Bird watching has been fantastic in July and most birds have been converging at crossings that are quickly drying up. These birds have really found a source of living as they pick up some of the small and big fish. For bird watchers, this has been a good chance to be here and also the fact that most trees have started shading off leaves and grass becoming shorter, some birds have been presented with an easy task to feed on grass seeds, insects (which become easy to pick). The common and colourful lilac breasted roller, pied king fisher, fish eagle and malachite kingfisher have been spotted on several occasions in action. The raptors have also taken the chance to pounce on the other birds and really bird watching has been so interesting. The water level in our area is very low by our standard and time of the year and this has seen most wildlife adapting to new ways of living at this time. Hippos have found most pools drying up and they have been forced into deeper channels, this has created fights over territories. Recently we have seen more fights and injuries to most hippos. This has also contributed to good viewing of hippos as most of them are seen outside the water during day time as they will be avoiding other war mongering hippos from the pools and deep waters. Besides using the boat, one can actually watch hippos outside the water from the comfort of our vehicles and at very close range.
A large number of Red lechwe also roam around python island, to the south west of the camp and are always seen drinking water at crossings deep enough to harbour big crocodiles. Crocodiles waylay these antelopes especially at drinking spots or crossings and make very good kills. There have been times when crocodiles have been seen basking in the sun as it has started warming up. At times they will be very close to these antelopes that one would think they are not enemies. Lions, which have been spotted on average daily, also compete with crocodiles for these antelopes. Otherwise their most wanted and liked prey is buffalo which has fallen victim to these lions on several occasions during the time under review. The only pride (Tsaro) that has been ruling the roost for the past fifteen months or so, has not disappointed those who like to see kills as they have been seen active, hunting buffaloes, lechwes and warthogs each and every time they have been spotted. In most cases they have managed to bring food to the table. There was a day when these lions killed a baby warthog during a commotion between these lions and a big herd of buffaloes. Two lions had to feed on the baby warthog quickly as the other four continued trying to bring down a bigger meal. The mission did not bear any fruit as the buffaloes took the battle back to the lions and the cats had to run as fast as their legs could carry them. They are the king of the jungle though. These lions have been seen on several times crossing very deep channels that are infested with big crocodiles in pursuit of the black antelope.
Other game that has been seen regularly are big herd of elephants, greater kudu, tshessebe, reed buck, pangolin around hammer kop island, baboons, vevet monkey, water monitor lizard, side striped jackal and lots more. It has been interesting to watch elephants swim across deep channels and at times young ones holding onto the tails of their mothers to sustain momentum and avoid crocodiles or being swept away by the slow current. It is really magical to witness some of the interaction by the wide range of species found around Duba Plains.
Compiled by Martin Mathumo
All pictures by Martin Mathumo
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 at 6:25 pm
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.