Saturday, January 4, 2014

Monitor Lizards, Deer and Bush-rats!

On New Year's Day, as soon as it was possible, we drove out onto the mine towards the dam. As usual we were looking for birds - any birds - doing anything! While you concentrate on birds, other mammals and reptiles often cross your path or appear in the bush beside the road. 
 Monitor Lizard inside the ammunition store enclosure

Driving past the ammunition stores, Grant stopped suddenly: crossing the road just beyond the security fence was a Monitor Lizard. I manage a photo of this regal-looking mini-crocodile although it was quite a distance away. As we turned the corner, another larger Monitor Lizard ambled across our path. this time I captured it several times on camera. 

A medium sized Monitor Lizard ambles along the road ahead of our vehicle

A determined-looking Monitor Lizard marches off the road into the bush

Driving along we kept our eyes peeled for more birds (yes, we'd been seeing and photographing them) and entered the bush road leading to the dam. It wasn't long before we saw Dik-dik;
Dik-dik in the bush

...and again...
...and again...
...and again!

In between seeing the above Dik-dik and photographing them, we also saw a small group of Banded Mongoose. But although we stopped and I focused on them as quickly as possible, they all scampered off into the bush.

Still cruising at birdwatching speed (which is very slowly!), I suddenly noticed a fluffy grey movement in the grass beside the road. Grant stopped and I was able to photograph a small group of mice bush-rats eating beetles and crickets on the ground.

The rats were so intent on eating the plentiful supply of protein on the ground, they paid scant attention to us watching them! 

When we finally returned home after a good couple of hours of birding and photographing the local wildlife, I couldn't resist taking a photo of our new pup, Princess playing with Buster, one of the two dogs on our yard.
Buster and Princess play in the front garden of our house

Thanks to Eileen for hosting a wonderful meme called Saturday Critters. You can access her interesting blog (why not join in and post your Saturday Critters?) by clicking here.


  1. Lots of fun critters in your world today, Jo!! Great shots! Hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend!!

  2. Amazing the life to see when truly looking. The dik-dik are so cute and hard to see in the tall grasses.

  3. Hi Jo. You found some nice animals on your look out for birds

  4. Jo, the link is up and is working. I will link up post now and use my email..I love the cute deer and even the rats are cute. Thanks for joining Saturday's Critters.

  5. the monitors are great and I love the little bush-rats; very charming!

  6. Well this was fun as I'd never heard of a dik-dik before today..learn something new every day! :)

  7. Guess those monitor lizards are what we used to call leguaan in good old Rhodesia. When we lived on the banks of the Hunyani river they were regular visitors to our garden.
    Long time since I saw a dik-dik, time to return to Africa! Have a good weekend Diane

  8. You got wonderful captures. I have seen monitor lizards only in zoos, never in the open like this. Bit scary for me.

  9. Awesome critter shots ~ love the eye on the iguana and of course love the deer ~ Happy 2014 ~ carol, xxx

  10. The dik-dik appears to have huge eyes and looks like one of the popular stuffed animals the young grands are crazy about.

  11. I love all the different critters. They're all cute in their own way.

  12. Africa has interesting critters that I've never seen before.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Happy New Year blessings to you and yours, Jo.

  13. Hi Jo, how big are your monitor lizards? They look so like our which vary in size between 20cm and 2 metres. Love your Dik diks and bush-rats. It is always interesting to see the animals of a different continent.
    Princess looks like a real cutie.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo