Awaiting the Special Sunrises..

There is a place near to me that can produce some of the most fantastic opportunities to capture special sunrises… here are a few I’ve captured…

Well sometimes we stand, wait and not receive the reward of a special capture, but it still remains a wonder to enjoy…

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On some mornings this is what you can be rewarded with for an early start…

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Black-backed Jackal.. or the BBJ.

Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)

Also known as the silver-backed Jackal, it inhabits two areas of the African continent separated by roughly 900 km. One region is the southern tip of the continent, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The other area is along the eastern coastline, including Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

Although the most lightly built of jackals, it is the most aggressive, it’s been observed killing animals many times its own size, and the inter pack relationships are more quarrelsome.

Black-backed jackals are omnivores, which feed on invertebrates, such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, termites, millipedes, spiders and scorpions. They will also feed on mammals, such as rodents, hares and young antelopes. They will also feed on carrion, lizards, and snakes.

A pair of black-backed jackals in the Kalahari desert was observed to kill and devour a Kori bustard and, on a separate occasion, a black mamba Black-backed jackals will occasionally feed on fruits and berries. In coastal areas, they will feed on beached marine mammals, seals, fish and mussels.

Sounds made by black-backed jackals include yelling, yelping, woofing, whining, growling and cackling. When calling to one another, they emit an abrupt yelp followed by a succession of shorter yelps. Jackals of the same family will answer each other’s calls, while ignoring those of strangers. When threatened by predators, they yell loudly. Black-backed jackals in southern Africa are known to howl much like golden jackals. They woof when startled, and cackle like foxes when trapped.

A visit to Rietvlei last Saturday rewarded me with an unusual sighting, one that crossed the road in front of me and then lay down… Love the grass wrapped around it’s nose…

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These photos are of BBJ’s in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park…..

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and the last photo I’ve shared with you before…. my jumping BBJ that was a lucky capture….

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Long-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes progne)

Do you remember my post about this bird getting dressed for sex… here’s a link if you missed it… I said I was going to try and capture its flight pattern when it shows off its plumage… well today Linda and I went out and tried .. this is what we got, and we will get better but just thought I’d share a few… little blurred, the wind was howling today…

BUT THE BIRDS SEEMED TO BE SAYING “LOOK AT ME LADIES, AREN’T I PRETTY ???”

REMEMBER ME!!!!!!

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WELL HERE’S A FEW OF ME FLYING WITH THE LONG THING ATTACHED TO MY END… BUT THE LADIES DO LOVE IT….

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Capped Wheatear.. an Old World flycatcher..

Capped Wheatear (Oenanthe pileata).

This wheatear is found in open dry sandy and stony habitats and short grassland with a few bushes and termite mounds. This solitary species feeds on insects, especially ants. Like other wheatears, it perches on mounds and hops over the short grass, or flies low over the ground. (wonder where the Old world Flycatcher name comes from, they don’t even eat flies.)

The Capped Wheatear’s song is a loud melodic warble interspersed with slurred chattering, (not due to the intake of alcohol) and it has a chik-chik alarm call. It is monogamous and builds a nest of straw, grass, and leaves in a hole in the ground or a termite mound. Typically it lays three or four, and sometimes more, eggs.

It is 17–18 cm long and weighs 32 g. Its legs and pointed bill are black. This common species is striking and unmistakable in appearance. The adult has a black cap, cheeks and breast band, and a white eye stripe and throat.

Now for some photos… again this bird was talking and I could hear it.. (getting worried about that.!!)

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Eland…

The common eland (Taurotragus oryx)

I just happened to capture these photos as an eland moved behind a Zebra. I didn’t see the potential of the photos till I down-loaded to the computer…

A zebra is not that small an antelope, weighing in at approx. 350 kg. or 770 lbs. and standing 1.3 m. or 4 ft. 4 inches at the shoulder… an Eland however is the second largest antelope in the World… weighing in at an average 600 kg. or 1320 lbs. and 1,6 m. or 5 ft. at the shoulder. This young bull or youngish bull moved into frame and passed behind the zebra, demonstrating just how darn big he is….

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This is either a small zebra, or one big mother of an eland…………………….