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 Post subject: JB, BNF, Johann & FD's birding weekend : KNP Jan 2005
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:59 pm 
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JB:

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Johann, BNF & I got lifers! Little animals!

:D


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:02 pm 
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Sms from JB:

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Just met francoisd & SO.... Really nice people!

Saw crowned hornbill, tumpeter hornbill, broad-billed roller, white-crowned lapwing, red-headed weaver.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:43 pm 
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Francoisd has just sent this sms to me:

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At 11:45 yesterday with our count on 138 our team's effort came to a halt due to unforseen problems. Ask JB or Johann to explain. Our end total only 167. We're off to Letaba today. Enjoyed the time with fellow forummers even though their YR was nowhere to be seen! Leaving Mopani now. Ask JB about the LIT x2.


JB & Johann :yaya: The suspence is killing :D

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:35 am 
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Location: At work longing for the outdoors!
Actually don’t now where to start, as I’m not going to do a full trip report.

Weekend started great by meeting Johann, and from there DvZ and SO and having a great dinner & evening with them.
Went in at Pafuri gate (saw some lifers on the way there) travelling slower than a snail to see as many birds as possible… went to Pafuri, crooks corner and nyala loop and then on to Punda via Klopperfontein.
Seeing nice birds… Broad-billed roller, Crowned Hornbill, trumpeter hornbill, Meve’s starling, red-headed weavers, Purple Indigobird, Village indigobird etc etc
Was really extremely hot and very very few animals.
Arrived at Punda after 15h00 and met up with Francois (he is worse than on the forum :twisted: :lol: ) and SO and started chatting away… then went out to do Mahonie loop. Saw ellies and buffs and nyala’s.

Had a great dinner with everyone and also met Owl.
And off course the muskateers had to give us a hard time (specially picking on me :roll: )
:shock: Got up at 2am to get ready to meet up with Dr Ian Whyte at 2:45 am, he was the expert joining us 6 on our truck.
Saw lots of owls (spotted eagle, Verreaux etc) nightjars (square tailed, European, fiery-necked), genets etc, going along to be at Crooks corner at 4:30.
There we enjoyed the morning chorus of birds, id’ing like crazy… lemon breasted canary, green capped eremomela, African yellow White-eye etc
Went on to Pafuri, SEEING Gorgeous Bush-shrike, tropical Boubou, Grey headed parrot, Retz’s Helmet-shrike. Bearded Scrub-robin, violet-backed starling, grey tit-flycatcher etc etc
At Pafuri met up with Frank and also saw Black throated Wattle-eye, white-throated Robin chat etc, took a coffee & flapjack brake.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:27 pm 
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From Pafuri went on to Levuvhu brigde… spotting and hearing an African crowned eagle etc.
Went on to Nyala loop and had to turn around at some inaccessible no-entry roads.
One of them was fine and we started proceeding towards the Levuvhu river and got out to look at some brown-headed parrots… got back on the truck and as we started to go Francois said it is high time we see some animals.
Bosnimf replied that we were there to spot birds and not animals (Ian Whyte said the same) but seeing so little animals Francois did not agree and said it is time for a leopard... better still a LIT.
He’s words was not even cold when Bosnimf yelled LeopardS… and there just few meters away from us (and small distance from were everyone got out minutes earlier :shock: ) in a Nyala tree were 2 Leopards!
A mother and young one! The young one left shortly after and the mother sat there watching our every move with those yellow eyes, without blinking, what a site!!
She sat there for a quite a while and then also decided to leave… what and awesome sighting!
Waiting for Johann to post some pic’s! :lol:

Back on the main tar road saw Steppe buzzard. Wahlberg’s eagle etc, and then we turned onto the Northern trails 4x4 route to go to Langtoon dam, Miombo sandveld and western boundary (these were the birding spots set out for our team to see some special sightings etc…).
And the disaster struck…

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:47 pm 
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Going along nicely (on 138 birds for morning so far) we all just suddenly heard a loud shhhhhh… a flat tyre (actually sliced tyre :shock: ). So the driver tried to change the wheel but the nuts were so tight that they couldn’t loosen it. We tried warming it, spraying it with my sun screen :lol: , 2 guys putting all their weight on it... everything you can imagine.
:shock: Next bad thing the truck’s radio did not work and there was no cell reception!
So after a while off the driver/guide went on his way (with the gun) to go and look for help. Eventually Dr Whyte decided we cannot stay there and so on we went with him behind the wheel!
We had to place all the weight on the other side of the truck, so we had to almost sit on each others laps and some of the men had to stand outside the truck on the steps/ladders at the side hanging on.
Went on to a cross road to wait for Don English and his team to hopefully past.
The guide had to stand (and balance) on top of the truck to find some signal and some of us went of in all directions searching for signal!
After another ¾ hour we decided to go again and left them a note in the middle of the road to find and come and help! So of “hoppingâ€Â

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:05 pm 
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3 of Bosnimf's leopard pic's... wasn't in time for the 2 together :cry:
It was a huge Nyala tree so very dark in there!

The younger one sat in the gap to the right of this one
Image

Image

Image

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:01 pm 
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Last part:

Back at camp we showered, ate and updated the lists, and then had to leave for our sunset drive at 6!
Did mahonie loop and saw some great birds. Again some owls, bronze-winged courser etc. BIG highlight was seeing the Pennant-winged nightjar!

Back to camp and had a lovely dinner, also price draw and we finished our list together with Dr Whyte (ended on 167) chatted etc.
Went to bed late and up again early Sunday morning!
Before leaving the park we saw 17 extra birds, bringing our total to 180.
Some other good sightings were Black bellied korhaan, Grey-backed camaroptera, Dark chanting Goshawk, Eurasian golden oriole, Barn owl, Harlequin quaill, African cuckoo, Hobby, African flycatcher, lots of different (and new) swallows/swifts/martins

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:44 pm 
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Had a fabulous time. Met some really great people in JB, BN and Francois. Spending time with Dr Ian was also quite special. Does that man know his stuff or what? And BN is the lady to ask when it comes to birdcalls. Damn, that girl is good!

No Pel's, NT or CFG unfortunately, but like JB said loads of other special sightings.

Just one quick pic. Haven't had time to do the rest yet. You all will just have to patient. :D

Image

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Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:17 am 
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Thank you JB for an excellent report on the day's events.

Agree with Johann that these 2 ladies know there stuff around the birds! My SO was very impressed with BNF ability to recognise the bird calls as well as the tree knowlegde form both.

Was really great to meet JB, BNF and Johann and then a short 2nd meet with Johann a week later on the Lower Sabie bridge.

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