Limpopo to KZN Raptor trip
Nigel and Courtney Shaw, Charlotte England, Jim and Lynda Mackiewicz and Garth Baker.
This trip was primarily a raptor trapping one, and as such we had a good and keen team of raptorphiles! It was Nigel's 3rd and Charlottes 4th trip out to SA.
We set off North this time, rain in the air, but mostly overcast, good trapping weather.
|Charlotte with her Euro Roller|
|Courtney with a Brown Snake -eagle|
|Nigel with the first of 6 Wahlberg's Eagles|
|1st of 5 Lanners|
Other birds caught were a juv female Gabar Goshawk, another tick for Charlotte!
Heading north east, we carried on catching, and between two sites, we managed to catch 12 raptors! 3 Dark-chanting and 2 Pale-chanting Goshawks, another Black-chested SE, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, and a pair of African Hawk Eagles, one of which had already been ringed previously by my friend John Robson in December 2002, some 15 years ago!
|juv Gabar Goshawk|
|Jim left with the female and Nigel with the retrap male|
Heading south now, we arrived at our next bush camp and game reserve to find a massive breeding colony of Red-billed Quelea! This was ideal, as in attendance were several Lesser-spotted and Steppe Eagles. We drove in and managed to drop for a Lesser Spot, it cam in, but it was too wary. Further on, we came across a huge juvenile Tawny Eagle, this was Charlottes No1 target bird, we got a trap down and after some 30 minutes, it came in and we got it!! 2.7kg's!! what a lovely bird.
|Lynda with a juv f AH Eagle|
|Bewildered SWF Scops Owl|
Dropping down into the Lowveld we got a Juv and Adult Lizard Buzzard, ticks for NS and CE. We then continued with our big cat luck by coming across a Cheetah that had killed an adult and calf Impala! We watched this amazing sight and her nervously watching for any other predators which may have robbed her of her kills.
|a dark Wahlberg's Eagle|
|Lynda with a very grumpy Spotted Eagle Owl!|
Total Raptors caught; 68 of 20 species. A record species haul for one trip!