19 April 2010

Going With Your (Well Informed) Gut

I would be more excited if I had the energy, but I'm plenty happy enough already :) I got a picture of an elusive little lighting bolt, a Small Grey Mongoose (Kleingrysmuishond) – but more about that later.

Some pretty clouds above Tygerberg on Friday

I was still on leave on Friday and ended up spending about 5 hours exploring the western side of Tygerberg. It was a nice walk. The Four-Striped Grass Mice where up in the bushes relaxing in the morning sun and nibbling at some veggies for breakfast. Once anything gets close they suddenly scurry away into the bush.

Four-Striped Grass Mouse (Streepmuis) chilling in the morning sun

Luckily a recently got a new digital camera. The nice part is that it is the perfect camera to carry around while doing my camera trapping rounds, because it is very light for its size, has x26 zoom, can take closeups and has semi-decent picture quality (if you have realistic expectations naturally).

I've seen leaves with thorns before, but can't recall ever seeing thorns with leaves...

When I saw the area, where the Bushnell is now, on Friday I thought it had potential. It was reasonably open, was close to the basically-dry pond, had some interesting scats in the area and had what appears to be some paths running through the open spot. My gut was getting good vibrations... The spot is a bit close to the road and not well hidden, but my gut won the argument.

A Small Grey Mongoose (Kleingrysmuishond) likes to carry its tail "floating" above the ground

The possible Small Grey Mongoose scats that gave me the feelin' to put my camera out at this location

I might be wrong but I'm under the impression that these guys move about rather quickly and don't stand still for to long, so I was lucky with these shots

I'm still hopeful of maybe getting something else here so I'll give it some time since the camera has only been out at this new spot for a few days. It would be great if my first confirmed Canid species at Tygerberg graces us with its presence.

On my way back I just had to snap this shot of the late afternoon sun on the western side of the hill

On my way towards the Moultrie camera I saw a small reddish shape move on the dirt road about 400 m away. I pulled out my camera and basically used it as a pair of binoculars :) As I said, its turning out to be very useful to have around and not much of a bother.

Caracal (Rooikat) about 400m away at x26 zoom

Checking up on the cameras turned out to be a lot farther trip than I expected and I was running out of time to get back before the gate closed at 6:00 pm. I had to run part of the way. Tygerberg is rather steep and the going was tough, but I made it back in time (sort of)  :)


  1. Congratulations on getting your small grey mongoose! It looks like you've caught it defecating, so maybe you can thank its 'gut feeling' as well as your own.

    All your photos of caracals leave me feeling inadequate; I still haven't spotted this species in the wild.

  2. hehe, I think the camera might have missed the mongoose if it didn't have the guts to stop and defecate in front of the camera.

    There seem to be a lot of Caracal activity at Tygerberg. It is always nice when I run into one or get a photo on my camera traps.

    Hope you see one soon ;)

  3. Great stuff. When I visited the Okavango I thoroughly enjoyed the mongooses, and you are right - they are always on the move!

    It can be fun to put a cam on a spot that animals come back to regularly for "marking" - I have some shots of a coyote on a marking boulder that are classic. Maybe this is such a spot??

  4. I would love to go to the Okavango myself, unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity, yet.

    When I went to check up on the cameras on Friday the Bushnell finally ran out of juice (I've been carrying spare batteries with me for more than a month, lol). The batteries cut out early in the week, so I missed most of the action. Hopefully I'll get some good photos this week :)