Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 1 - March16

The first two weeks of March was a good period for the Soutpansberg Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation. We had participant, Steffi Krause from Gießen, Germany helping out with biodiversity research and conservation.

The climate during the two weeks was hot and dry, the drought is still on in the area. Last year this time there were floods due to all the rain and this year it has not rained properly in a month. We are probably in for a tough winter ahead.

A nice coloured chafer beetle (Leucocelis)

Verreaux's Eagle patrolling the parched landscape.

The late summer reptile peak has begun and we have had some nice reptile sightings. Including three Mozambique Spitting Cobras in two weeks. But because of the dry weather there are not as many as their would be had it been raining.

During the two weeks we concentrated on butterflies for our biodiversity research and made some good observations (Butterfly List coming soon). We also managed to get three new birds for the SCBC bird list these were the White-fronted Bee-eater, Goliath Heron and Wire-tailed Swallow.

Bush Scarlet (Axiocerses amanga amanga)
Two-pip Policeman (Coeliades pisistratus)

Conservation work during the period included alien invasive clearing along the Sand River, identification of sites to be cleared, collection of snares and horticulture.

The two weeks were good for the development of the Soutpansberg Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation. The process of getting solar power for data entry has been initiated and certain parts of the programme have been refined.

Thank you to Steffi Krause for your hard work, input and participation in the project.
Narina Trogon (Apaloderma narina narina) a beautiful forest bird.
Bird List

Natal Spurfowl; Crested Francolin; Crested Guineafowl; Golden-tailed Woodpecker; Bearded Woodpecker; Black-collared Barbet; Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird; African Grey Hornbill; African Hoopoe; Green Wood-hoopoe; Malachite Kingfisher; Giant Kingfisher; Pied Kingfisher; White-fronted Bee-eater; European Bee-eater; Narina Trogon; Red-faced Mousebird; Speckled Mousebird; Burchell's Coucal; Alpine Swift; Little Swift; Purple-crested Turaco; Barn Owl; Cape Eagle Owl; Fiery-necked Nightjar; Freckled Nightjar; Speckled Pigeon; Laughing Dove; Red-eyed Dove; Tambourine Dove; African Fish Eagle; Little Sparrowhawk; Black Sparrowhawk; African Goshawk; Steppe Buzzard; Verreaux's Eagle; Rock Kestrel; Goliath Heron; Green-backed Heron; Hammerkop; Hadeda Ibis; Black-headed Oriole; African Paradise Flycatcher; Fork-tailed Drongo; Brown-crowned Tchagra; Black-back Puffback; Southern Boubou; Tropical Boubou; Orange-breasted Bushshrike; Grey-headed Bushshrike; Retz's Helmet-shrike; White-crowned Helmet-shrike; Chinspot Batis; Black Cuckooshrike; Southern Black Tit; Wire-tailed Swallow; Barn Swallow; Rock Martin; Dark-capped Bulbul; Sombre Greenbul; Yellow-bellied Greenbul; Long-billed Crombec; Cape White-eye; Rattling Cisticola; Tawny-flanked Prinia; Bar-throated Apalis; Grey-backed Cameroptera; Kurrichane Thrush; Spotted Flycatcher; Grey Tit-Flycatcher; White-throated Robin-chat; Red-capped Robin-chat; White-browed Robin-chat; White-browed Scrub-robin; Familiar Chat; Mocking Cliff-chat; Red-winged Starling; Violet-backed Starling; Collared Sunbird; White-bellied Sunbird; Red-billed Quelea; Common Waxbill; Blue Waxbill; Jameson's Firefinch; Village Indigobird; SouthernGrey-headed Sparrow; African Pied Wagtail; Cape Wagtail; Yellow-fronted Canary; Cinnamon-breasted Bunting; Golden-breasted Bunting

A curious group of Chacma Baboons (Papio ursinus subsp. griseipes).
 Mammal List

Thick-tailed Bushbaby; Chacma Baboon; Vervet Monkey; Tree Squirrel; Spiny Mouse; Leopard; Slender Mongoose; Dwarf Mongoose; Water Mongoose; Large-spotted Genet; African Civet; Rock Hyrax; Bush Pig; Sharpe's Grysbok; Klipspringer; Bush Buck

Reptile List
Stigmochelys pardalis                        Leopard Tortoise
Afroedura sp.                               
Chondrodactylus turneri                     Turner’s Gecko         
Hemidactylus mabouia                        Common Tropical House Gecko      
Homopholis wahlbergii                       Wahlberg’s Velvet Gecko     
Lygodactylus capensis capensis        Common Dwarf Gecko         
Smaug warreni depressus                  Flat Dragon Lizard
Platysaurus relictus                             Soutpansberg Flat Lizard    
Broadleysaurus major                        Rough-scaled Plated Lizard
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis                  Yellow-throated Plated Lizard        
Matobosaurus validus                        Common Giant Plated Lizard          
Afroablepharus maculicollis             Spotted-Necked Snake-Eyed Skink
Trachylepis margaritifer                    Rainbow Skink          
Trachylepis varia                                  Variable Skink          
Varanus niloticus                                  Nile Monitor  
Chamaeleo dilepis dilepis                   Flap-Necked Chameleon     
Agama armata                                      Northern Ground Agama    
Psammophis subtaeniatus                 Stripe-bellied Sand Snake   
Naja mossambica                                 Mozambique Spitting-Cobra            

Mozambique Spitting-Cobra (Naja mossambica). Very common in the area.