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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:03 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:15 am
Posts: 328
Location: Vale of Belvoir, UK
Still on Thursday, 15th May

We returned to camp for lunch and had a walk around the campsite with cameras. It was good to get pics of the smaller birds and butterflies.

Image Squirrel eating Tsamma melon

Image Squirrel eating Tsamma melon

Image young male & bug

Image small birds at our water tap

Image Red-headed Finch at our water tap

Image Red-headed Finch at our water tap

Image Butterfly

Image Red-headed Finch

We saw a White-faced Scops Owl high in a tree, and another Cobra in the bush right behind one of the chalets that sit just behind the shop ! Francois had been summoned to remove it by the chalet occupants, but it was having none of it and slithered deep into the bush and away - unable to get pics without going in after it !

Can you believe that earlier we had witnessed some very young children sitting in the sand in front of their chalet alone , playing in the sand with buckets and spades ! We had also seen scorpians. although not in camp.

Later on our afternoon drive we saw many small snakes on the road, or by the roadside, the scorpian a variety of small birds at Cubitjie Quap, but not much else.

Image Scorpian

SOrry this is badly out of focus, but just to prove we saw it !

Image Tiny snake

Image is the coast clear?

Image Tiny snake

During the night was quieter except that I was woken by the blood-curdling screams of something being killed. I heard no predator sounds so possibly a leopard kill.

OK Bucky, over to you again.

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SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Suej wrote:
michele nel wrote:
Gosh Suej..blood curdling screams.. :shock: :shock:
Do you know what kind of snake that is ?? Would it perhaps be a dwarf beaked snake....?????
Beautiful photos ..once again :clap: :clap: :clap:


I have no idea MN but would love to find out if anyone can positively ID - there are two different snakes there, the one coiled up and head sticking out and the one on the road, actually we think the one on the road was dead or playing dead as it never moved.

Both were VERY small and thin. Not much bigger than a fat shoelace.

Thanks for the comments again :)


I thought maybe the curled up one could be a dwarf beaked snake. The one in the road...maybe a juvenile mole snake ??
Maybe you could submit the photos on the snake thread for identifiction......two very interesting snakes!!!

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Raptor Kills
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:15 am
Posts: 328
Location: Vale of Belvoir, UK
16th May – Friday

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise this morning, and were out the gate first thing again determined to find the Cheetah and cubs. We spent 2 hours plus driving up and down between Cubitjie Quap and Kwang, which is where they were regularly seen, with no luck.

It did give us chance to witness many of the smaller creatures and different small birds which tend to swarm in flocks to CQ waterhole. We sat on the roadside and watched Brants Whistling Rats and Gecko’s.

Image Brant’s Whistling Rat This reminds me of Bucky’s avatar !

Image Brant’s Whistling Rat

Image Gecko

Image Desert flowers

Image Desert flowers


As we were slowly driving South we met a Bateleur on the road with a fresh Gecko kill. We stopped to take pics as it hopped around, swinging the unfortunate gecko from it’s beak. Once it had finished it’s prey it lumbered towards us and slowly took off as only this big bulk of a bird can, flying straight towards us as if it were going to actually torpedo into us ! Great photo opportunities, it was too close to fit in the lens !

Image Bateleur with Gecko kill

Image Bateleur incoming

We saw more Eagles in flight, Secretary birds dancing around at Kwang, other Bateleur, a Vulture skipping along before taking off.

Image Vulture runway

Image drinking Secretary Bird

Whilst parked up at Kwang watching the lazy goings on around the waterhole we watched a pair of Lanner Falcons, occasionally attempting to catch the doves that noisily flocked down every so often.

Image Lanner Falcon in flight

Bucky was determined to capture a Lanner killing a dove in mid-flight ! right ….

I saw a Jackal approaching in the distance head-on towards the waterhole and locked onto him with my lens. I don’t think Bucky is quite so fanatical about taking Jackal pics as me LOL. As I watched the Jackal through my viewfinder, he suddenly made a speedy dash towards us, I started to release the shutter on rapid bursts. I was now quite excited at his approach, kicking up dust and at full stretch . I yelled to Bucky to not miss it, “Look, Look!” Bucky replied, “Got it, Got it” and we were both firing away , hmmmm
Then the Jackal suddenly veered around in a rapid arc and shot off to the side. I forgot to stop firing enough for my camera to realise I was locking onto a sideways moving target and not an oncoming Grrrrrr.

It all happened so fast, and then I saw the Jackal was actually chasing the Lanner , which was flying close to the ground. This was even more exciting as I got Lanner and Jackal both in the frame – I was trying to contain my excitement. Even more so when I realised the Lanner had caught a dove ! The Lanner had to release the dove or get caught by the Jackal and the Jackal managed a swipe at the birds before they both escaped. The Jackal actually had a feather in his mouth when the chase ended.
This all happened in a few seconds.

I was still reluctant to take my focus off the Jackal as Bucky was by now yelling at me to look at what he had taken and I said NO, wait ! His insistence eventually paid off and to my disgust (LOL) he had the Lanner in flight with the dove in it’s talons, in focus !
Neither of us realised we were both focusing on a different subject until it was all over. As for me, because of the sudden change in direction of the Jackal I did not get one in-focus shot Grrrrrrr. Well done though Bucky ! I really hope you wake up and post that shot on here, and please include the “joint effort” LOL

We again looked for the Cheetah on our way back to camp with still no success. She was not sighted by anyone today. We saw a very large herd of Red Hartebeest.
Image book ends (Red Hartebeest)

Back at the camp hide we watched a couple of White-backed Vultures and an Abdim’s Stork

We got nice Abdim’s Stork in the tree near to the hide – a first sighting for us both.

Image Abdim’s Stork

We had a quieter evening today and enjoyed a natter and drinks over the braai with our neighbours, billyf – nice to meet you both billy! We had an early night, was much warmer tonight.

_________________
SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: In search of Cheetah
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:58 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:15 am
Posts: 328
Location: Vale of Belvoir, UK
Are you all still following this report??? :yaya:

OK, Bucky can catch up entirely whenever he is ready :roll:

17th May – Saturday

Lions roaring again in the night but not so close as before. We were up early and sat at the hide again until gates opened. We drove to Marie Se Draai to try and see lions as we had been told they had killed a large Wildebeest in the riverbed the night before and were seen on the night drive. We could not see them so drove around the loop. Saw a pair of White-backed Vultures nest building. We came back to camp and out onto the north road by 8.15 am, continuing our quest to find the Cheetah again.

We found the injured female lion under a bush, lying flat out and breathing heavily. She was the lame lioness that had the puff adder bite and was now looking very sick. Francois drove up while we were watching and confirmed it was her. We suspected her presence close to CQ was preventing the Cheetah sightings as it was near where the Cheetah usually brought her cubs down from the dunes.

We returned to camp and I began writing up my journal when Bucky soon came over to say there had been sightings of the Cheetah on the road, moving towards camp and she was there in the area, so we skipped lunch, I abandoned my journal and we went back out again to find her.

Once more we spent some time driving up and down the road near where she had been seen and then suddenly I spotted her beside the road on the riverbed side in very long grass. We only managed a few scant pics before she moved deeper into the undergrowth and off towards the riverbed, but we did see all 4 cubs ! We then drove to the top of the lookout just south of CQ and watched her and cubs walk to the riverbed and lay down near a dead tree, the female looking back up the riverbed.

Image Cheetah mother

Image Cheetah cubs

A sizeable Springbok herd were moving slowly her way in the distance so we watched and waited… and waited…. And waited. As the herd got nearer they then decided to rest, lying down too far from our Cheetah mom. We stayed on top of the lookout for 3 hours in total. The Springbok rested for about 2 hours before moving toward the Cheetah again. And all this time we had not seen the Cheetah move or glimpsed her at all.

Image lookout point of riverbed and road below

Suddenly as they got nearer to her, the tail enders of the herd were spooked by something and started to run forward from the back, setting the front of the herd off. We knew then that she would have to make an early move or miss out completely and sure enough she sprang into action and made her bid to catch her prey, but the herd were still not close enough when they ran so her attempt failed. She stood panting for a couple of minutes and then walked into the shade of a tree. After a further 10 minutes she called to her cubs who obediently came out of the grass and ran over to join her. From our lookout we had been joined on and off by a few other campers, but only a nice couple from the Netherlands who had been traversing the whole of Africa for a year and “Jurgen the German” stuck it out with us until the action occurred.

Although they were too far off for photo’s I know Bucky got some video footage (IF HE EVER FINDS HIS CABLE HE MAY POST THE CLIP!). He also managed some better shots of the Cheetah and cubs before she vanished in the undergrowth.

What a great sighting ! By now it was 4.30 pm and we had booked again on the night drive which left at 5pm so we set off back. We only had time to quickly grab warm clothing before the night drive began.

Back at camp we learned that Francois had seen the lion pride on a kill earlier that afternoon when he was grading the road (aha!) and in fact the youngsters had tried to catch the tyre as he drove along, so we headed first of all back towards Marie Se Draai, but alas the pride had dispersed and were not found, so we then drove back to camp and out on the north side to check for the Cheetah. We found the Cheetah with her cubs walking towards us on the road, only about 2km from camp. What a thrill !
We saw the family twice in one day.

Image Cheetah mother at night

Image Cheetah mother at night

On return to camp we saw a Barn Owl in the tree by reception.

Image Barn Owl

note to Bucky: - See I didn’t lose it entirely !

That night (our last at Nossob) we again heard Lion roars and just before dawn 2 Jackals voicing the leopard warning bark.

_________________
SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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 Post subject: The final day
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:32 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:15 am
Posts: 328
Location: Vale of Belvoir, UK
OK, PC back up and running again - hope it keeps healthy now.

Sunday – 18th May

We rose early and were out gates at 7am again, driving north to try and see the Cheetah once more but no sign of her so we returned and headed south to Marie Se Draai. Just outside the camp gates were so many fresh predator spoor it was like a puzzle to tell what was happening. We could make out Lion, possibly Leopard, Jackal and Hyena and Cheetah ! We got a glimpse of the lions in the distance under a tree and well hidden but did not find the Cheetah. We knew that the Lions were moving up from the South towards camp and that the Cheetah was towards camp from the North and were more than a little worried about the two predators meeting up, knowing it would not be good for our Cheetah and cubs if they did.

Little did we know then that the Cheetah was seen on the webcam on this day and that was the last reported sighting of them since. Reddune has reported that a cheetah had to be shot near camp on (the 19th?) because it had a broken back, and it was not known if it was caused by lions or speeding motorist. I now, very sadly, fear this was our Cheetah mom and if so her cubs will not have survived either. I hope MN or someone can clarify this before much longer and if it *was* the Cheetah mother, sad as the demise is, at least I hope it was NOT a motorist who hit her !

We returned to camp at 8.30 to pack up to be hit by a sudden mini sand storm ! We were taking pics of squirrels checking the weather from their burrow when the storm hit and my camera got sand blasted ! We also got pics of a PCG drinking at our water tap. We broke camp at 10.30 to drive back down to TR. This visit, Nossob did not really deliver as the other camps had, probably because of the abundant vegetation.

Image PCG on tap

Image has the storm passed yet?

We saw very little on the drive back after leaving Nossob, just the odd buck, Ostrich, a few PGC and other raptors. The park suddenly seemed devoid of life.

On return to TR, in the tree just before the gates we came across a small traffic jam. Once we managed to manoeuvre forward a little closer wew saw the fuss was about a Cape Cobra raiding a large Sociable Weaver’s nest in the tree next to the gate.

Image Safety in numbers?

Image Cobra on the rampage

I know again that Bucky got far better pics of this, the parked vehicles were preventing me getting much more.

Image Cobra on the rampage

Image A snake’s eye view

We watched over the roof’s of the amassed vehicles as the Cobra fell from the nest and slithered off into the undergrowth. I know it looks as thought I got out the vehicle and laid on my stomach to get this, but I can honestly say I did not !

We left TR at 5.30pm and were pleased to find the road in good order, now right from the camp entrance, much progress had been made since our arrival 2 weeks previously, enabling us to have a speedier return to our overnight stop at Spitskop, arriving at 7.30pm.

That night it was strange trying to sleep when I was awoken by an alien noise outside, and as I regained consciousness I realised it was an aircraft overhead – civilisation had returned……

This concludes the end of my report, but I will post a few pics that I may have missed along the way and hope Bucky will do likewise.

Whatever has happened to Texasboer since our return is anybody's guess???? Where are you TB?

_________________
SueJ - Sand Rover !

KTP 2012 - Green Dunes, hungry mice & frozen toothpaste

Kalahari Tapas 2010http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48065&hilit=kalahari+tapas

Kagalagadi Wheat Fields TR 2008


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