Saturday, 11 June 2016

Winter Days in Sabie Park

The mascot of Sabie Park.

My house at dusk.
Looking quite smart these days!

My driveway at sunset.

Sabie River

African Pied Wagtail singing.

I arrived back home on 1st June. The weather was just fantastic! Beautiful blue skies & the bush all golden & brown under the winter sun. However, a look around revealed that drought conditions still prevailed & there was precious little grass.

Giraffes have been feeding all around my house
 for the last few days.

In my driveway.
The out of focus bit is the side of my house!

Drinking from the marsh.

Kudu close to the house
Over the next few days I experienced a host of game next to the house, with Giraffe, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Impala & Bush-buck being daily visitors. One evening a saw a female Reed-buck in the river bed. She was too far away for a photo & the light was fading, but this is a rare animal here.

Black Stork.
Brown headed Kingfisher - unfortunately deceased!

 Birds included 4 Black Stork & Black Saw-wing.

Blue Wildebeest feeding in the river.
On my land, taken from the driveway.

Arrived back in Sabie Park late evening of 17th June. I cooked myself a meal & sat in the lounge to eat it. But all hell was breaking out just the other side of the door! An Elephant had somehow got through the fence & was making a lot of noise trying to find a way out! The noise was deafening, it was upset! In the morning I took these photos, right next to my patio! I don't know if it is still inside Sabie Park, but I think it is, as I followed the spoor across my land & on to Wildlevy.

Elephant poo, where it shouldn't be!
Errmm! Not again!
This is what happens when an Elephant 
gets trapped in your lapa!

 Later that evening there was a close Lion calling & the local Hyenas were also vocal. Such a difference from when I went away, as it was really quiet & nothing much was happening. Four of them were inside the fence, but apparently have departed now! Broken fence again!

Notice the fence!
There were about twenty animals in the herd.
They are coming!

On 20th June around 20+ Elephants were feeding right up alongside the security fence all afternoon.

Kudu & Impala drinking at the river.
Laughing Doves are really scarce this winter,
 possibly because of the drought.
Collared Sunbird
This species is confined to riparian forest in this area.

Scarlet-chested Sunbird
With the on-going drought, Aloes have been
 very late blooming this year.
Nice bird!

It is 21st June & I had a new bird for Sabie Park: Bennett's Woodpecker! Unfortunately I didn't get any snaps.

Elephants are now feeding in the riverbed
 on a daily basis.

Look carefully!
Another plastic animal now here!
Southern Boubou
Common along the riverside vegetation
Black crowned Tchagra

Some days here in Sabie Park can be very special. Giraffe in the driveway; not too unusual, but these days of drought more & more Elephants in the riverbed together with Sabie park Blue Wildebeast diving under the fence to get to food in Kruger & then returning to Sabie Park for safety in the evening! I have never seen that before!

Black headed Oriole
Bill is covered in pollen, which is the idea!

Scarlet chested Sunbird

Collared Sunbird

Notice the pollen on the fore-crown.

Aloes have just come into bloom at the end of June, much later than normal. Birds of course are quick to take advantage of this temporary bounty.

Crested Francolin
Very scarce this winter inside Sabie Park.
Dark capped Bulbul
Blue Grey Flycatcher
African Dusky Flycatcher

It is early July now, & the drought has full hold. There seems to be less birds everyday!
To be continued.

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