Saturday, 27 September 2014

MANUHA: Part One!


When we arrived at Manuha, there were lots of dogs running around for the first night, until the owners left the next day. My favourite was a Beagle. He was adorable, playful and a little soppy.

Meercat Colony

On our first walk, we saw a meercat colony. There's only one meercat colony on the reserve, however there are three burrow systems. Meercats are very clean and very territorial and so when ground squirrels move in their burrow (bringing external parasites with them), the meercats move off to another burrow. The squirrels will eventually follow. When they do, the meercats will then move on to another burrow system.


We couldn't believe our luck when we stumbled upon 6 giraffes almost straight away into our first walk. We were extremely close to them, the trick is to move around them  slowly getting closer and not moving directly towards them. An easy way to distinguish between males and females is that bulls (males), normally have very little/no hair between their horns on their head. This is usually worn away from fighting.

Above: A Juvenile Giraffe checking us out.

Small-Spotted Genet Tracks

These tracks were made by a small-spotted genet. The track is very circular and small, usually being easy to ID because you can usually cover the track with a single finger.

Gemsbok, Kudu and Sable Antelope

Below is a gemsbok.

An antelope that I loved seeing was Greater Kudu. Kudu are brilliant antelopes. we usually saw small herds or bachelor herds. I love the way the males horns spiral round above their big ears.

Sable are a lot of peoples favourites. The males are black, whereas the females are more brown. They have beautiful  curved horns and they move very gracefully. 

These photos were taken of bachelor herds.  Males will often travel together away from a breeding herd of females and they're young which will usually be driven by an alpha male.  When the males of the breeding herd reach a certain age they will leave that herd and form new bachelor herds until they're older and begin to establish and defend a territory of their own.

Mist netting

We put up more mist nets and caught a lot more birds than we did in the Karoo.

This is a Red-Eyed Bulbul. We caught A LOT of these!  They would often drink from a tap that was dripping in front of where we set up a mist net and so was common for them to fly into it.

Another bird we caught was a Speckled Mouse Bird (below). We saw probably, hundreds of these birds, however this was the only one we caught. Many of the flew into the net, but managed just simply fly out of it. This bird is grey and has a crest and although the name may suggest that it may have speckled, it has none at all.

When the next bird flew into the net, the person getting it out wasnt best pleased and let out a few bad words. This is an Acaia Pied Barbet and can b nasty if it wants to nibble you. 

As the picture below shows nicely, its beak is sharp and can easily draw blood (and it did).

Below was another that I liked; a Cape Robin-Chat.

No comments:

Post a Comment