The annual Sappi BirdLife South Africa Birding Big Day was held on 27 November 2010. This competition is used as a fundraiser for BirdLife South Africa while at the same time collects data used for the study of bird demographics. The aim of this competition is for a team of birders to record as many bird species by sight or on call within a 24 hour period within a defined geographic area.
One of the fires entered Welgevonden from Marakele National Park and kept the Welgevonden Management team and a number of the lodge staff occupied for about 5 days.
As part of the leopard research program being run by Lourens Swanepoel from the Centre for Wildlife Management at the University of Pretoria it was necessary to collar a few leopards in order to determine there home ranges, habitat preferences and to add to information gleaned from dung analysis as to what these animals are eating.
Jacque from Makweti Safari Lodge was out and about with guests one day when they witnessed a large male lion stretching up to his full height and scratching his claws across the bark of the high up in the tree.
This is most probably part of territorial marking behaviour.
by Dave Powrie
The past two months there has been great excitement on the reserve with the occasional sighting of a family of five Bat-eared foxes (Otocyon megalotis) on the plateau between Wooded Peaks and Tshimondi.
Recently there have been a number of sightings of the breeding pair feeding in the broad daylight near Tshimondi. This is unusual as Bat-eared foxes are normally nocturnal looking for their main diet of insects and harvester termites.
By Tim Hoffmeester and Merlijn de Graaf
These GPS collars record the exact location of the individual warthogs every two hours.
Most birders feel that summer is the best time to go birding and they are right when you look at the species diversity that we have over the summer months with all the visiting migrants. However, winter birding can be just as rewarding, an added bonus being that when the trees drop their leaves it’s easier to see, identify and photograph all the birds.
By Pierre Van der Merwe
It all started on the evening when we heard the roaring of two male lions whilst having drinks on the viewing deck at Clifftop. 10 to 15 minutes later they roared gain, but this time further away towards Site 20 (Kudu lodge).
The Sterkstroom River Valley continues to deliver surprises. Two years ago a previously unidentified plant on Welgevonden was observed to be flourishing in the Sterkstroom Valley. This plant was identified as Freylinia tropica, an indigenous species endemic to the Waterberg in South Africa.
Given that his property is surrounded by hunting farms, the landowner was concerned for the long-term safety of this animal.