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The Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a well known terrestrial raptor, easily identified by its unusually long bare legs, long tail and unique gait that it has. It is thought to derive its common name from the long quill-like feathers on its head crest, giving the impression of (in days gone by) an office secretary sporting quill pens stowed behind one’s ear, which is another distinguishing characteristic.
The Shepherd’s tree (Boscia albitrunca) is an easy tree to identify on your travels around the Reserve, especially in the northern reaches of Buffelsbed and Sibon. In Afrikaans it is known as Witgat and in Venda as Muvhombwe.
Thank you to Chris and Auriel Thorpe in Bungalow # 197 for sharing the fascinating world of the Southern White- Crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus anguitimens) and Black Cuckoo-Shrike (Campephaga flava) with us. The images are fantastic, with thrilling observations.
The Sjambok pod (Cassia abbreviata) is a deciduous tree that is easily identified through its exceptionally long tail like seedpods. An alternate common name is the Long-tail Cassia. In Afrikaans it is known as the Sambokpeul and in Tsonga as Numanyama.
They are small brown grey spiders with dark facial markings. Females are larger than males.
An outstanding feature in the Ingwelala landscape during March was the Golden Orb spider. There were literally hundreds of them, everywhere, spinning and safe guarding their webs and generally going about their spider business.
Bungalow # 167 reported an interesting sighting during September, namely a Springhare (Pedetes capensis). I can not confidently recall many sightings in the Reception register in the three years I have worked at Ingwelala.