Palmiet Night Walk

A few Palmiet Rangers went on a night walk led by herpetologist snake catcher and all-round naturalist Nick Evans. And they saw good stuff:

Meantime I took some pics in my garden lately

And another of our naturalists, Suncana, was busy as ever, spotting new and fascinating things:

While Roger and Rory shot more birds:

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This “emperor moth” from Cowies Hill wasn’t. Turns out iNaturalist says it’s a Giant Silkworm Moth. Genus Lobobunaea. Beauty!

Lockdown Loaded

Sundry garden fauna and flora! Not having pets helps – especially with the mongoose, I’m sure.

– Top L African Monarch?; Bottom R Blue Pansy – Brown Pansy –

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Neighbours bordering the Palmiet Nature reserve (we have a road between us and the reserve) have also seen seeing some amazing sightings during lockdown:

– “shifrafred” – banded mongoose family – plus bemused dassie onlooker –
– someone’s bushbuck – nkonka –
– Roger Hogg’s White-eared Barbet nestling –
– Lellos mamba –

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Moth-Eaten Friends

Bruce Soutar thinks I know things, so he sends me stuff. Which I really enjoy! ‘What’s this?’ he often asks. This was a moth on his car in Mbona, an ‘eco estate’ in the KwaZulu Natal midlands.

– what’s this on my BMW? he asked – bragging –

Of course, I immediately knew – after asking Roy Goff of African Moths. He identified it as Pingasa abyssinaria – ‘a regular from that end of the continent. It has an unusual resting posture which often makes people notice it.’

Common name: Duster. Bruce’s picture (shown) is better than any of the pictures I could find on moth websites – not bad! Maybe we can call it The Mbona Duster? Thank you to African Moths and Christeen Grant’s magic Midlands nature blog for info and the use of their pictures temporarily till I found Bruce’s pics.

Judging by the beautifully fringed trailing edge of its wings, I’d guess it flies very quietly – the better to dodge bats and nightjars and other predators.

Unlike this Moth with Moth-eaten passenger which flies anything BUT quietly.

– Bruce has a thing about moths – and he looks better all covered up in this 1947 Tiger Moth –
– another Bruce moth – from their Masizi Kunene Road home in Durban –

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– more old bullets –

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– ah! that’s better – Heather in the Tiger Moth –

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