02 May 2011

Some Tortoises And Birds

They call me MR. Parrot-Beaked Padloper (Gewone Padloper - Homopus areolatus) !!! 

Tygerberg is home to a rather pretty tortoise species, the Parrot-Beaked Padloper. The one above might not be one of the best looking individuals, but he made of for it with attitude. However, some individuals can be spectacular, with wonderfully coloured shells.

Then I guess, we shell call you MISS Parrot-Beaked Padloper ???

I always enjoy running into these tortoises. Unfortunately I've noticed that many motorists also like running into them... The name "Padloper" roughly translates to Road-Walker and they seem to have a tendency to be killed on roads. They are rather small and don't move very fast and thus easily end up as road kill.

A Blacksmith Lapwing (Bontkiewiet - Vanellus armatus) and Common Moorhen (Grootwaterhoender - Gallinula chloropus)

I had a camera at the pond hoping to get some photographs of an otter. I saw some fresh prints in the mud, but no luck. I moved the camera this weekend, because I didn't see any fresh signs of otters to persuade me otherwise.

However all was not lost, I got some images of a new heron species at the pond.

A Purple Heron (Rooireier - Ardea purpurea) not looking very purple to me, but um OK...

This is the third heron species I've photographed at this pond. the other two being the Grey Heron and Black-Headed Heron. Actually the fourth if I can count the Black-Crowned Night-Heron as well.

Photographs of new species, be it animals or birds, have been slowing down and I might be close to the theoretical limit of having photographed all the mammal species currently found in the reserve. Luckily there are still a couple of spots I haven't camera trapped very thoroughly, so there is still a small chance for a new species to pop up.

A grey-ish looking Grey Heron (Bloureier - Ardea cinerea)

Highest on my wish list is a Cape Fox. A farmer on a neighbouring farm told me that there were a pair of foxes living on his farm a couple of years ago. They would come up to his fence and drive his dogs crazy. So, atleast I know they were around...

Some other missing species are Common Duiker, Scrub Hare and maybe a Shrew/Mole/Mouse or two. One of the fun parts of camera trapping is cumming back each time hoping that this time you got a photograph of a new species.


  1. Wow...those padlopers are neat critters!

  2. I really am envious of the purple heron shot. I don't see them often, or those beutiful padlopers.

    I hate being a know-it-all but I think the coot is actually a Common Moorhen - even better!

  3. O dear, I think you are right Jeremy. I usually try to be accurate with my names, but this one slipped through.
    It was getting late and I wanted to wrap up this post, but I needed one more image, so I grabbed that one and didn't even take a good look at the species. The Coots are common around here so I assumed it was another one :P I'll fix the name in the post, thanks again :)