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Towlersonsafari last won the day on September 25 2015

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About Towlersonsafari

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  1. Sadly a short eared owl was shot and killed at the same location as per post #129-I mention this to help illustrate a point that is better made by the BTO-The British Trust for Ornithology a respected research organisation on the occasion of the publication of the latest Hen Harrier survey which has attracted some media attention in the news here in the UK The RSPB comment here, The BTO conclude in their press release and i hope it is ok to quote them, "Stopping management for grouse has been suggested as a means of improving the fortunes of Hen Harriers (Thompson 2009). However, although this would remove the main proximal constraint on populations in some areas, it might not translate straightforwardly into increases in Hen Harrier populations. In areas currently dominated by grouse-moor, a shift to alternative land uses such as forestry or high-density stocking with sheep or deer, could diminish the value of the land for harriers by decreasing food availability or nesting success. Efforts are still ongoing by scientists and practitioners on both sides of this conflict to find a way to manage for grouse without illegally controlling raptors (Amar 2014). If such a solution can be found, it has the potential to benefit both the grouse shooting industry and Hen Harrier conservation more than alternative scenarios in which the existence of one precludes the other." And this is a very good point and something that makes the current situation so frustrating. Grouse moors could be good for birds of prey.I personally am not keen not only of shooting but of general predator control but there is no doubt that areas such as the Isle of Skye, where there is no illegal killing but Hen harriers can be impacted by foxes, can be used as evidence to support predator control in certain situations.I think this supports the licencing of grouse moors where good behavour is rewarded by , for example, subsidy and bad behavour such as that shown in areas near the Cairngorms or the Southern Scotland estate, is punished severely
  2. Thank you very much for your reply @egilio do you think that prey have "safe distances" that they are prepared to allow predators to be outside, depending on the predator and the prey and presumably what the predator is doing? I suspect it is not as simple as that!
  3. That's right, @Geoff just casually throw in that stunning be eater photo! And the vulture on the buffalo skull is rather splendid too
  4. Fascinating stuff! If I have understood correctly is there any theory about why stalking predators trigger a greater risk response than the coursing predators? If I have understood incorrectly please be gentle! Is it too early to suggest any conclusions say for stocking numbers of predators in smaller areas? Also with lions being newish on the scene in a pride, has the response to them changed? Sorry for all the questions and thanks for publishing the article here @wilddog and @egilio
  5. Splendid cuckoo @TonyQ I wonder why they look like a bird of prey-when flying they remind me of a sparrowhawk, and it often seems to be meadow pipits mobbing one I wonder if they know what the cuckoos are up to?
  6. Hello @Elsa Hoffmann your Zebra picture was of Mountain Zebra I think there are some plains Zebra still in the park but not that many now.If I can add to your reply to @xelas we used a Nissan x_trail 2x4 and that was fine on the normal gravel roads and also on the short 4x4 Afsaal route that reception described as a "farm track"! But there is no doubt that if you had a 4x4 you would see a lot more of the park_ the majority of it is 4x4. When we were there in February we saw red hartebeest mountain Zebra very few springbok but a fine number of tortoises! The camp restaurant was very good but the night drives very disappointing.that may have been due to the drought.
  7. It has influenced our decisions in particular again @Tdgraves and her reports on the Kruger led to our going there, As for publicity (and i have no idea of the cost) but how about a stall at the British Birdwatching Fair ?
  8. very nice photo's @Elsa Hoffmann especially the klipspringers when did you go? We were there in February and again saw very little in the way of wildlife, including only 1 pair of black eagles and no dassies! Of course that could have been a reflection of our spotting skills. I think you are right, it is a good place to visit for the scenery. For some reason i thought it would be more like Mount Zebra but i got the impression the area was much rockier and seemed much more forbidding
  9. Dear @douglaswise have you seen any research-and thus presumably evidence-that research projects in Africa drain resources from projects to save threatened habitats? or indeed that elephant orphanages distract from conservation? you do not consider that an elephant orphanage might act as a valuable indicator and publicist to the more general public thus attracting funds for other conservation projects? mind you I've not seen any research that backs that up.
  10. lovely photos @Soukousone of the joys of the Farne islands is watching your friends and family be "attacked" by the terns on the path up!-until it's your turn. and don't wear your best gear! For no very good reason, I've just remembered that the people of the now abandoned island of St Kilda used to include in their diet a bowl of porridge with a puffin in it
  11. SLNP has to be my favourite place that I have visited in the whole of Africa and what splendid photo's, especially the chameleon @Geoff . We were last at Mwamba in 2008 and wondered why it was necessary to have a guide to go into the hippo hide-the next day as we saw bits of the hide roof scattered all over the place we were told that lions had jumped on and through the roof!. i agree with you about night drives-too often they disappoint and we start to fall asleep but it was at Mwamba we had our best ever night drive-3 leopards, and 2 Pels Fishing owls! looking forward to the rest of your report
  12. Both comrade!!! @Dave Williams
  13. Love the Jay photo but on behalf of the "Corvids have feelings too" campaign I must protest about the use of the word evil! If any Corvids have been affected by the issues raised in this thread please contact Corvids have feelings too
  14. Very clean and cool @Game Warden and the new features like beginning typing a forum user to get a drop down menu is a boon to my clumsy typing. Hurrah!
  15. What a drive @Peter Connan and a splendid report! As for the hunt photos as you can imagine I would have been so excited I would forget I had a camera

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