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 Post subject: Noel Diversity Nov 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:34 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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OK, you know you are suffring from a serious bout of krugeritis fever (otherwise known as Obsessive Compulsive Desires to be in the Kruger Park-aka OCKP fever) when you:
1. You are so eager to get to the Park that you leave your primary 500mm Lens behind in Johannesburg, and only realise it when you are a close to the Park.
2. You don;t take a plate with you to eat.
3. You forget your cell phone charger behind.
4. You have a fear of Elephants and yet you book some nights in the North of the Park in the hope that you will see some big tuskers.

Leaving that lens behind was to be a real impediment, as it meant having to use my 300mm lens plus telecoverter, which does affect the quality of photos. (an explantion-I do not keep this lens in my camera bag as it is too big, so I keep it elsewhere-and when I did the checking for the trip-ticking off photographic equipment meant ticking that the bag was ready, but I forgot the big lens-for those interested, I have given myself a super big prize-PRIZE IDIOT) Rationalising time-I am in the Kruger to enjoy some outdoor time, relax in God's wonderful creation, and simpy marvel at the diversity of life to be found here, which is the title of this TR and not primarily to take photos. So, photographic challenges side, I was able to spend an extra long weekend (though OCKP sufferers deny that this should be called extra long weekend, as it is never long enough) from 27-31 Oct. Two nights in Letaba and 2 nights in Pretoriuskop, some wonderful sightings which I shall share in this TR.

I met 4 forumites during his time, and it was wonderful to meet them all, and I was able to chat to all of them for quite a long time. Good to have met Skopsie from Tzaneen, Wilddreamer and her SO and Shirleymargate and Fransmargate. In typical Forum goodwill, Frans and Shirley offered me coffee which I did not take, seeing that I already had 3 cups, and you do not want to be going around with a full bladder in KNP, especially not when you are suffering from OCKP fever.

Let me start with some photos of a wonderful experience outside the park, en route from Tzaneen to Phalaborwa, and saw a signpost-"2000 year old Boabab"-3.5km. Suppressing the OCKP fever somewhat, I opted to go have a look, seeing that I love Baobabs. What a good decision, there it was. And what it made it even more wonderful is that you can enter the trunk of this tree. Well, imagine being inside a 2000 year old tree. I reckon it was big enough to house a bed and a cupoard and maytbe fridge. And it is still growing
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The entrance to the Boabab trunk-very therapeutic exercise-it assured me that I am still thin enough to enter :lol:
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The view from the inside
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The inside-these are the roots-notice the light
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And if you are adventurous enough, you can climb this tree. I did not, as the OCKP fever was getting stronger by now.
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Well off to KNP.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hiya Mel@nie. Yep-again. Can't stay away from the place too long! My you are looking green. Great to have you along once again. So you going in December-I may see you there, though at this stage it looks like I may go to Addo instead as part of a visit to family.

Right, check in done, and i'm off to get everything out of the boot and into the car. Binocs, camera, coffee etc etc. Then I hear a familiar sound of a bird, look into the tree, and there it is. Diedericks Cuckoo right at the parking lot.
[img]http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae213/noelcmn/Kruger%20Park%20visit-27-31%%2020October%202011/KNP27October2011031.jpg[/img]

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Already I was wishing I had my 500mm lens. As I'm taking some photos, I noticed another guy also keen on the bird, with binocs. Turns out to be Skopsie, who later inside the Park, comes to introduce himself, having noticed the yellow ribbon. He did not have a ribbon, as he was in Phalas for business, had a few hours to spare and came to do some birding. Wish I could that!

First animals seen were some Guinea fowl. Now you know that you have a serious case of OCKP when you can;t resist taking photos of these, as you are going to see so much of them in this place.
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Some flowers added to the diversity collection.
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And then this beautiful specimen crossed my path

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And this ever so shy bird
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And more flowers to add
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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Next up-a tortoise hanging onto mom's tail
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A visit to Sable Dam is a must, where a herd of Elles was having some fun
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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Some more divers Flora
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And then this juvenile Martial Eagle, trying to hide from me.
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Buffalo cooling off in the intense heat characteristic of the North
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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:42 pm 
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Thanks Elsa-Did I mention I gave myself first prize for idiot of the year!-Welcome.
Hugh-Welcome to you too!
RayK- See comment above. Did that one too-but not a charger-a Macro lens. Double prize idiot -that's me! But, it was a good opportunity to discover what a wonderful place this forum is, and the wonderful people here. I got my lens back courtesy of some Laine and Wildtuinman and the manager of Lower Sabie.

A short visit to Masorini did not reveal much by way of big animals, but some opportunities for macro photos
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A more sad moment for the last remains of a big Tusker perhaps
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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:51 pm 
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On the way to Letaba, this stunning model decided she ma as well pretend to be on the catwalk. Her name is Waltzing Matilda.
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Beauty of another kind

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And beauty of yet another kind.
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Gotta love this place.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:58 pm 
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RayK-Sorry, I meant to say welcom too!
Pumbaa-How nice of you to join-I shall be counting the days with you, checking out for that TR with your fantastic pics. :thumbs_up: Welcome.
Bushmom- I apologise-OCKP is not nice, when you are not there. Welcome.

By now I was getting rather tired, having travelled since 4:00am in the morning, and wanted to get to Letaba, and sleep. Except I decided to go to the bridge over Letaba River, where you can get out of the car. Bad decision :slap: because now the adrenaline began to flow again. What a fantastic place to be. Not the kind of place you can spend only few minutes. I was there for 1 1/2 hours. Bird life wonderful, plus ele's and waterbuck. Fish too. This is where I met Wilddreamer and her SO. They were wondering about this crazy dude, if he was not sitting on the rail, he was walking from one side of the road to the other :doh:. Here too I realised how much I would miss my 500mm lens. Ah well. These are some pics.
First up a family of fish eagles- this one feeding its youngster.
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Mom and Dad after the youngster had flown off.
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Some reflection shots
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An evocative photo
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And when you do not have the reach of a long lens, you opt for abstracts.
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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Some waterbuck crossed the river
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As did a small herd of Elephants
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More reflection shots
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Plenty of opportunity for BIF-not the best I know.
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Panning shots
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In its more sedate mode
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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Quick next posting. Some Barbels were to be seen below in the river.
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A great White Egret came to grace me with its presence.
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And some squirrels were there to greet me at the gate of Letaba camp
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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:13 pm 
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Welcome Carolv, Good to have you along.
And to you Meerkitty.

So arrived at Letaba camp, tired ready for a good sleep. Quick dinner, off to have a shower, and then more troubles start. All those insects around the toilet, just waiting to be photographed. Back to the tent, back to the shower, with a prayer that no one notices this crazy guy going into the toilet with a Camera. Good heavens, what next! Well they do contribute to the diversity of the Kruger.
Colorful moth
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A red one too
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This one I've entitled gOOgle.
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This is the full version
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This one a bit scary
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And this beautiful big moth
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The problem with the fever is, it does not subside
ZZZZZ


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:20 pm 
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Could not get up as early as I had hoped (wonder why), coffee, decisions decisions. Which route today-north or south. Well I would be going south tomorrow, so makes sense to go north-Mopani here I come. A few quick shots of life in the camp.
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This chat had caught some breakfast
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As did this Bulbul
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First a trip to Engelhard Dam-this impala had a quizzical look
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These beauiful flowers made my day een more beautiful-but theywere a bit too far away for a decent pic. Some white-faced duck contributed.

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This Duiker had a serious problem with flies?
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Next installment coming up


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Another tortoise also contributed to the diversity

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And a Lark
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This Hyena was seeking some relief from the heat
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One of several Kori Bastards I got to see, all of them too far away for a decent pic.
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Warthogs in company with Zebra

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More later


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Hilda, , my apologies, I meant to say "welcome".
Cheetah2111-lovely to have you along.
Meerkitty- Can't escape Google these days-it appears everywhere, even with kurgeritis fever.

Onto some Tuskers.
This one at Middlevlei (I think)
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And then this one at Klei Nshawu- I hope it is a named tusker on Aat''s fabulous collection. I will ask on the Big tuskers thread. He was awe-inspiring.
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All for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Me Skarabee, , Welcome. Agree with you on the idiocy. Pumbaa, as I said in the opening page, its the diversity that makes Kruger do wonderful. Time for another diverse session.
Lichtenstein Hartebeest I believe. Nice to see a small herd, but they were a bit skittish.
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And the reason for being so skittish-There were some young ones, who took one look at me and skittled off-so I could not manage a frontal pic.
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This lark was singing of the Morning Glory
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A buffalo made its appearance too
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Bye for now


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Me Skarabee-OOOPS - I think I got it wrong, its Tsessebe and not L hartebeest. The latter is much lighter in colour and has more "funny" horns. Have no idea about those openings are-probably glands used in territorial markings. Preorbital is what google calls it. So-Pumbaa and Buffalo Soldier are right.

Buffalo Soldier, great to have you along. I am so enjoying your stunning photography TR. Complimenting mine-well uhm. Welcome.

And onto another dose of diversity.
Redcrested Korhaan. This is an amazing bird, well, I mean if you ever get to see it doing its unique thing of going vertically up into the air and then also coming down vertically to the same spot. Part of its mating ritual- its quite something to see. So I always stop and watch these birds when I see them-just in case. I have seen that twice, on this trip is the 2nd time it have seen it, but it was too far away. I saw plenty of them.

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You may also occasionally get a quizzical look.
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Or hear/see its call- wak wak wak, is how Roberts birds of SA describes it.
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And another Tsessebe on the S100
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Another Kori Bustard on the S100
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This bird was so agitated by my presence there I could hardly get a pic- Thick Billed Weaver I think
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Another Duiker.
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