It has been a cold and rainy week on the reserve, causing most animals to be rather shy and illusive trying to find a nice sheltered place to wait out the bad weather. The elephants kept us busy in these few quiet days, being one of the few animals who do not mind the rain. The young bulls made full use of all the water and mud on the reserve and gave wonderful sightings as they rolled around playing with each other in the soaked soils of the reserve. I am also happy to report that the new elephant calf is doing extremely well and is starting to wonder around the herd a bit, not always needing to be next to mom any more. The 1st of August was also a special day for one of the elephants as the second youngest calf had her first birthday finally reaching the age where she will be able to make full use of her trunk, a big day for her and congratulations from all of us.
Between all the rain and cold we have been able to get some interesting and rare sightings. The first otter tracks in months have been found around the edge of one of the watering holes and the first sightings of Secretary Birds for the season have also been noted. These magnificent birds are always a treat to watch and as the include photos will show, they are not scared to stand up against the smaller predators on the reserve. This was an amazing sight of a Secretary Bird and Black-backed Jackal who went back and forth for roughly 20 minutes trying to decide who was going to get the spoils of the Jackals Scrub-hare kill earlier in the morning. After a beautiful display of agility and the unfair advantage of flight the Secretary Bird came out of the fight the victor and the poor Jackal had to give up his prize and left the scene with his head held low.
With spring creeping ever closer we are eagerly awaiting the return of all the migrant birds and the colourful flowers slowly starting to make their appearance back onto the canvas of the bush.