Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Winds

The August winds have once again brought change to underground hide.  New mammals, birds and herds have made regular visits to the hide this month making for an interesting viewing experience to all those who have visited the hide.

Kurrichane Thrush
A regular visit from this hear of 30-50 impala

The past two weeks have seen large herds of antelope settling within close proximity to the waterhole of the underground hide. The antelope have become somewhat protective over the water source as the rivers on Mashatu have now almost entirely dried up. The bigger antelope such as eland are not shy to chase off the smaller impala when it come time for their drinking session, and likewise with elephants pushing off eland for a drink. With dampened hearing from the persistent August winds these mammals put on a great dust display as they move nervously around the waterhole.

A herd of elephant refuelling.

Red Billed Oxpecker and a Southern White-Crowned Shrike battle it out for 
prime drinking real estate.

Impala in high numbers.

Eland and Impala sharing a drink.

This month has also proved successful in terms of the predators, with a brief sighting of the pride of nine and of course a very intimate sighting of one of Mashatu’s treasured young male leopards.

A young male leopard eager to see what goes on behind the scenes at the elephant hide - taken by photographic guide Kyle de Nobrega.

A young male lion from the pride of nine peering through the hide windows - 
taken by photographic guide Trevor Kleyn.

The most valuable lesson one can learn about the bush is that nothing in wildlife and nature is predictable; having that said time can only tell what the next month will have in stall for the animal antics of the underground hide.

Vervet Monkey's drinking

Impala getting used to the presence of the photographs in the hide.

Elephants allowing us to photograph up close and personal.

By Ruth Nussaum

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