2018-07-29: The Tamboti Leopard

Even spending a short time in the bush with a given animal, it is easy to get caught up in the drama of its life, and care how things turn out for it.  Regardless how deeply I realize it is all part of nature and the circle of life, I still find myself feeling sad in hearing of the passing of an animal that I had a special sighting of.

I recently read on the Londolozi blog that the Tamboti female leopard has not been spotted in over a month, and is presumed dead.  I had two sightings of her on my last trip; the first, we arrived to the riverbed moments after she stashed her cub into a new den site, missing what we thought would have been the sighting of a lifetime.  We did catch a brief glimpse of her moving a cub into a deeper part of the bushes she stashed them in, and as we headed back to camp, I was happy to even have seen the briefest glimpse of a cub so tiny.

The next morning, our last on safari, after having an amazing moment with elephants we headed off on a whim back to the clump of bushes where she stashed the cubs.  Our wonderful ranger Dave had an instinct that she might move the cubs again, and as we arrived, we found her with one of the cubs and were able to follow her on a long journey through the bush to her new den site, and then spend some time watching her interact with her two tiny cubs.  I’ve posted about this sighting before, and you can see some other images here.

Reading that she is now presumed gone, and only her female cub remains, prompted me to edit a few more of my images to share, and to relive those wonderful moments in the bush, watching nature unfold.

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This was the best image that I could get during my afternoon sighting of Tamboti and one of the cubs.  Londolozi, May 2017.
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Following Tamboti moving one of the cubs to a new den site.
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Every so often, she would set the cub down for a quick break, and then carry on, over whatever obstacles were in her path.
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My dreams of leopard shots were limited to hoping to see one in a tree one day; this was far beyond anything I had imaged I would see while out in the bush.
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After stashing the cub deep into the hollowed out log, she looks around, scanning for any threats.  We heard the call of another nearby leopard while we were watching the family.
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You can just make out the cubs in the darkness of the fallen tree.
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When she determined it was safe, she allowed the cubs out and here shares a tender moment.

 

2018-07-09: Monochrome Monday

A trio of antelope images to start the week.

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A steenbok pauses for a quick photo op before disappearing behind the scrubby trees growing in the sand.  Hoanib Camp, Namibia.  April 2017.
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A group of oryx get photobombed by a grazing springbok.  Ongava Game Reserve, Namibia. April 2017.
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A lone nyala bull checks out his surroundings.  Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa. May 2017.

 

Wishing everyone a fantastic week! 🙂

2018-07-08: Birds and a bunny

Last weekend, I had decided that I was going to carry on with bird posts for the month of July.  I was excited because a robin’s nest was discovered in the yard, and while I didn’t see the babies, mama robin was still in the nest.  I had wonderful thoughts of finding a suitable spot to photograph them, while not getting too close and intruding on their space.  Then on Wednesday morning, as I was leaving with Spencer for our morning walk, I noticed that the nest was off kilter (it was built on top of a hose reel attached to our well pump house).  When I walked a bit closer, I saw that the nest was destroyed, and there were 3 baby robins dead on the ground.

I don’t have any proof, but I believe it was a cat that lives down the road and is allowed to roam outside that did the damage.  There were puncture marks in one of the chicks, but otherwise they were untouched, which leads me to believe that whatever attacked the nest was not in need of food.  Even if a wild cat, fox or other animal was disturbed when they were at the nest, if they were hungry, I would expect them to come back and collect the chicks.  Instead, I ended up having to clean the sad mess up.  I’m not going to share any images from that sighting; no one else needs to see that.

That took the wind out of my sails a bit for bird photos.  I’ve actually decided to not have a formal topic for July, and I’ll just post what I am inspired to share on a Sunday.  Today though, I do have a few bird images from around the yard and neighbourhood.  Who knows what next week will bring.

Before I get to the birds though, there is a bunny I’ve been seeing around the neighbourhood.  It’s not the best image, but I don’t think I am wrong in my assumption that it is a descendant of the bunny that was in the area the winter of 2016/2017.  I’ve linked below to one of the posts that featured the original bunny in the neighbourhood.  In talking with neighbours, there are a couple of these little hybrids hopping around.

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The original bunny

I have been quite excited to see hermit thrushes while out on walks a few times this summer.  Mostly, I just hear them calling from deep in the bushes, but I’ve seen them on different walks hopping around on the road, sitting on fence posts, or up on the power lines like this one.  The link below has some more information about the hermit thrush, as well as a sample of the pretty song they sing.

Hermit Thrush

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The hermit thrush paused here for a brief moment, but only showed off the backside before flying off deep into the bushes.

In addition to the hummingbirds that are going crazy in the yard, I have loads of purple finches and pine siskins (as well as the occasional hairy woodpecker, some juncos and a red-breasted nuthatch family).  I’m grateful there haven’t been any bears in my immediate vicinity, so I have been able to keep the sunflower seeds out for the birds.  I have two large squirrel proof feeders (ha-ha!) that I am filling up every other day at the moment.  I’ve included links to the All About Birds pages for both the birds if you are looking for more information on the species, or want to listen to the lovely songs that I get to listen to while taking my lunch break outside, or while puttering around watering the flowers.

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A group of pine siskins dining on sunflower seeds.

Pine Siskin

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Female purple finch
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Male purple finch

 

Purple Finch

I hope you have enjoyed my selections for the week.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

2018-06-11: Monochrome Monday

A young rhino grazing peacefully in the early evening on Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia.  May it have the opportunity to live in peace, free from the harm of poaching.

 

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2018-06-03: Monthly Project – Bird Photography

Part of the reason that I chose bird photography this month was to get out and enjoy the nice weather, as well as get familiar with a new lens I have purchased.  So at first glance it may not make any sense that today I’m posting images from my last trip.  I have gotten out a bit over the past couple of days and taken some bird images, and I have been really impressed with the lens so far.  But I’m already half way through Sunday and I haven’t had a chance to start editing, so rather than miss posting altogether or rushing my editing process, I decided to go for some bird images from my catalogue that I haven’t posted before.

I hope you enjoy my selections for this week, and next week I will be sharing some of our local birds.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

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We came across a very large sociable weavers nest while on a game drive through Etosha National Park.  There was a lot of activity in and out of the large communal nest, here one of the birds pauses in a more open spot where it is easier to see them.
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Up against the nest, the weaver is very camouflaged.
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The nest itself was so large it brought down one of the large branches of the acacia tree.
crimson breasted shrike
This crimson breasted shrike played hard to get for a photo; this was the best that I could do while driving through the Makgadikgadi Pans.
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A beautiful glossy starling in early morning light.
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My personal favourite, the lilac breasted roller.