Blog


2015-04-30
Still no end...


Still no end to firsts...

so delighted to see the first Moorhen on the Xombana dam.

Gallinula chloropus (Common moorhen)

Grootwaterhoender [Afrikaans]; Edenene (generic term for gallinules and moorhens)

The common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) (also known as the swamp chicken) is a bird species in the Rallidae family. It is distributed across many parts of the world.

The common moorhen lives around well-vegetated marshes, ponds, canals and other wetlands.

Omnivorous and opportunistic, feeding on a variety of invertebrates, seeds, fruit, birds eggs and tadpoles. It does most of its foraging by walking on floating plants or swimming, grabbing prey from vegetation, the ground and the water surface.

The nest is built by the female with material provided by the male, consisting of a a shallow bowl of plant stems and sedges. It is typically hidden in or between clumps of reeds (Phragmites), sedges or Bulrushes (Typha capensis), or in the low branches of a flooded tree.

  • Egg-laying season is year-round, peaking from June-August in Zimbabwe and from August-March in South Africa.
  • It lays 4-9 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 21-22 days, with the female taking the day shift and the male taking the night shift.
  • The chicks leave the nest within 1-2 days of hatching and are cared for by both parents and helpers. They are capable of foraging for themselves at approximately three weeks old, taking their first flight at 40-50 days old.

Not threatened, in fact it has benefited from the construction of man-made impoundments.

(Source : wikipedia & biodiversity explorer)

We really thought some rain would cool down the area as we are still experiencing very hot days, the clouds started building up in the afternoon and all around the reserve downpours accompanied with lightning and thunder was visible. Still lots of signs around the Piet-my-vrou was singing non-stop and we even heard a rain locust.

The veld has changed quite a bit grasslands and savannas are looking good and the type of grass known as Tambookie is standing tall.

Tamboekie is any of several southern African grasses; especially :  a grass (Sorghum verticilliflorum) growing to a height of six or eight feet and used for thatching and in making paper is often used in the rural areas for thatching, but there are coarse varieties, with stalks thicker than 4 mm, that are not considered suitable for thatching. (Source : wikipedia)