...... to continueBreakfast at Sunset Dam
was spent in the company of our friends, parked close enough to have a nice chat through the open window. There was nothing but hippos to see and no other cars around so we did not disturb anyone.
We have never seen the dam so full and it was a heart-warming sight!
After a quick visit to shop and ladies/gents at LS we were ready to hit the road again.
A Heuglin’s Robin and Black-eyed Bulbul shared the communal bird ablutions outside reception.
The H10 is usually a good road to travel, but sightings were few and far between as the temperature steadily rose towards the high twenties. One of our reliable old favourites gave us reason to stop and converse a while
“Morning SC! You and the guy saw any lions? Not? ….. Great!” *chuckle*
(I didn't think it was so great, but then again, I was not on the menu)
And thus the journey continued. There was nothing, absolutely nothing to be seen for kilometres on end. The scenery however was awesome and made up for the absence of things big and small … yes, it was THAT kind of drive.
I’m always hopeful, but I was starting to get sleepy.
At last, movement! A breeding herd of ellies in the distance, quite a few little ones and we sat and watched them for a while.
We were grateful to get out of the car at Tshokwane but didn’t dawdle for too long. It was very hot, temp 33°C and the sun felt like it meant business. Not many people around either.
From there we took the S34 and I must mention the road was in very good condition, a pleasure to drive. A family of Ground Hornbills were seeking shelter in the shade of a tree, obviously suffering in the heat and panting heavily. I did not blame them for not even glancing in our direction. Interesting facts ….(
`Do birds sweat? Birds’ normal body temperature is higher than ours, so they don’t need to shed heat as soon, but they can get warm inside their thick layer of feathers. Birds don’t have sweat glands so they don’t sweat, but they have a few other ways to keep cool on hot days and get rid of excess body heat:
• Birds pant to expel body heat – they breathe very quickly, letting the cooler air passing through the lungs and air sacs carry heat away from the body. A bird standing with its mouth open on a hot day is probably panting. The structure of a bird’s lungs allows the air to pass through in only one direction so it doesn’t mix with air that is already in the lungs. This means a greater cooling capacity as well as higher oxygen levels.
• Birds flutter the throat when they’re hot, flexing the hyoid bone. This area has a generous blood supply and thus can give off a lot of heat.
• Bird’s legs are not covered with feathers and significant heat is lost through the legs and feet. Some species moisten and cool their legs by allowing liquid waste to run down them. Birds turn their backs, or white parts, toward the sun so that their feathers will reflect the sunlight.
Wonder if the Grey Penduline-Tit’s home comes with an air conditioner
The nests are cleverly disguised to look like spider webs and have a cunning, false entrance to confuse predators. I don’t pose any threat, but I was fooled for many years. I thought that monster spiders lived in it!
This ellie was flapping his ears lazily to get his cooling system going …. Didn’t look as bothered as the birds, though.
A Golden Orb Spider sat patiently waiting for something, anything, to fly into its web trap. There were hundreds of them all over the park! Talk about a population explotion!
Just before turning onto the S36, a beautiful young Kudu …. the perfect model
Lugmag Dam was definitely not the hot spot of the day. A few impala and water buck were grazing on the opposite side of the dam.
A big treat for us - a beautiful, graceful Saddle-billed Stork was fishing for lunch in the shallow water.
Next post .....
Please be patient, I have to master the video thingie before I can do the next post– eish!!