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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Pumbaa, Hilda, Barryels, Isinkwe, Meandering Mouse and Trrp-trrrrrrr, thank you for all your comments :thumbs_up: Very pleased you enjoyed the video. :dance: :dance:

We can never see enough of sable.

Hope you all enjoy wonderful sightings this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:41 pm 
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Hi Umtali1

The sables are very special I can't remember when last we were so lucky.
The bushbuck pick is one of my favourites :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thanks again for sharing your nuggets with us

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:18 pm 
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Thank you Sky :thumbs_up:

Bushbuck have very pretty markings. :clap: I think they get overlooked at times.

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:29 pm 
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Horns and stripes and other things.

We hope you will allow us to indulge ourselves by sharing some of our thoughts on the wonders of the natural world, especially the variety of markings, shapes and sizes.

Nature is a wonderful thing, creating these animals with markings and horns for a particular purpose. What is so amazing is that no two creatures are alike.

You wouldn’t think that the horns on this buffalo and roan in Mokala are made of the same stuff, keratin, but totally different in style.

Image

Image

Also the very straight horns of the gemsbok which we featured in the rare species nugget and, of course, those fantastic curved horns of the sable as shown in earlier episodes.

Why do zebras have stripes and why so different? The scientists say that the black and white stripes (or are they white and black stripes?) are meant to confuse the predators as they dash around the bush to escape being the meal. The stripes are also there to help them blend into the bush. Look at the contrast in the markings of those in Mokala

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Image

and those in the Kruger. Here the markings are much more strident.

Image

Couldn’t resist including this bum shot! One looks as if it is too much effort to stand up to drink.

Image

And now for a ‘Pumbaa’ moment….(apologies to Pumbaa!) This warthog has tremendous tusks. They are not only used for defending themselves but excavating roots etc from the earth. Wouldn’t like to be on the wrong end of them!
We noticed those in Mokala were much bigger than those in the Kruger

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These two groups of buffalo near Punda Maria looked a little interested as we drove by but not the biggest horns we have ever seen.

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Image

Giraffes are a good example of how a species has evolved to reach their food in higher places. To think that these creatures have the same number of vertebrae in their necks as us humans. Nature has developed a wonderful patchwork on their skins and, despite their size they move so gracefully and are always ready to pose.
(There are only a very few giraffe in Mokala.)

It’s not often you see a giraffe lying down. We spotted this one on the S44 near the Oliphants look-out.

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A close up

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And some long necks

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We stopped to have lunch at the Oliphants Camp with the lovely view of the river. We noticed what looked like a nursery of hippos. One adult seemed to be minding several youngsters while the other parents were some distance away. Then they came out to graze.

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Every time we visit the parks we marvel at the variety of creatures and how they have evolved to enable them to exist in a harsh environment. Evolution has provided us with such riches. We are very spoilt.

Lots of other antelope, with their magnificent horns and colourings, could have been included in this episode, but we have seen them in the Rare Breeds nugget.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some or our thoughts behind these pictures. Perhaps four-legged creatures aren’t the only ones with long necks…….. :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:38 pm 
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If I look at all the wonderful photos I must agree that nature is filled with beautiful individually created animals with a specific purpose that we might never understand but admire on a daily basis :clap: :clap: .

Quite an array you posted here :dance: :dance: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:39 pm 
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umtali1 wrote:
Why do zebras have stripes and why so different? The scientists say that the black and white stripes (or are they white and black stripes?)

Image umtali1, next time you see some zebras , if you Imageclosely, you will notice that the males are black with white stripes and the females are white with black stripesImage, Image
I betterImage, SO is on her way home, I am supposed to be Image, if she catches me being silly on the forums again, Image

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:25 pm 
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WoW About the roan sighting - That would definitely be a reason to visit this park one day :clap: :clap: :clap:

Lovely buffies, Zebras and Pumbaas as well :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:26 pm 
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Barryels, Isinkwe and Pumbaa - thank you for your comments.

I suppose there will always be that debate as to whether the zebra stripes are white on black or black on white :lol: :lol:

It's much easier to see roan in Mokala than in the Kruger because they are less predator wary like some of the other animals.

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Great pics, love that giraffe having a rest, also the little zeebie and the hippo family was a nice sighting

Thanks for sharing :gflower:

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 Post subject: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013#17
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Big beaks and long necks

There is such a diversity of bird life with something for every habitat. We thought we would share some more feathered friends that have adapted to more specialised habitats, in particular water.

Saddlebills seem to be as much at home on land as in the water. They look as though they have red knee protectors! Why do their beaks have that black saddle (apart from giving them their name!)?

Image

Image

Other birds that spend a lot of time near water are herons. We caught this grey heron flying in gracefully to land in the river.

Image

Image

Then we have the woolly necked stork standing on the muddy area by the waterhole. This one is all tucked up! The feathers become very glossy when they glint in the sunlight.

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Here these yellow-billed storks are busy trawling the river for tasty morsels.

Image

The real gem for us was this openbill on the Letaba river. This is a stretch of river where you need to stop and look for a while. We had been concentrating on some ellies in the river when this stork moved in the foreground. If you look carefully at the second picture you can see the open beak with something in it.

Image

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Away from water we found secretary birds on several occasions. They specialise in killing snakes.

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Up near the Luvuvhu picnic site we saw this lovely kori bustard. They look so regal gliding through the scrub with their heads held high. Here the vegetation had been relocated by the floods (more later).

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The clowns of the show for us are the ground hornbills. They are so comical the way they move around. That red face and throat are so distinctive. What a beak. Ouch! Sadly their numbers are on the decline.

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In this nugget we hope you have enjoyed looking at birds from a slightly different perspective. Wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of some of those beaks!!!!

It’s almost a year since the awful floods. We shall be sharing some thoughts and pictures of the aftermath and clean up in the next episode…….

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:57 pm 
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Umtali,

Had 2 episodes to view today 8)

Gorgeous Roan :clap: :clap: and baby Zebra adorable :dance:

Great photos of all. :great:

Super special pics and the birds are fantastic. :thumbs_up: ..Great variety but Open Billed is wonderful. :clap: :clap:

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:22 am 
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Fantastic to be able to compare the two different Zebra species. 8) Thanks for that :thumbs_up:

The long billed birds are always so prehistoric looking. Quite interesting to see the collection together.

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:10 pm 
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Some really great shots of all the ImageImageImageImage

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Wow Umtali1! You have had so many stunning bird sightings! Your pictures are superb! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Nuggets from a trip to Mokala and Kruger in October 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:11 pm 
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Trrp-trrrrrr. Isinkwe, Meandering Mouse and Hilda - thanks for your comments. :thumbs_up:

My SO is the photographer. I just do the writing.!!!!!

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Our trip report for 2013 is at http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75574.
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