Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

November 29, 2010

More rain…

Filed under: 2010,November — Hennie van Heerden @ 1:44 pm

 It was raining cats and dogs when we went out in the morning but at least we did go out. Only to be flushed back into camp about an hour later, after having found out that the provided raincapes only held the rain off of your skin for about 10 minutes before they started seeping through. The rows behind the front seats are benches and a bit convex so the water just drips off. The 2 front seats however are a bit hollow resulting in both Matt and me sitting in a puddle of water, which grew deeper by the minute.  Ok, I hate to admit it but we gave up. After a nice warm shower and a warm hearty breakfast we all felt better again.

I passed the time, waiting for the rain to stop, photographing the Glossy Starlings on the deck of Main Camp, that checked if there still was something edible under the tables.

But it looked like clearing up and Mala Mala is flexible. So lunch was served a bit earlier and pretty soon after it was dry. So out we went. Close to camp we found a big male Cheetah lying around quite listlessly. Guess he had been in a puddle all morning as well 🙂
But as we stood there another sound caught our attention. It was the frantic flapping of wings and we looked around if we could find what was going on. The sound came from a Night Jar; a bird you normally only see at night in your headlights. The birds seem real Kamikaze pilots as they only fly up when you are almost on top of them. But now he was acting strangely and it seemed injured. It went about flapping and dragging its wings on the ground.  Many birds try to lure predators away from their nests  by acting lame and injured, hoping to lure the enemy’s attention on to themselves and away from the vulnurable eggs or chicks. We recognized the behaviour and realized that, unintentionally of course, we had come too close to the poor birds nest. So while we were retreating, I quickly shot a few pictures as this was probably my only chance of photographing a Night Jar in daylight!!

As we went on, we found the 2 lionesses of the Styx pride, looking hungry. And my handsome favorite leopard the Bicycle Crossing Male was looking quite grumpy too 🙂
Only the Waterbucks and the Hippo seemed happy ..

Ah well, the rain is good for the land..

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