The Verreaux Eagles defend their turf

The last Advanced Birding course was filled with exciting wildlife encounters and learning opportunities on the beautiful Mashatu Game Reserve. See what the students experienced in this photo blog.

We have just completed the latest EcoTraining Advanced Birding Course held in Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. Although the birding was excellent throughout the course, we experienced one day filled with mammal encounters. We witnessed a leopard kill, a sighting of four cheetahs and too many elephants to count. These were a few highlights over and above the many smaller animals we were fortunate to encounter on our drive.

Leopard and its kill (c) Duncan McKenzie

Cheetah love (c) Duncan McKenzie

It looks like it is nap time (c) Duncan McKenzie

One of many elephant encounters during the course (c) Duncan McKenzie

The birding highlights were equally enthralling as we managed to spot the Namaqua Sandgrouse, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Horus Swift, Southern Pied Babbler, Kalahari Scrub Robin, Barred Wren Warbler and many others.

Namaqua Sandgrouse (c) Duncan McKenzie

My personal best sighting was a pair of Verreaux’s Eagles spotted on the aptly named Verreaux’s Ridge. The female caught a Rock Hyrax right in front of us with the utmost ease and then proceeded to take it down to her nest after their share of the feed.

Pair of Verreaux Eagles (c) Duncan McKenzie

While she was doing this, a Spotted Hyaena in search of food appeared on the top of the cliff nearby the nest. The male eagle then swooped down and almost bulldozed the Hyaena off the cliff. The startled hyaena then ran off to nurse its wounded ego.

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