23 November 2009

Unexpected guests for lunch

Still no shrew, but some unexpected guests made their appearance under the boulder in the ravine. I set out some bait as a desperate attempt to lure the shrew, but no luck (yet). I'm happy with the results from the camera under the boulder and think I will leave it there a bit longer, but I've given up on baiting the shrew (for now)... I will be moving the other camera tomorrow to a better spot. I have had very bad luck with it this month.

The first visitor after the bait was put out was a Cape Robin-Chat:

Cape Robin-Chat (Gewone Janfrederik)

The second visitor was a Small Grey Mongoose. It spent about 8 minutes picking through the leaves for morsels of food (11:59 am - 12:97 pm). The videos are in grey because the light under the boulder isn't good enough to enable the camera to take photographs in colour. It switches to the infra red flash and lens to deal with the low light conditions.

Small Grey Mongoose (Kleingrysmuishond)

These guys seem to be very active and always on the move. Even here underneath the boulder this one kept on moving about. They are active during the day. Their main food are rodents, also insects and other small animals. They also scavenge and eat wild fruits.

Their total length is around 55-69 cm, of witch about 20-34 cm is taken up by their tail and they weigh 0.5-1.0 kg. The tail is carried horizontally along the ground.

They have a wide habitat tolerance, from open shrub to forests. This is my first time recording them in a forest area around Kirstenbosch. I usually find them in the more fynbos-like areas.

References: Chris & Tilde Stuart (2008). Veldgids tot Soogdiere van Suider-Afrika. Kaapstad: Struik Uitgewers. 149-150.

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