With fire break burning season in full swing, the skies are filled with a smoky residue that creates the most magnificent winter sunsets. Our days end with the warmth of a sky on fire and an icy breeze which fills the night. As stars twinkle brightly into the dawn, we once again begin our day with a warm cup of coffee eager to find out what the day has in store for us. Dried leaves scatter the plains as trees become bare, opening up our vision through the bush. It is a time of change, a time of harshness and survival and a time in which we can take a feather from the hat of nature and remember that through all difficulty, new beginnings will come.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for June:
Lion dynamics on the property continue to evolve, with the appearance of three new sub-adult male lions who have moved into the northern parts of Singita. We are not sure where these males have come from and will continue to observe their movements in the coming weeks. It would be very exciting to see a new coalition move into the area bringing new genes.
With the generous rains over the past season, elephants have been enjoying the slowly drying vegetation and large amounts of water flowing through the Sand River. Large herds often twenty or more move through the property and it is always a delight to spend time with a herd especially when there are so many young elephants around to watch at play.
Exciting news this month as a den-site has once again been found on Singita Sabi Sand! We noticed the pack were continuously moving in and out of a certain area and were lucky one morning to follow them back to a den-site where we viewed the alpha female entering her den. At this stage we are allowing the pack some time to become comfortable in their surroundings and we hope to bring some exciting news on the pack and their development in the next month.
The Schotia female continues to thrive, however this month we have seen the loss of one of one of her two cubs. We observed her calling franticly for a number of days but she was unable to find her lost cub. We aren’t sure what happened to it or where it may have been lost, however we are still very happy to see that she has one cub, and that the cub is a female! This comes as great news for us due to the fact that typically female leopards remain in the peripheries of their mother’s territory and if she is to survive until adulthood, we will still be able to view her for a long time to come.
This month we have viewed the Hosana male leopard moving further across the property and becoming a more frequent leopard to view.
The female cheetah and her two cubs are doing incredibly well and continue to stay resident on the property. With the cheetah being such an endangered species, it has been truly special to see this young female raising her young ones.
The bird list for June includes five new bird species, bringing our yearly total to 267. Special bird species include: grey penduline-tit, rock kestrel, acacia pied barbet and a crowned eagle, a very special sighting in our area!