To round off this week, we have had a significant amount of rain, keeping temperatures relatively cool, but humidity high. With that the predators have spent the majority of the hotter hours hidden in the shade, only revealing themselves once the sun has set.
With the exception of the Birmingham Male who has made a return to Londolozi and was found resting on the airstrip on an incredibly hot afternoon. He hung around that area for a few days and is looking in impeccable condition.
The Plaque Rock Female features a lot this week as she has been seen a few times. The Ximungwe Female and her Young Male Cub have also popped up a few times.
Chris tries out some star photography on an evening where there was a new moon, and a few other animals spend time on or around the airstrip. Birdlife seems to have become a bit of a focus with a number of photographers submitting great birding images recently.
Let us not forget the Thick-tailed Bushbaby that has been lurking around the camps.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The new moon is always a great chance to get out and try some star photography – something that I’m not very experienced in. I recently ventured out a while after sunset and gave it a go. While the stars were incredible it was in fact the Plaque Rock Female who stole the show and wondered right past while we were busy adjusting our settings!
The Plaque Rock Female gives us a gaze from the branches of a jackelberry tree on the banks of the Sand River. She has been found quite regularly this past week.
A pretty young playful female found along the river to the east of camp
Generally found in the thick undergrowth, Robin-Chats are heard a lot more than what they are seen. This White-throated Robin-Chat was shuffling around between the camp paths and paused for just long enough for me to get a quick shot.
Once again the airstrip provided a great opportunity for an open, clean image. This time, two giraffes were the stars of the show as they gently necked each other. We positioned ourselves at a distance and enjoyed a great view.
A female Amur Falcon, roosts on a branch, hunched forward due to the very strong winds blowing through the open grasslands of the deep southwestern parts of the reserve.
Mid-feed, the Birmingham Male pauses and looks up towards the vehicle, framed nicely by the greenery surrounding him.
A Black-shouldered Kite, had been sitting right on the highest branch of a dead tree for a while. We waited for what seemed like ages in the hopes that it would take off, as we wanted to get a shot of that. Let’s just say that of course the moment I lifted my eye from the viewfinder, of course, it happened.
However, Tristan had a little more patience and managed to capture the Kite taking flight.
After an incredibly hot afternoon, the Birmingham Male quenches his thirst at a small ephemeral pan.
Low angle shots have the ability to transform the scene, Here an impala stands head raised on the edge of the airstrip in the distance. Being illuminated by the golden sunlight with a wide background made this one special.
Swainson Spurfowl will often be found on a prominent perch in the early morning and late afternoon, calling.
The resident Giant Kingfishers have provided some great photographic opportunities as they await any fish being washed over the causeway.
Just as I was falling asleep a few nights ago, I heard some rustling outside my window. When I got up to investigate, I shone my torch around and all seemed quiet. Just as I turned to go back inside I caught sight of this thick-tailed bushbaby peeping at me from behind the branch. I’ve never got the chance to photograph one so I quickly grabbed my camera. He was very relaxed and even quite inquisitive which made for a great sighting.
The Plaque Rock Female pauses for a short while in the V of a tree just before she descends down into the long grass beneath.
The Ximungwe Female and her cub walk up a dry river bed straight towards our vehicle. We sat patiently waiting in this beautiful dry river bed hoping we’d get this exact view of the two of them. With the magnificent afternoon light, they slowly moved past us and disappeared into thicker growth. It’s starting to get very noticeable as to how much the young male is growing.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
The last of the Birmingham Coalition stares up at vultures circling in the distance behind our vehicle. Vultures will often draw attention to lions because of the opportunity of a food that may lurk below them. In this males case, he’ll take any opportunity for a meal.
The Plaque Rock female lies comfortably up in the branches of a Marula tree. During this time of year, the grass is very long on the open crests which makes it difficult to see prey. Vantage points such as fallen over trees, termite mounds and trees offer a great vantage to scout out her surroundings.
Having spent the entire afternoon with the Birmingham Male on the end of the airstrip, he eventually moved for us and is still looking in such good condition.