Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 3
 [ 42 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Barcud-A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:03 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
I’ve visited Kruger twice now, both times during the Winter months. As a relatively new ‘mite, it’s taken me until now to pluck up the courage to post a trip report here, so I hope you don’t mind this being a bit out of date, so to speak.
Instead of a diary format, I thought I’d combine sightings from the same areas and write about the places we visited, and what we experienced. Ok, first up is………

LAKE PANIC.

Walking into the hide at Lake Panic in the pre-dawn light of a June morning, my nerves tingled in anticipation of what I was about to see. I had no idea what to expect, as this was my first visit to this hide, but expectations were high to say the least!
Several people had already beaten us to it and had their cameras and binoculars trained at the ready. I squirmed into an empty space and peered out through the slots in the wall’s sides, waiting impatiently for the light to gather.

Pre-dawn glow behind Lake Panic
Image

As the sun rose over the far bank, Hippo’s laughed and grunted in fromt of the hide. A movement beneath our feet and we were all watching a Hippo who had been resting under the hide emerge to join his poolmates out in the lake. Barbel were also swimming under the hide, surfacing with a splash every now and then.

As the light increases, mist rises off the lake
Image

Hippo's awake in the dawn's early glow

Image

The sun rises slowly casting a golden glow over the lake

Image

Kingfishers, Barbets and Ducks called from the shadows whilst silhouettes and shapes began to take form in the golden sunlight.

Egyptian Geese honked in alarm at some unseen threat, disturbing the Water Thick-knees lined along the bank, whilst an African Darter preened as the mist rose off the lake in wispy clouds.

Egyptian Goose and Water Thick-knee
Image

African Darter preening in the mist
Image

Image


to be continued......


Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:57 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Thanks for the kind comments everyone, much appreciated.

Yes, we were a bit early, but did not have to go through any gates as we were guests of one of the scientists at the staff village for the night. I'm guessing that the others already in the hide were also staff or their families? No wonder the crowds arrived just as we were leaving!

Having seen the quality of other trip reports here, I've been reluctant to start mine until now. I've written ones of this visit on other forums, but they were more along the lines of "we went here, saw this and that" and did not convey the feel of the park, which is what I'm going to attempt to do with this one if I can find the right words to use.

Part 2 of Lake Panic on it's way.........

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:35 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
As the light began to improve, we noticed other birds close to the hide A Malachite Kingfisher scanned the water below it’s perch, searching for his first catch of the day and a Tawny-flanked Prinia spied for insects in the foliage of the bush above.

Malachite Kingfisher
Image

Tawny-flanked Prinia
Image

African Jacana and Black Crakes tip-toed on the lily pads, all looking for tasty morsels. Their long, splayed toes spreading their weight evenly on the leaves to give them support and balance. The light shimmered on the leaves as they settled again after the passing of each spindly foot, and sending ripples out across the flat surface of the water.

African Jacana
Image

Black Crake and water lily
Image

Image

A small flock of White-faced Ducks fed noisily from the water’s edge, their whistling calls piercing the still morning air and a pair of African Pied Wagtails fluttered around the branches of a nearby dead tree. With Nyala, Bushbuck and Impala all creeping about in the undergrowth on the far shore, I hoped that they would come down for a drink, but it was not to be.

White-faced Ducks
Image

As the sun rose higher and glared directly into our eyes, we could no longer see what was out in front of us, so we retired to the golf club in Skukuza for a well earned breakfast.

To end my report on Lale Panic, I'll leave you with my favourite image of that morning, the simple beauty of a Water-Lily

Image

Next……… All points North

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:13 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Thank you All for the comments once again. I know that some people reading this report will have seen some of the photos before, so I hope they won't mind too much, but the style and wording has changed quite a bit.

Mopani & Olifants.

My two visits to this area of the park were like chalk and cheese. On my first visit, the days were hot (I am a Brit after all!) and sunny, but during my next trip, we experienced heavy showers and thick mist. The adverse weather did not spoil the enjoyment though, as I believe that we saw things that we would have missed had the weather been fair. It also gave me the opportunity to see Kruger in a different mood.

Makaringa from Olifants lookout.

Image

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved old, large, gnarly trees, so my first baobab’s left a lasting impression on my mind. The old fable that tells that the trees were planted upside down with their roots in the air went from the pages of a book to the living thing in a matter of seconds. I could have spent the whole day in the company of this tree and never tire of it.

Baobab
Image

My father told me years ago that when he was young, he thought that when the sun’s rays streamed to the ground in fanned shafts, he’d believed that these were the pathways to heaven. I always think of him when I see this, but to my mind, I did not have to follow those paths, I was already there!

Rays of sunlight fan out from behind a cloud.
Image


The misty mornings gave the bush an eerie atmosphere and with the spiders webs glistening with dew, turned the drab, grey vista into a magical wonderland of reflected light.

Spider webs in mist.
Image

Dewdrops glisten & shimmer from the silken threads.
Image

In contrast, the “hot” weather of the previous trip sent thin tornadoes of dust spiralling into the air. We were at a Leopard sighting at the time, and people in adjacent cars were all looking a bit puzzled as my camera was pointed in the “wrong” direction!

Dust Devils weave across the savannah.

Image

I'm always impressed on how nature's architect's devise ways to make themselves a home, from the myriad nests of different bird species, to the way insects construct sometimes massive structures compared to their size. We saw lots of wasps nests during our wanderings in the park and often mistook them for owls when they were backlit! Their intricate weavings with natural materials never cease to amaze me.

Wasp's nest.
Image

I’ve been birding for as long as I can remember and my fascination with Raptors started at a young age. I spent most of my teens and early twenties watching the breeding cycle of a pair of Peregrine Falcons that nested nearby to where I live. Raptors are quite difficult birds to observe in the UK, probably due to centuries of persecution, so to come to Kruger and have all manner of raptors seemingly perched in every tall tree was paradise for me! I’m also a sucker for sunsets and sunrises and rarely waste an opportunity to take a photo of one. (Strangely enough, I chose to work for nearly ten years on the only continent on Earth that has no Raptors, but it did show me some amazing sunsets though!). To have the opportunity to photograph one or the other was bliss to me, but to get both in one photo – just a little bit special.

Martial Eagle & sunset.
Image

Next up – more of the same and some creepy-crawlies.

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:48 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Once again, thank you for your kind comments. It's great to share my experiences of Kruger with people who are on the same wavelength and who appreciate the little things that often go unnoticed by many.

I've not spent much time in the trip reports sections as I'm generally trawling the Birding pages trying to learn ID's of your birds. I attempt to answer requests from others asking for ID's as this helps me to learn. I've got a few wrong, but think I'm slowly getting better at some of them! I've just started to pay more attention to others reports and will gradually read through them in more detail from now on.

Salamanda, I was told that they were Wasp's nests, so assumed that is what they are. You may be correct with Spider's, so it would be nice if someone in the know can enlighten us with a definitive answer.

Toko, your English is fine so no need to explain. I'm Welsh and often have to translate what I'm thinking into English, not the individual words, but the feeling of what I'm trying to convey.

Micetta, :thumbs_up: The Great White South!

P&M, I'll get there one day, I would love to go to the KTP.

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:50 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 2676
Location: KZN
Barcud, I have been trawling the net to see if I can find out. Do you think yours look anything like this:

http://www.eveandersson.com/photo-displ ... -nest.html

Mine look neater and have a definite point at the bottom, but the general structure is like this:


Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:51 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Salamanda,

Thanks for the pic and link. I think they are all the same nests. Much appreciated.

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:58 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Mopani & Olifants #2

Apart from one morning when the mist was so thick you could not see for more than a few yards, we were always waiting at the gate before it opened, but on this particular day, we opted to sit on the stoep with a cup of coffee and listen to the mystical sounds of the bush. As the mist began to lift, we set out through the gate and as usual, it was not long before something piqued our interest. This time it was a small group of Impala which seemed to glow in the low golden light of the sun as it burned ever increasing holes in the mist.

Golden Impala.
Image

The dampness of the ground seemed to bring out all manner of smaller creatures and we had to keep a watchful eye on the road as we drove along for fear of running them over. Shongololo’s weaved their way across the tar, their pink legs undulating like a Mexican wave at a soccer match.

Shongololo.
Image

Armoured Ground Cricket’s were like nothing else I’ve seen before. Like aliens from a science fiction movie, they scurried about with their long antennae swaying above their heads. Rollers swooped down from bush-top perches to devour these insects, bashing them on branches to pierce their armour.

Armoured Ground Cricket.
Image

In the camps there were always fascinating things to see. A small Gecko hunted beetles in the glow of the outside light. The beetle seemed to sense that the Gecko was there and they eyed each-other nervously. One looking for the opportunity of a meal, the other for a means of escape. Predator and prey locked in the eternal struggle of survival in the wild. In this instance, the outcome was in favour of the Beetle. I’ve no idea of the names of these two species, so if anyone knows, please let me know.

“Longhorned” Beetle.
Image

Gecko.
Image

Following one heavy downpour and a cold snap, we arrived back in camp to find a Turner’s Gecko which had been caught out in the weather. We took it inside where it seemed happy to sit on the table to warm up and recuperate. We left it there overnight, but could not find it in the morning, so hope it recovered.

Turner’s Gecko.
Image

Spiders were few and I only managed to see this one, which played hide and seek behind the curtains in our chalet. It looks deceiving from this photo, as from head on, it was as flat as a coin! Again, I have no idea of the species, so if anyone knows what it’s called, I’d love to know.

“Flat” Spider.
Image

Being Winter, we did not see many Butterflies, but one morning we saw quite a few Spotted Jokers sunning themselves on the grass stems at the side of the road. As soon as they closed their wings, they became invisible as their camouflage hid them, but once their wing’s opened, they shone in the sunlight.

Spotted Joker Butterfly.
Image

I’ll end this instalment with another raptor and sunset pic. This time an immature African Hawk-eagle.

African Hawk-eagle.

Image

Coming up next – The usual Suspects.

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:11 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Mopani & Olifants # 3

Our favourite drive from Olifants was to take the S92 to Balule, cross the bridge and either take the old main road or the Ngotso weir road, depending on the time available to us. Now, most of you know that time is relative in Kruger, so we rarely got to where we had originally intended to due to stopping for long periods to observe an interesting bird, mammal or reptile.
One of the iconic birds of Kruger is the Kori Bustard. These huge birds were a delight to watch as they strutted along through the grasslands in search of food. They have an aloof nature, seemingly looking down their “noses” at you! On one particular day, we saw seven together in one group, with others nearby. We could only surmise that there was a good food source available in this area at the time. Previously, we had only seen singles or pairs. They blend so well into their environment for such a large bird and can be surprisingly elusive if needs be.

Kori Bustard.
Image

(Here’s a link to some closer pics I posted on the birding pages, scroll down the page once it's opened).

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=655&start=45" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Big cats have always held a fascination for me. I have always wanted to see a Leopard in the wild and imagined that to see one draped over a branch in a crooked tree over the grasslands of Africa would be a dream come true. The shivers that ran up and down my spine when this exact scene greeted me was an almost spiritual experience. This view was an exact replica of what I’ve had in mind all these years. To me, this photo epitomises what Africa is all about.

Leopard in tree. (Honest there is!).
Image

Burchell’s Zebra are always a joy to watch. I’d never realised how stunningly beautiful these animals were until I saw them in the wild for the first time.. We came upon this small herd as we drove the old main road & they stubbornly refused to move over. They carried on in this manner for several klicks, stopping only to squabble and fight amongst themselves, sorting out who was the boss. The fights were quite vicious at times. One animal would rear up and “knee” the other in the ribs, attempting to bite at the same time. Another tactic was to lash out with the rear legs in a violent kick, braying loudly all the while.

Roadblock.
Image

Who’s the Boss?
Image

Other times you would see them in a different light. A serene, touching scene of mother and foal. Their exquisite markings seeming to move like a kaleidoscope, despite there being no movement from the animals themselves. I dare you to stare at the foals face for a few moments and watch as the intricate patterns blend and sway, mesmerising and hypnotic at the same time.

Mother and Foal.

Image

Giraffes were another animal I’d not appreciated before. Seeing them move through the bush with a grace and balance that defies their size was a revelation to me. We spent quite some time watching them feed, stripping leaves from thorn trees with their tongues without suffering undue harm from the needle sharp thorns.

Feeding Giraffe.
Image

I’ll leave you once again with a RITWS. This time, a Bateleur soaking up the last rays of the setting sun.

Image

Next up – An antelope or two.

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:01 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Mopani & Olifants # 4.

Sitting on the outside deck of the bar at Mopani, the view is one of low, open ground and vast skies. Waterbuck, Impala, Kudu & Hippo’s could all be seen, especially on the spit of land that juts out into the blue waters Pioneer Dam. Waterbirds were everywhere. Spoonbills, Herons and Egrets being the most conspicuous.

Pioneer Dam from the Bar at Mopani.
Image

As we sat with a beer in hand, I almost choked mid gulp as a Dickinson’s Kestrel flew low over our heads. It’s silvery colouring heavily barred in black was clearly visible as it went on it’s way, wingtips beating stiffly. I wondered if we would see it again, possibly hunting for bats as they emerged from their daytime roosts, but it did not reappear whilst we were there. The Bats came out though, in their hundreds. There appeared to be several different species present judging by their size and flight patterns, but I’m clueless as to what species we were dealing with. As the light faded, more and more streamed out into the night to join their brethren in search of insects in the skies above the dam. I tried to take a few photographs of them as they swooped by and managed to capture a couple of almost decent shots. I had to set my camera’s ISO to 6,400 and crop the images heavily, hence the graininess, but they do give you an impression of what we saw that evening.

Hunting Bats.
Image

Image

On the roads around the area we came across numerous Antelope species and I marvelled at their various adaptations to survive alongside eachother in the same habitat. Kudu are probably one of the commonest of the large Antelope here, and we came across many small herds along the roadside. The bulls have a regal stance and air about them. As iconic to the African bush as a Red Deer Stag is to the Scottish Highlands.

Kudu Bull.
Image

At the opposite end of the beauty stakes you have the “Clown” of Africa, the Blue Wildebeest. But, despite their ungainly looks and drab appearance, they have a certain charm about them that makes them hard to ignore. To watch a group plod along in single file towards a nearby waterhole is another reminder that this is Africa.

Blue Wildebeest.
Image

Of the smaller antelopes encountered, Steenbok were quickly established as a firm favourite of mine. Their large, leaf shaped, pink and black striped ears swivelling continuously like radar to detect the slightest hint of possible danger was engaging to watch. With such large, ebony eyes and long, dark eyelashes, one could be forgiven for ignoring those dagger like short horns which I’m certain would be put to devastating effect if cornered.

Steenbok.
Image

Once again, I’ll end this instalment with another RITWS. Unfortunately, this is the last one that I have like this, so I’ll have to find something else to end with from now on.

Martial Eagle.
Image

Coming next – My first Elephant charge!!!

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:03 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
Elephants.

There’s something unexplainable that happens to you when you see your first Elephant in the wild. All of you who have experienced it will know what I mean, but for anyone reading who has not had the privilege, I can only urge you to make it one of your top priorities in life. I’ve sat and written, re-written and discarded everything as I’ve tried to put into writing the thrill of your first encounter, but just cannot do it justice.

We stopped to watch every Elephant we came across and spent quite a lot of time with them. On one drive North of Shingwedzi, we came across a large herd in the riverbed. After a while, they left the river and proceeded to cross the road in front of us. There were at least 50 individuals that we noted, with many calves of varying ages. As the Matriarch crossed in front, she sensed that we were there and sniffed the air suspiciously, then melted away into the bush. A few moments later, we saw a movement in the bush next to the bakkie and saw that she had crept up alongside, so quietly we had not heard a thing. I was amazed that for such a big animal in close proximity, we could hardly see her behind a couple of bushes, she just blended perfectly into her environment. Eventually she decided that we were not a threat and melted away as effortlessly as she had appeared.

Another group were also in a riverbed and the mother dug a hole in the sand to ger at water, Her baby was allowed to drink first before the others took their fill.

DIY Waterhole.
Image

Our next sighting involved a lone Bull as he stood motionless in the bush. Suddenly he shivered, raising clouds of rich, red dust from his back. Roused from his dozing, he proceeded to rip up a Mopani bush and began to feed. His strength was apparent in the ease at which he plucked the bush out of the ground, like a child picking daisy’s from a lawn!

Dusting.
Image

Picking Daisy's
Image

As mentioned at the end of my last report, we were charged by an Elephant – The cheeky bu**er demanded 100 Rand to take his photo! (Sorry, old joke, but can never resist it!). We came across him as he drank from the waterhole on the Lamont Loop. He seemed quite content and ignored us as we pulled over about 300 metres down the road. When he finished drinking, he ate a few mouthfuls of grass, when he suddenly looked over and gave us a stare. He then turned slowly away and walked behind a few trees, ambling away slowly in the opposite direction. Next thing we knew was that he had circled around the trees and was heading directly at us at a rate of knots! The bakkie was now in full reverse, with the Ellie following and starting to gain on us. Fortunately, he turned off into the bush and carried on feeding as if nothing had just happened at all! To be honest, it was not a full on charge with trumpeting and I think that he was just having a bit of a laugh at our expense. Some sense of humour :shock:

“Is this my best side?”

Image

Occasionally you will come across one that is not bothered by your presence and will allow you the opportunity to take close up photos. I just love their eyes, with all their wrinkles and folds in the skin and can spend a lot of time just looking at all the patterns they form.

Wrinkles.
Image

From one of the bridges (I think somewhere near Letaba?) we saw a small herd crossing the river below. One of the youngsters was keeping close tabs on his mother by curling his trunk around her tail. She led it over the rocky ground with a gentleness that belies their size.

Mother and Baby.

Image

As I’ve run out of “Raptors in trees with Sunset” pics, I’ll leave you with the herd as it crossed the riverbed in single file. This is one of my favourite photographs from Kruger to date, especially as the lead animal has her trunk in the air as if to signal the direction they are about to take.

Single file.
Image

I’m afraid that I will be away for almost a week, so will continue with this report on my return next Wednesday or Thursday. Hope you all have a good week in the meantime.

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:43 am
Posts: 4
Hi, I am normana53's SO. I have been reading the forums with him but figured it was time I had my own identity. I was looking in our spider book (Southern African Spiders by Martin Filmer) and I wonder if that "wasp nest" may the egg sac of the Rain Spider Palystes castaneus Family Heteropodidae. The egg sac is known as a "bag of leaves" made of papery white silk and leaves. It says that it serves as a nursery for the spiderlings and that the female crouches behind or below it to protect the young. The nest and spider are actually on the cover of the book. It is a huge spider that looks a little like a tarantula but less hairy. The forum is the next best thing to being there and a much better way to spend my day off than cleaning house :D
Now I will look for the other spider.

_________________
Next Kruger Adventure October 2010
Lower Sabie 10/10 - 14/10
Biyamiti 15/10 - 19/10
Berg-en-Dal 20/10 - 22/10


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:43 am
Posts: 4
Ok, found the spider. Yuck. Says it is (probably) a "Wall Crab Spider" or "flattie". It says they are more commonly seen indoors because they are so well camouflaged when sitting frozen on trees and rocks. Says they are large, mottled black to brown with long spines on thin legs. Says they are extremely agile and fast-running if disturbed-hence the "yuck". Says they can disappear behind skirting boards, hanging picures, just about anywhere. Family Selenopidas Genera Anyphops or Selenops (depending on the arrangement of the eyes) I hope I don't get into trouble for plagerism. It is a wonderful book-very well done. At first I thought my SO was a little strange when he ordered it :) Southern African Spiders Martin Filmer

_________________
Next Kruger Adventure October 2010
Lower Sabie 10/10 - 14/10
Biyamiti 15/10 - 19/10
Berg-en-Dal 20/10 - 22/10


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:43 am
Posts: 4
I think that may be a Large Brown Longhorn Beetle [i]Macrotoma palmata[i] Family Coloptera
BTW, I love your photos and writing style :clap:

_________________
Next Kruger Adventure October 2010
Lower Sabie 10/10 - 14/10
Biyamiti 15/10 - 19/10
Berg-en-Dal 20/10 - 22/10


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Birder's eye view of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:17 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:16 pm
Posts: 590
A Bite For Lunch & a Drink or Two.

As we did at Mopani, we could not resist a drink or two at the lookout from the bar at Olifants. Again we watched as the bats came out at sunset, this time joined by African Palm Swifts as they tore overhead on scythe like wings. African Fish-eagles called out their yelping cries from tree-tops way below us along the riverbank. A herd of Elephants crossed the river a little downstream & Giraffes could be seen way into the distance amongst the bushes/

Olifants View.
Image

On the roads during spells of wet weather, Leopard Tortoise came out onto the tar to drink. At first glance from a distance, we thought they looked like Elephant dung – until they moved! Several cars were racing by, so we stopped at each one and shielded them from the speeding drivers. I was surprised as many just drove by without even stopping, and of those that did stop, most seemed disappointed that we were only watching a Tortoise? Fortunately, some others were just as appreciative as we were and also spent time with these amazing creatures.

Leopard Tortoise.

Image

A drink or two.
Image

At one of the low water bridges we saw two large Water Monitors basking in the sunshine to warm their bodies up to working temperature. They constantly flicked their forked tongues in and out, tasting the air for possible food or the presence of danger. They seemed oblivious to us watching them from close by, as we admired the intricate patterns of their markings.

Water Monitor.
Image

Another Lizard we encountered was identified as a Blue-tailed Sanveldt Lizard, but if anyone can confirm or correct this, I’d be grateful. (Edit - Corrected to Rainbow Rock Skink). They were also basking out on some rocks, this time, a bit further North at Tshanga lookout.

Rainbow Rock Skink
Image

On one of the loops near Shingwedzi, we noted a Puff-adder on the track ahead and managed to stop just in time. As we came to a halt, the snake curled up and struck out at the bakkie within a blink of an eye. I can still picture the inside of it’s mouth to this day, and I recoiled away instinctively even though I was protected by the front of the vehicle! I never went out after dark in camp without a torch after this.

Puff-adder.

Image

Image

At Shingwedzi, I overheard someone mention a Black Mamba that lived below thr restaurant veranda. The following day, we were enjoying lunch when I heard a Tree Squirrel chattering away in alarm. I jumped from the table, camera in hand shouting “SNAKE”, without even knowing what the Squirrel was upset about. I raced onto the concrete plinth that juts out from the veranda and there in front of me was a snake, out in the open, with the Squirrel in the tree above scalding away. It was apparent that the snake had eaten that morning and, by the size and shape visible, appears to have eaten the Squirrels hapless mate. We knew immediately that this was no Mamba and identified it as a Snouted Cobra. Quite a large one at that.

A bite for lunch.

Image

I’ll end this episode with a sunrise, taken just South of Shingwedzi.

Image

Next up - more mammals and I promise to get to the birdlife soon,

Barcud

_________________
Barcud

A Birder's Eye View of Kruger


Last edited by Barcud on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 42 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Delene D at 21:45:54 Submitted by RonelMentz at 19:42:06 Submitted by BevAnn at 14:56:01 Submitted by Lindyvee at 13:30:45