September 2009

06 September

Saw Sinnika and her 3 teenage cubs, now quite large, and watched them for about 1.5 hours this afternoon.

There are still lion noises coming from over the Mushingashi. This morning, on a walk, we saw a lovely lioness in thick grass near the river and Musango saw the head of a large male, which soon disappeared. Hopefully this was the Phantom, who has been very difficult to spot. Charlotte was out with her walking party, and while they were hiding behind a termite mound, saw two leopards. This was on the edge of the plain behind the camp.

Oh and I photographed a Bohm’s bee-eater in the campsite. (see September pictures)

17 September

Bushpigs are feeding on fallen fruit from a lovely fig tree (ficus sycamorus) about 2 kms away. The Cassias trees (Abbreviata, not the winter one), are in full yellow-flower bloom.

Did you know that many of the fruit trees here, especially figs, unlike most domestic fruit trees as far as I know, do not all fruit at the same time, but are spaced. Combining this spaced fruiting within the same species with fruit trees of different species, also with spaced fruiting, e.g. mobola plums, jackalberry and others, provides you with a year-round fruit supply, which enables fruit eating creatures to live here and survive year round.

Of course many fruit eaters like civets, jackals, genets, elephants (which eat a wide variety of fruit..), also eat other things.

Some fruit trees are more seasonal. Here Marulas fruit in February, March, April while,  as I recall, Machingachingas fruit in February and March, as I recall.

22 September

We saw four beautiful lioness with six cubs last night , a truly wonderful sight as they walked behind our vehicle.

This morning on our dawn patrol we saw a big, beautiful leopard, then noticed that there were two of them lying together. On the way back we saw anther group of lions on the opposite bank, as well as four big waterbuck males drinking. Quite a successful dawn patrol this time.

23 September

We went on a lovely walk this morning, a wonderful dawn walk, seeing a bouquet of glossy starlings clustered together on some dry branches. It was quite stunning in the early morning light. We also saw five unknown, certainly unidentified  woodpeckers in a group. We have never seen so many together before, all joyfully pecking at thin branches for some delicious, unseen feast. We came across some fresh hyena tracks, only to glimpse a vanishing hyena in the distance. This sighting was followed by that of seven relaxed waterbuck

It is getting soooo hot at the moment that we try to be back at the lodge between 9 to 9.30 am. It is a good time to walk, before this as the animals and birds are still active. After about 9.30 everything sinks into slumber mode,  including us.!

27 September

On a walk up the Mushingashi this morning, we saw 14 roan, an exceptional sighting, as well as 10 hartebeeste, 2 oribi and many others. We have only ever seen one roan on the east bank before.

Charlotte saw two leopards on a boat ride this morning.

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