After all the different experiences before, we set out this morning with mixed feelings. It would be great to see lots of exciting animals, but just as wonderful to practise different photographic techniques using the Plains animals, birds, and small creatures as subjects.
When we set out we started with a search for the lions we saw previously. We found tracks and followed them. But we were interrupted by a Wild Cat that crossed the road and then sat down in the grass next to the road. What a treat it was to see a Wild Cat again. We were thrilled.
Next we spent a lot of time concentrating on Wildebeest, Ostriches, Oryx, and Springbok. We did this for much of the morning before we moved on to photograph Meerkats. They always make such a fabulous subject, and make photography a pleasure.
For the afternoon drive we wanted to concentrate on birds. We thought that our day would be made if we could locate a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl and a a tiny Falcon, the Pygmy Falcon. So one large and one very small bird were our mission for the afternoon. And yes, we were lucky and actually found both.
Our attention was drawn to the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl because it was being mobbed by two Pale Chanting Goshawks. The Goshawks flew over the Owl and harassed it continuously to get it to fly away. It was really interesting to watch the interaction between the birds.
Shortly after that we spotted two Pygmy Falcons – mission accomplished.
We drove on fairly slowly to where cheetahs had been reported during the morning. We found tracks, but there was no sign of the cheetahs themselves, so we decided to return early in the morning to check again.
As the day was progressing we decided to go past the Cape Fox den to see if the little pups were out and about. But all was quiet when we arrived there. There was no sign of adult or pups.
But not far from there we spied a Pale Chanting Goshawk in a tree – and it had a kill. It had killed a snake. It appeared that the snake was attempting to raid a bird’s nest when the goshawk found it and grabbed it. We couldn’t identify the snake, but what an amazing sighting to end our day.
Not quite! We passed the den again and there were the foxes. It was a little dark for photography and we didn’t want to disturb the little pups with flash so we oohed and aahed for a while before we returned to the Lodge.
In the morning it would be a wonderful start to our day if we manage to find those cheetahs …