Aardvark Atlast!

After months of trying we have finally caught up with our resident Aardvark.  Aardvarks have a tendency to sleep in one hole one night and another hole another night. This made camera trapping our quarry rather difficult.  During the day of July 28th one of our Rangers named Losorogol tracked Mr. Aardvark to a particular hole and could see by the movement of soil within the hole (they typically dig in deeper and semi bury the entrance hole when disturbed) that there was an Aardvark in residence.  We promptly placed our camera and this is what we got – arguably one of the cutest animals in the animal kingdom (Hooray!):

aardvark.jpg

This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged on by .

Aardwolf Improved

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.

aardwolf6.jpg

aardwolf5.jpg

aardwolf4.jpg

aardwolf3.jpg

This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged on by .

Aardwolf Anyone?

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?

aardwolf1.jpg

aardwolf2.jpg

This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged on by .

Goatsucker with young

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.

donaldson smith nightjar
donaldson smith nightjar
This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged , , , , on by .

7 Lesser Kudu on Tumaren

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.

lesser kudu in laikipia
lesser kudu in laikipia
This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged , , on by .

Zebra Stallions Up in Arms

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.

fightingzebra
fightingzebra

(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.

 

This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged on by .

Striped Hyena Confirmed Breeding on Tumaren

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!

striped hyena den
striped hyena den
striped hyena den
striped hyena den
striped hyena den
striped hyena den
striped hyena den
striped hyena den

 

This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged , on by .

Wildcat – The Original Meow

wild cat
wild cat

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.

 

This entry was posted in Natural History and tagged on by .