Wildlife: Week 2
At the top is the brains – the rest are normal!
The Dawn Chorus Of Everyday Wildlife
A typical summer day at Little Bundu starts about 4:30am as the first faint flush of dawn tiptoes across the sky above Mozambique and Emerald Spotted Doves call out to each other over the bush. Not to be caught napping, the white crowned shrikes soon start their excited chattering followed by the melodious cackling of red-billed hornbills.
Today We Make Like the Past
In the Great Colonial Tradition, the staff would brave the everyday wildlife to deliver trays of morning tea to each occupied rondavel, before residents and visitors had to face each other over an impossibly overloaded breakfast table. In Safari Camps and Tented Tourist Lodges up and down Africa, the ritual is recreated everyday for those wishing to capture the “Authentic African Experience” a la Karen Blixen.
It’s a New Day and a New Era
But that was long ago and this is now. As the thrushes forage about in the undergrowth, it’s just us, the breaking day and the beautiful creatures we share this slice of paradise with. Everyday wildlife surprises us with new treats and creeping quietly onto the stoep with that morning mug of tea, you never know what you’re going to find.
Dainty Majestic Antelope
Today for our everyday wildlife, it’s a bushbuck ewe, nibbling at the growth where our patch of civilization slides down into the bush. Her hair is raised because she’s nervous – although it happens to many animals, it’s most noticed in animals like warthog and aardwolf. And over there watching, half hidden by twigs and leaves is the bushbuck ram. Ever shy as they always are. Tame bushbuck rams are very dangerous and unpredictable as a result of their getting over excited in big company. It’s a common problem for loners in a crowd. And horning’s are common.
Me Heap Tall Guinea Fowl
Kek-kek-kek…cherrrrr-cheng. Here come the guinea fowl, all strung out through the shorter grass. There must be thirty or so in this flock… Every now and then, a male finds a stump and climbs to the very top to call out his victory over the savannah
A Splashy Display
Not far from the guinea fowl is a fleshy plant that is all that remains of the Snake Lily. This splendid flower appeared out of nowhere, an ever growing mound of scarlet and yellow atop a thick bare stalk growing alone under a big Tamboti tree. For two or three weeks this larger than life flower, illuminated the vista and then, almost as suddenly as it had appeared, it wilts away. Not long after that, a whorl of fleshy leaves appear where the flower had been and has grows to about eighteen inches in height, with markings on its’ stem resembling that of a snake.
Rarer than Hen’s Teeth…
Most everyday wildlife goes quietly about its business relying on camouflage to hide from hungry hunters. This time the sun revealed something we haven’t seen since coming to this part of the bush… Yes, it’s a rabbit! Actually, a Scrub Hare, found throughout Southern Africa. These grass eating rabbits don’t show up too often. They’re shy and retiring and when the grass is plentiful, they’re well hidden. This guy’s cover was blown when the sun shining through his ears caused a deep orange hue that lit up the dull surrounds. For interests sake, you’ll see many more elephants than scrub hares in this neck of the woods.
The Ubiquitous Warthog
What would everyday wildlife be like if there wasn’t at least one baby picture? Here are the latest of our resident infants, triplets with their proud mama.