Rains Return Our Ordinary Wildlife
Our ordinary wildlife returns no more, having faded away, as dry and brutal heat marked the passage of winter to summer. We watched as swollen clouds rumbled across the sky, carrying rain to the mountains, dumping snow where it didn’t belong. And then, one day, the rain came to us and the ordinary wildlife came trickling back into our world.
Two days after the rain, early morning coffee on the stoep – camera in hand – yielded this smattering of pictures as our weird and wonderful ordinary wildlife returns. Suddenly there were birds – old friends, like this Red-Billed Hornbill and newbies – like the Plum Starling in the next photo.
This beautiful bird has the most wonderful plumage and was accompanied by a bird that looked like a member of the thrush family. While checking the bird books to find out just who our plum colored visitor was, we discovered the speckled “friend” was actually his mate. She’s in the next photo with another visitor – the red headed, Black Collared Barbet.
Busy with the sudden flurry of birds, the gurgling, bubbling twitterings of a gang of Banded Mongoose went unnoticed until they photo bombed a Hinged Tortoise I was trying to shoot. One mongoose mother with her new baby was too cute to leave out, so their pic is at the top of this article. The Hinged Tortoise decided this bit of wildveld was far too crowded and beat a hasty retreat but as he was leaving, we got the picture below.
A short while later, a large dark object was seen moving through the undergrowth between our “garden” and the open veld beyond. Watching as it moved along our boundary, the shape resolved itself into the menacing figure of a large lone baboon… Keeping a lookout as the ordinary wildlife returns in his world as well.
Baboons usually travel in large troops and can cause havoc at homes – they tip over things like potted plants looking for scorpions underneath, pull thatch out of roofs, and if they find an open door or window, will trash a house looking for anything edible. Being exceptionally clever and possessing opposable thumbs, baboons can open refrigerators, cupboards and ovens in their search for food. Most bushveld residents are savvy to their ways but baboons often manage to get hold of rubbish bags, spreading trash everywhere. This lone male, patrolling our boundary scared up more – in this case, a very disgruntled Scrub Hare another one of our ordinary wildlife returns.
The Emerald Spotted Dove is a common resident, ordinary wildlife that faded away until the rain arrived. Getting a good shot of the beautiful iridescent spots isn’t an easy task but here, the spots can be seen more clearly…
Another member of our ordinary wildlife community is the Common Duiker. One of the sleeping creatures woken by the baboon’s progress was this little guy…
Soon it was time for breakfast but just as we were heading indoors, the swoosh of heavy wings announced the arrival of more ordinary wildlife in the form of the Go-Away-Bird also known as the Grey Lourie…
Personality plus in a plain grey suit! We left him scratching around the yard and headed in to breakfast and work.
What a place for an office!