Tuesday, 11th February, 2013 – Crocodile Bridge
I was already so much looking forward to drive the S28 today as this is still one of our favourite roads in the park and can offer between nothing and magnificent sightings nearly everything and you never know what to expect. Well today a phenomenon called dense mist happened and so it was hard to look more than 50 meter into the bush and everything farer away stayed invisible for us. Nevertheless the animals obviously loved such weather and we were blessed with some amazing sightings, especially this still very tired rhino.
There is indeed nothing wrong with our camera it was simply extreme misty and for sure large and tall animals such giraffes simply could not be overlooked.
They were busy in doing what they do the whole day: feeding – I simply love that! and for sure raised my mood extremely with such an early daily giraffe fix.
Due to the prevailing humidity in the air these many orb web spider webs were that morning extreme good visible and Timon stopped nearly for each and every spider web in order to get the best possible shot of same.
The ever present wildebeest in that area were also present although we only could identify the one close to us as everything farer away was non-existing for us that morning.
Better not to know what we might have missed this blurred morning.
Funny was that the golden orb web spiders were exceptionally easy to spot that morning – This is for you, Anne-Marie, and they could nearly be found everywhere in the park so in total they must have been millions, altogether.
Lots of barn swallows were still cuddled together on a dead tree, zebras and even a Jacobin cuckoo came into sight although its colours and the picture itself came out not that good because of the mist.
Even an elephant appeared although I must say that this was a scary moment for us as we did not know whether there might be more hidden in the mist but the picture which came out is one of those we wanted to have under all circumstances maybe compared with the silhouette of a giraffe and a sunset in the background. Sigh!
It was calm and you could already guess that early that this might become an extreme hot day after the mist had cleared up. The birdies also did not let us down today although this nicely posing red-billed hornbill did not like the mist that much
whereas this lovely tawny flanked prinia was already busy in catching something to eat.
From time to time the further we drove North the fog was already gone completely and the sun came up and then everything was dense again and we even felt the humidity in the air. Maybe this picture of a lone marabou demonstrates best what I wanted to describe.
Although the Nhlanganzwani dam is destroyed now for a couple of years we always pay a visit there it is a nice drive and normally a lot is to be seen and especially our beloved birds did not let us down here and so it was today – Magpie shrikes occur always more than plentiful in the area and are easiest to be photographed here as they are not that shy and allow one enough time to stop the car, position the camera and snap away
they even sit still after Timon snapped away a couple of times.
Gladly for us was that the mist now had gone completely and the sun enlighten everything in a lovely light and so we could watch a bit farer away in the bush and soon discovered that majestic martial eagle in a tree which was a bit far away.
We are always impressed by the size of this stunning raptor and felt honoured that same allowed us some nice shots. Funny is that we each year in nearly the same bush do find arrow-marked babblers and today same was a bit puffed up.
Meanwhile we strolled along the S137 which we declared from this year on the best road in the entire park to spot lots of different species of birds. We always had on that road sightings of most of the “common” birds such as this in the “feed me” mood European roller
but also great raptor sightings for example the gymnogene last year and kori bustards have regularly been seen here by us and we were already curious what might come across today featherwise. Many red-backed shrikes, male and female, were around as well this small birdie
And what to say first we met our very first Kruger black shouldered kite having its breakfast although a bit far away we were thrilled
and then we also enjoyed the noisy grey louries in exactly the same dead leadwood tree where we last year observed the gymnogene with its kill.
Whilst Timon was busy in taking pictures I scanned the nearby bushes for other animals and got hooked and nearly screamed “owl” and was so excited as this owl was already since long long time on my wish list – a pearl-spotted owlet!to be continued......