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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:50 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Centurion
Catching up with your report just made my day - your pics are just so beautiful! To pick a favourite is impossible! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Stunning pic of the Turaco and the Tchagra - I have tried on countless occasions to get a shot of one but they just never sit still!
The little bushbuck is so special and the flowers - I am running out of adjectives here!!

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:56 pm 
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:wall: :rtm: ok see now i have seen the report is this all more photos i have forwarded this to Riaan Prinsloo and to Dr Truterin the Western Cape so please give more


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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:12 pm 
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Location: The planning is on again.....
Thanks for more Johan :k

To spot a purple crested turaco in Kruger is always stunning :thumbs_up: but love also your orange-breasted bush shrike :clap: :clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:11 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
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arks wrote:
Just catching up with you adventures, JvR, but did your bee eater get washed away? :wink: :whistle:


:lol: Yup! Out of one post into the next, arks. Sharp of you to notice. I edited the reference so, 'mites will now be scratching their heads a bit... Now its our private "joke" :twisted:

Thanks for the kind words, Pumbaa

Mr Graham, your computer is broke... no CAPs or punctuation bits left? :twisted: Thanks for showing sign, Bro'
No, André, there is a lot more coming. Just hang in here... :thumbs_up:

Glad to make anyone's day, naomi c :lol:

Keep with us, MM... there is a BIG critter a few days hence... :twisted:

@ hilda: better the roman than me, hmm...

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:06 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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On this final day working out of Berg-en-Dal, I added another eight birds to the Pentad list (black cuckoo, the southern boubou, a southern masked-weaver, scarlet-chested sunbird, golden-tailed woodpecker, black crake, African hoopoe and crested francolin), closing it on 73. I didn’t feel like doing Afsaal again, so I chose the Crocodile River Drive to Crocodile Camp and back as my day trip, including another turn at Malelane Gate which netted another four sighting for that Pentad (noteworthy were Sabota’s lark, red-faced mousebird and Swainson’s spurfowl), taking its tally to 93.

The drive along the river is a bit disappointing from the PoV that access to river views are few, especially the close-up kind where one would be able to see a Cape wagtail (a bird that still remains unseen by me in KNP).

At one of the low-water crossings, I found the water monitor.

Image

…and in a nearby culvert (their favourite nesting sites) this red-breasted swallow waited for me to move on so that he could continue with nest construction.

Image

Raptors were again plentiful and I managed shots of a martial eagle…

Image

… and a Tawny, both within a hop-skip and a jump of each other.

Image

At the Hippo Pools, I met up with Daniel, the field ranger that accompanies tourists onto the short walk originally designed to show the Bushman paintings at the top of the cliff. Daniel has been doing this specific job since 1990. He tells me his day starts at 06:00 when he leaves Croc Bridge on his bicycle. If he cycles the long way around (which he does in summertime because the one-hour shortcut is then too overgrown and therefore too dangerous) the trip takes two hours, if he does not get a flat tyre. Punctures occur about once every two weeks, he says. His day at the Pools ends at 14:00 when he tackles the return trip.

Daniel took me up to what remains of the Bushman paintings after the 2000-floods: the front half of an eland. We sat at the painting site and surveyed the river. I told him of my mission to find a Cape wagtail.

“Ons kry hom hier,” he assured me in Afrikaans. The two of us sat down and thoroughly scanned the river. Tawny-flanked prinia in the reeds close by, Grey and Goliath herons, Hadeda, pied kingfisher, Wood sandpiper, little and great egrets, black crake, African Jacana, water thickknee, wire-tailed swallow, reed cormorant, three African black ducks (again!), blacksmith lapwing and even a fly-over of a young fish-eagle… but no wagtail other than the pied version.

Daniel says he has seen some amazing birds at the Pools in his time, including flamingo and pelicans. We talked birds for quite a while until I cut our conversation short, realising that it could go the whole day if it depended on Daniel.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:27 am 
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Noteworthy birds on the return to Berg-en-Dal were Steppe buzzard and huge flocks of white-winged widowbirds. A crested francolin provided a pose next to the road…

Image

I got caught in some traffic that was following a pride of lions, so I took a detour along the S119. Just couldn’t get away from the carnivores, though. At least this snarling hyena was mine alone to enjoy…

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:30 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Centurion
Stunning pics again! :clap: :clap: :clap: Just look at those teeth :shock:

Poor Daniel - can't we organize no flat tyres for him? :hmz:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:55 am 
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Location: The planning is on again.....
Great to hear from Daniel again - Whenever we do meet him is is always smiling and frantically waving his hand :clap: :clap:

Stunning pictures once again Johan - Love the hyena


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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:54 pm 
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All your pictures are stunning Johan, but my favourite this time around is the majestic Martial Eagle! Beautiful! :clap: :clap:

Daniël has such a lot of experience with animals and birds as well, I believe, with lots of stories to tell. An absolute legend at the Hippo Pools! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Awesome birdie pic's Johan :dance: :dance: .

Really special bird for me is the turaco. On our wish list for a long time coming :whistle: . Maybe one day we will find one :hmz: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:26 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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hilda wrote:
Daniël has such a lot of experience with animals and birds as well, I believe, with lots of stories to tell. An absolute legend at the Hippo Pools! :thumbs_up:


I don't think one realises exactly what treasures are locked up in the memories of these field rangers, hilda. One can pick worse projects than interviewing these guys to record their stories for prosperity...

@ naomi c: There is a good project too... I'm sure Daniël will appreciate uninterrupted travelling to the office... :lol:

@ Pumbaa: Daniël is naturally a people person and appreciate anyone spending time with him. I think sometimes his days can be very lonely and 'mites travelling in that part of Kruger should make the effort to meet with him and tap into his knowledge and understanding of the bush. Time spent with this man is very rewarding.

@ barryels: an in-flight shot of the turaco remains on my bucketlist as well. Maybe we can run a poll on which is the PC turaco capital of KNP and make that sighting a weekend project at the suggested "capital"?

Moving day - Lower Sabie

I was out of Berg-en-Dal as soon as the gates opened.

No detours today, still on route to Lower Sabie the trip list grew with my first Purple roller, black-shouldered kite and willow warbler. I stopped to photograph a very young zebra foal! :hmz:

Image

The youngster had a itch and had already learnt about the usefulness of scratching posts!

Image

The day's list grew steadily. Along the Lower Sabie Crocodile Bridge Road where it follows the Sabie River I glimpsed a little Bittern in flight, not a bird one sees often!

Then there was this huge traffic jam! I inched my way through and around cars, found the cause of the jam down on a sandy beach on the near bank of the river...

Image

Overhead this lappet-faced vulture glided past, probably wondering when the king of beasts planned to have a snack...

Image

...and in the vegetation closer to us a Diderick cuckoo came to see what the fuss was all about...

Image

Image

Nobody noticed any of the sideshow while rubber-necking to see the prone King of the Jungle down below.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:43 am 
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If you're ever done my way come and visit my garden. There are purple cresteds in the area and we regularly spot them flying in the open across from one tree to another.


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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:56 am 
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Johan van Rensburg wrote:
@ barryels: an in-flight shot of the turaco remains on my bucketlist as well. Maybe we can run a poll on which is the PC turaco capital of KNP and make that sighting a weekend project at the suggested "capital"?


Not a bad idea :hmz: .

Awesome pic of the Diderick cuckoo in flight :dance: .

Not to many visitors to Kruger actually see what Kruger holds :whistle: .

Great little zebbie and lion sightings :clap: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:01 am 
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Beautiful little Zebra and already wise enough to know how to scratch where he has an itch! So cute! :clap: :clap:

Stunning pictures of the Vulture and Cuckoo in flight Johan! :clap: :clap:

I'm so happy to be able to say that we have the Diderick Cuckoo on our bird list too! Such a beautiful bird! :dance: :dance:

One can also not argue about the beauty of that male Lion! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Balule (birding) Bash, 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:43 pm 
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That little zebra foal is soooo cute and then the diderick in flight :big_eyes: WoW

Thanks Johan :popcorn:


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