With the Rooiels Wild and the Village People WhatsApp groups all sharing photos there has been less need for us to share on the website. So the Field Notes have taken a back seat. But as WhatsApp is not so useful to archive we thought we would share a few of the photos from the first half of 2022
In March and April there were five visits to the cave -- see the photos on the Leopard Camera blog.
Ralph Pina shared some beautiful photographs of Rooiels - his website is well worth a visit ralphpina.com
Franka shared the tranquility of Rooiels on a rare windless day
Rooiels has been working closely with the Cape Leopard Trust with the cameras that Wolfgang Steinbach and Jill Lockley visit every few months and collect photos. See the Leopard Blog for some of these photographs and videos.
Here is a link to an interesting article published by the Trust in June 2021
In June Madeleine shared photos of the Sentinel Rock Thrush -- which is known to occur -- but seldom seen. Madeleine also shared an unusual view of the more commonly seen Ground Woodpecker. They are often on the boulders - and tend to follow the sun. So early birding in winter is not as rewarding for the rockjumpers, thrushes and woodpeckers that seem to be more active when the sun reaches the road. But in summer, the early bird catches the worm!
We have had several babies in the baboon troop these last few months. But unfortunately the R44 continues to be lethal. Joselyn Mormile's research shows that 44 percent of the infants die before they are a year old and almost all caused by cars. The baboons seem to learn as they get older with 75% of the car deaths being infants. The baboon mothers will usually carry around their dead infants, sometimes for up to 10 days as they mourn their loss. And we all feel that sense of loss. Please drive carefully!
Go to the Leopard Camera blog to see the latest photos of the visits captured on film. It really does add to the magic of living here to share photos and sightings of all the wildlife we have on land and under the sea. Thanks to those manning the cameras - the traps and your personal cameras! There have also been a number of sightings of the Smith's red rock rabbit again. And near Betty's Bay (Jenny Parsons) shared a great photo of a Large Grey Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) on the Pringle Bay Rewilding Facebook page. L
4th June a pod of Bryde's whales entertained Rooiels the whole day and a few of them the next day too. They were actively fishing - mostly around Container bay - perhaps brought in by some fish chasing the red tide which has meant limited mussel collecting for humans (and cats) for weeks now.
We have had a number of new baby baboons this year and it is delightful to see how the troop care for each other and how the fathers enjoy and protect their young.
A glimpse of dolphins passing and a photo of a shark breaching off the nature reserve - taken some years back in February. Below a photo of the Rooiels river in flood on 16th May - thanks Riel.
Free diving for fish and kreef (in season) or just for the beauty of the kelp forests is a favorite pastime in Rooiels. We occasionally see those who strap on bottles and gear and go diving down to the deep. But most of us have not really had a chance to share that magic with them. Thanks to two of these divers for sharing their photos with us. Enchanted by the quiet, strange and beautiful, they brave the cold.
If you would like to see more, click this link to the Underwater Wonders of Rooiels
There are over 1 million known species of plants and animals in our oceans and it’s believed that there may be as many as 9 million species still to be discovered.
Thanks to Bob for sharing flower photos taken on his hikes around Rooiels
From left to right, top row first
Erica porterii, the endangered Merciera azurea, Watsonia schlechteri, Bryomorphe lycopodioides, Erica gysbertii and Erica cygnea (Swan erica, this is a rare plant with the range restricted to KBR)
Photos and anecdotes from Rooielsers
Please share the beauty