04 November 2010

Puddle Of Dreams

Sometimes I find a location for a camera trap that really gets me excited, but then fails to deliver...

The puddle... (I don't know what the proper word/name for this sort of thing is)

I stumbled upon this little natural puddle. It forms in one of the small streams that runs down the hill towards the dam near the main entrance at Tygerberg. I think it makes a very pretty backdrop. I have camera trapped Water Mongoose and Cape Clawless Otter higher up on this stream. I even found some freshwater crabs living in the puddle.

This crab was walking along the bottom of the puddle

My hopes where running high. I decided to leave the Cuddeback behind to monitor the puddle. I knew that the Cuddeback wasn't the perfect camera for this sort of location. It has a very narrow detection zone, but compensates for it by having a fast trigger time. It works best when pointed across a trail. The factor that made me choose the Cuddeback was its natural/white flash. With the Moultrie out of action I only have one white flash camera. I was hoping for some awesome nighttime photos of otters, etc.

You might have noticed by now that none of my hopes or dreams materialized. But it was not a total loss. At least I got some photographs. Two birds a Helmeted Guineafowl and a Black Sparrowhawk (new).

Black Sparrowhawk (Swartsperwer - Accipiter melanoleucus) visiting the puddle

Yet, despite the bad luck with the Cuddeback a very observant reader might have noticed that the first photograph shows a Bushnell Trophy Cam pointing towards the puddle. Well, I'm just not ready to give up on the spot yet. I'm hoping the Bushnell's wider detection zone will stand a better chance recording the action that might, or might not, be happening at the puddle. Beggars can't be choosers and IR images will have to do :)

On a slightly different note: A few posts ago I mentioned having never seen a baby Leopard Tortoise at Tygerberg. Well, I stand corrected. This little fellow rocketed off into the roadside cover when I started pointing a huge lens in its face. I prefer not to interfere to much with the animals for the sake of a simple photograph and I almost never pickup tortoises. The result is that on a warm day these guys move quite fast and I only got a few shots at it before it was gone.

A baby Leopard Tortoise (Bergskilpad - Stigmochelys pardalis) at Tygerberg Nature Reserve in Cape Town
Bulldozing his way to peace and quiet

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