09 September 2022

Adios Leadwood

09 August 2022 - Leadwood; Day 5

I was up early to enjoy some coffee and the sunrise on the deck - a magical time of the day. The Vervet Monkey's were on the move as soon as they saw me and I tried to capture them moving through the trees, back lit by the sun

Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)

Unfortunately, it was then time to pack the car and bid farewell to Simon and Jen after an enjoyable few days catching up along with some great sightings on our daily drives - until next time!

A leisurely day at Leadwood

08 August 2022 - Leadwood; Day 4

Simon and I were out for an early morning drive whilst the rest of the family had a lie in and it wasn't long before we found a pair of Dark Chanting Goshawk

Dark Chanting Goshawk (Melierax metabates)

A little later in the morning, we found another two on a better perch and in good light

Dark Chanting Goshawk (Melierax metabates)

In the same area, a number of White-backed Vultures, still patiently waiting for the Lion to make a kill

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

Overhead a couple of Palm Swift were feeding on the wing

African Palm Swift (Cypsiurus parvus)

A drive along the fence line gave another opportunity for a Stierling's Warbler and this time we had better views than the one from yesterday

Stierling's Wren-Warbler (Calamonastes stierlingi)

On the way to a watering point we had a brief sighting of 3 Eland, generally shy and skittish on the Estate

Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx)

At the waterhole, a Golden-breasted Bunting stopped briefly

Golden-breasted Bunting (Emberiza flaviventris)

And a little further on a party of White-crested Helmetshrikes

White-crested Helmetshrike (Prionops plumatus)

Just before the house, an obliging Black-crowned Tchagra foraging on the side of the road

Black-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra senegalus)

After a chilled day on the deck, we again had a late afternoon drive with a full Landy. A Lilac-breasted Roller is a really good record for Leadwood - this one out in full view on the top of a tree

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)

After enjoyable sundowners at a terrific view site overlooking the Berg, it was then a drive back to the house with spotlights. This time I had much better success with the Fiery-necked Nightjar as I was able to get flat on the ground in front of the Landy with Lions roaring somewhere in the background - iconic Africa!

Fiery-necked Nightjar (Caprimulgus pectoralis)

It was our last night, so a really enjoyable dinner around the table reminiscing about the great few days

A great day at Leadwood

07 August 2022 - Leadwood; Day 3

This morning we were all up for a quick coffee before jumping on the Landy for an early morning drive. It wasn't too long before we came across the 3 male brothers - they have certainly grown a bit more since we last saw them. They were lying on the fence line all watching a female in the grass on the adjacent estate. No interaction between the males and female, but for sure there was interest from the males

Magnificent Male Lion (Panthera leo)

Meanwhile the female hardly seemed to show any interest

Nonchalant Lioness (Panthera leo)

We spent quite some time with these magnificent cats, before continuing the drive along the fence line where we found a collared Cheetah patrolling its territory

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Whilst driving, I heard Stierling's Wren Warbler calling, so we stopped and with a bit of coaxing it showed itself in the warm early morning sun a little too far away - but good enough for my first images of this species

Stierling's Wren-Warbler (Calamonastes stierlingi)

We made a stop for coffee and rusks with an Ashy Flycatcher flitting about in the trees next to us

Ashy Flycatcher (Muscicapa caerulescens)

We then had a slow drive back to the house where we chilled on the deck for lunch with a few glasses of wine. Again, there was quite a bit of activity around the deck, so we enjoyed watching a Brubru

Brubru (Nilaus afer)

A Blue Waxbill coming in to drink

Blue Waxbill (Uraeginthus angolensis)

Along with Yellow-fronted Canary

Yellow-fronted Canary (Crithagra mozambica)

and a Yellow-throated Sparrow

Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow (Gymnoris superciliaris)

A pair of Chinspot Batis gleaning through one of the trees, this is the male

Chinspot Batis (Batis molitor)

A female Spectacled Weaver also stopped by

Spectacled Weaver (Ploceus ocularis)

In the garden, I found a White Pie

White Pie (Tuxentius calice)

Along with an unidentified Lizard

Lizard sp.

And this Bottletail

Bottletail (Olpogastra lugubris)

Later in the afternoon, we packed the coolers and headed out for another drive stopping for Black-headed Oriole

Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus)

A few Red-billed Buffalo Weaver's

Red-billed Buffalo Weaver (Bubalornis niger)

Crested Barbet on the top of dead tree stump

Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii)

At one of the small dams, a Hamerkop stood motionless in the algae

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)

We had a few Southern White-crowned Shrike

Southern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus anguitimens)

But the Tawny Eagle was a little more special

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)

While the White-backed Vultures waited patiently for the Lions to do their job

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

As we made our way to the sundown spot, we came across the Lucky 5 on the way to the same spot to have a drink - but I had a little too much glass to capture the scene

White Rhinoceros (Chiromantis xerampelina)

As they were walking to their drinking spot, this Nile Crocodile slid into the water and tracked them all the way. I guess only when they came down to drink did it realise that they were more than it could handle

Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

An added bonus was a big flock of Oxpecker's that suddenly flew in and got a lift down to the water on the top of the Rhino. I love the first image..

Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus)

We enjoyed a fiery sunset over drinks and snacks at the dame and on the drive back with the spotlight we found a single Fiery-necked Nightjar in the road. 

I wasn't able to get as low as I would have liked - but will try again tomorrow night

Fiery-necked Nightjar (Caprimulgus pectoralis)


Migrants and invisible Ele's

09 January 2024 - Mabula; Day 3 Only the boys opted for this morning's drive and were entertained with these two Dung Beetle's tryin...