27 October 2022

In search of a cat

25 September 2022 - Pilansberg National Park

It had been many years since I last visited Pilansberg, but today's visit was not for birds but rather to try and find that elusive cat, the Serval. There had been reports that it has been seen quite frequently in one specific area in the Park in the past few months - this is one cat that has eluded me on all my visits to National and Regional Parks.

I was at the Kwa Maritane gate just after sunrise and was surprised at how many cars were already in the queue. Unfortunately, the first 8km into the park is quite narrow, so it was really frustrating waiting for people to stop looking at Impala and Zebra when I was on a mission. I did stop for a Chestnut-vented Warbler

Chestnut-vented Warbler (Curruca subcoerulea)

Once I reached the right area, I crawled along looking through the vegetation and grass - of course I was also going to find birds - so snapped a Black-winged Kite. In earlier years they were call Bob-tailed Kite, you can see why!

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)

Rufous-naped Lark's were all over displaying and singing

Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)

Not sure about this one - probably Rufous-naped, as I never got a look at its front

Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)?

There were quite a few Marico Flycatchers

Marico Flycatcher (Melaenornis mariquensis)

and good numbers of seedeaters on the side of the road, including Violet-eared Waxbill

Male Violet-eared Waxbill (Granatina granatina)

But no sign at all of any Serval

I had a mid-morning stop at a picnic site, finding Kalahari Scrub Robin

Kalahari Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas paena)

and then did the loop twice more in the diminishing hope of finding this cat. By midday, it was too hot and I admitted defeat, disappointed I headed back home in time for a late lunch..

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