Always Learning About Our Wildlife

One can never know everything, and this is especially true for our wildlife around Makweti Safari Lodge and in the Welgevonden Game Reserve. The only way to evolve as humans is to constantly maintain the mindset of beginner’s mind, always being open and receptive to new ideas and information.

This is the exact stance that Makweti’s Neil Davison maintains as he sets about his daily work on the reserve. There is always something new to learn through observation, but also sometimes through discussion.

The following is a conversation that took place in February around a new and very rare sighting in Welgevonden that Neil was fortunate to capture. Enjoy the read!

Neil Davison:

“In February on a morning drive around Andres Pan I came across a bird I have not seen before. I identified it as a Eurasian Hobby, but was not completely convinced. I managed to get a photograph of the bird and decided to send it to Jonathan for verification as it would be an interesting sighting for the area for myself.”

Jonathan Swart is a Research Ecologist for Welgevonden Game Reserve. He came back to Neil with a positive response, also thinking that it was a Eurasian Hobby, but to be sure, he decided to send it to renowned ornithologist, Warwick Tarburton for confirmation.

Warwick was only too pleased to get back to Jonathan and Neil with his feedback.

Warwick Tarburton:

“Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for the e-mail and the interesting record. It is a Eurasian Hobby, yes, not yet fully adult as shown by the undertail coverts being mainly white, not chestnut. Seems from SABAP2 that it occurs very sparsely in the Waterberg whereas it was a regular summer visitor to the Nyl floodplain when we lived there.

Would Neil mind if we added his photo to the Waterberg website? And if he’s happy with this I’d need to have his surname to add to the photo.

Regards, Warwick”

Not only is that a first for Neil, but also for the reserve itself. What an honour to experience something so exciting!

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