Sightings of Interest
CAPE CLAWLESS OTTERS (Aonyx capensis) – Both Nick and Chris have spotted a family group of five silvery-sheened otters cavorting in the river at Watersmeet. A truly delightful sight.
LIONS (Panthera leo) – They’re at it again!! Guests have been fascinated! Cubs possibly on their way in a couple of months!
BUSHPIG (Potamochoerus porcus) - Two daylight sightings by Nick and Carol of a character which is generally considered as being nocturnal. In areas where they are seldom disturbed, they may be seen during the day, but where they are subject to control (they can be a pest in agricultural crops), they are largely nocturnal.
Two beautiful SMALL-SPOTTED GENETS (Genetta genetta) were sighted in Top Camp by Werner and his guests while returning to Camp one evening. An exciting event as they’re nocturnal and are seldom seen in pairs.
Lately, summer migrants are appearing - seemingly early this year! Almost daily we’re adding to the list of arrivals…on the Estuary, amongst others, COMMON GREENSHANKS (Tringa nebularia), WOOD SANDPIPERS (Tringa glareola) – not a common visitor at the coast - so exciting… and the MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis). The obvious and commonly seen YELLOW-BILLED KITES (Milvus parasitis) are soaring above…the beautiful AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHERS (Terpsiphone viridis) have been seen flitting in the forest and making their distinctive call…”twee-tiddly-te-te”; AFRICAN PYGMY KINGFISHERS (Ispidina picta) can be heard on the river with their high-pitched “chip-chip“ and the cuckoos have returned too with sightings of the BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus) and KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas). The forest is ringing with their plaintive calls. Telephone wires have just become adorned with a variety of SWALLOWS (Hirundo rustica and Hirundo abyssinica)…summer is definitely on the way!
The brightly coloured but extremely furtive NARINA TROGONS (Apaloderma narina) are calling in the forest…early this year…Mike called one in much to the delight of his guests.
BLACK HARRIER (Circus maurus) Although endemic, they’re not frequent visitors to SIBUYA so Mike was excited to see one here for the first time while out on game drive in August.
AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus ranivorus) Seen feeding along the shoreline of what are flooded grasslands. A first here for Nick and Carol while out on game drive.
MARSHALL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) A magnificent but uncommon resident spotted by Mike and guests.
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) Seen on the lower reaches of the Kariega Estuary by Justin, Chris and Mike with guests. We think it could have spent the winter here as it is generally considered a summer migrant and was sighted on several occasions during the winter months.
RED-BILLED OXPECKERS (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Great excitement as Chris, Mike and their respective guests have spotted a threesome on a number of occasions as they feed on ticks off the backs of the buffalo. We’re delighted that they’ve bred…the third member of the group is an immature bird!
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (GYMNOGENE) (Polyboroides) - This floppy-winged raptor is a rather scarce resident but provided good viewing for Chris and guests.
AFRICAN (ETHIOPIAN) SNIPE (Gallinago nigripennis) – while relatively common, this SNIPE is not a usual sighting at SIBUYA…we think it must be a localised nomad. It was seen by Chris, as it fed along the shoreline of the diminishing wetlands of Edendale.
A pair of GOLIATH HERONS (Ardea goliath)…the world’s largest herons, are back on the Estuary.
The largest flightless birds on the planet, the COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus) have struggled to breed at SIBUYA but produced five chicks during August this year and so far have managed to fend off would-be predators. They’re also extremely delicate, will die with sudden weather changes and are susceptible to diseases so we’re really keeping our fingers crossed that this brood survive.