The mystery bird that might have had a few people scratching their heads was a Long-billed Crombec in its nest. Well done to those that got it correct. The cup-shaped nest rather than the bird itself was diagnostic.
The slow fade from green to brown has begun in earnest, and we have pushed our morning game drives to start later in the morning as day’s shorten. With winter almost upon us, the next exciting event in the animal calendar is the impala rut, which is slowly starting to wind up. Watch the blog over the next few weeks for the impala ram population featuring prominently.
For now, enjoy this Week in Pictures…
There hasn’t been a large upheaval in the male leopard population in a couple of years, but with a number of young males starting to pop up around Londolozi’s fringes, the next 12 months could be very exciting. The Flat Rock male patrols while he still has territory to patrol.
Elephants are incredibly tactile animals. A large part of their communication involves infrasound, which is beyond detection by the human ear, but their use of trunks to interact and reaffirm social bonds is there for all to see.
Different parts of lion cubs seem to grow at different rates, and their ears and paws in particular appear oversized when they’re still young. In a few months this Ntsevu cub will have filled out and will look a bit more proportional.
The difference between male and female giraffes is very evident in this photo. Males have much thicker horns which they use for fightings, while females have narrow ones that are almost vestigial. The broader head found in males is also clear here. It seems that the oxpeckers also have a slightly male-skewed preference…
Small tusks tell of the youth of these two elephants, and despite the flapping ears, dust cloud and the signs of a violent interaction, this was only a play-fight between two youngsters.
An impala’s worst nightmare; African Wild Dogs on the hunt…
Wattled Starlings are semi-nomadic birds, coming and going as local conditions dictate. They are often found following herds of large herbivores like buffalo and elephants, grabbing insects that the large mammals scare up from the grass as they move through.
One of the Birmingham males takes advantage of one of the small pans still remaining at Londolozi. As we approach the dry season, most of the ephemeral water has dried up, leaving only the larger waterholes and Sand River for the animals to drink from.
A Water Monitor peers down from a Knobthorn tree. As their name suggests, these lizards are more often found on the water’s edge, and it is usually their larger cousins the Rock monitors that are found in trees.
The Tatowa female was recently viewed with suckle marks, and is suspected of denning a litter of cubs in the south-west of Londolozi. Out of her first two litters she managed to get a male from the second litter through to independence, so let’;s hope she meets with similar success this time.
A very full-bellied Birmingham male follows slowly behind the Ntsevu pride. Male lions can reportedly devour up to 20% of their bodyweight in a sitting: if this male weighs anywhere near 200kg (which is probably a push), that means he might have up to 40kg of meat in his stomach!
An Ntsevu lioness lies in the Maxabene riverbed, probably enjoying a slight break from her cubs. The 12 cubs that the pride have been raising should all be weaned within the next couple of months, which means even more pressure on the adult lionesses to hunt successfully.
Whilst ears out can be a sign of intimidation from an elephant, this one was simply flapping them to keep cool on a warm afternoon…