31 July 2023

Mabula morning

21 May 2023 - Mabula Game Lodge; Day 3

We all slept well and were up early and warmly dressed for the morning drive. We started off through the hills looking for spotted cats without success. We did get a flock of Green Pigeon as the sun slowly rose

African Green Pigeon (Treron calvus)

We did discover this Katydid species on my son's jacket after doing a u-turn on the road

Katydid sp.

We flushed a Lark that landed in the road and after a few images and discussion agreed it was a Flappet Lark - great to see on up close and on the ground as they are normally specks in the air when displaying

Flappet Lark (Mirafra rufocinnamomea)

Heading back toward the plains, a Black-winged Kite in the early morning sun

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)

A couple of Blue Wildebeest provided some entertainment, as they chased each other around the plains - not sure if this was to get warm or just banter

Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)

We stopped for morning coffee on the plains where we enjoyed a few Giraffe strolling by. The youngster's pose reminds me of a Sea Horse..

Cape Giraffe (Giraffa c. giraffa)

The mother and calf were still in the same area

White Rhinocerus (Chiromantis xerampelina)

We found a 'Stick Insect' in the car and returned it to where it was more camouflaged on the plains

Mantis sp.

There was news of Buffalo not to far away, so we packed up and headed in that direction, stopping briefly for a few more Plain-backed Pipit. No Buffy Pipits on this trip - also a reason to return again..

Plain-backed Pipit (Anthus leucophrys)

And a lone bull Red Hartebeest

Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus b. caama)

We managed to locate the Buffalo and enjoyed some time with them as they grazed whilst walking before passing on either side of the vehicle

African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

A few of the bovine's had passengers in the form of Red-billed Oxpecker's

Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus)

It was time to head back for breakfast and to pack, so we detoured where we found the Aardvark, but found a mob of Banded Mongoose lounging and feeding on the side of the road. Other collective nouns for these terrestrial carnivorous mammals are; a pack, a gang or a troop - but I prefer a mob!

Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo)

Whilst enjoying the antics of the Mongeese, a pair of African Hawk-Eagles passed by overhead

African Hawk-Eagle (Aquila spilogaster)

It was then back to the lodge for brunch and to pack for the journey home. It was a great weekend in the bush with good friends - but we need to come back for that Aardwolf that eluded us.....

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