When it rains it pours – Aardwolves, that is (we are still waiting for a good rainfall). These images were taken after we flushed another Aardwolf at dusk from his burrow and set the camera to record his return. We photographed not one byt two adults going in and out of the hole and we suspect that they have pups inside.
Notice their long necks, their distinctive shape and their small frame – these are all cues to distinguish them easily from a Striped Hyena.
I finally got my Aardwolf picture. While biking i flushed this guy from this hole as he was leaving at dusk to forage for termites and other insect tidbits. I returned with the camera trap and after three days/nights he made this one and only showing. I assume by his tracks that he has been coming and going on the other nights but enters and exits his hole at a high velocity, faster than the camera’s silly delay that is. Wim are you seeing this?
It was nice to find these fellows in the camera trap this morning. Vulturine Guinefowl are some of the areas most distinguished birds. Fly Tyers love to get their hands on Vulturine skins. The blue, it turns out is rather irresistible to not only the camera but also certain atlantic salmon. We often use the vulturine to find predators. When you hear these birds mobbing something you will often times find a cat or mongoose or a snake sheltering from the uproar.
I ran into this Golden Orb spider in the door of our camel boma last week. Fortunately i ran into a small strand first and was able to stop before putting my face right through her beautiful web. Golden Orb spiders in New Guinea have such strong webs that they are woven and used locals for catching fish.
Goatsucker is a traditional name given to birds in the order Caprimulgiformes – the nightjars. The term was based on a belief that the birds drank the milk of goats. Fortunately for the local masai this belief was long ago proven erroneous. Nightjars are insectivores predominantly nocturnal and closely related to owls.
The other day i ran into the following Donalson-smith Nightjar while walking about camp at night.
Just back from a walk along our boundary with the neighboring ranch Male. Along the boundary i ran into this male Lesser Kudu. He was with a herd of 6 other females/young and one beautiful dark male that only showed himself once. When we first told people about our lesser kudu here many did not believe they were lesser, insisting that we were seeing Greater Kudu that are also around in the more hilly areas.
It appears that the rains that we received a few weeks back and the grass that we now have as a result have kick-started the zebras hormonal systems. Everywhere i went today on an early morning walk there were zebra stallions fighting, rearing, biting and then falling to their knees as they each strike at the others legs (and more valuable areas). This would suggest that the females are all coming into season and many of the younger stallions are giving the current stallion a run for his money. This is all happening among the common zebras (bohm’s) but I have not yet noticed if the Grevy’s are showing any interest in warring or loving.
(this is a picture i took in the Masai Mara)
Note: Grevy’s Zebra are an endangered species and make their living in a totally different way than the Common Zebra. A Grevy’s Zebra rather than securing a herd that he can travel and mate with will secure a territory in order mate with those females within it. He will tolerate other males on his territory but only he has breeding rights while within his area.
Not less than a month after our first observation of this species we have confirmed breeding within Tumaren. The pups were slightly nervous of the camera at first but within two hours they were relaxed – relaxed enough to chew through the camera’s strap then toss it around for an hour or so exposing some rather artful images seen below. when the camera was located this morning it was covered in dust and had been dragged half way into the den. Luckily they did not bring it all the way in as crawling into a Striped Hyena den to retrieve a camera does not seem like a very fun time.
The Ranger, Parm set this camera. Congratulations Parm!
A week ago a lion killed a zebra near camp. When the rangers found the carcass the next day they positioned the camera trap on the carcass to see if the lions returned. The big cats, nervous of people around here, did not return but as luck would have it a smaller version walked by.
Has anyone misplaced a tabby in the thick African bush? Will it survive?
It will survive and probably a whole lot easier than the lions whose kill he passed by. This is the wildcat mentioned many posts back. The wildcat is the original cat from whom our domestic cats trace their line. So,, if you have a pussy cat nearby hold him or her to the screen to show them their rugged bush-wise cousin thriving in leopard/hyena/lion/wilddog country in northern kenya.