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 Post subject: The big twitch in Kgalagadi and Augrabies : June 2007
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:53 pm 
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I cannot believe the amount of baggage waiting to be packed. All this stuff – to sustain two old folks and a small 10-year-old girl for a single week!

We will have to pack very carefully otherwise one or both the passengers will have to stay :lol: because there is no way that any of my birding equipment will remain behind!

This trip is our maiden visit to both the Kgalagadi and Augrabies. It is quite obvious that expectations of both passengers and the pilot are very high and I am certain that the two Parks will not disappoint.

We leave for JHB tomorrow where we will pick up Sherry-Lee, our eldest grandchild. As a bonus I hope to get sight of a Northern Pintail while in JHB to start off the expected glut of ticks on my lifelist. After a successful twitch (I hope) and a good night’s rest we will set off to Kgalagadi, leaving JHB at 04:00 (I REALLY hope, as some of my passengers are notoriously difficult to wake that time of the morning).

My intention is to post trip progress reports in real time, but not knowing what to expect while in the Northern Cape, this is not a promise. (Wait and see…)

Whatever happens, we will post again soon with pix and some lines to share our Kgalagadi/Augrabies experience.

Chow for now!

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:50 am 
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Hope you have a great trip , and knock up a big tally there :D


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:02 pm 
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We're back!

We clocked up the following stats:
Min temp: -3 deg C
Max temp: 25 deg C
Dist travelled: 3496 km (888 km inside parks)
Ave speed: 56.6 km/h (I crawl in the parks)
Fuel cost: R2477-00

Animals seen in excess off 100: Gemsbok, Springbok, Ostrich, Blue wildebees, Social weavers, Cape sparrow, red-eye bulbul.

Baggage and snacks were oversupplied by a factor of 2. Wine and Amarula had to be supplemented.

Best sightings: Pygmy falcon, LIT, jackal/springbok "kill" and :dance: Kori Bustard. :dance:

Meets in the last 10 days: Snoobab, mountainview, Skopsie, Marli, KenivT, Jonkers, GVIKgalagadi and GVIAugrabies. (How are you guys, especially my mate, Skopsie?)

Pix: 3612 shots taken

Biggest laugh: SO getting locked in at picnic site toilet by a de-railed gate

Saddest moment: Saying goodbye to grand daughter, Sherry. Nearly rivalled by leaving Kgalagadi.

Now for the trip report - I'll post a bit every now-and-then...

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:22 am 
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Those picnic spot toilets are all designed the same way - gravity is cleverly employed to self-close the safety gate running on a round-bar rail. When it derails it takes a bit of musketeer to repair... the imprissoned angels just have to holler: "HELP!" and the help duly arrives. :lol:

Snoobab, the twitch did not produce the expected lifer numbers, but I am not complaining. And I don't want to let the birds out the bag yet :twisted:

To continue the actual trip report...

29 June

We left St Anderton at 12:00 and arrived without much hassle in JHB in time to twitch the Pintail at Northern Farms with Snoobab and mountainview. Complement to Snoobab – this fella does not know the meaning of the word NO or QUIT. Due to his tenacity we got through all the hurdles and obstacles in the way of our weekday twitch to provisionally add tick number one my lifelist (still depending on the consent of the rarities committee and not yet added to my tally).

A great afternoon's birding with two new mates got my so fired up mentally that I failed to get some much-needed sleep for the long trip to the Kgalagadi.

30 June

Woke up all fuzzy-headed at 03:00 and got my two angels in the Landy D3 to leave at exactly 04:00. I bought a couple of Red Bulls at the closest 24-hour shop just to keep the Sandman at bay.

We had breakfast at Vryburg and lunch at Upington. We bought our final bits of groceries at the Pick ‘n Pay (I couldn't believe that we needed more stuff) before tackling the final stretch to Twee Rivieren. We stopped at one of the huge Social Weaver nests along the road and I got some nice pix of the birds repairing their huge nest (lifer no 2).

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That last bit (45 km) to Twee Rivieren was “a bit hectic” to quote one rattled SO… Very dusty, rutted and corrugated, this stretch of road rattled the teeth from our dentures! Sherry, who had braved the whole distance without complaint, promptly took a nap to escape the stress of having to watch her Ouma hanging on for dear life with both hands on the chicken handles and both feet pushing teats into the Landy’s firewall.

The booking in at Reception went smoothly. We got chalet 20 right next to the restaurant. Unpacking took quite a while (a significant load to decant into the chalet…). But, we took some time to enjoy the spectacle of a full-moon rising over the Kgalagadi-plains.

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At 19:00 we walked across to the restaurant where we dined on schnitchels for the girls and a Kalahari platter (pork pin-wheels, chicken wings and skilpadjies) for me. The chosen wine was divine, the fare mediocre. “Maybe tomorrow Kgalagadi will make up…” I thought.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:36 pm 
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Salva, I kinda can live with the quality if the cost of the meal was on a par. But R138-00 for a 300g steak... The Spur in Upington does a better job by far at half the price. We resigned ourselves to the realities and will in future plan around the restaurants.

Thanks, guys and gals for the rah-rah-rah... Writing trip reports is hard work after a tough day at the office. But it IS fun reliving the Kgalagadi experience! :dance:

1 July

Our internal clocks beat the alarm set for 06:00 by well over an hour. After a quick breakfast we did the registration-form thing at reception and set off on our big Kgalagadi adventure.

We crawled out of camp and into a desert fantasy world with animals everywhere! We missed the first two waterholes somehow and the first real stop was called by Sherry about 8 kilometres out of Twee Rivieren out along the Nossob river. An adult springbok ram is in major trouble – during the night or earlier that morning it somehow broke a front leg and now a jackal was trying to subdue the poor animal by snapping at its hind “ankles”. Thoroughly hobbled by its unfortunate injury, the springbok tries gamely to keep the jackal at bay, slowly moving up the ridge in defensive circles but the incessant sneak attacks to the rear of the springbok eventually pays off for the jackal and the springbok collapses just on the other side of the river bank where its fate is screened from our eyes. There is no doubt in my mind that the jackals must have had a feast later that day or night.

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I was so thrilled and yet content with this experience that I just wanted to sit back for a while and reflect. We discussed what we saw and explained to a slightly distraught Sherry the ways of the wild… survival of the fittest and the strongest. She understood the concept quickly and soon contributed her own insights to the discussion.

This was the first real test of my new digiscoping adapter and the digiscope set-up passed this test with flying colours! The action had first been spotted by Sherry’s super-eyes around 300 m from the road. The “battle” progressively moved up the river embankment and the apex was crossed about 500 m from our position. The resultant images were a pleasant surprise as they were the first action shots ever on the very cumbersome digiscoping train.

Southern pale chanting goshawk is the day’s first addition to my bird lifelist – they are everywhere!

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A further surprise is the commonness of the Kori Bustard – this used to be a bit of a bogey bird for me, but on this trip it quickly became a very frequent sighting (still welcome, considering the dearth of Kori Bustards prior to our Kgalagadi visit).

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As frequent a sighting was the Yellow Canary (lifer 3). The fourth and final addition on this day was the pair of Pririt Batis, again falling to Sharp-eye Sherry.

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At around 10:00 a kind soul stopped us at the junction to the Auchterlonie-Kij Kij dune road and gave directions to a sighting of two male lions diverting us from our intended destination, the picnic spot at Melkvlei. Well, expecting a Kruger-type traffic jam, we set off along the dune road, eventually ending up on the Auob road without seeing anything resembling a cat or another vehicle! OK! We already had one heck of a treat, dipping on a big cat was not such a big deal! So, let’s go and have a look at tomorrow’s birthday party venue, the Kamqua picnic spot…

On the way north along the Aoub springbok, blue wildebeest and gemsbok are the staple visual fare. Ostriches are everywhere – I think we must have seen well over 100 for the day! Together with crowned lapwing, Cape sparrow, white-browed sparrow-weaver, Cape turtle doves, social weavers, common fiscal and crimson-breasted shrike, they are the commonest birds in the Park. We also got some great views of Cape crow, familiar chat, red-eyed bulbul, scaly-feathered finch, Lanner falcon and black-chested prinia.

Not far from the picnic spot we got our first stop due to the yellow ribbon fluttering on the Landy’s side mirror. Introduced as Jonkers, she warned us of a group of nine giraffe browsing along the ridge on the left as we were traveling. The giraffe duly obliged exactly where Jonkers said they would be.

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At Kamqua picnic spot the confiding birds treated us on close-up views, giving best pix in my album of a number of old friends.

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Then Skopsie appeared. He profusely apologised that he had let the cat out of the bag regarding the surprise party for SO, Lillian, that I had lined up with another forumite, Marli, and Skopsie for the following day. The poor man felt so bad in letting the info slip out in spite of it being my fault for not having communicated the “surprise” properly with anyone – who would expect a chance meeting like that anyhow? We got to chat like old friends, leaving both me and Lillian looking forward to meeting with Skopsie and his SO again the next day.

The resident Cape crow and Sherry-Lee become thick friends quickly and parting was difficult… the crow had to be taken with, or else!

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On the way home from Kamqua picnic spot we again took the Auchterlonie-Kij Kij dune road and promptly ran into the pair of male lions just beyond Tierkop. They were the REAL McCoy! Note the appearance of the lion’s skin – like that of a body builder just before a major competition – paper-thin, showing off muscle tone and veins to great effect!

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But they are LAZY blighters! And once they were lying down, all one could see was the occasional flicking ear or whipping tail. By my calculations it was time to wave these kings of the desert goodbye.

We had another cat-sighting along the Nossob on the way back to Camp.

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Our thirst for wildness and special memories had been thoroughly slaked. Tired we started the braai fire and saluted a superb day with good red wine. Thankful for the day’s boon, we watched as the sunset painted the landscape to the east of us with ochre and sienna.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:11 pm 
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2 July

The birthday presents had been hidden in a secret compartment in the Landy. It had to be “secret” to keep this birthday girl from discovering things like pretty packages. I snuck out to the car to fetch the gifts while the two girls were doing their early-morning faffing in preparation for the day’s trip to Kamqua picnic spot. Without too much effort I got Sherry in the swing of things and together we produced the presents backed by a reasonable rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song.

We were packed and ready for a party.

While I waited for the girls to leave the chalet, I noticed five rock martins sunning themselves below the parapet of the restaurant building

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On the way to the gate I noticed people in khakis approaching the administrative quarters, one of them a blonde female… immediately I thought that this may be the new GVI for Kgalagadi. I promptly swung the Landy around and intercepted her before she could enter the building. Her name tag stating “Cathryn” confirmed my belief. Her engaging manner ensured that an easy introduction followed. I made a real gaffe when I placed her accent as that of an Aussie. 11 years in Kiwi-land did that to her. She was actually born and raised in South Africa and glad to be BACK! A wonderful passion for the Kgalagadi kept on bubbling to the surface. This green-eyed freckle-face is one sharp lady too – already full of plans to involve the local community in the Kgalagadi activities. She is going to write her own saga here…

SO’s birthday celebration trip through the Kgalagadi started off with three female lions walking the ridge on the left bank of the Nossob (we were traveling north-east), only three kilometres out of Twee Rivieren. One of the females came a little way down the ridge to eat some grass, just as much of a disgusted look on the face as a domestic cat would have when it does the grazing bit. I have always thought that grass-eating helps domestics get rid of hear-balls and that was the reason for them indulging in a bit of lawn-mowing. Now it appears as if all cats suffer from hear-balls…

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The other two kept on striding purposefully to a destination somewhere behind the ridge and was soon hidden from view.

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Our birthday party date at Kamqua picnic spot at 11:00 meant that not much time could be spent on just sitting at one place, waiting for something to happen or show itself, neither could we stay long chasing LBJs. As it was Lillian, who was driving, nearly collected a Toyota badge for the front of the Landy. Obviously other tourists were, on this day, not in much of a hurry to get anywhere…

We, however, couldn’t resist a Lanner Falcon with evidence of a recent kill still visible on its belly!

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Gemsbok had become Sherry’s favourite sighting. The previous evening she bought herself a gemsbok “teddy” at the shop after seeing the next door neighbour’s little girl with one that she had dubbed “Gemsie”. Sherry called hers “Oriole”, explaining that the colours of the cookie matched that of the gemsbok!

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Skopsie and SO were already waiting for us at Kamqua picnic spot when we arrived 20 minutes late. Of our other “guest”, Marli, there was no sign. Boston roll and marble cake with Amarula-laced coffee were offered as the birthday feast. Our budding bush friendship made the day an unforgettable experience for Lillian.

Namaqua Sandgrouse was the only lifelist addition for the day. Ant-eating Chat, Rock Martin, House Sparrow, Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler and Capped Wheatear were added to the Kgalagadi list.

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On our way back to Twee Rivieren we witnessed another kill. A crowned lapwing had snared a mole snake, shook it around to stun the reptile and then performed a snake-swallowing trick. 1-2-3 and it was gone!

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Near Twee Rivieren this Black-backed jackal posed for a pix

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Back at the Twee Rivieren reception the staff warned me that a woman called Marli was looking for us. Lo-and-behold, there she was, with her daughter, waiting at our chalet. Profoundly sorry that they didn’t make our date and sincere in wishing Lillian a happy birthday, Marli explained that domestic pet trouble caused them to leave late for Kgalagadi so that they did not make the gate before closing time the night before. Subsequently they slept in the car (brrr!) and were in no state to chase all the way across to the Kamqua picnic spot the next morning. Nice people, these forumites…

The restaurant again was not on par. We decided to stick to our own cooking for the remainder of our stay at Kgalagadi, hoping the restaurant at Augrabies would fare better.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:59 am 
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I feel like I am there with you. This is so entertaining..
I am also
:mrgreen:

I saw a lion hairball on one of my walks. It was not a pretty sight.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:16 am 
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Come, MM! Tell us what a lion hairball looks like! Maybe you even have a pix? :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:38 pm 
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3 July

This was to be THE LIT-day. But first, we did some BIRDING, for a change!

After an early visit to the service station for Landy juice and a window wash – we initiated the plan for the day – a run out to Jan se Draai and back. We have been told of a spot about 20 kilos out along our planned route, just short of Rooiputs, where a leopard had taken a springbok kill up into a large old Camelthorn tree. The LIT-spot was “packed” with three cars, but no leopard showed. We got good views of a hartebeest instead.

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The Kgalagadi bird list increased with Acacia Pied Barbet, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow and Marico Flycatcher.

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We got some great pix of scaly-feathered finch and ant-eating chat.

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The lifelist got bumped up with – Chat flycatcher, Burchell’s Sandgrouse, Fawn-coloured lark, Northern Black Korhaan, grey-backed sparrowlark (poor pix).

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We saw evidence at many of the waterholes along the route to Jan se Draai of eland carcasses – sculls, skins and horns. It seems to be a regular kill at these spots. However, none of them were recent as every scrap of meat had been removed. The one at Gunong still had some Cape crow hanging about. I could not see why, though, as this skeleton was as bare as the others we saw.

On the way back there were a real traffic jam at the LIT-spot – five cars were lined up to see a young female leopard in magnificent shape stretched out along the branch of a gnarled old Camelthorn tree, about three metres off the ground, giving clear and unobstructed views against a setting sun. Every now and then she would grace us with a disdainful look before continuing her nap, head on paw in the classic LIT posture with hind legs hanging down on either side of her perch. Eventually the starting-up of cars leaving and the arrival of new observers chased her higher up the tree. Her poses prior to this were brilliantly caught with the digiscope!

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On our way back to camp we stopped a few cars to give them the LIT-news, among them KevinT, yet another forumite met face-to-face.

That evening I counted the dots of the spotted cat – a variation on the mind game of counting sheep to put one to sleep… she was purring like a house cat!

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:11 am 
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What a beautiful creature 8)

As for the Lion hairball, no unfortunately I don't have a picture.
We were on a morning walk when the ranger stopped and motioned us to examine a strange pile of fur and matted "stuff" in the veld.
He asked us to try to guess what kind of animal this had been as he opened it with a stick.
It really did look like what my cat often deposits on my newly cleaned carpet :evil: but many times bigger. There were also bits of grizzly stuff.
After a while of thoughtful answers from dead squirrel to half digested rabbit, he burst out laughing to tell us that is was a lion fur ball.
We all felt rather :redface: :redface:

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:56 am 
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Hi, MM. I honestly thought you were perpetuating a bit of a joke - I was not serious when I wrote that the lioness had to treat her hairball issues by grazing a bit :lol:

So, what is the size of the lion hairball? I won't be surprised by much regarding lions - not after the statistic regarding the frequency with which some lions catch porcupines!

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:13 am 
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if I recall Johan, it was about the size of a dead squirrel...
I do think some people took photos as it really is a sight of interest.
well if you are into hair balls, that is :?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:24 am 
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MM, scratching around in a lion hairball once should be enough. And having done it once you're the expert :lol:

Thanks, I now believe they do exsist and I have a good idea of what lion hairballs look like :whistle:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:40 pm 
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July 4

Image

Sun dappled silhouette screened by camelthorn jumble
a spotted queen perches on her throne, prone on her tier.
Hidden by the leafy carpet, her meal hung close-by,
she is lithe and aloof, a regal figure barely clear.
She hushes spectators, her gaze leaves them humble.
The camera records her – she is my leopard.


Yes, we were still not over our leopard sighting. You can probably tell that this is not a frequent happening in our lives! :lol:

After quick stops at the watering holes at Samevloeiing for the sunrise

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and at Leeudril for the chaos of birds coming in for water and having to duck the Lanner Falcons patrolling the area,

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with this juvenile Steppe Buzzard watching the bedlam from his perch nearby

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we went straight to the LIT-site and found our lady still in residence, but much higher up in the tree and very difficult to see.

As on this day I wanted to do some serious LBJ-hunting, we turned around at this point and started crawling back toward Twee Rivieren. At one stage, while we were idling along, my beanbag came off the windowsill, landed on the sand embankment, bounced in under the Landy and exploded under the rear tyre, beyond recognition and repair! :shock: This was a major disaster as the digiscope was unusable without this piece of equipment. Without much hope of finding a replacement at Twee Rivieren, but full of hope of finding something with which a plan could be made, we headed back to camp. Still travelling slowly, we found Grey-backed Sparrowlark (lifer), Brubru, Kalahari Scrub-robin and Pearl-spotted Owlet on the way in. I also got pix of more PC goshawks.

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At the last waterhole at Twee Rivieren this young eland bull stood around uncertain of what to do – the water had dried up.

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I was hoping for a 2-kg bag of rice to make-do as a stand-in for my busted beanbag, but the best available in the shop were 500-g bags of slitpeas. The shop had for sale ONE and only one of those oven gloves that consist of two pouches joined by a strip of material – two bags of splitpeas into each pouch, the whole contraption rolled up end-over-end and see… another plan comes together!

I had earlier promised Sherry-Lee that we would visit the museum at Auchterlonie, so that became the new objective (with LBJs still a firm second objective). The trip via Leeudril and Houmoed provided stunning views of Steppe Buzzard overhead

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and a tolerant Martial Eagle

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while the Chat Flycatchers, hovering four-five at a time over the dunes before pouncing on some insect down in the sand, was a long-awaited sight – I was lucky to get close enough to these ever-moving hunters for some more decent pix. We were fortunate too in getting shots of a small flock of Cape Penduline-tits hidden deep in a dry bush, not fantastic pix, but good enough to ID.

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See if you can spot them – there are four tits in this bush :lol:

This steenbok interrupted the birding a bit as SO always has to have a conversation with all small antelopes…

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The little museum held a magic of its own and showed again what difficulties this land held for pioneers as recently as the 1930s!

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Rock is plentiful and this house was built using materials available in the immediate area: Camelthorn branches or trunks were used for the rafters; dune reed for the thatching; strips cut from gemsbok and hartebeest skins were used to tie things down and the floor was made from a mixture of mud, gravel and crushed anthill material, then covered by dung.

This construction was achieved by first soaking the mixture of the mud, gravel and anthill compound, then spreading this over the area where the floor was to be. It is pounded until a solid, flat surface was achieved. It was then covered with wet cow dung which formed a protective layer over the important compounded base.

It was a practice to treat the floor with cow dung at least once a month. Cow dung had to be fresh. It was placed in a bucket and mixed with water with hand or a stick until it became quite thin. The mixture was then placed on the floor and evenly applied to it with a worn-out broom. In some instances this mixture was applied to the floor by hand using the side of the palm or the finger tips, depending on the amount of dung available and the skill of the person applying the dung layer.

When bits of cow dung flooring began to peal off from the floor, it was a reminder that the floor was due for a new cow dung application. The floor was always kept clean during daytime by lightly sweeping it with a soft broom made from a well-beaten besembos (Crotalaria spartiodes).

People who experienced growing up on cow dung floors say they loved its feel so much that they often preferred to sleep on it without any bedding – a cement floor gave a cold feeling but a cow dung floor was warm.

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The well was dug by drilling holes in the rock with a hand drill and then blasting with dynamite. As fuse was expensive, the fuse, of a length considered adequate to give the “miner” enough time to get out before the blast, was lit in the hole! Imagine the scramble to get out in time! The rubble were later removed by hand-loading it into buckets lowered from above.

Achterlonie has also become the final resting place for one Frans Rossouw, a fellow that was born 6 days before me and who died in 2005. Who was he and why was this spot chosen as his last resting place, I wonder…

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Some clear shots of a Spike-heeled Lark and some napping Namaqua doves rounded off another (our final) day in this bountiful desert.

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So, the Kgalagadi leaves me 11 short of the 400-mark. But with two days left at Augrabies, I am sure this milestone is still reachable on this trip!

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:57 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Posts: 2334
Location: I'm the patty in Jam Street
Award: Birder of the Year (2012)
I am chuffed that the bird pix and what is essencially a birding trip report are going down well with so many forumites. Initially I worried a bit about driving you guys nuts with so much feathers.

5 July

We said our goodbyes with an early morning walk-about. We enjoyed the Kgalagadi like few other visits and vowed to come back soon.

Twee Rivieren had a lack of diesel. Fortunately we had nearly 30 litres of fuel in the tank and the news that we couldn’t fill up our vehicle wasn’t critical to us. I just thought: “What if the beanbag fiasco didn’t happen yesterday – we would’ve travelled further and have used a lot more fuel. Talk about blessings in disguise!”

The road out of Twee Rivieren had deteriorated since our arrival (if that is at all possible). The wind was down and the dust clouds hung around like smoke screens in which monstrous roadwork vehicles hid. I am not easily fazed, but this even got to me!

After filling up with fuel in Upington we ate lunch at a lay bye along the road just clear of town. These lay byes are regular features unique to the Northern Cape and we used them often.

Like the social weaver nests suddenly dominate the scenery as one travels westward towards the Kgalagadi, so abrupt is the appearance of the Quiver tree on the route to Augrabies. They stand like sentinels of this stony, desert domain. Aloe dichotoma, also known as Kokerboom, is a species of aloe indigenous to South Africa, specifically the Northern Cape region and Namibia. Its name comes from the fact that its branches and bark were used by the indigenous San people to make quivers for their arrows by hollowing out the tubular branches. These statuesque succulents can grow 3 to 7 metres tall with a base as much a 1 metre in diameter. The branching and re-branching begin about half way up the tapering trunk. The canary yellow flowers occur in winter and are held close to the leaves, not nearly as showy as many other species of aloes. The exceptional profile of a mature plant more than compensates for any toned down floral display. The abundant nectar of the blossoms draws birds and insects as well as baboons that can strip a tree of its flowers in a jiffy. Being one of the only tree forms in its arid habitat, Aloe dichotoma often lugs huge colonial nests of social weaver birds.

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This one stood near our chalet.

In next to no time we arrived at Augrabies. Somehow we thought it would further and we also expected gravel roads in similar condition to the lead-up to Kgalagadi on route. All tar! :dance:

The book-in routine was smooth and soon we were settling into our new home. Of course we had to see the falls immediately. Flowing at 52 cumecs it was a disappointment. The gorge is spectacular though.

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The rock hyrax around camp are rotund and plentiful – someone told me that the birds of prey stay away from human habitation and the abundance of these little critters can be directly ascribed to that fact.

Back at the chalet pale-winged starlings were feeding on a papaya someone had stuck up in a tree near our chalet. :roll: (1st Augrabies lifer)

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The Orange River White-eyes disclosed their true colours to the photographer.

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