Latest Sightings

February sightings, wildlife monitoring and interesting research projects.`

 

Sightings of the month

Sightings of the Month Thank you to all who recorded their sightings in the book this month! We had 74 recorded sightings, with an average of 2.5 per day. The number of sightings of some species is below:

The overall number of sightings was less than in the previous 2 months, but this is expected with the lower number of game viewers active on the reserve. There was still a nice diversity of species recorded though, with some highlights being:

  • An incredibly rare and special sighting of a flock of about 30 flamingos as they flew over Argyle towards Buffelsbed. Both Greater and Lesser Flamingos have been recorded in the general area historically, but this is an extreme rarity on Ingwelala!
  • There were multiple Southern Ground-hornbill sightings, including an active nest site with a chick in the nest (estimated 60 days old).
  • Other birding highlights for the month: Greater Painted Snipe, Kori Bustard, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Bateleur and Yellow-bellied Greenbul.
  • One leopard highlight stood out, as it was spotted while following a pack of wild dogs. The dogs ran straight past it, and neither the leopard nor the dogs seemed perturbed by the meeting.
  • A large Brown House Snake was spotted at reception and safely relocated into the bush by Ruan du Preez. A Mozambique Spitting Cobra was found in the mattress house at Beacon Boma by Members, and safely relocated by Josh Hibbett. Please be cautious when opening.
  • General species recorded throughout the month: Lion, Leopard, Wild Dog, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Vervet Monkey, Chacma Baboon, Nyala, Kudu, Bushbuck, Impala, Steenbok, Klipspringer, Spotted Hyena, Tree Squirrel, Dwarf Mongoose, Banded Mongoose.

 

Camera Traps

As usual, our camera trap research continued as planned. This month, we wanted to share some of the cute, unusual, rare, and laughable moments. Here are some of those moments (stills captured from videos):

Energetic Warthog family
Bushbuck ram on a stroll
Genet on patrol
Spurfowl Fight Club
Bat Bombardment
Baby Baboon smackdown

Southern Ground-Hornbill Research

With the discovery of a natural, active nest on Ingwelala, the Conservation Team got the incredible opportunity to assist the APNR Ground-Hornbill Project with vital data collection and the ringing of the resident Southern Ground-Hornbill chick.

Data collected included tail feather, wing feather, overall wing and beak measurements, ageing and sexing of the chick, and ringing it using a metal tag attached around the leg with a unique identifier. This data is used to contribute to our understanding and protection of this vulnerable species, specifically when it comes to understanding growth rates and the development of the chicks and their movements. Thank you to Carrie and Sam for coming out to get it all done, and for including us in the process - it was an absolute treat and a new experience for all of us.

Please note that extreme care is taken when approaching the nest and handling the chick, and all precautions are taken during data collection to keep the chick safe, comfortable, and calm. The chick was safely returned to the nest within a few minutes. No adults were disturbed.

 

 

Spider Cricket

This is one of the rarest cricket species in the country, and certainly a special sight for us at Ingwelala.

“Spider Crickets” (Phaeophilacris spp., subfamily Phalongopsidae) look very similar to Camel Crickets. This female was spotted by Paul Marsh - ID confirmed by a cricket expert in the country.

Thanks to Paul for sharing this image with us - let’s hope we find more of this special species here in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words by Tess Woollgar, images courtesy of Tess Woollgar, Josh Hibbett, Paul Marsh, Eyewave & Tariq Sulemani Via Canva

 


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