October 2017

In line with current eco-trends and aiming for a 'greener' lifestyle The Raptor is an e-newsletter - it does not conform to traditional page sizes and is not designed to be printed.

The Raptor is what YOU make it so please do keep sending all the sightings and information through and whilst we are always very grateful for all submissions PLEASE edit your files sizes - receiving 10 photo files of 9MB each tends to make both us and our computer steam...a 2MB file size would make our office a much happier place.
If you are unable to reduce file sizes we will gladly collect them from the RV office on a memory stick.

An interesting issue with many kills reported - by Leopard, Wild Dog, Hyena and Grey-headed Bushshrikes; plus the gentler side of nature with Wild Dog puppies, baby Nyala and Duiker and joy at the recent rains.
computer crash

In This Issue
Look Alike Birds & Night Birds Bushveld bird ID course
The Amazing Circle of Life The aftermath of a Kudu kill ...
People & Nature Wild Dog abandons kill
An Interesting and Sad Find Giraffe twins aborted
Interesting Sightings Observations from our residents
Photo Gallery Great results from our photographers

Bushveld Bird ID Course
bird id
Ashy Flycatcher vs Grey Tit-flycatcher
Date: Saturday 28 October 2017
Venue: Southern Cross School Resource Centre
Time: 09.00 - 12.00 Bird Identification Course

This two-part audio-visual presentation by Derek Solomon focuses first on “Look-Alike Birds” and how to tell them apart; highlighting the most important identifying points to use when spotting birds that are easily confused with other similar species.

After a short tea break, part 2 looks at Night Birds – owls and nightjars including their calls, which are particularly important in identification of this group of birds.
Notes: Please bring your own tea/coffee basket.
The course will start promptly at 09h00.
Don’t forget your field guide, notebook and pen!
Please RSVP to info@kuyimba.com so that we can ensure sufficient desks & chairs.

Kuku Kill Aftermath - Arthur McKechnie, RV307
An adult kudu cow was taken by a leopard in the forecourt of RV307 in the early hours of Monday 4th September. The leopard apparently dragged the carcass around the garage and started feeding on it next to the outside shower of the main bedroom. The ‘whooo-hoop” of a hyena was heard close to the house, at about 00h45, and may be the reason for the disappearance of the leopard, with little of the carcass being eaten. This photo was taken later in the morning. kudu kill

Dirk and his team removed the carcass on Monday afternoon and deposited it on the other side of the drainage line, west of RV307 (thankfully, downwind). With the puncture wounds evident to the throat of the kudu, Dirk confirmed that a leopard was the predator. A camera trap, set up next to the carcass, recorded the following visitations during the night:
kudu kill kudu kill
kudu kill kudu kill

A vortex of White-backed Vultures, together with a few Hooded Vultures arrived soon after 08h00 on Tuesday. Soon to be joined by a Black-backed Jackal, although quickly dispatched by the vultures.

The carcass was practically devoured within four hours; and that night and the early hours of Wednesday morning the carcass was again visited by Civet, Hyena and interestingly the seldom seen Bushpig.
kudu kill
kudu kill
kudu kill

Wild Dog Abandons her Kill - Cat Earnshaw, RV236
wild dog kill In the late afternoon of 17 September the white tailed female Wild Dog killed a female Kudu against our pool wall - she is an amazing little animal and this is the second kill on our property she has made on her own – the first was an Impala.

The sad thing is that people were walking down the riverbed at the time and on hearing the drama they followed the sounds through the bush to see if they could find the cause and they scared her off so she abandoned the Kudu – she did not eat any of it. Fortunately it did not go to waste, as the first Hyena arrived about 10min after she made the kill. We have had plenty of Hyena activity and they were here most of the night and early the next morning.
A reminder to residents to please give our wildlife the space and respect it deserves and to be an observer and not a participant in what transpires. Eds

Giraffe Twins Aborted - Werner Groenewald & Marianne van der Merwe, RV189
Although on neighbouring Khaya Ndlovu, this sighting is so interesting it needs to be shared - Eds.

On 10 August we were on a game drive when we spotted some vultures flying around; we stopped and saw them going into the bush not far from where we were and followed... where we discovered the Giraffe twins aborted by the mother. It could only have just happened because they were not cold yet, and the mother Giraffe was nearby watching us - not displaying any aggression.

We went back late in the afternoon to see what had happened since, they were still lying there and nothing had touched them. The next day they were still there; 2 days later the two bodies were lying apart and the inside of the bodies were eaten, but the rest was left. It was sad to see and the mother stayed around for the two days and then was gone.

A comment from a wildlife researcher was that, as with equids, Giraffes do occasionally carry twins, but they almost never make it to term. This is mainly because there is not enough space in the uterus for both of them as they grow. So finding such aborted twins is the only way to really quantify how often this happens. Eds

photo 10 August
photo 11 August

Interesting Sightings on the Estate
kudu pool
After a trip away, we were surprised on our return home to find our pool cover on one side on the patio, and torn to shreds. Looking at the camera trap the evidence was clear! From further images it appears the Hyena grew tired of waiting for a meal and eventually left the scene and the Kudu made her escape. Chris Gregory, RV221

hyena hyena
This Hyena killed an Impala next to our house in mid-August. Eventually cooling off in our little water hole after its meal. Tienie Myburgh, RV199

A Black Mamba spotted on the Lion Trail on 11 October by Charlie Scaife (Aged 5), RV16

duiker duiker
This tiny just-born Duiker was spotted in the early morning of 27 August - what a special sighting!
Richard & Simone Braun, RV255

wild dog kill wild dog kill
wild dog kill
A Nyala killed by Wild Dogs on 31 August at 08h00 in the driveway of RV275. With thanks to both Warren Cary, RV287 and Thinus & Esme Potgieter, RV266 for the photos.

owl eggs
It was with much pleasure that we reported our Spotted Eagle Owls were back nesting for a second year. The first egg was laid on 1 September and the owl was incubating 2 eggs from 3 September; we watched with anticipation (and even co-opted friends to monitor progress whilst we were away), and were thrilled to see 3 eggs on our return on 1 October. The next day, with the first egg within days of hatching, we heard a commotion of hissing and growling - only to see a large male baboon making off with all 3 eggs! We are currently finding it hard to have any warm feeling toward our primate visitors & residents! Derek & Sarah Solomon, RV254

osprey dam
Osprey Dam after the recent October rains. Simone Braun, RV255

A new born Nyala left safely hidden against our house whilst her mother is away feeding for the day. Simone Braun, RV255
Giraffe are amazing - we could not resist taking photos of six Giraffe having a relaxed time together (only fitting 4 in the frame at a time!). Ivan & Margaret Vuuren, RV47

baboon spider
A great find by our youngest contributor - a Baboon Spider paralysed by a wasp on the Lion Trail on 11 October. Charlie Scaife (Aged 5), RV16

A really great find - a Genet sleeping curled up in a Knobthorn tree. Simone Braun, RV255
Brilliant camouflage from this Foam Nest Frog.
Maryke & Gerhard Redecker, RV100

wild dog
We were delighted to see the nine Wild Dog puppies on 18 September at the top of our driveway (Little Sparrowhawk). Obviously still growing into their ears! Keith & Penny Hartshorne, RV298

In mid-September a pair of Grey-headed Bushshrikes pecked a hapless Twig Snake to death on our door step. It was brutal but fascinating to watch none-the-less. Warrick Lee, RV196

Photo Gallery
spotted eagle owl
Spotted Eagle Owl - Mark Lotwis, RV212

nyala bull
A Nyala bull displaying in our driveway. Thinus & Esme Potgieter, RV266

Giant Plated Lizard. John Quirk, RV272

Arrow-marked Babbler
Arrow-marked Babbler
Thinus & Esme Potgieter, RV266
Crested Barbet
Crested Barbet
Thinus & Esme Potgieter, RV266

Please send your notes and photos to the editors (Derek & Sarah Solomon) on info@kuyimba.com