TnTtracks » Blog Archive » The finches meet the hornbills


Na twee maanden in het onderzoeksreservaat in de Kalahari hebben na een regenbui van 4mm toch zes vrouwtjes zich gesetteld in de nestboxen en zijn ze begonnen met het uitbroeden van elk vier eitjes. Omdat het verzamelen van de observationele gegevens pas echt begint zodra de chicks geboren worden, had ik mooi de mogelijkheid om mijn visitors te introduceren met de beauty van de Kalahari.


Zondag 25 November ontmoette ik de grote witte camper en het reisgezelschap op een stoffige R31 net buiten Van Zylsrus, NC. We hadden elkaar veel te lang niet gezien en er was veel bij te kletsen, maar toch zijn we al gelijk op zoek gegaan naar de stokstaartjes in het reservaat. De groep had zeven jongen bij zich en dit leverde een behoorlijk aantal mooie pics en beeldmateriaal op. Dit was niet alleen het geval bij de meerkats, de daarop volgende dagen hebben we doorgebracht met wandelen en het ontmoeten van de vriendelijke dieren in het reservaat. Vooral mijn hornbill vriendjes waren erg vriendelijk en schrokken niet terug om ons groepje van vijf te komen begroeten. Een paar wormpjes in return konden zij natuurlijk moeilijk weerstaan. De avonden hebben we afgesloten met een jagermeister als slaapmutsje na de braai, wat wil je nog meer?

Op woensdag zijn we met de camper vertrokken richting het Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. In tegenstelling tot het onderzoeksreservaat waar we voornamelijk de mogelijkheid hadden om alles te voet te observeren, gingen we hier per camper langs de Auob rivier helemaal tot aan de grens met Namibie, waar we verbleven in Mata-mata restcamp. Al snel stuitten we op een groep van vijf leeuwen die in de schaduw lagen uit te buiken. Ook alle bokkies, wildebeest en birdies hielden zich mooi in de schaduw van de enkele bomen die in de Kalahari groeien. Wat kun je ook anders verwachten als het in onze camper al 47 graden was, laat staan in de volle zon. De spotted hyena had hier iets anders op gevonden en lag met zijn dikke pens in de waterhole. Wat een knappe koppen hebben ze toch!

Op de tweede dag reden we langs een plek waar de leeuwen de nacht ervoor een kill hadden gemaakt, de leeuwen waren er niet meer, maar wel een stuk of tweehonderd gieren! De Lappet-faced vultures zijn het grootst en dus de baas over de kleinere White-backed en Cape Vultures. Toen kwam er een jakhals die alle vogels verjoeg en zelf ook een hapje nam, echter al snel kwamen de gieren langzaam weer toegeslopen. Het was een mooi tafereel om te bekijken hoe ze allemaal vechten om de laatste stukjes eland. De volgende morgen bleek dat ’s nachts het hek van het reservaat had open gestaan en dat een jonge mannetjes leeuw zowat bijna onze camping op kwam lopen (of alweer verliet?). De rangers kwamen er iets later achter en zijn toen met hun bakkies achter de leeuw aan gaan rijden die vervolgens richting Botswana liep. Het verdere verloop van dit verhaal is tot op heden onbekend.

Op onze laatste avond samen terug in het onderzoeksreservaat hadden we een heerlijke braai gepland. Echter door een stevig windje en na een nacht met regen kwamen de schorpioenen uit om voedsel te zoeken. De invulling van de laatste avond bestond uiteindelijk voor 99% van de tijd uit het zoeken van schorpioenen (>20 stuks) en hebben we tussendoor ook nog snel even gegeten. Als de camper niet ingeleverd hoefde te worden dan was het reisgezelschap graag nog een week gebleven, maar helaas mocht dit niet zo zijn. Gelukkig zitten er inmiddels al tien vrouwtjes in een nestbox en zal het ook niet meer lang duren voordat de eerste baby-birdies zich aankondigen. Tijd dus om weer verder te gaan met mijn onderzoek, terwijl Tonnie en Herniette nog even vakantie vieren bij Tim in Port Elizabeth.

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