Thank you very much for your kind comments. 2nd of August - Day drive : Looking for the Pel'sRoutes
: Klopperfontein, H1-8 to the bridge over the Luvuvhu river, S63 to Pafuri pic nic site, then to Crook's corner, and back to Klopperfontein by the same roads, then to Punda Maria by the tar H1-8 and H13-1
Quite a long drive to go to Pafuri, Mary take some rest as I drive a little bit faster than usually. Not much to see, a Tawny Eagle on a dead tree and some zebras on the road. We first go have a look at the main bridge over the Luvuvhu river. Very beautiful, kudus are drinking in the distance, and nyalas walking close to a few crocs.
Then we headed towards Pafuri picnic spot. The landscape looked in a dire straits, lot of dead trees bent to the ground, souvenirs of 2000 hurricane ?
The S63 showed us plenty of game, usual animals but a lot of them, which is always enjoyable. In the middle of a herd with impalas, zebras and nyalas, we spotted a tsessebe.
At the picnic spot, we fell on Frank, his name written on his chest help me recognize him. I tell him about the forum and he showed his yellow ribbon attached to his binoculars. He took us around for a small tip, showing us a few birds : kurricane thrush, tropical boubou, white backed vulture nesting and white fronted bee eater. Then he kind of wanted to take us to Thulamela see the ruins but we declined. I would have preferred him to give us a hint about the Pel's fishing Owl but he didnot say much about it.
Kurricane thrush in the shade :
We got back to the car looking for the Pel's, as I was told before coming to Kruger, the Luvuvhu river bed was my best chance (
to wildtuinman and Kingfisha). The beautiful road goes along the river and it took us a lot of time, exploring every single tree with our binocs but no sign of the owl.
We made a break at a nice spot to have lunch, enjoying birds and game along and in the river : crocs, vervet, baboons, nyalas, grey heron, goliath heron, hadeda ibis, yellow billed stork and Mary was very happy to see her hippos out of the water on the other side of the river
We wonder how the goliath and ibis can walk so close to the croc without one of them trying to get a snack ???
After one hour, we drove to Crook's Corner, which appeared very dry as you can see. We saw 2 white crowned lapwings and an ellie almost blocking the road at the car park, and also 2 raptors in the sky, small size, grey overall colour, that may be Dickinson's Kestrels but I am not sure (can gabar goshawk circle in the air like kestrels ?) and don't count them in my list
We had a close look at all the trees we could see along the river but missed the Pel's unfortunately...We were to try again along the Olifants river a few days later...
As time was already past 3.00 pm, we headed back to Punda Maria by the same roads, saw another group of crested guineafowls on the S63 :
we had a stop at Klopperfontein to realize that the spot is much better in the morning as the sun is just in front of you in the afternoon and saw a female saddle billed stork,
then we took the tar road to avoid the truck on the S60. Good choice !!! 5 kms from Punda Maria, 2 cars were stopped on the road : 30 meters into the bush, 4 lions were feeding on a buffalo carcass. The light was already bad and the bush a little thick. consequence : the AF of my camera didnot want to focus where I wanted but we enjoyed watching them for a few minutes before we had to leave to arrive on time at the gate.animal sightings for the day
: zebra, impala, elephant (8 sightings), buffalo (6), nyala, crocodile, bushbuck, baboon, vervet, kudu, tsessebe, hippo, warthog, lion (1)Birding
: crested francolin, swainson's francolin, magpie shrike, arnot's chat (lifer), red eyed dove, crested guineafowl(l.), pearl spotted owlet (l.), hamerkop (l), eqyptian goose, bateleur eagle, tawny eagle, southern white crowned shrike, grey heron, goliath heron, hadeda ibis, white backed vulture, pied kingfisher, giant kingfisher, striped kingfisher (l), wire tailed swallow, kurricane thrush (l), tropical boubou (l), white fronted bee eater, pied wagtail, greater blue eared starling, orange breasted bush shrike (l), white crowned lapwing (l), african jacana, yellow billed stork (l), yellow billed oxpecker (l)
these 30 make 46 birds on the list now