We hope the identical for our friends!

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

We even have had fairly numerous giraffe within the southern elements of the Western Sector of late, which is uncommon, as we would not have the best habitat right here for them. They’re often discovered additional north, close to the Sand River, the place we’ve a better focus of Acacia bushes, which is their most well-liked weight loss program. Nonetheless, we’ve been loving having these giant ‘Journeys of giraffe’ out on our clearings.

We depart you with a wierd 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 apparently, they don’t roost in giant teams. Normally solely as much as 5 will roost collectively. In addition they have unusually good eyesight in comparison with different bats, permitting them to detect hazard extra simply. In addition they use echolocation, which suggests they emit sounds that bounce off their prey, to find and hunt. Many individuals don’t significantly like bats, however they’re very important in feeding on bugs which frequently carry ailments dangerous to people. They’ve been recorded as feeding on as many as 4000 bugs every per night time!

We hope that every one our pals and friends have been conserving secure and wholesome, and that your vaccine rollouts are going properly, which in flip might aid you all return to us quickly to witness in particular person nature at its finest.

To atone 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 Staff

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