Mount Moreland Conservancy News

Here are some interesting factual  photos and stories reflecting and recording interesting occurrences within the Mount Moreland Conservancy Area.

If you have photos, sightings and/or stories of events that you have experienced within our area please contact info@mountmorelandconservancy.co.za

 October 2015
 Return of the swallows 2015
 September 2015
 Lots of snakes reported - too many to list
 August 2015
 1 August 2015 - First Yellow-billed kite has arrived - Sharon Basel
 July 2015
 20 July 2015 - Rose-ringed parakeet seen in park - Donne Dunbar

 25 July 2015 - Marchall eagle in my garden - Sandra Dalzell

 15 July 2015 - After catching rainwater in a plastic sack, 30 folding leaf frogs made this their home - Andrea Holing
Folding leaf frogs Mount Moreland
 14 July 2015 - Indigenous big leaf fig tree full of fruit, Alfred Street - food for the birds and the monkeys
Indigenous big leaf fig tree
 12 July 2015 - Sighting of Marshall eagle D757 - Hennie Wilken
 11 July 2015 - First lesser striped swallows have arrived - Angie Wilken
 10 July 2015 - Eagle owl corner william and Agnes Steet early evening - Hennie Wilken
 9 July 2015 - Bush buck by entrance walls - Shelley
 6 July 2015 - Egyptian geese on water pond from rain on construction road to Dube City - Darren Bowler
 4 July 2015 - Look what jumped into our yard - Female baby bush-buck, William Street - Eddie Forbes
female bush buck - Mount Moreland 2015
 June 2015
 29 June 2015 - 10 Guinea fowl, William Street early morning - Angie Wilken
 26 June 2015 - Buck and baby seen early AM on road to Scary Cliffs - Mark Holing
 23 June 2015 - Variegated bush snake sun bathing on the bush by my stoep - Angie Wilken
 20 June 2015 - 3 snares found after dog went missing, dog was found with back leg caught in the snare - Andrea and Mark Holing
 15 June 2015 - Black mamba breeding season June/July, mambas very active currently - Jason Arnold
 7 June 2015 - 12 guinea fowl with babies, William Street early morning - Hennie Wilken
 May 2015
 27 May 2015 - Guinea fowl with chicks, Froggy Pond - Daryl van der Ven
 26 May 2015 - Froggy Pond alien clearing project begins - Angie Wilken
 25 May 2015 - Mongoose mid day ran across the road by the Dust Pit - Angie Wilken
 24 May 2015 - Black mamba at Ascot Green 1.8m - Sharon Basel
May 2015 black mamba snake ascot green Mount Moreland
 19 May 2015 - Sighting of scarlet- chested sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis) in my garden Tuesday they are not usually found south of the tugela.They have probably arrived as a result of the large numbers of aloes and other suitable flowers that I have planted for sunbirds. - Michael Hickman
 17 May 2015 - Mongoose ran over the road D757 early morning close to Dust pit - Angie Wilken
 4 May 2015 - Snake at house in High street, local snake catcher was called in to remove the intruder, a male Mozambican spitting cobra. - Maxine Barske
Snake Mount Moreland May 2015
 3 May 2015 - Small night adder 12cm laying in the road early morning William Street - Angie Wilken
 2 May 2015 - Mosquitoes still plentiful and biting us often - Angie Wilken
 1 May 2015 - 2 large bush pigs close to Scary cliffs - Prem Gurney
 April 2015
 23 April 2015 - Juvenile Marshall eagle at the bottom of garden - Sandra Dalzell
 21 April 2015 - Barn Swallows all gone today - Angie Wilken
 10 April 2015 - Guinea fowls William Street mid morning -Hennie Wilken
 March 2015
 17 March 2015 - 6 wooly neck storks circling overhead mid morning - Angie Wilken
 16 March 2015 - pair of crested barbet's on the Lake Victoria viewing site at swallow time - Angie Wilken
 15 March 2015 - Bush buck on the D757 mid morning - Angie and Hennie Wilken
 4 March 2015 - 1.5m black mamba crossing Church Street mid afternoon - Hayley Esteves
 February 2015
 15 February 2015 - Large bush buck by entrance walls mid morning - Hayley Esteves
 8 February 2015 - 1.2m Boomslang on my stoep mid afternoon - Angie Wilken
 4 February 2015 - Pigmy kingfisher flew into our window and then flew away - Angie Wilken
 2 February 2015 - 2 owls sitting in the middle of William Street as I was returning from swallow duty - Angie Wilken
 1 February 2915 - Red duiker far side Lake Victoria, late afternoon - Ian Stewart
 January 2015
 28 January 2015 - House snake in my kitchen mid morning - Sandra Dalzell
 26 January 2015 - Barn owl landed in our courtyard this evening - Ian Stewart.
 20 January 2015 - Boomslang, brown and green in tree at Moreland Gardens - Clive Rossiter
 17 January 2015 - 2.4m black mamba trying to eat my chickens mid day - Mark Raubenheimer
 13 January 2015 - We had a wonderful viewing on Sunday evening, 11 Jan 2015, but also had an even more spectacular secondary experience! We were seated right at the bottom of the viewing area at end of the stairs, just before the path heads down. Right at the end of the evening watching the swallows mass we had a large black mamba (±2.5m) slither past us far too close, literally a meter away. My husband saw it out the corner of his eyes and didn’t alert us so as not to cause a commotion and movement. I saw it once it was moving into the grass in front. We had our 1 and 4 year old sons with us an thank heavens we were all sitting very still watching aeroplanes above and swallows in front.  
It was a terrifying experience but something totally natural in that environment, although one hopes you never see mambas EVER! We were super lucky that it passed by our side and that we never moved or disturbed it.  I wanted to let you know this in case the mamba is a resident in that area as I would hate for someone else to be less fortunate – perhaps small signage needs to be erected reminding people about snakes / keeping an eye in that same area for a while. 
Thanks Angie. Kind regards, Julie Anderson
 3 January 2015 - Bush buck crossing the road just pasted the dust pit - Hennie Wilken
 December 2014
 27 December 2014 - Dog died from night adder bite - Sandra Dalzell
 6 December 2014 - Suspect African rock python living in the bottom of my garden - Mark Gilroy

 5 December 2014 - An Unusual insect - Ian Stewart
Identified: the moth Euchromia formosa ( common name pleasant hornet, although of course not a real hornet, but a moth!).
Emeritus Prof Charles Griffiths

Unusual wasp Mount Moreland

 4 December 2014 - European roller spotted in my garden - Michael Hickman
 2 December 2014 - 3 fish eagles calling as they flew up the Mdloti river - Angie Wilken
 November 2014
 27 November 2014 - Bushpigs sighted on neighborhood watch - Maxine Barske
 24 November 2014 - Rare sighting of a leopard tortoise and brown house snake - Andrea and Mark Holing
Leopard Tortoise at Mount Moreland Leopard Tortoise at Mount Moreland Snake at Mount Moreland
 20 November 2014 - 3 Hammer kop babies out of the nest in my garden and about with the proud parents - Angie Wilken
 15 November 2014 - I saw the last metre and a half of night adder as it disappeared into a hole in my railway sleeper step - Angie Wilken
 10 November - 3 fish eagles calling as they flew up the Mdloti river - Angie Wilken
 9 November 2014 - The Return of the Barn Swallows opening of season
 6 November 2014 - Sighting of bushing's early morning Church Street - Darren Bowler
 3 November 2014 - Brown hooded kingfisher in my garden - Angie Wilken
 October 2014
 28 October 2014 - first mass sighting of Barn Swallows. Angie Wilken
 26 October 2014 - After a night of heavy rain the flying ants erupted outside - Angie Wilken 
 24 October 2014 - First sighting of small flock of Barn Swallows at Lake Victoria - Clive Hockly
 23 October 2014 - Black mamba and night adder in my garden - Dominic Hill
 16 October 2014 - Small scrub hare on my property - Allistair Stark
 14 October 2014 - Large male bush buck on the open property on William street 8.30am - Hennie Wilken
 12 October 2014 - First shongololos in my garden - Angie Wilken
 10 October 2014 - Yesterday afternoon I saw an eagle near scary cliffs on the ground. I was walking monster on the lead so we stopped to watch it – it carried on doing what it was doing for a while and then took off.
When I got closer I saw that it was busy eating a monkey. I’m not sure what type of eagle it was – I’ve goggled but still cant find it.
It was mostly white with spots all over its body. Thanks Donne Dunbar 
 6 October 2014 - Alfred street Barn owls with their 2 chicks nested in big tree and before them the nest was occupied by 2 Hamerkops and their 2 chicks. Bush buck in empty plot next
Charles street Brown hooded kingfisher, Giant kingfisher, Red bellied Wood pecker, Natal robin, Crested barbet, Paradise flycatcher, Yellow billed kite in the massive coral tree - by Donne Dunbar.

 1 October 2014 - Images of (from left) large spotted genet, water mongoose, bushpig - By Michael Hickman.

Animal sightings Mount Moreland Oct 2014

 September 2014

23 September 2014 - Martial eagle, scary cliffs - Andrea Holing

22 September 2014 - Brown hooded kingfisher in my garden - Angie Wilken

21 September 2014 - sighting of a large owl and bush duiker - Nic North-Coombes

20 September 2014 - Genet seen scratching in my compost - Allistair Stark

12 September 2014 - Giant eagle owl at the bottom of my property - Allistair Stark

 

 10 September 2014 -Animals at my back fence last nightBush pig - Michael Hickman
 7 September 2014 - Female bush buck ran over the road just above the 'Dust Pit' D757 - Angie Wilken
 3 September 2014 - SANBI team, header by Reshnee came and removed Ant trees from our area, Many Thanks to them and Sandra Dalzell whom oversaw this project. - photos courtesy Reshnee Lalla
Ant tree removal by SANBI - Mount Moreland 2014
 3 September 2014 - I am a student at ndwedwe fet college doing tourism, so from cottonlands where i live it happened that i discovered a sacred ibis birds species. so please support me by developing this specie and plz includes me on the development since i discovered it. - TG khuzwayo
 August 2014
 26 August 2014 - 2 fish eagles flying along the Mdloti river - Angie Wilken

 18 August - I spotted a white-tailed mongoose yesterday evening at about 22h30 on my way into Mount Moreland. It crossed the road just after the single-lane bridge where you turn right to go towards Mount Moreland. Here are the GPS coordinates if that will help:-29.646481, 31.090851.
Also spotted a scrub hare about a kilometre down the D757 shortly before that. - Ian Dickinson

 17 August - 2 bush buck and a wild rabbit and a frog sighted by Moreland gardens early morning whilst out with Dad on patrol - Devon Bowler

 14 August - Sighting of crested eagle chick, scary cliffs - Andrea Holing

13 August - regular sighting of large male bush buck by entrance walls - Ian Stewart

12 August - Bush baby, scary cliffs - Allistair Stark

11 August - 3 fish eagles seen over Froggy Pond - Mark Holing

 11 August -Crested eagle chickMartial eagle - scary cliffs. By James le Roux
 6 August - Sighted a wild rabbit that ran across the D757,  7.30pm - Angie Wilken
 5 August - First yellow billed kite has returned - Michael Hickman
 July 2014
 27 July - Bush buck stuck inside Dube Tradeport fence, hurting itself trying to get out, I opened a side gate and the buck ran out - Justin Taylor.
 25 July - First Lesser striped swallows sighted - Michael Hickman
 18 July - Bush buck in the bottom of my garden - Ali Botes
 17 July - Bush pig sighted often by Moreland Gardens - Justin Taylor
 14 July - I saw a white tailed mongoose at the entrance of MM right at the brick structures. White tailed mongooseIt was about 6:30pm. It was going from East to West across the road and stopped on the left hand side before ducking into that swamp outlet that goes under the road.- Clive Hockly
 4 July - 2 duiker sighted  far side of Lake Victoria - Justin Taylor
 10 July - female bush buck and baby seen far side Lake Victoria - Justin Taylor
 2 July - large bush buck ram next to my property early morning - Mark Raubenheimer
 1 July - Female bush buck seen regularly at Moreland Gardens - Justin Taylor
 June 2014
 26 June - Hamerkops building a nest in my garden - Angie Wilken
 1 June - Saw a blue duiker in a cane field near Blackburn Village - Clive Hockly
 May 2014
 30 May - 10 guinea fowl crossing the road in Alfred Street lunch time - Angie Wilken
 27 May - Sighting of brown snake eagle, scary cliffs - Andrea Holing
 25 May - Hammer kop in my garden - Angie Wilken
 20 May - large cane rat, a bit bigger than a fox terrier, ran across the road between Mount Moreland and Dube Tradeport - A Wilken
 17 May - Variegated bush snake, less than 1m was curled up under a cushion on my stoep chair - Angie Wilken
 15 May - Noticeable increase in mosquito activity and presence the past 10 days - Allister Stark
 14 May - Egyptian geese (10) waddling on the grass by the gazebo - Hennie Wilken
 10 May - Glow worms early morning in my garden - Angie Wilken
 4 May - Wild rabbits spotted early morning on the road to Scary Cliffs - Dave Barske
 2 May - Bush buck seen early morning down by the river - Darren Bowler 
 April 2014
 29 April - Sunset at Mount Moreland - Mark Raubenheimer
Sunset at Mount Moreland 29 April 2014
 29 April - Mozambican spitting cobra in my garden - Maxine Barske
 28 April - Glow worm in my garden early morning - Angie Wilken
 18 April - Reports of large snakes sighted crossing internal roads - Sandra La Roux
 14 April - Olive green sun bird flew into my house 11am - Angie Wilken
 March 2014
 26 March - All local swallows and yellow billed kites have migrated - Angie Wilken
 25 March - Very large black mamba seen on the road by the dust pit - Sandra Le Roux
 12 March - Rock python seen crossing Bond street 9.30pm - Justin Taylor
 5 March - Fruit bat game flying into my house - Hennie Wilken
 3 March - 2 toads moved into my bathroom and refuse to leave - Dean Barry
 2 March - Dog bitten by Mozambique spitting cobra, it lived - Justin Taylor
 February 2014
 16 Feb - Pair of Egyptian geese crossing the road with their chicks at Dube City - Hennie Wilken  16 Feb - Mozambique spitting cobra spat at my dog and eyes are very swollen - Maxine Barske
 10 February - Night adder by my kitchen door early evening - Michael Hickman
 8 February - Bush buck sighted in vacant lot Alfred Street - Sandra Dalzell
 5 February - Hammer kop sitting on the wire by the low level bridge by the river - Angie Wilken
 4 February - Hundreds of caterpillars devoured the leaves of an umzumbeet tree and then made their way over my gate - Angie Wilken caterpillars caterpillars
 3 February - bush duiker sighted by junction to monkey trail - Sandra Dalzell
 January 2014
 23 January - Pied kingfisher seen by low level bridge crossing - Hennie Wilken
 20 January - 2 baby Leguaan spotted mid day by Church street park - Cee-Jay Wilken
 5 January - Yellow billed kited seen catching an Indian Minor and then eating it - Andrea Holing
 December 2013
 13 December - Those two birds that we saw at the swallow site this eveningGround Hornbills at Mount Moreland  as I said are very well known to me (They were often seen by me on the airport site before it was developed) as I said they were without a shadow of a doubt two Ground hornbills such large birds with such distinctive features can never be mistaken.
Regards Michael Hickman
 
 November 2013
 28 November - I heard the fish eagles calling in closeFish eagles 28-11-2013 proximity to my house, I grabbed my camera and captured this image, there are 2, one is slightly hidden to the right - Angie Wilken
 24 November - In a few days I have lived in Mount Moreland for 6 years with all its "Black Mambas" that I have never seen and I am in the bush a lot more than most, finally on Friday I did see one on the roof of the out building which was not even a large one, about one and a half to two metres and believe it or not it is the very first Black Mamba I have ever seen in the wild in my nearly 61 years.
 
It was a Black Mamba I can assure you of that I went up very close to it close enough to have a very good look at the sharp end and could not mistake that charming mamba smile
 
Regards Michael
 11 November - On of  ourbaby lesser striped swallow very own baby lesser striped swallows that bred on my property flew into my house late yesterday and had to be rescued before it hurt itself by flying into the windows
Regards Michael Hickman
 10 November - The Return of the Barn Swallows 2013 annual event
 8 November - 3 metre black mamba came through my garden, under our house and then onto the property next door - Ian and Glenys Jowett
 6 November - this morning I have had a whole family of lesser striped swallowslesser striped swallows Mount Moreland roosting on my car, mother, father and their four young.
 
Since I have made my garden nature friendly I have had a vast increase in the numbers of birds that have become resident in particular the lesser striped swallows, I now have two breeding pairs that live and feed almost exclusively on my property. Last year when there were supposedly no insects around both my swallow families produced four babies each twice around making the swallows produced on my property last year 16 birds. The two babies photographed this morning are from a family of four that left the nest yesterday, the chicks from the second family still have to leave their nest.
 
Our local lesser striped swallows are for me far more valuable and rewarding than the barn swallows that are only here to roost and are rarely seen during the day. My swallows are with me from early august until they leave when the Barn Swallows leave from first light in the morning to last light at night, they are really a delight to have around with their friendly calls and their butterfly like flight. When I go to their nests they sit and talk to me as a remind as if  I should know what they are telling me.
 
We could have far more of these delightful swallows here in Mount Moreland if only more of the residents would make an effort to remove the unsuitable sterile plants and in particular invasive aliens from their gardens and replace them with suitable local plants as I have done.
 
We as a conservancy should be doing everything possible to promote and encourage our very own lesser striped swallows that live and breed at Moreland and as residents of Moreland do all we can to promote them
 
Regards Michael
 5 November - Bush pig sighted 6.30am as traveling towards Dube City - Jose Esteves
3 November - I have recently seen Blue Duiker, Black mamba and Bush Pigs - Paul Botes   4 November - A large number of Banded mongoose sighted by the sugar cane loading bay near the quarry - Justin Taylor
 
 October 2013
 29 October - Shane of the crowned research team has confirmed that our resident crowned eagles have breed and the parents are rearing a new chick. He also said that through monitoring and tracking during winter the female does not travel further than a 6km radius of the nesting site. - Angie Wilken
28 October - First firefly just flashed by outside - Angie Wilken
 27 October -just to let you know, Pickersgill’s Reed Frogs, and others are now active at the site, Froggy Pond – I attach a few pics from last week. Kind regards Dr. Jeanne Tarrant - Manager: Threatened Amphibian Programme 
Female PRF Hyperolius pickersgilliHyperolius pickersgilli Painted Reed Frog
24 October - Vanessa and I had brilliant swallow sightings at Lake Victoria - Justin Taylor
18 October - 2,5m Black mamba caught and safely released from my driveway by Brian Rosenthal 17 October - after rain for 72 hours the flying ants have erupted from the ground providing much needed food for the birds and wildlife - Angie Wilken
13 October - As said I have just seen a flock of barn swallows
50-10 or more at the bridge they flew very low and fast over the trees in the direction of Mt Moreland could have been going to lake Victoria or the river mouth could not see from where I was stopped on the bridge. The light was not good but there is no doubt that they were barn swallows, fist because of the large number all flying in the same direction, their characteristic flight pattern and their distinctive call. Michael Hickman
10 October - I would like to record that I had another sighting of the bluebilled fire finches in my birdbath in Umgeni Park on Tuesday 8 October. Regards Peter Eldridge 
 Leguaan at Mount Moreland9 Oct - Leguaan on my property, approximately 1.5m in length - Angie Wilken

 2 October - Pic I just took in my garden! Pretty cool hey; even if from my cellphone :-) Cheers Sharon Basel
Yellow billed Kite Yellow billed Kite 

 September 2013
 28 September - Group of mongeese spotted down by the bridge - Angie Wilken
 26 September - First shongololos out and about - Angie Wilken
 25 September - Spider we found at Michelle and Bruce's house - Alfred Street.Spider found at Mount Moreland 
We goggled it and only similar one that comes up is a Baboon spider (but I don’t think its that one - those grow to 20cm.. this one was only about 10cm.
 
Kindest Regards
Donne Dunbar
 15 September - Bush buck spotted early evening on the dirt road just outside the entrance walls - Hayley Esteves
 11 September - Young Martial eagle seen on the telephone pole half way up the D757 mid afternoon - Angie Wilken
 4 September - Male Bush Buck found dead at the bottom of my property - Brett Wilkinson Male Bush Buck 
 4 September - Arbour Day planting at Froggy Pond, Dube Tradeport sponsored some plants for  one of the flower beds
Dube Tradeport Arbor Day Dube Tradeport Arbor Day Dube Tradeport Arbor Day Dube Tradeport Arbor Day Dube Arbor Day
 2 September - Bush buck doe with baby seen by entrance walls, mid morning - Hennie Wilken
 August 2013
 28 August - early morning had an owl hooting in a tree in our lower garden, too dark to see what it was - Angie Wilken
 27 August                  
 25 August - Saw a bles Bok crossing the road upper village - Donne Dunbar
 23 August - Very exciting indeed, I have just seen a Southern Boubou Shrike feeding on the grated egg and cheese that I put out for the Natal Robin at my kitchen door. I do not want to frighten him but when he gets more used to feeding then I will set up a hide and film him as proof. I also hope he brings his mate because they usually go in pairs. - By Michael Hickman
 19 August - I see a bush buck doe regularly on the road down by the river - Justin Taylor
 17 August _ I saw a pair of Puff Backed Shrikes in my front garden - By Michael Hickman

 17 August - 2 Bush buck, mid morning next to Froggy Pond - Hayley Esteves
 Bush buck walked over the road and next to my property - Pru Borlase

 16 August - I have a teeny little frog made it's home in the leaf in my Frangipani tree.Frog in Mount Moreland Frog in Mount MorelandIt is about 2cm long and 1 cm wide and white in colour. It was here about 3-4 weeks ago then disappeared and today it is back in the ordinary leaf - Dot Tudhope
 15 August - Frogs and swamp making a big noise this evening, everything waking up to spring - Angie Wilken
 15 August - Mount Moreland on You Tube - Natal Robin in your garden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7SmuDaOE38
By Michael Hickman
 12 August - Giant kingfisher on the wire by the low level bridge crossing - Angie Wilken

 9 August - These are coming up all aver my garden a sure sign that spring is almost here,Sadoxus puniceus
Sadoxus puniceus

Also my swallows were not here yesterday evening but were here early this morning, last year the same they were not here in the evening but were here very early in the morning - Michael Hickman 

 8 August - The lesser striped are back on my front and back verandah - Kevin Drew
 7 August - I go to the airport every Thursday night to pick up Ray and I am seeing a lot of stuff that I didn't know was around.  I've seen two Bush Buck, 4 Duiker and another small pale coloured buck, bigger then a duiker but smaller than the bush buck and a gazzillion rabbit or they could be hares and Owls that swoop around - Mary Lyle 
 7 August - Insects are emerging, mosquito's are here - Angie Wilken
 6 August - I have trained a natal robin to come to my kitchen door to eat bread crumbs and grated cheese as well as 4 blue billed firefinches that I put seed out for. - Michael Hickman
 5 August - First migrant sighted, Yellow billed kite over Froggy Pond viewing site - Angie Wilken
 2 August - My resident pair of lesser striped swallows arrived - Ian Agg
 2 August - Frog chorus from all wetland and river - Hayley Esteves 
 1 August - Pied Kingfisher fishing in the Mdloti river close to low level bridge - Hennie Wilken
 July 2013

 31 July - Young Barn owl disturbed during the late morning at bottom of my property .Flew up into low branches , but not seen since . Mark Gilroy

 25 July - Bush buck grazing on the property next to me - Nic North-Coombes
 25 July - 2 bush pigs at the bottom of Church Street - Jose Esteves
 2 July - Brown hooded kingfisher in my garden - Angie Wilken
 June 2013
 25 May - Troop of vervet monkeys sleeping at night in a tree at my property - Donne Dunbar
 24 May - Genet seen crossing the road at the intersection of Church and Bond Streets mid evening - Nic North-Coombes.
 21 June - Shooting star South Eastern sky 4.30am - Angie Wilken
 20 June - Glow worm seen 4am in my garden - Angie Wilken
 15 June - 3 bush pig spotted on property William Street - Preban Kristenson
 13 June - Toads in my garage - Sandra Dellzal Frogs in Mount Moreland
 11 June - Pied kingfisher seen down by the low level bridge - Hennie Wilken
 1 June - Three bush pigs bottom end of Church Street early morning - Jose Esteves
 May 2013
 26 May - Beware massive black mamba in my pigeon loft 5.15pm - Mark Raubenheimer
 23 May - Bush pigs made a nest at the bottom of my property - Maxine Barske.
 22 May - Crowned eagle back on the nest at Scary Cliffs - Ian Stewart.
 21 May - Black mamba seen crossing Agnes Street - Nic North-Coombes
 20 May - Bush buck on lower end of D757 - Hayley Esteves

 15 May - Frog making unusual calling sound, brown looks like a tree frog, sounds like a child's squeak toy. I contacted Jeanne Tarrant Frog expert and was advised that it was a river frog. - Joy Spencer.

 13 May -We have a family of bush pigs in the bush belt at the bottom of our garden, Moreland Gardens. Mom, dad and now 3 juveniles. They visit most nights. Ali Botes

 12 May - 2 mongoose in garden corner William and Agnes Street - Hennie Wilken
              Dog died at Moreland Gardens possibly from Black mamba bite - Graham Ball

 11 May - We had a marshal eagle in our garden on Saturday in the rain. It spent quite a bit of time flying over Froggy pond and returning to a tree on the edge of my property. I've not seen it before. We also regularly see 3 bush buck on the hill opposite our house. -Andrew Dickinson.
 2 May - Giant kingfisher on the wire over the bridge - Hennie Wilken
 April 2013
 24 April - Bush buck down on P99 next to the river, crossing the road - Hennie Wilken
 15 April - Nic North-Coombes reported seeing 6 Bush pigs, late in the afternoon at the bottom of his property.
 12 April - Frog in my outdoor light - Sandra Dellzal Frog in Mount Moreland Frog in Mount Moreland
 4 April - Ian Stewart reported seeing a Bush buck doe on the road next to the river yesterday evening.
 3 April - A Mozambique spitting cobra was found in one of Mark's pigeon cages and had devoured one of his pigeons, the snake was trapped as its body mass was now too big to allow it to exit the cage. It was captured and released.
 March 2013
 24th - Crowned eagle sighted by residents, Julie Smith-Belton and Justin Taylor in 2 different locations, one by the entrance walls and two at Scary Cliffs. 
 21st - chameleon, bright green and yellow, nice size seen crossing over the upper part of Charles Street Road - Ian Jowett.
 February 2013
Lesley and I returned home about 9.30 on Thursday evening and whilst travelling down the dirt road we spotted a Cape fox. This sounds weird, however it was caught in the headlights for 3 minutes about 15 metres from the car. We had plenty of time to identify this animal. Extremely pointed face very large ears and the typical long legs with bushy tail. The animal then trotted off in the direction of M.M. IN THE HEADLIGHTS WITH US FOLLOWING IT.
 
This was amazing, I am familiar with Jackal, Fox and dogs, this was definitely not dog of any kind. The ears were enormous and the very pointed face and tiny nose is defiantly a fox.
Now this is rare, I would suggest that possibly it came with cane cutters from the eastern cape to sell because it was young or simple migration, which is unlikely. My guess its a trapped animal that escaped. Mark Raubenheimer
 Local Ballito residents Rouxda and Jacques contacted me withNew baby lesser striped chicks the news that they had 3 baby lesser striped swallows, I agreed to take over the rearing of these very tiny baby chicks. Well done to the rescuers, these babies don't even have a feather. I have being feeding them every 2 hours during the day and all seems to be going well. 

This Olive green sunbird flew intoOlive green sunbird the outside window glass really hurting itself, I wiped with water and gave it a drink and 5 minutes later it flew away.

 

 A baby mouse was found on our pathwayfield mouse, eyes not open, we took it in and tried our best to feed this little orphan, sadly it passed away 2 days later.

Quite possibly the mother was taken out by a snake and the baby even though blind was trying to survive. 

A passing butterfly rests for a moment 

Butterfly

 January 2013

  28 January 2013 - Wow, I'm thrilled to know my beautiful Banana spider will get some well-deserving glory!
He (?) is truly a magnificent specimen, & I've watched him from a wee little chap over the past few weeks, just outside my back door, spin his web wide (which is now quite a spreading kingdom I must tell you), & grow so incredibly fast at the same time.

                    Banana Spider     Banana Spider     Banana Spider 
I haven't seen him move around much, except in the very early hours of the morning (he's definitely an early riser, and spends the rest of the day meditating!)... but he certainly appears happy and right at home. We politely greet each other every morning as I peer at him and his kingdom... just to make sure he's still there, & to see how much more he and his web has grown. I'm absolutely fascinated with the fella :-)
His colouring is amazing; his legs are striped with red and his body is a bright yellow, speckled with black.  And he has the oddest looking little face; too cute.  He's about 3cm big (excluding his legs! which are perhaps around 4cm long each, if not longer).What an incredible little creature to grace my world, a Banana Spider! - Sharon Basel

 4 January 2013 - I,5M Mozambican Spitting Cobra Outside my kitchen door today. Luckily one of my dogs barked at it and
we saw it go under my washing machine. Snake catcher Jason came and removed it - Sandra Le Roux
 December 2012
 The Mount Moreland Conservancy has now been officially registered and certified as a Nonprofit Organization (NPO)
  27-12-2012 Just when you thought you were going to have an afternoon nap...........black mamba ontop of my bedroom cupboard - By Glenn Evans

27-12-2012 black mamba snake 27-12-2012 black mamba snake 27-12-2012 black mamba snake

Water-lily Reed Frog - Hyperolius pusillus During the Mdloti river coming down in flood after intense rain, we went down to photograph this unusual occurrence. On one of the concrete uppers of the low level bridge crossing there sat this brightly coloured green frog. I scooped it up and relocated it safely on the river bank and then forwarded the photo to Dr Jeanne Tarrant for her to identify.
It is a Water-lily Reed Frog - Hyperolius pusillus

 fools gold beetlePhoto of gold insect that landed on my car door window as I opened it at the swallow site, luckily I had my camera and captured it
It was just smaller than a 10 cent coin but the round membrane and true gold impressed me, what is it?
I once again asked for the valid input of Prof Charles
Reply:
Indeed these are striking little fellows that get a lot of attention when spotted. He is a ‘fools gold beetle’ Aspidomorpha tecta (p 252 of our insect guide) and often found in association with morning glory. You will see the weird larvae on the underside of leaves that have chewed holes in them. You will find more info on the web if you search for this name.

Prof Charles L Griffiths UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN 

 November 2012
Injured lesser striped swallow Local resident Hanna Evans brought me this injured lesser striped swallow, it had a sore eye and bloody beak, she left it with me and I nursed and cleaned the wounds, cuddled it for hours and made it a warm place for it to sleep for the night. This morning all was well and I released back into the wild. Thanks Hanna for your caring approach and intuition, your actions led to happy ending.    Pelicans over Mount Moreland Pelicans over Mount Moreland
A flock of pelicans fly over Lake Victoria at Mount Moreland
 Hullo, just a note to say that we do enjoy your website. We live in Umgeni Park, and would like to let you know, for interest,  that this morning at 7o’clock we saw two bluebilled firefinches in our bird feeder. This is the first time that we have had a sighting of these birds in Durban North and Umgeni Park. With the help of your website and a photograph by Michael Hickman, we were able to confirm that these birds are in the greater Durban Area, after finding a reference to them in Sinclair’s “Birds”.  Best wishes, Peter Eldridge 
 November rain ovember rain
November and more rain the Mdloti river now very swollen.
Crinum about to flower, such a rewarding indigenous plant. Crinum about to flower
 KIngfisherAn African Pygmy Kingfisher came flying onto our kitchen and posed so nicely for a photo before flying out again. By Hennie Wilken  Flying antsAn eruption of flying ants after recent heavy rains
 OCTOBER 2012
 24 October 2012 - Do you know someoneSnail photo who can id this snail found in Durban North from such a poor photo?
Looks as if this is the closest that I can get to naming your snail
http://natureswow.com/snails-slugs-mollusks/#jp-carousel-1340
- Michael Hickman
 19 October 2012 -
Bluebilled firefinch oct 2012African Firefinch, Blue Billed Firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata or whatever it may now be called . Photo taken at my bird feeding site from my bedroom window a few minutes ago. I have  two resident pairs in my garden as well as a resident pair of red billed firefinches  - Michael Hickman
18 October 2012 - Froggy Pond viewing site in Full flower
- Angie Wilken
Froggy Pond Viewing site oct 2012 Froggy Pond Viewing site oct 2012 
18 October 2012 - Barn Swallow return in mass to Mount Moreland - Angie Wilken . See more here
18 October 2012 Barn Swallows return 18 October 2012 Barn Swallows return

 9 October 2012 -


The winged termites were out in full force again this morning right under my bedroom window every bird possible was in attendance even had a black headed heron feeding but it was too dark and too much movement to make much in the way of photos  -
Michael Hickman

Senecio madagascariensis oct 2012A beautiful sight! Fields of what is probably Senecio madagascariensis growing in abandoned cane fields near to Dube City these plants will bring in literally millions of insects that would not have occurred when the cane was still there  -
Michael Hickman

______________________________________________________

9 October 2012 - First Vervet monkey baby born 

9 October 2012 -aloe pluridens -here is a photo of one of the two Aloes species that grow naturally here in the Mount Moreland Conservancy area it is a good plant to attract sunbird's and other nectar feeding birds which every garden should not be without -aloe pluridens Michael Hickman  9 October 2012 - Be inspired by Anthericum saundersiae Lily Grass or Weeping Anthericum Synonym: Chlorophytum saundersiae. Click Here to find out more - Michael Hickman

Anthericum saundersiae Lily Grass or Weeping Anthericum SynonymAnthericum saundersiae Lily Grass or Weeping Anthericum Synonym

 8 October 2012 - Nest BoxCrested Barbet - Mount Moreland Conservancy

Crested Barbet eating flying ants taken from my office window this morning. You could also have these delightful birds in your garden if you provide a nesting box for them I have 4 pairs living and breeding in my garden 3 in boxes and one in a natural hole in a dead tree. - Michael Hickman
 

 8 October 2012 - Pouring with rain the past 24 hours and still raining, flying ants are emerging everywhere - Angie Wilken
 7 October 2012 - I just saw a baby Bush Buck and mummy 100m from my house in Church Street - Tasneem Wessels
 6 October 2012 - First Barn Swallows have arrived - numbers will grow over the next 10 days, see Barn Swallow Daily Log for daily updates. Angie Wilken
 5 October 2012 - ParadiseParadise Flycatcher Flycatcher in the bottom of my garden, it appeared this bird was feeding on insects in this area - Angie Wilken
 6 October 2012 - Natal RobinNatal Robin foraging for food on the ground, these birds are very common and seen often in my garden, we have seen one nest over the years, they are such a pretty bird and mimic sounds of other birds - Angie Wilken
 4 October 2012 - Busy in the garden pulling weeds outBush-squeakerBush-squeaker
and this tiny frog appeared, about the size of a R5 coin,
I sent the photos to Dr Jeanne Tarrant and here is her reply........It is a Bush-squeaker. They make that rusty swing noise, day and night, esp in misty/rainy conditions. Always heard but seldom seen, so nice to stumble across one!
By Angie Wilken

 3 October 2012 - I (Angie Wilken) was on the Lake Victoria Swallow viewing siteHemiptera found in the Mount Moreland Conservancy and thisHemiptera found in the Mount Moreland Conservancy rather interesting insect flew by then landed, I quickly took a photo and requested the assistance of Prof Charles Griffiths, UCT, Here is his reply.
This is a bug ( Hemiptera) of the family Fulgoridae –  one of the most spectacular of insect families. Hemiptera means "half wing" and refers to the fact that part of the first pair of wings is toughened and hard, while the rest of the first pair and the second pair are membranous. If you Google for that name and look at the images you will see some amazing examples, of which this is one of the dullest! It is 148.5 in our insect book ( not exactly the same species but similar) Best wishes, Charles. See other varieties of this species here

 1 October 2012 - I took a few pics of the baby cane rats thatBaby cane rat Hannah Evans foundBaby cane rat in Baby cane ratthe sugar cane one day while she was out riding. She took them home because they were full of ants and the mother was no-where in site. She fed them on cat milk which she gets from Beryl who fosters baby kittens, but sadly they never made it. She was devastated and cried and cried when they died. By Terry Ann Rens 
 SEPTEMBER 2012
30 September 2012 - Redbilled Fire finch - By Michael Hickman
Here are a pair of red billed fire finches that are resident and are presently breeding in my garden which I have just photographed feeding on food put out for them right at my kitchen door, this can be achieved by others in Mt Moreland by the correct management of their gardens.
By Michael Hickman
11 September 2012 -  Vervet Monkeys harvesting and eating new shoots from a White Stinkwood tree - Celtis africana

Vervet monkeys eating shoots of White Stinkwood

13 September 2012 - A young bush buck with fluffy white tail walked casually through the burnt site next to gazebo crossing William Street into vacant properties opposite - Submitted by Hennie Wilken

________________________________________________

12 September 2012 - Cat caught a small bat last night – I took it into the garage and this morning it had moved away from where I left it – I should have photographed it. At least it will live to see another night. Then she came in with a rat/big mouse this morning.
Submitted by Nic North-Coombes.

9 September 2012
This afternoon Hennie and AngieAfrican rock python Wilken had a rather large and awesomeAfrican Rock Python visitor moving through their property..........a 5 metre plus African Rock Python, amazing. The Vervet monkeys kept a sharp eye on where the snake was heading, managed to get a photo of part of the body, huge! very fat approximately 100 millimetres in diameter. This is a protected species and I have heard stories over the years but this is the first time we haveAfrican Rock Python seen one.
  
 

8 September 2012
Reports received of a Blue Duiker in a garden 6.40am in Charles Street - submitted by Mark Raubenheimer 
8 September 2012 - Adopted Egyptian Geese and their 5 chicks, rehab underway by Daniel and Riana Rademeyer
Egyptian Geese  Egyptian Geese Egyptian Goose Male

6 September 2012 - Barn Swallows begin their migration South Barn Swallow

News from Europe is that the Barn Swallow migration South has begun see
Barn Swallow news and Barn Swallow migration records

5 September 2012 - 3.30pm Two black mambas mating at home on Charles Street 
 AUGUST 2012
25 August 2012 Crowned Eagle repairs its nest at Scary Cliffs
 Crowned Eagle  Crowned Eagle Nest  Crowned Eagle
25 August 2012Bush Fire
There was a self ignited bush fire on the property behind the gazebo. Many bottles were found and it is suspected that the extreme heat of the day magnified through one of these bottles and ignited the fire.
Thank fully no real major damage was caused and this has to be read/seen as a warning, if this is the sort of heat we are to experience through out summer we must be more vigilant.
We appeal to all vacant property owners to remove invasive vegetation from their properties ASAP. Invasive plants burn at a much faster rate than that of indigenous plants.
Dumping on vacant land must also cease immediately, owners please check your properties.
 
 
Bush Fire  Bush Fire  Bush Fire 

15 August 2012
Resident Wilma Retson took this photo of a strange insect in her garden and in turn we ( the Mount Moreland Conservancy) sent it to an entomologist and here is his reply;

This is the nymph of a flower mantid Pseudocrobotra wahlbergi.

If you Google for that name you will find lots of information and images as this is a popular photographers subject. It is on p60 of our insects of SA book if you have a copy.

Prof Charles L Griffiths UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN

 WEBSITE LAUNCHED 31 JULY 2012

...