The week-end rush
Going through the pictures and videos, it looks like we had a busy week-end. One of the many pictures which I enjoyed was of the Saddlebilled Stork at NK which actually ended up catching a frog!!!- live kill on Africam!!!!!
They are on the RDB list as a rare bird, so any sighting of them is cool. They are also known to be shy and wary, so this lengthy visit is fantastic. On the photo you are able to see quite clearly the yellow saddle on the bill with the red on either side. In the breeding season most storks assume brighter plumage colours and the bill, legs and soft parts also brighten in some species. The Saddlebill which maintains a pair bond throughout the year, shows no colour changes whereas species such as the Yellow-billed Stork and Marabou, which don’t remain paired, have impressive breeding colours.
A Hamerkop landed in the waterhole at EP.
This bird is a taxonomic enigma that has been variously linked to herons, the Shoebill, storks and shorebirds. It builds one of the craziest nests. The base is constructed with materials such as sticks, reeds and grass piled into an inverted pyramid with a hollow on top. From this base the walls are built up with sticks laid horizontally. Then the roofing sticks are added, some placed vertically leaning inwards while others are interlaced horizontally. Once a solid network of sticks is in place, the real fun begins and the birds then complete the roof with any material they find; a bicycle tube has been found in one. The completed roof can be over 1 metre thick and easily supports the weight of a heavy man!!!
There were also two great pictures of a Waterbuck at NK. On the second photo you can clearly see the marking of the white ring around the rump.
Waterbuck have sebaceous glands which are able to produce large quantities of sebum which help to “waterproof” their coat and it has a very strong musky smell.
There were also some great videos taken over the week-end. One of them was of a Civet at NK. The civet is not a cat! It is in the family Viverridae- Civets, Genets and Mongooses. In some areas civets eat large quantities of millipedes, which most animals avoid. It also eats other types of insects, rodents, fruit, birds, reptiles,frogs, fish, invertebrates and carrion. It scent marks frequently by wiping the anal gland onto smooth objects. The marks have a rank odour which can last for up to 3 months. The anal gland secretion used to be used as a fixitive in perfumes.
Another cool video was of the White Rhino drinking at EP. You get a perfect view of the size of their nostrils- their nasal passages are bigger than their brains; they have an acute sense of smell. If you are tracking them on foot, make sure you are down wind or they will know you are there way before you see them!!!
Here is the url for the front page where you can watch the videos:
Thank-you to everyone for the pictures and videos.
Cheers for now