Saturday, January 14, 2017

The one [two] I almost missed!

Every day without fail, rain or shine, I get up at around 4.45am. Once I'm dressed in shorts and T, I put on my walking shoes. I fit my peak on my head, slide my prescription glasses onto my nose, pick up my camera and walk out the open door of the rondawel. 

By now, Skabenga and Eddie are almost ballistic with anticipation for the forthcoming walk. Often I don't have anything to photograph. Like today, when it had rained all night and there wasn't even a sunrise in the offing. But I had my camera around my neck. In case. 

At home, I remove walking shoes, peak and glasses and put the camera on the table for when we walk again around mid-morning. You can imagine how this is a sign for the dogs to hop around barking madly and wagging their tails. 

Today at around 10am,  I went to the exit gate and looked up the road; I could only see Thunder. Missy was nowhere to be seen. Pulling on my walking shoes, I left my glasses and camera on the table and set off up the road. Skabenga kept looking up at my head - I'm sure he noticed I wasn't wearing my peak or glasses or carrying my camera. 

I was quarter of the way up the road, when I saw Missy lower down towards the outer fence. She was safe and came walking up to the road when she saw me. 

I looked UP the road and spotted a raptor on the fence pole quite a distance away. 


Just the day I don't take my camera. 

I walked back to the house, set myself up with peak and glasses AND camera and walked up the road again. You can imagine how thrilled the dogs are at all this to-ing and fro-ing. 

Finally I was within a couple of hundred meters of the raptor; I leaned the camera on a fence post and started to take photos. I wasn't going to go closer as I had the dogs with me - although Skabenga always stops and waits when I tell him to - as I knew the raptor was checking for a meal in the grassy road and I didn't want to disturb it. 
A raptor sitting on the fence along the road

While I watched, I noticed a small buck (deer) emerge from the long grass on the left, cross the road and climb through the fence next to the raptor! 
A small buck crossed the road as we watched 

At one point, the raptor flew down onto the road, scooped up a mouse in the grass and flew back onto the fence post again. 

We think the raptor is a Steppe Buzzard and the buck is a duiker. 

Today (because I went back for my camera) I'm able to share my Critters in the 'Berg with other readers by linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here! 

Moral of the story: I'll never walk out without my camera again! 



  1. I can just picture the dogs getting excited when you put on the waking gear. Good captures of the raptor and deer.

  2. So glad you went back for your camera Jo and fabulous critters to see. Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Isn't that terrible ! Each time I forget my camera something happens ! I always check if I have it with me but it happened also that I forgot. You are surrounded by such a beautiful nature ! It seems that nor terrorists or wars are going on in your world !

  4. and with all that walking back and forth to get the camera and glasses, you got even more excecise. you will get so thin from all this walking you may disappear... I would fall over with joy seeing the buck and bird...

  5. Hello Jo, I am so glad you went back with your camera. Both the hawk and the buck were awesome sightings. Great timing seeing the Duiker, it is a cute critter. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day and weekend!

  6. WOW! How amazing! And to get them both in the same photo...fabulous! You sure are good to get out so early every day. I try to always take my camera when I walk and if I don't...I'm sure to see something neat! Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Wonderful photos of the deer and the raptor ~ thanks,

    Wishing you a Happy Weekend ~ ^_^

  8. I really, really love the description of your preparation and routine for walks and wildlife sightings. Love that the dogs share such a wonderful life with you. GREAT photos of the Steppe Buzzard and the Duiker (have to look both up)!

  9. Wonderful bird and wildlife sightings ... your morning walk is a lot more exciting than the one I posted this week. a bit envious, but mostly grateful that you shared. Definitely don't ever forget your camera again!! As a fairly new reader I'm really curious what kind of hat a peak is -- I'll try to scroll around and see what I can learn. It's lovely to visit you .. thanks for welcoming me!! I love having blog friends in different countries).

  10. All great sightings and captures. And a good lesson learned.


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