Joining up with Ferdelance and meeting all the others Skopsie, Laksman, Kameelperd, Janice, Allison, ClickClick , Duncan, Blair, Tony and our guide/driver Irwing - was really nice. Also meeting Lizet on Saturday off course!
We didn't get much sleep over the weekend. But the 3am drive on Saturday morning started right of with a huge bang! And we thought we might me lucky enough to see the coalition of 4 male lions from the previous night again!
But instead we found one of the White-backed Night Herons again! On the rocks right by the road on the Sabie river bridge. I managed to get 2shots of it before it took off again. We were all thrilled!! The only person less excited about a heron with a white back and who appreciated all the cat sigtings more than the birds, was ClickClick. She managed a good shot of it too as it flew off!
The regular Water and Spotted Thick Knees were seen, with the Square-tailed Nightjar, European Nightjar and 2 Fierynecked nightjars.
Stopping at a sand loop on the Salitje road, walking and sitting on the rocks out there waiting for the dawn chorus, was rather disappiointing, as basically only the Woodlands Kingfishers, Rattling Cisticola and Blackcrowned Tchagra turned up to entertain us!
At a small vlei, Skopsie then made my day by pointing out 2 Great Spotted Cuckoos!
And while Duncan and the others headed into the bush trying to flush anything interesting, the Dwarf Bittern quietly flew over them, but no one heard Lisa and I calling Dwarf bittern!" and luckily for all of the others landed at eh vlei on the other side of the road for all to see. Here we also had another Saddlebilled Stork sighting.
Croaking Cisticolas and Yellowthroated Longclaws
were seen. At Mlondozi dam were more Comb Ducks, and Openbilled Storks. European, Lilacbreated and purple rollers were all over the place with the purple ones being the least. Here again we had a great sighting of African Cuckoo. Southern Carmine Bee-eaters were also seen.
We drove on straight from 3AM until 12h30 just to have a quick "brunch" and break before we again headed off at 14h00. A quick stop at sunset Dam again produced Openbilled storks, a green shank (with red legs
) and great sightings of an Osprey. Juvenile Afircan fish eagles were also seen, as well as White headed Vultures(right through the weekend) and Kori Bustard, a male Black-bellied bustard displaying.
A late afternoon walk with Duncan produced White-browed and white-throated Robin Chats, Southern Boubou, Willow and Icterine Warbler and a African Green Pigeon, sitting very conspiciously on a low branch not bothered at all with the crowd underneath, that is until I went closer with the camera, and it tried to fly of, but managed only about a meter before it dropped dead in the thickets
It must have been sick?
WE also had a Yellowbilled Kite and Black cuckoo in the camp. And then off couse the hightlight being the Thrush Nightingale wich a few of us managed to find.
I will post some of the pics later today.