Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 7 of 7
 [ 102 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:11 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

Springbok

Breeding:
Lambs are born mainly in summer and during the rainy season, from November to February in the northern parts of the country and some during July in Cape areas, but it could often be any time of the year depending on the area or region, availability and supply of food and climate. Newly born lambs are hidden away for a few days under tall grass or shrubs.

Gestation period:
About 24 weeks (168 days)

Lifespan:
Up to 10 years

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:32 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

Springbok

Springbok are herd animals and move in small herds during winter, but often crowd together in bigger herds in summer. They eat both grass and leaves and can go without drinking-water, because they get enough moisture from the succulent leaves. Where drinking-water is available they will use it.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:26 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

We then turned around and headed south in the direction of TR and our first unusual encounter was of a pcg eating a snake and then flying off with it to demolish its meal. Not too long after this we spotted another cape cobra again surprisingly quite small but entertaining all the same as it went from bush to bush in search of food.

Just as we started down the road again SO spotted an African wildcat dart across the road in front of us and into the first tree it could find on the left hand side. When we got there to our surprise it had flushed out a barn owl from its nest to the outer branches of the trees. We sat here for about 20 minutes observing the consternation of the owl regarding the wildcat taking its home and contemplating where it was going to stay for the rest of the day.

The remainder of the drive to TR was quiet and we made fairly good time arriving at 11.15am. the first activity on the list was to fill fuel which took a while as we put in more than 120liters. On completing this we went to the shop to our surprise it was half empty as they were relocating for the upcoming renovation of the existing shop. We were basically looking for water and ice which we got but they had ran out of 5litres therefore we only took enough 1.5l bottles to keep us going in the hope of finding 6litre bottles in the next few days.

Death is always around in KTP.

Image

Image

Crowned Plover

Breeding occurs in the spring months from July to October. The nest is in a shallow depression in the soil with a lining of vegetation and other debris. The nests are on flat ground near a shade tree and mammal droppings that are the same colour as the eggs. There are normally 3 eggs, sometimes 2 or 4. Incubation requires 28 to 32 days and is done by both sexes. Immediately after hatching the young leave the nest while both parents look after them.

Image

Image

Image

Pale Chanting Goshawk

Pale Chanting Goshawks are generally monogamous (have only one mate). However, rarely a female pairs up with two males (a primary and a secondary male). The secondary male assists with the breeding activities and, on occasion, also mates with the female. The reasons for this behaviour may be that the breeding territory needs to be defended by more than one male or that it takes two males to secure the food for the brooding female and the chicks.

During the wet season, they usually produce one brood. When conditions are particularly favourable, they may attempt a second brood. In particularly dry years, they may not breed at all.

At the beginning of the breeding season, the male - while perched on top of a tall tree - makes his melodious display call, continuously calling for hours at a time. The female and male can then be seen soaring together in circles.

Nesting varies depending on the latitude, mostly from May to February with peaks from July to November.

Their nests are usually situated on the upper fork of tall trees at heights of 10 - 33 feet (3 to 10 meters), or is placed on man-made structures, such as utility poles, survey beacons and steel pylons / transmission towers.

The nest is built by both the male and the female (and the extra male, if applicable).

The stick nest is relatively small, measuring about 20 inches (50 cm) across, with a cup-like indentation in the middle that is about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The nest is lined with anything suitable that the parents might find in their environment, including plant matter (i.e., leaves, grass), bird feathers, spider webs, rags, wool, rope, paper, plastic bags, dung, regurgitated pellets - even small bird nests. The nest is occasionally re-used during the following season or they may build a new nest. If they do, they often move the nesting material of their old nest to their new structure.

The female lays at intervals of several days 1 - 2 (occasionally 3) pale bluish or greenish white, unmarked eggs. The eggs are incubated for 33 - 37 days. Both parents fiercely protect the nest site.

If several eggs are laid, the young hatch at intervals of several days. The female feeds the young with food provided by the male. Both parents defend the chicks; however, in most cases only one of chicks survives to the end of the nesting period –likely caused by lack of food or predation. The chicks fledge when they are about 6 - 7 weeks old. The young will remain near the nest for several months or even the next year. Some eventually even breed in the same area.

Image

Cape Cobra

This species is oviparous. Mating season is during the months of September and October, when these snakes may be more aggressive than usual. Females will lay between 8 and 20 eggs (roughly 60 X 25 mm in size) in midsummer (December–January), in a hole or an abandoned termite mound or some other warm, wet location.The hatchlings measure between 34 and 40 centimetres (13 and 16 in) in length and are completely independent from birth.

In one captive study, mating occurred in the month of September and oviposition in November. Gestation period was approximately 42 days and the incubation period was 65–70 days at about 28-33°C (82.4-91.4°F). Clutch size was 11-14 (n=2) and hatchling ratio was one male to five females.

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:24 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

It is not often that I have seen barn owls during the day so it was a good sighting for us.

Barn Owl

Barn Owls eat mainly small mammals like voles, shrews and mice. Prey is often swallowed whole and indigestible parts are then regurgitated (coughed up) in the form of an owl pellet. Barn Owls do not hoot - they screech.

Barn Owls have remarkably long legs, toes and talons enabling them to catch prey hidden at the base of deep vegetation. When viewed from above Barn Owls are quite well camouflaged, as the rough grassland over which they usually hunt is predominantly light brown for most of the year. When viewed from below their white under sides are hard to see against the light of the sky.

Barn Owls hunt at night, and although they have very good eyesight, they rely mostly on their sense of hearing. Researchers found that in total blackness Barn Owls are still able to find the smallest of prey because of their excellent hearing.

Owl ears are located one higher than the other, which helps them to pinpoint tiny sounds. During flight, the left ear captures sounds below while the right ear focuses on sounds from above. The feathers on the edge of the Barn Owls' face create a disc, which works to trap and focus sound, rather like our outer ears. On average a wild Barn Owl eats about 4 small mammals per night, that's 1,460 per year!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:19 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

We departed and headed over the dune road towards to the Auob river bed to complete the triangle drive back to KK. It was no real surprise when we ran into the cheetahs as they have been active the few days we have been here. What was a nice surprise was that they had killed a springbok had eaten what was required and moved on. The remaining part of the springbok was still substantial which raised a few questions in our mind regarding do cheetahs only eat fresh or would they come back and eat the balance of the springbok.

We left the kill and continued down the road and it was a surprise to us that instead of the usual 3 and 1 cheetah we had all 4 cheetah together. They were on the other side of the riverbank under a tree in the shade as per normal so we did not spend too much time there as it was now the middle of the day and boiling hot.

just before camp we spotted movement in the dune about 1 km from camp and where surprised to see an AWC on the move in the middle of the day.

We eventually reached our chalet and before we managed to get in willem nicely told us we missed the giraffe and this was quite frustrating as we had not seen one yet.

He then further surprised us by telling and showing us that the barn owls had moved from no2 and was visiting us in no3. This was a great surprise. After unpacking a few things we had chicken and salad for lunch and then showered and had a rest for 2 hours.

Snake - ID help please!

Image

Fork Tailed Dronga

Diet: Fork-tailed drongos feed on flying as well as crawling insects, spiders, scorpions, and other crawling animals, and also on small birds, and they dive into water for fish.

Reproduction (Breeding): The female lays three spotted or plain eggs, whitish to pinkish in colour, and the incubation period is about 17 days. The chicks take another 18 days before they reach flying age.

Image

spotted thick knee dikkop

•Monogamous, usually territorial solitary nester, although it occasionally forms loose colonies. It often rears two or even three broods in a single breeding season.

•The nest (see images below) is a shallow scrape in the ground, sometimes unlined but usually with a lining of a few twigs, animal droppings, leaves or stone chips. It is usually located in grassland, either out in the open or partially concealed beneath a bush

Image

Image

AWC

SOCIAL HABITS: Being nocturnal and shy, African Wild Cats are seldom seen during the day. They are difficult to tame, and can become poultry thieves.

HABITAT: Semi-desert to forest and from sea level up to about 1 600 m. Cover includes rocks, bushes, tall grasses, crops and disused Aardvark or Spring Hare burrows.

FOOD / FEEDING HABITS: Small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects are their main prey.

REPRODUCTION & GESTATION PERIOD: Generally African Wild Cats have a litter of 3 kittens after a gestation period of about 56 days.

ENEMIES: Adults could be killed in fights and by other predators, while eagles and pythons are a danger to the kittens.

Image

Image

KK Camp

Image

Surprise at our unit

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:34 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

The routine by now was starting to get established and were up at around about 3.30pm to organise a few things for our drive at 4pm. As the duration of the afternoon drive and a maximum of 3 hours and decided the Auob riverbed would be our best option. We continued south towards TR and saw the cheetahs and the kill but decided to move on and look for other things along the road.

This decision worked out very nicely as we ran into one lonely and very active meerkat (our first of the trip) who entertained us for at least 30 minutes. He really gave us the run around by making us drive forward and backward and any other way you can think of as he was running around searching for his dinner. After this we continued north to houmoed waterhole where we decided to turn around and start the slow drive back to camp.

When we arrived at the cheetahs they had moved from the far bank of the river to the road. We sat there for about 45 minutes watching the interaction between the 4 cats and the bond they had between them. As we reached Kamfersboom waterhole we luckily ran into the Willems giraffe which made us extremely happy even though the light by now was extremely poor due to cloud cover but hopefully we will see further giraffe as we move up towards Mata Mata in the next few days.

Meerkat

Meerkat groups utilize several different burrows and move from one to another. Each burrow is an extensive tunnel-and-room system that remains cool even under the broiling African sun. Females give birth to two to four young each year in one of the group's burrows. Fathers and siblings help to raise meerkat young, teaching them to play and forage and alerting them to the ever present danger from above. Young meerkats are so fearful of predatory birds that even airplanes will send them diving for cover.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:07 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

Meerkats

Meerkats live up to about 10 to 14 years or more. They suffer from poor vision at short range though they have excellent long range eyesight.

When a colony gets overcrowded the meerkats typically disperse and form smaller groups to ensure that there will be enough food for all.

A meerkat will at some point kill its subordinates as a way to improve the position of their own offspring. On occasion they will also take part in wrestling matches and other social activities.

Meerkats can dig up dirt that is almost their body weight. They can look directly into the sun and signal with their tails which are also used to balance. They open or close their ears to keep sand out when burrowing and blink often to remove dirt from their eyes.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:40 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

We were now 12 km’s from camp so it was time to continue on our drive and we saw lionspoon at Auchterlonie who had ran into a pair of leopards. Unfortunately for us we did not see them flash their lights (maybe we were not paying attention) therefore we continued our drive to camp missing this opportunity.

We arrived safely back at camp at 6.50pm completed the unpacking ritual and went to check to see if our barn owls were still there. Sadly their brief visit to our home had come to an end and we suspect they were already out hunting. As we got into the unit it was nice to see the waterhole repair and filling process was now complete and the dirty green water had completely dried up.

As I type this part of the trip report we are busy organising dinner tonight which we have elected to snack on samosas, meatballs, spring roll which will be a change for us as we have no reason to light a fire guess that is not going to stop us though need to light one for atmosphere.

I have given up for now trying to do the star trails as it is getting a little frustrating and also and there is significant cloud cover which would negatively impact the results. We eventually after a very pleasant day and got into bed for a very well deserved nights rest at 9.30pm.

Tawny Eagle

The tawny eagle’s breeding season varies according to location, but most commonly occurs in the dry season. Courtship consists of aerial displays, during which this normally silent species makes a series of noisy croaks and grunts. After mating, a large, flat nest is constructed from sticks lined with grass and leaves, usually at the top of a thorny tree or very occasionally on a power pylon. A clutch of two eggs is laid, which hatch after around 39 to 44 days. During the early stages of the 77 to 84 day fledging period, while the chicks are still small, the eldest chick may kill the younger sibling. A single nest may be used repeatedly for many years, so long as the crown of the tree remains unaltered. Tawny eagles have a relatively long lifespan, reaching up to 16 years.

Image

Cheetah

Cubs are born with a mantle of fur running from the back of the neck down to the rump. This clever disguise aids in camouflaging the kittens in the high grass while they are following their mother. This mane like feature begins to disappear at the age of 3 months, but still remains visible at 2 years of age. The fur colour of a new born cub is medium grey, which gradually evolves into the adult colours by the age of 4 months.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:37 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

KK night shoots.

Image

Image

Image

Image

KK during the day.

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:33 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 15 - 17th October

This morning we got up the usual time of 5am and once again all the power went out 5.10am so our packing process was slightly difficult and took longer than expected therefore we only departed at 6.15am. After collecting our permit and saying our goodbye to Willem we had quick look for the African wildcat and barn owls without success.

We then hit the road and went on our short drive from KK to TR where we will be spending the next night in order for us to recharge the laptop and light. We also wanted to give the fridge a boost by having it plugged into 240v.

We turned left at the t junction towards Auchterlonie and arrived there fairly early as this stretch of road produced no sightings. Once reaching Auchterlonie this completely changed the first sighting was of 2 leopards which we identified as Auchterlonie and Warona. They proceeded to entertain us regarding hide and seek for nearly 2 hours it was actually quite exhausting and extremely difficult as the sun had now risen and light conditions very harsh.

Just as we thought we would not see them for the rest of the day as they went into holes. We were just about to move on when Warona decided to come back out and explore. We followed her around in different directions for a while before departing towards Kamfersboom for some well needed breakfast. It was nice to see the leopards interacting with each other and the cub now growing into a rather beautiful animal.

Leopard

Leopards tend to have two or three cubs per gestation. Mothers refrain from wandering their territories after giving birth until their young are capable to come with them. Cubs suckle for around 3 months and are kept hidden for about the first 8 weeks to protect them from predators.

By the time a cub is two years old it will leave the company of its mother and live on their own.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:27 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 15 - 17th October - Continued

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:32 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 15 - 17th October - Continued

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 102 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Cape of Storms, Kaapsedraai and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by stu at 13:40:09 Submitted by Aristocat at 21:34:19 Submitted by Stampajane at 14:57:05 Submitted by Philwarpy at 08:59:14