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 Post subject: flying cheetah The spell of the Diderick December 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Hi forumites,

3 days ago I arrived back home from a magnificent Kruger trip with some unbelievable sightings. I never thought I could be so lucky during one trip as several of my special wishes became true :dance: :dance:
As I stayed in the park for a whole month I will not report about every single drive I did and will not talk about every lion sighting (there were nearly 20) but will spend more times with the highlights!
At the moment I'm still busy with other things (as you can imagine) but I promise that I don't let you wait too long as I'm also curious about your reactions.
For today I will hold on to my tradition and give you an appetizer:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Sunday, 6. November

After an exhausting flight without much sleep I did some important shopping (cooler box :) ) and soon I was on my way eastwards. I arrived at Malelane at 4 p.m., got my cameras ready and then I entered paradise. I'm not a supersticious person but as everybody I was curious what animal I would see first and decided if it was something else than an Impala it would be a very good sign. And the first animal was...a Diderick Cuckoo :dance: :dance: Of course this was a brilliant sign and now I was sure I would have a good trip as I havn't seen many of these beautiful birds before!

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He entertained me well and even made a kill. While I watched him I asked him to wish me good luck for the trip but I had no idea that this bird was so powerful! It also didn't take long before I had my first sad sighting..an Impala with a bad front leg and it obviously was painful for him to walk. Has anybody an idea what might have caused this injury?

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The other interesting sightings during the first day were a flock of European Bee-eaters, a Bateleur and a herd of Ellies at the Matjulu waterhole. They had a little one with them and I was just happy to watch them :D

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Then I headed for BnD where I had an early sleep and dreamed about the things to come...

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:20 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Monday, 7. November

My rough plan for the morning drive was to do the Steilberg and then go to the Biyamiti Weir. What a great idea!!! At Matjulu waterhole I met Raymond and we decided to do a bush walk the following morning. The first animals that caused a longer stop were a Rhino who had several little wounds but looked very confident and a Klipspringer:

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After entering the S118 I had my first special sighting: a Starling who had just caught a Scorpion :dance: :dance: I watched him for 15 minutes while he was busy working to kill his prey and make it eatable. The whole time he was shaking the Scorpion and threw it around and it was hard work to get clear pics. Finally the bird had enough and flew away with the remains of the Scorpion.

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The first day already had a lot to offer for me and the world outside Kruger was far far away :dance: :dance:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Rookie, Pumbaa, Dup, buffalo_soldier, Sharifa, Lionspoon, mel and Bushbaby for all your wonderful feedback :clap: :clap: :clap:

I drove on and after a while I came very close to a very friendly and relaxed Ellie. He didn't show any aggression while I was watching him and so I took some close-up pics:

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A safari vehicle came from the other direction and I had a short chat with the driver. he said that the road is very quiet and nothing interesting to be seen. I drove on without big expectations but only 5 minutes later the Spell of the Diderick worked for the first time. One of the magic moments of the trip was waiting for me.. :dance: :whistle:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:25 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Linda and hilda for your kind words and a very warm welcome on board :clap: :clap: :thumbs_up:

I decided not to let you wait too long and to continue as soon as possible.
It was 8:30 am, it was getting hot and my concentration already faded a bit. But suddenly there was the most beautiful leopard just a few meters beside the road. She was lying on a dead tree that was falling down and it seemed as if she was posing for me. And she did it perfectly :dance: :dance: The cat was lying on the trunk, same eye level like me and didn't mind my presence at all. It took more than 5 minutes before she slowly came down of the trunk and walked into the bush. Magical moments!! That was for sure the best leopard sighting I ever had in Kruger so far. When I informed my sister about a great leopard sighting she asked me if it was a LIT or a LOG. And now the problems started..What was it?? I'm still not sure :lol: :lol: :lol: Here are the pics. They may look a bit similar but I couldn't resist to show you some more...

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:31 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
I don't know why but I couldn't post all the pics in one installment so here is the rest. Hope it works now :pray:

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_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:17 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 3045
Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you all for your great comments on the leopard :dance: :clap: :dance:
@ Radman: Holding thumbs you will see one yourself on your next trip :pray:
@ Linda: You are so right, I nearly couldn't believe my luck. Guess it was the Diderick :wink:
@ Dup: Thanks for teaching me a new word, next year you have to tell me how to pronounce it :D
@ H. erectus: I still don't know which pic I like most. I want to frame one and no 4 is indeed a good option :wink:
@ ossendryver: that's exactly what I thought.. :dance:
@ Lionspoon: ..and a clever beauty! She used the perfect tree for posing :thumbs_up:
@ oddesy: Very true! To miss this leopard would have been terrible :shock:
@ mel: LOFT sounds great. SANParks should give an award for the best LOFT-sighting of the year :whistle: :whistle:


The leopard was long gone and I was still staring at the tree trunk, wondering if the leopard was really there or if I dreamed the whole sighting. Thank god I had the pics. Finally I continued my drive and on my way back to camp I saw another Klipspringer, a cute Squirrel and the carcass of a buff cow that was killed by lions near BnD a few days earlier.

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Then I needed a break and a drink in the camp :P

_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:11 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 3045
Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you Sharifa, mel, Pumbaa and hilda for all your great support :clap: :clap: :thumbs_up:
Of course I didn't really care if my leopard was a LIT or a LOG but I wouldn't say a leopard is a leopard. For me this leopard counted much more than 10 usual leopard sightings (far away or gone after a few seconds) and I think I was smiling for the rest of the day :dance: :dance:

After a well deserved and recovering rest in the camp I did the Rhino walk. As usual it was very interesting to do the walk and I took some pics of the "little" things that we pass so often unnoticed while sitting in a car:

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During the afternoon drive I just enjoyed to watch the regular game without taking many pics. I was just happy to be in the park and to know I have 4 weeks in front of me :) Finally the sun was setting at the end of a wonderful day...

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_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm
Posts: 3045
Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you Sharifa, anne-marie, Lionspoon and Pumbaa for all your positive feedback :dance: :dance: :dance:

Tuesday, 8. November

The day started with the bush walk and it was a big surprise that Dinky Bird; Hawk and ecojunkie were joining us. So the walk was like a little forum meet :D We saw Giraffes, Zebras, Impies and came quite close to three White Rhinos. As always the bush walk was a special experience, thanks again to Raymond and Peter :thumbs_up: Here are two pics from the walk:

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Then it was already time to leave BnD and I started another wild dog mission in Skukuza. Not long after leaving the camp I saw my second leopard, this time a "normal" leopard sighting...

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Again I travelled the S114, a road that became a new favourite of mine during this trip. It was getting very hot and animals began to rest in the shade. A Blacksmith Lapwing got me entertained at the Biyamiti Weir..

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...and the Dung Beetles continued their important job even during the big heat. Truely amazing animals!!

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Many Impalas were highly pregnant and every day I expected to see my first babys. As every year I was wondering what I would see first: Impala baby or Woodie :hmz:

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Then I checked in at Skukuza where I stayed for four nights!

_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm
Posts: 3045
Location: Burghausen, Germany
In the afternoon I started with the long awaited visit at Lake Panic. I was lucky that the reconstruction work got finished a few days earlier and as usual my visit was very entertaining. Some White-faced Ducks were very close and the male delivered a good show. A pair of Grey Herons had a nest opposite the hide and I managed to catch one of the adults in flight when he/she was leaving the nest. Ther first pic shows the new roof of the hide :D

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When I left the hide I was running into bert and so I have "spotted" my second mod in one day. A very unusual score :lol: :lol: The rest of the afternoon drive was very quiet, maybe I had to get ready for the great things to come. In the evening I had a braai together with bert and for me it was very interesting to get the chance to talk with someone who knows the whole history of the forum :thumbs_up:

_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


Last edited by flying cheetah on Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm
Posts: 3045
Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you anne-maire, Barcud, bert, adw, Pumbaa and Lionspoon for following my trip report and your friendly comments :dance: :clap: :dance:


Wednesday, 9. November

Via Salitje Road and Muntshe loop I was going to Lower Sabie where I took a rest. I started the day with big expectations but the first hours were not very exciting. The highlight was this Martial Eagle who looked to me as if it was a quite old bird :hmz:

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When I entered the S129 I suddenly had several nasty little flies in the car and I made the same experience 3 weeks later. Is there a special reason that these flies always seem to occur on this road?? Anyway, two warthog families with cute little piglets kept me entertained:

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Then I saw two Secretary birds and they belong to my absolute favourites. They slowly walked away from me, but suddenly one of them caught something on the ground. Unfortunetely I couldn't figure out what it was.

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Then I arrived at Lower Sabie and relaxed while enjoying the beautiful view from the deck. Again it was a very hot day and the Weavers cooled themselves down at the birdbath :D

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_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
After the break I visited Sunset Dam where a lot of various animals enjoyed the cooling water. Some of the Impalas came very close to the crocs but the reptiles didn't show any interest...

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While going up the H10 I saw my first Ostriches and at Orpen Dam I enjoyed the peace and quietness of this wonderful place..

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It seemed during the whole afternoon all the animals wanted to save their energy and any activities were rare. Only an Elephant wanted to chase two buffalos from a waterhole and while the first buff went away the second one stood his ground which finally was accepted by the Ellie :D The day ended with the usual sunset pic and another meet with bert.

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It was a day without very spectacular sightings but the next morning my luck was back :dance:

_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thursday, 10. November

Later I called this day my MAGIC THURSDAY! I had several amazing sightings and I still cannot believe my luck.
I decided to tell you the whole story of the first highlight before I start posting pics. Then I will post the first set of pics and..if you are interested..a second and a third one :wink: Now here we go:
I started the day around 20 minutes after the gate closed and decided to look for the dogs again on the Phabeni road. I was 7 km away from the camp and it was still quite dark when I saw something rushing across the street. It was a strange movement and I didn't realize what has happened but when I came closer I saw some white spots moving up and down. The tails of the dogs :dance: :dance: Slowly I moved forward but the dogs didn't mind me at all. They had just made a kill :big_eyes: It was an Impala ram and there were 4 dogs at it, but a few seconds later more dogs came from all directions and in the end there were 17 or 18. For a good while there were not more than 2 cars at the sighting as most of the passing cars moved on after taking a few pics :doh: It lasted 40 minutes before a traffic jam started and in the end the police had to come to solve all the chaos! But I could watch the dogs feeding on their kill from 10 meters and it was absolutely amazing :dance: Suddenly there was a lot of excitement in some other cars and I realized that there was a leopard just behind my car. He was looking for a way to cross the road between all the cars and to find out what has happened. Finally he crossed the road (without me noticing it) and immedeately the dogs chased him up the next tree. I didn't have a view on the leopard and couldn't move my car but the people in the other cars kept me informed. When the dogs got tired of feeding and started to play and move away from the Impala the Leopard suddenly came down and stole the rest of the carcass! Altogether I was at the sighting for 1 1/2 hours and in the end I felt kind of exhausted. I guess my heartbeat never settled down during the whole time...
first pics in a few minutes.. :whistle:

_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


Last edited by flying cheetah on Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you Linda, hilda, Sharifa and anne-marie for all your support :dance: :clap: :dance: Here are some more pics:

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_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: The spell of the Diderick
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you cheetah, ossendryver, Rookie, hilda, mel and adw for all your kind comments :clap: :clap: :clap:
@hilda: I saw the leopard for a second with the carcass, then he vanished in the bush. I waited a good while and checked all the trees close by but didn't see him again. Maybe he realized that there was no meat left on the Impie and dropped it again :hmz:

Now I have another set of dog pics for you, the next installment will also show leopard pics :wink:

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_________________
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


Last edited by flying cheetah on Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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