24 November 2023

GECKO Conservancy Survey's

17 August 2023 - GECKO Conservancy

We had planned surveys at two local sites. Whilst waiting for the team at the first site, I had a Little Sparrowhawk fly by at speed

Juvenile Little Sparrowhawk (Accipiter minullus)

And then a Black-winged Kite bringing in nesting material, something I hadn't seen before

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)

We then started the transect for the first survey, first finding a pair of Marsh Owl's

Marsh Owl (Asio capensis)

and finally just a single un-ringed Grass Owl - fingers crossed that it will be joined by a mate later in the season. Note how the legs protrude from the end of a tail; one of the ID features separating Grass from Marsh Owl

African Grass Owl (Tyto capensis)

Moving to the second site, we struck gold and found a pair of Grass Owls with one of the two ringed which is always an exciting confirmation

African Grass Owl (Tyto capensis)

The habitat in these areas is still vulnerable primarily to winter fires which makes it tough on the Owls to establish territories. As after fires it takes longer than you think for their prey base to return, which is primarily Angoni Vlei Rats.

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