Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In and around Urikaruus - part 4

As I mentioned in my previous post this day started well and steadily improved! Firstly I had spotted the this spider

and her web in the early morning light, then as I moved around I saw this one in a bush nearby. Do you see the curious ant possibly heading into the danger zone?

This spider, I think is a member of the sociable web spider family, or community nest spider family. This one was starting a relatively new nest I think. I had seen these nests alnode the road and in the camp and had wondered if they were still inhabited as had been unable to see any spiders in them. On top of this most of the nests I saw appeared so encrusted with dust I wondered if anything could live in there!

Then I spotted these spiders peeking out of this nest. They appeared to have a number of eggsacs too. Here is a closer crop of the photo above.

Enough of spiders .... for now! The day moves on, and we are visited by some large herds of springbok, and some wildebeest. The image below captures part of the herd only!

We counted well over 200 animals in this herd. Then I spotted a crimson-breasted shrike an image of which I posted earlier, and still I was not able to get a really nice shot of this stunning bird.

But here it is again, just because I think the colours are so amazing, even though the shot is lousy! One of the friendly familiar chats popped in too,

as did the glossy starling and of course the sparrow-weaver and family.

Then a fork-tailed drongo came by.

A group of Namaqua Sandgrouse (Pterocles namaqua)  were also making regular visits to the waterhole.

Flying high and calling with their characteristic whistle. We also saw a juvenile marshall eagle and a black-breasted snake eagle. Neither of which came close enough to allow me a decent shot, but I did get pictures of both at other occasions.

Of course the ground squirrels were also doing their usual foraging around, with their portable shade umbrellas working overtime in the harsh light of the mid-morning sun

And then ...... the camp attendant came to tell us that some of the other guests had just returned from a drive and had seen some lion with a kill not far from our camp. So we got a few things together and jumped into the car. But I'll save that story for my next post!

all the best

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