It’s Monday 21st March 2005 and the dogs are back

You can probably guess by the title of this weeks It’s Monday that it is I, Simon, the man with the wild dog obsession, writing this week!!

We had not seen the wild dogs for quite a while but one of the packs has just re-appeared with nine sub adult pups, fourteen dogs in all – absolutely fantastic. The pack of dogs is known as the Luwi pack and are easily distinguishable as they are quite light in colour.

the Luwi packOne of the wild dogs

It didn’t take long for me to organise a little outing into the park once word was out that the dogs were in town. We found them on the Big Baobab loop in the late evening just revving up for a hunt. Unfortunately we were not able to keep up with them and they disappeared off into the bush. Great to see them and with the numbers of wild dog on the increase in the park we can only hope that we will be seeing them more often throughout the season – fingers crossed.

On the birding front we have had a very interesting week. As you saw in last weeks It’s Monday, Shanie and I had a young African Goshawk in our house, which we managed to catch and release. Well, it was back again!! I couldn’t quite work out how the bird was getting into the house but I did notice a big hole in our wire mosquito gauze that covers our windows. I just assumed that the door had been left open and the bird had flown in. On closer inspection, after the second occasion, we found a second hole in the gauze with the some feathers attached to the torn edges.!! After much discussion we worked out that the bird must be trying to take the little skinks that we often see on the gauze and then bursting through!! An amazing velocity for a bird of that size to be punching a hole in the wire gauze. The poor thing was highly traumatized and Deb managed to simply walk up to the bird and grab the poor thing and release it. Hopefully it has learnt its lesson and will not come visiting again!

African Harrier HawkAfrican Harrier Hawk

Deb and Kerri have been out with our trainee guides taking them through their paces before the safari guides exams in early May and Kerri has managed to get a few great photos of some of the birds and some of their interesting behaviour. She managed to get a couple of shots of a young African Harrier Hawk (formally known as a Gymnogene) trying to fish out tasty morsels from a hole in a tree. No food in the first hole so off it flew to the next tree to try its luck there.

On to the water birds and Kerri took a great photo of a little Lesser Gallinule. It is not often that these waders present themselves for a photo call and it was great for the trainee guides to get a good look at one.

Lesser GallinuleOrange Breasted Bush Shrike

She also managed to get a fantastic shot of an Orange Breasted Bush Shrike – a bird that is usually fairly elusive and certainly doesn’t sit still in the open often and hardly ever long enough to have its photo taken!

That’s all from me. Have a good week.
Simon

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