October 2015

The Raptor is what YOU make it so please do keep sending all the sightings and information through.
In line with current eco-trends and aiming for a 'greener' lifestyle this is an e-newsletter - it does not conform to traditional page sizes and is not designed to be printed.

In This Issue
Early Summer Breeders The Weavers are Back
In Bloom The Summer Flowers are Out
New Arrival A Nyala Birth
Game Drives Enjoying RV - Lodge Style!
Interesting Sightings Observations from our residents
Photo Gallery Great results from our photographers
A Final Word Beautiful RV Night Sky

Lesser Masked Weavers - D & S Solomon, RV254
weaver weaver

The Lesser Masked Weavers are back building their nests in the large Knobthorn at our entrance gate. This year many of them are simply adding to the old nests, in one case creating an impressive triple story. Now we wait for egg laying time with the cuckoos arriving to parasitise some of the nests - and a chance for more photos!

Summer Flowers - D & S Solomon, RV254

With the start of summer most of the trees on the estate are already in flower. The very common Red Bushwillows are already losing their delicate yellow flowers whilst the Sickle Bush is just in bloom. Knobbly Climbing Bushwillows are showing off their spectacular white blooms with orange tips including a few around the car park next to Osprey Dam, and at least one Star Chestnut already had produced seedpods. It is well worthwhile going onto the Flora of Raptors View Facebook site run by Joel Roering to keep up to date with the many flowering plants that occur on the estate.
knobbly comretum star chestnut
Knobbly Climbing Bushwillow
Star Chestnut

Bushwillow sickle bush
Red Bushwillow
Sickle Bush

Nyala Birth - Jon & Penny Williams, RV310
We're sure residents will be as delighted as we were to see a new addition to the RV community. We think the Nyala was born on/around 22 May at RV310 and he kept close to our property, sleeping in a leafy nest by our outside shower wall which was perfectly located for protection and screening from views (except from our bedroom window!). He showed no nerves at our presence and became an instant distraction for us.

nyala nyala
nyala nyala

Exploring the Estate - Lodge Style! Joan Arnestad, RV230

I was fortunate to join two of the 'behind the scenes' tours of the estate organised during May and June this year. This is a great initiative - showing residents parts of the estate that they may not normally be familiar with and the work being done there.

We met at Osprey Dam mid afternoon, climbed aboard the game viewer vehicle and were off. We were shown the various on-going bush clearing projects; and leopard tracks were pointed out as well as the place close to our fence where the Wild Dogs were denning on the adjoining estate.

It is strange how the mountains seem to change when seen from different parts of the farm. The views from the southern section
are truly amazing! Unless one walks or cycles extensively, many owners do not cover many areas on the estate and these tours are a great opportunity to rectify that. We ended up having sundowners in a lovely open area near a large knobthorn tree. Drinks (our own) and snacks served lodge style it felt rather like being on a special safari!

drive drive

I would like to thanks Byron, Tinus and Hugh Marshall for putting these drives together and would strongly recommend the experience to anyone living on Raptor's View as it gives a completely different perspective to life on the estate.


Interesting Sightings on the Estate
giraffe giraffe
giraffe giraffe
Taken earlier this month - two giraffe bulls necking, trying to establish dominance hierarchy.
Arthur McKechnie,RV307

nightjar New Bird Record for the Estate.
Early morning on the 10th October I heard a Rufous-cheeked Nightjar calling outside my house. It is an intra-African migrant arriving in the country from August onwards and favouring mopane woodland over our woodland type and is more common towards the west and north. It is regarded as a fairly uncommon migrant into Kruger National Park with a patchy distribution.
Jeremy Brown, RV192

Photo - Lee Gutteridge

This is an exciting new record for the estate - Eds.

harrier hawk harrier hawk
Juvenile African Harrier Hawk (previously Gymnogene). Reimar & Heidel Hiestermann, RV101

ardvaark snake
Aardvark seen on Bateleur at 17.30 Sunday 19th July. Tina Rennie & Wayne Dickinson, RV278
Cape Wolf Snake
Hugh Preston, RV288

nyala Gentle Nyalas
This dear Nyala couple had brought a newborn into my yard about 3 days earlier. On this day they had clearly stashed the youngster and were quietly browsing. In spite of encouragement from her mate to keep traveling, the new mother needed a rest. For a while he made 'come on' gestures, then gently laid his head on her flank as if saying 'I understand.' He stayed like this for quite a while before returning to browsing. Shortly after, she joined him and they wandered on their way.
Joy Fosster, RV241
A charming anthropomorphic tale but I would suggest she is coming into oestrus but not quite ready hence lying down to keep the male at bay not an uncommon behavior - Eds

cheetah cheetah
Although technically not on RV these 2 cheetah were spotted mid afternoon on 21 July (from our house) at the northern traverse gate into Khaya Ndlovu.
Mirjam Deurloo, RV119

honey badger civet
Honey Badger. Mirjam Deurloo, RV119
Civet. Mirjam Deurloo, RV119

White-tailed Mongoose. Mirjam Deurloo, RV119

genet BH snake
Large-spotted Genet. Mirjam Deurloo, RV119
Brown House Snake. Hugh Preston, RV288

Photo Gallery
guineafowl sunbird
Helmeted Guineafowl - Jof McLean, RV163
Greater Double-collared Sunbird - Jof McLean, RV163

oriole giraffe
Eurasian Golden Oriole - David Fitzhugh, RV154
Young Giraffe - Thomas Muller, RV175

African Goshawk (Juvenile), Glenda Sparkes, RV195

zebra flycatcher
Zebra - Hilton Greef, RV148
Ashy Flycatcher, Mirjam Deurloo, RV119

weaver Paradise flycatcher
Red-headed Weaver (NB) David Fitzhugh, RV154
Paradise Flycatcher - David Fitzhugh, RV154

Diederik Cuckoo, David Fitzhugh, RV154

Spotted Eagle Owl Apalis
Spotted Eagle Owl - Derek Solomon, RV254
Yellow-breasted Apalis - Derek Solomon, RV254

RV's Beautiful Night Sky

My son, Jaco Steyn, visited us in August and spent time photographing the night sky. This shot taken over Osprey Dam is created from more than 400 photos at 30 second intervals and stitched together to form this spectacular star circle.
Hennie Steyn, RV188