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 Post subject: Noel Ja, Well, No, Fine Aug 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Ja, Well, No, Fine-another photographic TR.
My 16 year old son comes to visit me for 6 weeks from the USA-half of his summer vacation. Usually I plan to go with him to Kruger for few days. Except when I asked him about going for a few days - uhm, NO is the reply. Well, as I had just started a new job, I was able to spend very little time with him, and eventually pursuaded him to go so we could spend some quality time together. Yes yes yes. Quick check booking on-line. Very litle available seeing we had the long weekend 6-9 August. Then for some reason there seemed to be nothing available for the rest of the week too :big_eyes: . What to do? Contact my friend at Sanparks office in Cresta, who quickly gets me 3 from nights (8-10 August) at Lower Sabie :dance: :dance: :dance: Nothing for Monday 8th though. How about a day trip in the park on that day, son? We will have to get up at 04:00 for the drive down! NO WAY-ah-teenagers! But we cn spend the night in Nelspruit and be in the Park s early as possible. OK, that's workable.
Off we went, spent the night in Nelspruit, and well, you know, teenagers- he wants his Wimpy breakfast (thats traditional for him now) so we only get to Numbi by 11:00. Not my way of doing things of course. But I was to learn a bit more about teenagers on this trip. For example-I stop for a bird. "What are we stopping for"? asks Mr Teen. "A bird" comes the fatherly reply. "I hate birds" huh :doh: Well I hear a few more of those over the four days we are there, and eventually I gotta ask "why do you hate birds?" Turns out he had a Cardinal bird make its nest on the widowsill of his room back in the USA. Woke him up early every morning-Don't mess with teenagers sleep :naughty: . Well, that went on unabated. I stop. "What are we stopping to see"? asks the teen. A bird! "why did I even ask" says the teen.
I spoke in my previous trip that I have have a standard practice of doing the triangular trip between Skukuza, Lower Sabie nd Tshokwane. Well he had his triangle of refernece too-Brekfast Lunch and Supper :big_eyes:
Well in despite all of that, we had a wonderful time, Kruger delivered as usual and I spent wonderful 4 days with my son doing what I love, and he evertually joined the fun, spotting some things that I would not have seen.
These then are some of the photos.
First up, stop at Shitlave Dam
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More later


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:45 pm 
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Hiya Mposthumus-great to see you here! My humble apologies for not asking you this time round! Promise not to do it again :whistle: PLEASE CAN I GO IN OCTOBER. PRETTY PLEASE!
Anne-Marie-that's a terrapin-far away.
Rino-Nice to have you along too! Still loving your Kalk Bay photos.
Me Skarabee-Yep-those Waterbuck basically live there at Shitlave. They make another appearance later on. Did you have your Yellow Ribbon? Did not see one other forumite in the 4 days I was there, though I know (reading through the forums) that there were a few in the southern part of the park.

Must say KNP this time was very different from other times-game wise-it was very dry, and I missed the call of the Woodland Kingfisher. It was made up though by the frequent and wonderful call of the fish eagles, of which there seemed plenty. I wondered if I would see as many raptors as you usually see in the summer months. Those were the only birds my teenager son liked-they were usually far away and silent.

For once, Transport Dam was quiet, with only this Crocodile basking.
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Another magnificent Waterbuck did come down to drink.
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Far way were some impala an Kudu, too far for decent pics.

The Drongos were there
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This red bellied Korhaan was a bit on the shy side, and refused to turn around, prefering instead to stick to well worn pathways.
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The Klipspringers were in their usual place at the junction of the H1-1 and the H3
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And the Coucals were also present. This one posing on the pavement
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More coming soon


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:07 pm 
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Another view of the Klipsringer
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This beautiful butterfly was seen at Skukuza-just loved the red tips of its wings.
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And another butterfly
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And a Crested Barbet made more than one appearance on this trip.
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Mother hen
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More to come soon


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Off to Lake Panic, my favourite spot in all of Kruger. This juvenile Fish Eagle was very well camouflaged, hardly anyone saw until I pointed it out.
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This darter actually caught a fish just as we arrived, but fumbling with the camera meant I lost the opportunity. But I was ableT to get a lovely reflection shot.
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And if you inverted it a bit, you get some creative architecture-looks like a church steeple of sorts.
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Enough for tonight-bed time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Anne-Marie-you should know-only in Kruger you get Terrapins with hair. I'm trying to get the secret from them, as I could certainly do with some. Is there business plan coming here? :hmz: KNP terrapins BEWARE!
Hiya Foxy and Flutterby nice to have you along! Your son is 12 already Flutterby? I thought he was only 9. Not is the the hair falling out, it also going grey-FAST.

This Darter was listening to the song "Let's do the twist again". Now don't go and give away your ages :twisted:
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This Saddle billed stork was high up in a tree, trying some balancing act, so between my unbalanced son and him, we managed to conjure up this slightly out of focus shot.
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And always a pleasure to see this ready-for-war-painted-stripes-on-my-face guy. Saw quite a few in the 4 days.
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And also this one, though the paint is less pronounced
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This terrpapin heard a rumour about hair products, came investigating and found.....
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Now I had better post a pic of my son, seeing that I am picking on him in this trip report. And also just in case some want to know if he looks like me,. Here are the answers
My son
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Me
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As you can all see
1. He is a lot older than I am :hmz:
2. There is little resemblance :doh:
3. I like birds, he does not. He likes reptiles and so do I. :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:04 pm 
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Flutterby- :doh: Does it make a difference if I look like him or he looks like me - such profound philosophical conundrums on this forum :whistle:

Oops, I see I go one photo wrong. Ah, the nerves, posting a photo of my son-he's gonne K I L L me when he finds out! Fortunately he is in the USA and I am here, and plenty of time to plan my escape!

Let's do the twist again"
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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:31 pm 
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:yaya: Bush Brat-Missed you on the forums of late. Nice to hear you are still round. Your mum has been talking about you! You looking forward to the upcoming trip. I am looking forward to a TR from you. BY the way, the elephants seems to have calmed down a bit-have not read of many attacks on cars in the trip reports. BUT, don' t take my word for it. I'm just bit more brave when my son is around.
Vlakvarkvrou (love the name by the way-kinda don't mess with me kind of vrou :whistle:) Good to have you along. You made my day with that comment "little bit of you". The BIG question is how little
Me Skarabee-Thanks. I am enjoying it very much.
Dotty, how nice to have you long-that was a beautiful butterfly, except it did not sit still for long.
Mposthumus-YOU NOTICED THE NEW HAIR-Amazing! What a fine memory you have!

Ok, enough of this resemblance or not conundrums.
Some more pics

The world famous breeding herons of Lake Panic. Breeding is well under way :dance:
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This hornbill went for a stroll
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This one came for a real close-up view
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I' m pretty sure he did not believe me when I said this is my son-so he came even closer to the point I could even see its eyebrows. You know the expression -eyeball-to eyball.
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Then promptly showed me his son "this is how its done laddie! See the resemblance? Yeah but he is brown and yellowish and you are Red and black Mister! "Ah, that's only his teenage look". Suddenly I fear for my son's future looks :tongue:

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This young buck gave me hope -what a handsome teenager this one is :dance:
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More later.


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Flutterby-one word for eyelashes-Terrapins (my research is going on)
Bush Brat-but you do have your mom :thumbs_up: That makes all the difference in the world. And I see she is spoiling you with a night drive too! I am :mrgreen:
Right, moving on to the nitty grotty side of this TR. Especially for Mposthumus-seeing that she remembered that I had(have?) so little hair-I am sure it was the sunglow on my bald patch that made her remember.
This spider is very small-inside the chalet. Identified as Lynx Spider. Practicing some macro photography.
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On the first night my son says "dad come and look here". And there they are, quite a few BATS. In the gutters. Unit no 26 and 28 for those batmad and who want to see them. So my son is not into birds, but into bats, despite having been bitten by one in the USA :doh: Difficult to photograph them as it meant using my spotlight. Not something I was too happy doing. (Also got to show them to our neighbour- couple from New Zealand, she was originally from SA and with her boyfriend, visiting the Kruger with her parents who lives somewhere down in the Cape.) Quite noisy things-squeaking throughout the night-I think there were some young ones, as they stayed throughout the night.
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On the second night my son comes to me again, "dad you hadh better come and have look at this-by now I know I had better give attention because it was not going to be a bird-Lo and behold-a dead bat on his bed :big_eyes:
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Than means that there is some gap between the gutter and the inside of our chalet. When I was younger, we believed that bats skimmed your head to grab a few hairs for its nest. Now there were some the room while slept. My hair, my precious little hair :roll:

THis gekho on the veranda - I did tell it there was a spider (grob, food yum yum) on the inside. At first it licked it's lips in anticipation
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Considered it would risk a teenager in the room
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So opted to rather duck out of the way
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More tomorrow


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Mposthumus-the things we beleived when we were younger :D
Thanks Flutterby and Bush Brat.- I am so looking forward to your TR when it comes.

Being in Lower Sabie meant spending a lot of time at Sunset Dam :dance: :dance: :dance: Here are some pics.
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On these pics it looks like the Stork is giving the crocodile a bit of peck. I entitled them- "Ouch" and "Ouch again"
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Some great opportunities for reflection shots
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A herd of buffalo came down to drink.
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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:49 pm 
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And some more from Sunset Dam

Love taking photos of this bird, and will spend time watching it, after I saw it catch a rather large gecko.
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These are showing that event-this was in Malawi
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[IMG]http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae213/noelcmn/Kruger%20National%20Park%20visit-9-12%20August%202011/Malawi166.jpg[/IMG

Another reflection shot
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The local black-tie event host
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Jacana again.
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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Meandering Mouse-how nice to have you meandering around here.
Pumbaa-lovely to have you along too. Glad you too like that shot of the croc and the Stork-they were just so close, unbelievably so. I expected the croc to make a lunge for the bird, but no luck.
KTF Hooked-I now have a permanent -shall we call it a cooler-box-style-hat-to keep the bald patch cold to deter insects. Great that you wife studies bats-they must be such interesting thing to study. Hope SO tags you along to caves, old building, chalets in LS :tongue:

Right some more from Sunset Dam, before we move along.
This yellow billed stork may have decided that close encounters with Crocs is not a good idea-caught early morning.
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Love the delicate toe touching the water on this wader
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Then there were these-First up dad (I hope) the provider of food.
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Then along comes his teenage son-
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And wants to be fed!
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Good night. Bed time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:56 pm 
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KTF Hooked-well now, what can I say. It msut be fascinating to study bats. I was reserving comments to Rino about the bat curry stew to allow me some recovery time. I LOVE curry, but Bat Curry :big_eyes: And here you come long and reckin its cool :hmz: . Reminds me of what I saw in Malawi-the infamous "rat Skewers". Yeach. Bat Curry Stew YEAACCCHHH.
Rino-I feel with you on this one. Prefer looking at them rather than eating them :thumbs_up:

Well-now onto something more palatable-more images from Sunset Dam. Consider myself lucky to have got these shots-this bird skittles around like Jody Scheckter at Kyalami (Kyalami for the uninformed, is a race track north of Johannesburg).
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And another bird I was happy to see.
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More soon


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Flutterby-I was tempted to ask for some ID, for the simple reason that my Roberts has been packed away (preparing to move this week). The first is 3 banded plover. The second is a Shrike-which one :hmz: .

A visit to Tsokwane is always on the cards. "we are going to Tsokwane today". Ok Dad, what's special about Tsokwane? They serve "Kuduwors rolls and chips" comes the I-know-i'm-going-to-win-this-battle reply. OK, let's go, make it quick. Teenagers :tongue:

Stopped off at Nkumbe (as usual), not much to see, except some ostriches and kudus. Very far away and not really worth taking photos.
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What made this short visit memorable is that while we were there, a swiss couple arrived, and we pointed out the ostriches and kudus to them. They had look through their binocs, another look, and another look, and yet another look. mmmm :hmz: She is looking at the Ostrich. Turns out they did not believe ostriches existed in real life, :big_eyes: nd now they were looking at one albeit one that was very far away. I realised then what a privilege it is to be so close to a world like the Kruger, and be familiar with such simplicities as Ostriches. We of course grow up with the knowledge of them, or see them at various places in South Africa (and even maybe proudly possessed a genuine Ostrich feather) and take for granted their existence. Here was a couple who had never seen one before, and they marvelled. I simply could not believe that they had not seen an ostrich before and assured them that as they travelled south towards LS, they were sure to see some closer, as we had seen some. I should mention that they were into scuba diving and spent some time on the Kwazulu/Natal north coast. Well, I guess that is the wrong place to go looking for Ostriches.

Just a few meters from Nkumbe is another lookout point, but one where you are not allowed to get out of your vehicle-these are some shots-showing just how dry the kruger is at this time of the year.
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Then its off to Orpen Dam, which I have now labelled "crocodile heaven". There are so many crocs there :big_eyes: . Experts too in the art of camouflage.
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This one was very well camouflaged.
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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:13 pm 
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Thanks Flutterby-you are a bird fundi these days I see.
Bush Brat- :thumbs_up:
Mel@nie-Big Mug coming up-coffee of course.

So onto Tsokwane, which was both sad and delightful. Delightful to see my son gobble Kuduwors roll and chips in no time, hardly any time to take photos. But before we even got there, I had this delightful sighting. I mentioned that I missed the call of the Woodlands Kingfisher so imagine my delight when I caught sight of this fella. "dad why are we stopping-why did I ask. And why are we parked on the wrong side of the road". Can we go now? Well it seems he was not the only one not into birds, as quite a few people stopped, asked what we were looking at, and I point out this beauty, and off they go with hardly a glance. No idea how special this was. I could have stayed there for hours.
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On arrival I parked my car between two other cars, only to find a flock of starlings taking off as I pulled in. Then I discovered the reason-someone had scattered a packet of peanuts right next to their car-for the birds. :sniper: :sniper: :sniper: And they were not going to be shy. Amongst these was a very young what I think is a Wattled Starling which means this bird has now learned to be human dependant. It makes me mad :sniper: :sniper: The following images is just of me practicing some macro photography with these birds that were feeding on the peanuts, ignoring me if I made little movements. They only fled when I got out of the car.
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Young Wattled Starling
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And this too was sad to see-peoplejust walking away from their table and leaving their leftovers for the birds-they were quickly at the plate. I reckon these resturants should ask patrons to PLEASE throw their left overs in the bin
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Even this Crested Barbet had taken to begging at an older couples table.
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On a better note, this bird was a delight to see, and I would appreciate some ID please. Took these shots while a kudewors roll and chips was being consumed.
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More to follow soon


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 Post subject: Re: Ja, Well, No, Fine
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Well let's move onto some raptors, which as I mentioned, I wondered which I would see. This Hooded Vulture had received a lesson on crossing the road.
First, look left
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Look right
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Look left again
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And then look straight ahead.
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This Bateleur was in a playful mood as it fluffed its feathers
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I did get to see a Brown Snake Eagle-but a bit too far for a decent shot.
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Almost time for bed-maybe one more posting.


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