Day 3, continue
We turned west towards Mooiplaas waterhole and the Mopanies closed up again into a solid green curtain, but then just before we got totally board, we were at Mooiplaas waterhole where ones eye can “breath” again over the open march and grassland.
There, right next to the road was a small heard of Tsetsebe! It turned out to be a great day for rare antelopes. A couple of Ostriches joined them and made a nice seen with the windmill in the background. A little Wood Sandpiper was in the mash looking for a snack.
The Ostriches and Tsetsebe at Mooiplaas waterhole.
Almost missed this little guy, a Wood Sandpiper in the march.
It was time to go back to camp and relax, all the way back we did not see anything, except the beautiful Rollers on top of the green Mopanie wall. We were out all day and were overwhelmed with everything we saw, especially all the birds that included a few lifers. Little did we know there was another lifer waiting for us just on the other side of the fence.
We hardly sat down and Rodger came to call us to come and look at something. We walked to the other side of the camp to number 14 and other side the fence in a big Apple leaf tree. In the tree sat a beautiful Verreax’s Eagle Owl with his catch, a Small-spotted Genet. The Eagle Owl is a lifer for us and what a great sighting just other side the fence. He sat dead still like a statue and it almost looked like he grew a tail. We did not stay to long in order for him to eat his dinner, just wish he caught a rat and not a genet.
The Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl are resident and widespread in the north and east of Southern Africa. They love well-wooded savanna and woodland areas and are currently classified as vulnerable because of their large size, low density and low reproductive output. This is a big bird weighing in at 1,7-2,3 kg, 58-65 cm. The females are slightly bigger than the males. They mainly hunt at night on a wide range of prey up to half grown monkeys and warthog piglets. They also prey on other birds from small ones to big ones like herons and other owls including the Pel’s Fishing Owl. They like to take over large platform stick nests, but will nest in tree hollows or holes.
We had an early dinner since we planned to drive to Phalaborwa tomorrow via the low maintenance roads and come back via Sable dam. Up to know the Ellies had been very friendly, but tomorrow will be a whole different story…..
The Tsendze bush just other side the fence.
Our "home" at Tsendze....
.... and a great bush dinner almost ready!End of Day 3