June 2020 - part 2

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.

This is a VERY full issue - so it has been spilt into part 1 & part 2.
Many thanks to residents for all the great contributions to this newsletter!
Keep them coming.

In This Issue - Part 2
Interesting Sightings Observations from our residents
Photo Gallery Great results from our photographers

Interesting Sightings on the Estate
Cane Rat
A very exciting new record for the estate - Greater Cane Rat Thryonomys swinderianus (with young!)
Plus a record of Acacia Rat or Tree Rat Thallomys paedulcus to be added to the RV mammal list.
JoŽl Roerig

Another great record is this melanistic form of the White-tailed Mongoose - see the camera trap video HERE
Steve Benbow

Two wild dog killed a large impala ram next to my driveway in December; they only took the hind quarters and internal organs so a fair amount was left over. I installed the camera trap that afternoon near the carcass. A leopard and hyaena intimidated each other for hours and the leopard took first turn, the hyaena eventually took all the leftovers. Thinus Potgieter.

Puffadder Blind Snake
Puffadder - Susan Hansen
Schlegelís Beaked Blind Snake - Janine Scorer

Wild Dog
Wild Dog, February 2020 - Marion Stroeve

Camera trap photos from January 2020 - aardvark, hyaena and a porcupine family. Jeremy Bolton
Great to see what is out and about and when - Eds.

Interesting hyaena and porcupine interaction on our camera trap from late January 2020; a hyaena was drinking when a porcupine arrived and chased him/her off and drank. The hyaena returned when the coast was clear.
Renť Koopman & Tanja van Uffelen
porcupine hyena

More great camera trap captures from Jon & Penny Williams. The hyaena have been regular day and nigh time visitors in late December and January, the magnificent leopard was seen on 26 January. The wild dog and kudu both in the riverbed just south of RV310.
kudu wild dog

The Pienaar family spent lockdown on several amazing projects - keeping themselves busy, entertained and learning in the process. They identified 27 mammals from the tracks and signs on their plot - Warthog, Nyala, human, Lesser Bushbaby, Common Duiker, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Hyaena, Vervet Monkey, Porcupine, Zebra, Kudu, Waterbuck, Impala, Black-backed Jackal, Aardvark, Banded Mongoose, Steenbok, Tree Squirrel, Civet, Scrub Hare, Chacma Baboon, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Small-spotted Genet, Dwarf Mongoose and Bushveld Gerbil (a new one for the list).

They also spent time catching butterflies, releasing them once identified - creating this excellent record.

hornbills Not a happy breeding tale from late last year - our resident pair of Yellow-billed Hornbills had started to breed in their usual nest hole when they were aggressively harassed by a pair of newly arrived Woodland Kingfishers.

The constant persecution resulted in the hornbills abandoning the nest - and the female had already moulted her tail so was unable to fly. She was initially unwilling to accept food from the male but we hope that changed once she settled down - they left our plot so we are not sure of the outcome.

The kingfishers initially showed much interest in the nest site for themselves but decided against it for some reason and left the site as well. So a new take on empty nest syndrome!
Wildtrud Peter

The kingfisher behaviour was probably partly over the nest site and also wanting to reduce the competition over territory and food. Always something interesting going on out there - Eds.

hornbill A much happier hornbill breeding story - this time Red-billed Hornbill. The pair chose a nest hole in one of our our leadwood deck poles - very close to the house and seemingly unconcerned with our presence although we did our best not to disturb them.

We watched the whole process - from the female sealing herself inside the cavity and being fed by the male: and then the female breaking out the nest and the chicks resealing themselves in and being fed by both parents.
Simone Braun

This family of 4 then moved across next door in mid-April where we had much pleasure in watching the parents feed the newly fledged and rather demanding chicks for a week or two.
Sarah Solomon

hornbill hornbill
Chick poking his head out of the nest hole.
Adult male watching over the nest.

hornbills hornbill
Adult feeding chick
Chick at the birdbath

Photo Gallery
Red-billed Firefinch - Thinus Potgieter

Slender Mongoose - Mike Whatmore

Acacia Pied Barbet - Thinus Potgieter

jumping spider
Jumping Spider, Salticidae Hyllus brevitarsus - Mike Whatmore