Satara 2nd December

Satara 2nd December

Again a strong south wind is blowing this morning but the clouds are thin and by 5.30am it is bright enough to venture out. Satara has not been at its best. The road north along the H1-4 has so little ground cover as has the usually productive S90 across to Gudzani East. So we have stuck to the S100 which has got reasonable grass cover.

Now there was a time when one was almost guaranteed to see a cat somewhere along the S100 but we have now been here 9 days and have not succeeded thus far. Which does not bother me at all. The beauty of the road together with the steady supply of animals and birds makes for constant interest. This morning the birds are really on form after the rain which is usually the case.

Ground Hornbills in a tree
Orange Breasted Bushshrike (My Library)
Mosque Swallow collecting mud for nest building
A Red-breasted Swallow coming in to land.
It is unusual to see a Trumpeter Hornbill along the S100
Small groups of Red-billed Quealea are about waiting for the rains and long seeded grass.
The migratory European Rollers are back a little early this year (My Library)

The clouds have thickened this evening and we go out in gloomy conditions along the Orpen H7 road to Nsemani Dam. The wind is cool and fresh from the south and in the dull light I do not hold out much propect for any photography. We sit on the dam wall until some noisy Egyptian Geese in the stream below the wall attract Renette’s attention – just in time to see a leopard leave the water and disappear up the bank into bush. There is a little side road that runs close by down to the stream so we move there hoping to intercept it but draw a blank. So back to the main tar road…. just in time to see this beautiful big male crossing over and then slinking through the bushes stopping to eye out some impala.

And that I am afraid is the end of our fun as it is late and we must return to camp. But……. that is our first Satara leopard which is always a thrill.