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 Post subject: Back again - elpaco's 18 days in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi all,

I am back to reality this morning after 18 days spent in the Kruger Park.
I will try to post a detailed report of what I saw and experienced but I need time to work on my 2000 photos 8)
and I have already destroyed about the double ... :roll:

so stay tuned :D

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Last edited by elpaco on Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:16 pm 
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Welcome back, elpaco.
Always nice to hear when a new KNP trip report is coming. Looking forward to it. :D


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:59 am 
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thanks for the kind posts.

The trip to the gate went very well.
We landed on time in Joburg at 6.30 am, made it through passport control in no time (2 years ago, the room was packed with people everywhere), got our luggage in even less, withdrawn cash at the ATM and headed for the car rental office.
little problem there as they did not give us the car we had booked... 10 minutes of arguing were useless as they had no other car available...
et we were off on the motorway a little before 8.00 am.
road works and traffic jam in Pretoria cost us 30 minutes but we arrived as planned in Louis Trichardt at 12:00.
We already had our first animal sighting on the road 20 kms before Polokwane : baboons were crossing it :D
Little trick in Polokwane as the roads signs make you drive around the town rather than going through but there is a missing road sign at one crossing where you are supposed to turn right .. :? attention then to those who don't know the road and drive this way ...

In Louis Trichardt, we had a nice T-bone steak (beef is often excellent in your country :D ), and did some shopping at PnP, just at the crossing (thanks Kingfisha for the tip :wink: ), bought some water, bread, cheese, billtong and fruits and back on the road for an hour and a half drive to Punda Maria gate at slow pace (lots of villages all along the road), which made us arrived at the gate at 3.30 pm.

My girlfriend Mary and I were eager to be in, hoping to see as much as possible.
Mary hoped to see hippos out of the water at close range, but her dream would be to see a pangolin.
As for me, I wished to spot a LIT by myself (the only 2 I saw on previous trips were spotted by Mary and another car), see some new animals and grow my bird list, especially with new owls and raptors.

About birding, I have decided to start a new list from scratch, just to figure how many birds I will be able to ID in 18 days.
By doing this and reporting it here, I also hope that non birders will realize the interest of it, and realize that it is possible to see a lot of different species in only one trip, even if you are an amateur birder.
But birding will definitely not be our priority though and it is likely that I will not have a lot of small (and difficult to ID for me) birds on this list but how knows ...

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:38 pm 
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thx jonty, I won't answer it now :wink:

At the gate, things took a little longer than expected and I waited 40 minutes for the paperwork to be done although there was only 2 cars in front of me...
My hopes of driving the Mahonie loop vanished then, as we had less than 2 hours for about 30 kms.
Moreover, the guard at the gate told me to hurry to Punda Maria camp as there are elephants and lions around ....
That would be nice as a starter .... :D

While on the way, I made a bet with Mary on what animals we would see first. I voted for a Nyala and she voted for a Giraffe as she had told her colleague at the office the day before that she would be with a Giraffe 24 hours later, ie exactly now at 4.00 pm.
We did the same about birds. I took a Natal Francolin and she took a lilac breasted roller.

we were both wrong on the first ones but ended up seeing all 4.
We had some impalas just after the gate for a friendly welcome and arrived at the camp gate to see that it was occupied by 4 ellies on the road. the guard was right !!!.
But we could not find any lion...They were probably gone as we could see no trafic jam either :lol: .

We decided to drive the Mahonie loop couterclockwise for a few kilos and back. There Mary got her Giraffe, a big male on its own, 40 minutes later than expected, and I got my Nyala. We also had a steenbok and at the first waterhole (not mentionned on the map :? ), we saw 2 Buffalos having a bath and one Sharpe's Grysbok.

A car came rushing at us, the driver shouting that we were going to be late at the gate, but the man who left immediately at high speed in a big cloud of dust and still shouting, did obviously not realize we were the 1st of august, which meant the gate was closing at 6 and not 5.30 ... :lol: .
We had some more buffs on the tar as we headed back to the camp.

We accomodated in bungalow #5, very small room with a very noisy fridge, had a meal at the restaurant and a long night of sleep as I was exhausted having spent all those hours behind the wheel, after the previous night in the plane ...

Animal sightings (order of appearence): Impala, Elephant Giraffe, Nyala, Steenbok, sharpe's Grysbok, Buffalo (2 sightings)

Birding :
before the gate : indian myna, blacksmith plover, crowned plover, helmeted guineafowl, purple heron (in Louis Trichardt :lol: ), house sparrow, cattle egret
in the park : yellow billed hornbill, red billed hornbill, lilac breasted roller, grey lourie, burchell coucal, natal francolin, red billed oxpecker, fork tailed drongo, blackeyed bulbul.
The list is then at 16 on this first day.

sighting of the day : don't really know, maybe the park gate as it meant we were going in :D

not many pictures unfortunately, and not very good, the light start to be low pretty early in the afternoon :
Yellow-billed Hornbill, Nyala and the Sharpe's Grysbok .

Image

Image

Image

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Last edited by elpaco on Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:29 pm 
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thank you all for reading and for your comments. keep them coming please. :D

2nd of August - Morning Drive : Go North !

Routes : Punda Maria to Klopperfontein H13-2, S60, S61

Early wake up this morning, we planned to go to Pafuri later and spend as much time as possible on the road for our first full day in the Park. We crossed the gate at 6.05 am, and took the gravel road to Klopperfontein, a lovely waterhole according to forumites :wink: .

The S60 goes through the Mopane trees and we didn't see much game, only ellies and zebras. But birding went better and I could quickly add 2 lifers to my list. First we spotted 2 Arnot's chats on the road and then a whole group of crested guineafowls hurrying across the road.
Image

Image.

Suddenly, we were overtaken by 4 cars in a row at high speed, 3 of them full of workers. We had to wait several minutes before the cloud of dust went down but then, most of the game that may have been on the road ahead of us was surely running away to escape that noise... I know this road is a shortcut, but it is a little bit annoying :evil: and I don't understand why business trafic is not obliged to use a tar road ...

Anyway, after the first crossing, the vegetation change completely, and we now could see miles away in every direction. We saw a lot of small groups of buffalos feeding on the dry herbs and some more ellies. Then I spotted something unusual on a low branch on one of the few trees around. As it was not moving at all, Mary thought it was probably a nest or a 'ball' of something but after checking with the binoculars, it appeared to be a cute pearl spotted owlet, so small it can be easily missed even if it is a few meters from the road. I had only seen some on photos before and didn't realize it was less than 20 cm high...It began opening its eyes and starred at us so we took some time enjoying this little wonder .
Image

We then drove to Klopperfontein to discover a large area with no water and no game at all. It was time to have breakfast in the car but there was no shade and nothing to watch so we decided to drive a little more and had the surprise 2 kilometers later to arrive at a smaller waterhole also called Klopperfontein, with lot of water, birds and game.
Really a lovely place to spend some time in the morning and we sat there for half an hour enjoying our breakfast and watching a family Nyala having a drink and a few Buffs joining in
Image

Image

Then we went to Pafuri.

Animal sightings : zebra, impala, elephant, buffalo, nyala

Birding : crested francolin, swainson's francolin, magpie shrike, arnot's chat (lifer), red eyed dove, crested guineafowl(l.), pearl spotted owlet (l.), hamerkop (l)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:31 pm 
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Thank you very much for your kind comments. :D

2nd of August - Day drive : Looking for the Pel's

Routes : 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.

Image

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 :
Image


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 ( :wink: 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 :D
Image
Image
Image
Image
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
Image
Image

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 :
Image

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,
Image

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.
Image

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 :D

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:23 am 
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thanks.

as I said at the beginning, I really hope this report will incite non birders to consider making the move and start enjoying birding a little bit more as there is no requirement, only a little bit of patience :D

next installment later today or tomorrow morning : Let's do the loop

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:10 pm 
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thanks

3rd of August - Let's do the loop

Routes : Mahonie Loop (s99) clockwise then back to PM. In the afternoon S60 and S61 to Klopperfontein, back by the S60

This morning, we are eager to do the Mahonie loop after reading all the wonders fellow forumites had seen on this road. But just before, we decided to have a look at the buffalo carcass, which is only 4 kms from the camp.
early morning should be good for scavenging, and we hoped to see hyenas, vultures or jackals and maybe the lions if they stayed around ...

the light was very good at this time and the landscape beautiful with the black burnt ground and red leaves on the trees :
Image

At the crossing, I spotted a black-backed jackal walking on the burnt ground. He looked at us before vanishing in the bush. Unreal atmosphere, no other car around , not a single bird in sight only us and the jackal although it is 50 meters away from us .
The carcass is still there but no animal around, we watched very carefully, trying to spot lying lions but we failed to see anything. the jackal might have come from it although it was not coming from the good direction... So we headed to the loop.

I had read there was a resident leopard, somewhere around the 3rd kilometer so I drove very slowly, but none could be seen. Was it the 3rd kilo clockwise or unclockwise ? I don't know and maybe didn't look at the right spot.
We could only spot a Giraffe ahead of us, and some kudus.
Image

then Mary shouted : "look, your Crowned Hornbill, here !". So delighted after missing them in Pafuri the day before, I just managed to see it take off and fly away from us. It was so fast I could hardly see it but Mary was positive about the ID. She knew I was eager to see one and was disappointed it went away so quickly...
We then arrived along the hill on our right hand side, and I saw a beautiful juvenile Martial Eagle. Disturbed by our arrival, it flew to the next tree, and then to the next, and then again. From tree to tree, we managed to follow it along 300 meters. Its size is really impressive in flight.

Image

Later on, we spotted another raptor in a thick tree but did not see enough to ID it. While moving the car to try to find a better angle, a characteristic noise caught our attention : another group of crested guineafowls was just around us. <ket-ket-ket-ket>
Image

Image

The second part of the loop wass very rocky and didn't show any special animal. But just before Witbank waterhole, we saw a beautiful emerald spotted wood dove in a tree and a shy sharpe's grysbok just under it:
Image

Image

At the waterhole, a breeding herd of elephants walked by, not even bothering to have a drink. Some nyalas and buffalos on the way to the end of the loop. I have to say that I really hoped for more mammal sightings, compared to what was said about this loop on the forum ... but that's the way it is ...

Back in Punda Maria, we have a coffee outside the restaurant, watching vervet monkeys, playing with 3 banded mongooses, who actually do not look like they enjoyed the game. then we went to the pool but the colour of the water looked suspicious and ended up at the bird hide. 3 species of little brown birds are seen on the dead trees but too difficult to ID. In the water, a elephant bull is having a sip :
Image

Later in the afternoon, I had planned to do the loop again but as it was disappoiting in the morning, we prefered to go to Klopperfontein instead. On the way, we had a look at the buffalo carcass, still there with the head in good shape and also one full leg but still no animal around
Later we had 3 ellies walking in the bush.
Image
At Klopperfontein, exactly, the same animals as the day before (and the same sun in the eye) : 2 buffs bathing and a female saddle billed stork, in a awkward position (having a rest ?)
Image
On the way back, we only saw the usual game, and Mary managed to take a beautiful pic of a lilac breasted roller, which his her favorite bird :
Image

Back to PM, we have time to go for the third time of the day to the buffalo carcass, and again nothing around !!! :(

rather disappointing day in terms of animal sightings, so don't miss my next installment What's on the road ? !

animal sightings for the day : black-backed jackal, impala, giraffe, kudu, nyala, dwarf mongoose, grey duiker, sharpe's grysbok, elephant (3 sightings), buffalo (6), vervet, slender mongoose, zebra, steenbok

Birding : blue waxbill, crowned hornbill (lifer), brown snake eagle, juvenile martial eagle, speckled mousebird, emerald spotted wood dove (l), green pigeon (l), laughing dove, streaky headed canary (l), double banded sandgrouse, white throated robin chat (l)
the list is now 57.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:32 am 
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thanks DB and JvR.
sorry for the delay, I was off for a few days

I am surprised nobody tried to guess What's on the road ? ! :wink:

Morning drive 4th of August

Routes : H13 from Punda Maria to S58 then H1-7 to Babalala. Half the Mphongolo loop (S56) then H1-7 to Shingwedzi.

This time, we were heading south after 3 days in the far north. the good news was the sun would be no more in our eyes in the morning but clouds could be seen in the distance, so ...

We had a look at the buffalo carcass on the way but again no animal could be seen around. Our first sighting of the day was a nice Tawny Eagle, just above us on a dead tree branch. He looked at us for a long time but didn't seem bothered by the car so we had plenty of time to watch him :
Image

The sky was now partly grey with a lot of clouds and more could be seen in the south. We reached Magamga waterhole in no time as no animal could be seen on the way apart from a couple of old buffs. We had a break and enjoyed breakfast waiting for someting to come have a drink. 4 female Kudus appeared soon, looked a bit disturbed by the car and tried to have a sip. But the water level was very low and they couldnot manage to bend low enough to drink. Only one of them found a solution and stepped in the water, the others were too cautious to try this bold move...
Image

As we got back on the road, the sun appeared a little between clouds and gave us some good light when we met an Immature Martial Eagle next to the road
ImageImage

A little further on, clouds were back and thick, visibility was getting bad. I suddenly shouted to Mary 'Look 500 meters ahead. There is something on the road. What is it ? it looks spotted like a hyena'
I was wrong :D
Luck was back and something bigger had appeared just for us :
Image
A big male leopard had just crossed the road, had a quick look at us and walked into the bush on our right hand side. It was not a LIT, I had trouble to ID it at first glance but there it was, my leopard. :D
And he wasn't gone far, maybe 15 meters from the road in the high dry herbs :
Image
He looked at us while walking and we spent some time with him, seeing alternatively his head, back or tail as he moved south parallel to the road:
Image
at this stage, we heard a big 'Roarrrrrrrr' and saw some action as another leopard came towards the first one and was imediately repulsed :D
The second one was smaller and hard to see in the high herbs. I first thought I made a wrong ID: the one we spotted was perhaps a female, the second one her young and she was trying to let him live his own life but as the second one came again and again every minute or so and the same action repeated itself, was repulsed in a big roarrr, I realized, they were a mating couple !!!
As the female finally disappeared, the male continued its walk along the road, at the same speed. Now I was able to follow him with no doubt, anticipating when he disappeared behind a bush, able to spot its back or tail when he got back on sight.
Image

Some cars arrived, but as the leopard was hidden most of the time I could not show it to them and no one had the patience, to wait for another 'Roarrr' or for the tail to appear again and we were still on our own ...
It had been now about 20 minutes since we spotted him and the bush got thicker. Impossible to see him again, but I still managed to follow him just by the sound he made, when he repulsed the female, who came back at him every minute or so...
Then we could hear no more sound but we decided to be patient and wait for some time. I drove a little further on and stopped, my eyes and ears completely focused. After some very long minutes, I heard footsteps in the herbs, something was walking slowly. I could hear the steps so well, I was sure he was back, and only a few meters from us but impossible to see him as the herbs were now more than a meter high...

One more minute and he crossed the road 30 meters ahead of us, we nearly missed him. Fortunately, a car was just overtaking us at that moment and saw him first.
The same happened then, he walked a little, 5 meters from the road on the left side this time. Now a couple of others cars had stopped and I could show him. I can remember the face of a young lady, as I pointed him. She was so happy ...

Then the leopard went to cross the road again, slowly, watching us carefully before going
Image

and Mary said to me 'This shot is going to be good !!!'
She was right indeed :
Image

then he was back on the right side of the road :
Image
and the female was back too. This time she wasn't repulsed and in no time, he was on top of her. And in no time again, he was finished . That's what you called a 'quickie' I guess :lol: .

I could not manage a photo of it, surprised by the speed ...
As there was now about 10 cars, including trailers, it was no more possible to follow him as we did previously and we decided to leave, completely excited by the half hour we had just lived :D .

We stopped at Babalala to calm down a little, took the S56 but could not see anything but impalas and a Giraffe. so headed back to the tar and drove straight to Shingwedzi ...

that was a superb morning ...

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:39 pm 
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Lunchtime Birding inside Shingwedzi restcamp

Lunchtime break is a good occasion for birding in all the camps, especially that day in Shingwedzi as the sun was back is the sky.
Arrived a little bit before 12.00, we went to reception, got the key of our new bungalow B53 and headed diretcly to the picnic area. Here, we saw the usual birds : Greater blue eared and Glossy Starlings, red and yellow billed hornbills. More interesting, we also saw a Marico and a white bellied sunbirds and finally a brownhooded kingfisher on the fence :
Image

Back at the bungalow, we settled on the outside chairs but I got soon disturbed by the sound of a bird. I figured it was a woodpecker and with my binoc in one hand, and my camera in the other, I started walking around, watching carefully every tree, trying to locate the sounds I can hear around.
Actually, the first sound was no woodpecker but the distinctive call of a crested barbet :
Image.
As my steps took me closer to our bungalow, I heard the sound of a woodpecker, no doubt this time, it was in the tree overlooking our car. Climbing, on the chair, then on the wall to have a better angle, I managed a few shots in between the leaves. It is a golden tailed woodpecker
Image.

In the middle of the B circle, there is a lot of bird activities and I could spot many other species : house sparrow mixed with southern grey headed sparrows. Laughing doves were getting chased by a bigger african mourning dove.
A fork tailed drongo is standing on a low branch :
Image
and a red billed hornbill on another one :
Image
But the best spot is still on the B circle, on the trees closest to the road that leads to reception. I spotted 3 other woodpecker, including a female Bennett woodpecker
Image
a southern black tit :
Image.
But the most interesting bird was the last one, always flying around, so fast, it took me a long time before being able to notice all its characteristics : a pearl breasted swallow :D
no good shot unfortunately, the bird was too fast for my AF...

As I walked back to the bungalow, I spotted some black eyed bulbuls and a red billed woodhoopoe, while some guys were gathered with their big cameras still inside the B circle. Lots of common birds were flying and walking around, attracted by some pieces of bread these people gave them just to have the opportunity for good pictures... this is what I call cheating :evil:

In less than an hour, I had seen 18 different species and was quite happy with this nice break, even if most of them were common species :D

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:19 am 
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Restio, Pumbaa, MM and Skillie : thanks for the nice comments :D

4th of august - Afternoon drive - Along the river

Routes : Shingwedzi to Kanniedood hide by the main entrance, back by the back gate with a go at the low bridge

It was already 3.30 when we lived the camp and the weather was still so so. Not much on the road until we reached the river. Many car parks along it allowed long stops and we used the binocs a lot to try to spot as many birds as possible. But mammals were present too and we had close looks at kudus, bushbuck, buffs ans several ellies.

On the east bank of the river, Mary saw many hippos laying on the ground and then getting into the water :

ImageImage

We saw a Great white Egret, the usual Fish Eagle, some egyptian gooses, an African Spoonbill playing with the crocs :lol: , a sacred Ibis and a tiny Malachite Kingfisher :
ImageImage

The hide itself is crowded with people ...and mosquitos :? and rather disappointing, as the view from the car parks overlooking the river on both side of the hide is better IMHO.

On our way back, we got stuck the way I really don't like with elephants on the road, and on the side, and with cars not really aware of the danger trying to make their way ... :evil:

Later on we got overtaken by a big 4*4, in a big cloud of dust. Inside the car the people I saw feeding the birds in shingwedzi earlier on to get pictures .... :evil:

At the low bridge, a lone ellie bull was having a drink and a green backed heron was still and focused, one meter from the vehicle :
Image
while a Verreaux's Owl could be seen in the distance

Back in the bungalow, we found the shower packed with mosquitos, over 50 of them ...how did they get in, I don't know but I spent the next 3 hours hunting them and got 41... I have to admit I have a problem with mosquitos ... :lol:

animal sightings of the day : kudu, buffalos (3 sightings), slender mongoose, impala, leopard, zebra, giraffe, vervet, ellie, (4), hippo, croc, bushbuck, baboon

Birding list : southern grey headed sparrow, marico sunbird, grey hornbill, african mourning dove, brown hooded kingfisher, crested barbet, white bellied sunbird, golden tailed woodpecker, bennet woodpecker, cape glossy starling, southern black tit, pearl breasted swallow, red billed woodhoopoe, great white egret, fish eagle, african spoonbill, malachite kingfisher, sacred ibis, green backed heron, Verreaux's owl
The list is now 78

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Last edited by elpaco on Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:21 am 
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We also watched a green backed heron right next to the car on the low water bridge in June. It is probably the same bird :lol:.

That kanniedood road can be a nightmare with ellies. We had a whole lot of ellies spread out along about 2 km. They really were everywhere and right next to the road in the dense bush hidden from view until you are on top of them!

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:31 am 
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you are perfectly right, the road is quite frightening when it is packed with cars and ellies ...
actually it was the beginning of some bad encounters with ellies as you will see in the next installments..

about the heron, I don't know if it stays all year in this same place because there was not much water when we were there and if the weather is still dry for a few, it might have to move ... maybe other forumites that have been there since last month might be able to tell if it is still there :lol:

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elpaco wrote:
The list is now 78


I often keep day-lists, especially when birding in places where one finds huge specie variety. My day-list record was set around Shingwedzi in February this year when my son and I counted 86 birds in one day. I have heard that some people often break the century-mark and we have been trying to emulate that stunt unsuccessfully since July 2005. Then during Oct 2006 a team of birders from Pta set a new 24-hour birding record of +300, in and around Pta; the first time ever a tripple century was recorded in RSA! Kinda put a damper on my efforts :shock:

When I read your line at the bottom of your post, that bit of trivia came to mind... I hope you don't mind me sharing that here :lol:

I am enjoying your trip report tremendously, elpaco! Adding the birding facet to it just makes it so up my alley :dance:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:02 pm 
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thanks JvR :D
no problem about the birding list ... as you can see, I am quite far away from these standards, including 100 or 86 a day ... :wink: ...my all time list was a mere 150 before this trip :lol:
I need to improve on LBJ and small birds to improve my numbers ...hopefully next time ...obviously it becomes an addicting game to try to grow the list ...

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