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 Post subject: Rothdigga Californian's visit to KTP and Augrabies Sep 11
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Location: Long Beach, CA USA
I came over to SA to organize and judge a professional skateboard contest that was held in Kimberley from Sept 29-Oct 2. Luckily my work affords me to travel to some amazing places and SA was no different. I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to explore and shoot some photos while there as most of my wife and my trips are based around wildlife viewing (Galapagos, Costa Rica etc).
I decided upon visiting the Kgalagadi simply because it seemed like the most remote of the parks within a decent driving distance from where we were staying. I have always looked for the places with the least amount of people and this seemed like the ticket.
While in Kimberley I hiked and explored a guest farm every morning from about 6-9am before heading to run the contest. Here's a few highlights of what we saw around Kimberley while hiking around.
I've got some bird ID's I would like to get out of the way first from the beginning of the trip, any help here?
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At the farm it was nice to see a scene like this...
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Black-shouldered Kite
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These were nice to come across there as well...beautiful
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Here's the view from the top of the roll-in on the mini-mega ram that was part of the contest. About 10 meters high with a similar sized gap to cross after it. No sweat, right?
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We did manage to see an Aardvark on a night drive as well, odd looking animals.
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After that it was off and driving. We chose to take the longer route up the R31 in hopes of finding some Cape Cobras or other stuff along that less travelled highway. I did manage to see 3 DOR (dead on road) Cobas along with a heartbreaking Rock Monitor dead as well. I'm a bit of a reptile hound and we did see 1 alive Cape Cobra but it proved too quick for me to get a photo of as I followed it into the grass and it was down a hole. So bummed.
First White-backed Vulture of the trip
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We stayed just south of the park entrance, about a 15 minutes drive each morning to get to the gate at TW.
If I do come again, I may choose one of the bushcamps like Urikarus or something as they seem not too crowded.
This was our place for our stay, very nice, along with a few of directly behind us, just after the fire a few days earlier before we arrived.
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Each night I was enjoying the Bibron's Thick-toed Geckos feeding near our lights
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Our first morning drive was full of excitement as we really didn't know what to expect. So many raptors in the park I was really amazed.
But first up were of course some Springbok.
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I could use an ID on this bird as well.
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Steenbok we saw pretty early on our drive
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Saw plenty of these Kori Bustards roaming around
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These little guys made us aware that we truly were in the Kalahari
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I found shooting photos of the Swallow-tailed Bee Eaters just too hard to resist everytime I saw one, lots of these photos on my memory cards.
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The first real exciting thing happened just after about Monroe, we saw a Cape Fox dart into it's burrow so we turned the car off and waited to see if she would emerge again. 10-15 minutes later she did along with her babies
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A ton of these Pale-chanting Goshawks were in the park that day
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I was trying to post the whole trip report in one post, but it doesn't look like it's working. So, I'll cut it there and redo the rest later on or tomorrow. Maybe it's just too much text and photos for the forum to handle.


Last edited by Rothdigga on Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Californian's visit to KTP and 1 day at Augrabies
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:30 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Oh wow Rothdigga..what awesome pics.
Cape Fox and babies..stunning!!
And AARDVARK........ :shock: :shock: :shock:
And close up of geckos... :clap: :clap: :clap:

To help out with bird Id's my suggestions are as follows....
In same order that you posted.
1. Black -chested Prinia ( a bit of a guess as photo is a bit small)
2. Speckled Mousebird
3. Golden - breasted Bunting
4. Ashy Tit ( not too sure as I cannot see the front of the bird )

And your bird later on in your post is a Spotted Thick-knee

And as with all my bird ID's I stand to correction !!!!! :D :D

:popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Californian's visit to KTP and 1 day at Augrabies
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:54 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Quote:
i think #4 is a fiscal flycatcher, but otherwise i agree with caracal (i also agree that it is tough to make a call with #1).



Agree with you lettuceleaf711 :thumbs_up: ..not sure why I thought it was a Ashy Tit..it does not even have a grey back :roll: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Californian's visit to KTP and 1 day at Augrabies
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:45 pm 
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Location: Long Beach, CA USA
Thanks for checking out the photos so far everyone. I'll put up a 2nd part now and try to keep it to a decent amount of photos as to not bog down anyone with a slow connection. I got a few ID's from some folks here on the board so I think I'm all straight now except for 1 small guy below.

Purple Roller
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Juvenile Black-shouldered Kite
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Mariqua Flycatcher
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Tawny Eagles seemed to be abundant, here's a couple we saw
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Along with this juvenile Black-breasted Snake-Eagle
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We were very happy to see this Leopard Tortoise walking the road that day as well.
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A few Owls we spotted, hard to get a good view of this Spotted-eagle Owl.
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These other 2 owls were much more in the open.
Pearl-spotted Owlet
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And this Verreaux's Eagle Owl on a windy day that wouldn't open it's eyes for me
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Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills were bouncing around the ground everywhere
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As were Secretary Birds, one male and one female
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On the way back towards TW we did manage to see a couple of Spotted Hyenas trying to beat the late afternoon heat close to Houmed.
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Our 2nd full day we spent the morning on a hike with Jan from the Forum. It was a pretty chilly and windy morning that didn't yeild much but it was great to hear all the info from Jan about the park, thanks for the walk.
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A few of the smaller critters I was trying to capture in the park and near our place...
Ground Agamas
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and a couple Skinks
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The 3rd day, early on we came across 2 different pairs of Bat-eared Foxes on the prowl
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As well this day we saw a number of Martial Eagles as well
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Last edited by Rothdigga on Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Californian's visit to KTP and 1 day at Augrabies
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:05 am 
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Thanks for the replies.
Suej- they only let me in because my dad lives up in Alaska, so I got a pass as a secondary resident of California. I was pretty happy to see the Aardvark, I'm guessing that's something that isn't totally common for you then? Ha. Probably like seeing a ringtail or something out here (I've never seen any).

Carolv- Yeah, I've got the 100-400mm lens for my 5d Mk ii. I got a 1.4x extender before the trip and used it a few times, but not a ton.

Here's a bit more from the trip...actually, looks like I can finish up the post with this round of photos. Thanks for making it this far if you have. I was very pleased to find what we did in our short amount of time.

A few more raptors that we got to see along the way...
Greater Kestrel
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Lanner Falcon
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And this large flock of Red-billed Queleas
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While driving towards Mata Mata, about to Dalkeith we saw many cars stopped and this ended up being our only species of big cat we would see in the park (no Leopards or Lions would show themselves for us sadly)
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These Lilac-breasted Rollers were amazing looking
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African Cuckoo
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Another good looking Black-shouldered Kite
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Mom and juvie Springbok
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Didn't see a ton of these, Pygmy Falcon
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Black-backed Jackal roaming one of the waterholes
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The last night at our place in the Kalahari I went out after the moon went down at 3am and shot the Milky Way
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We packed up sadly and moved on to stay in Upington before flying home from Kimberley. On our way to Uptington we drove into the Augrabies to check it out and drive the 4x4 road as far as we could with our time.
The boardwalk is looking a bit sketchy after the flood
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Loved seeing these Augrabies Flat Lizards everywhere
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As well as the Dassies running around
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And we both were surprised to find the Vervet Monkeys there.
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Hard for me to ID this bird also...
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It was a pleasure to be way out on the 4x4 road and have these 4 Giraffs all to ourselves, so cool
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And of course I was shooting all types of the Rock Agamas everywhere
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All in all I'm very happy with the places I picked to visit and stay. It looks like we're doing this contest for 3 years total, so I may have 2 more chances to visit the park. After going one time and knowing what to expect I'll have a better game plan for next time but it was a wonderful experience.
Thanks in advance for the bird ID help if you throw it my way.
Jason


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 Post subject: Re: Californian's visit to KTP and 1 day at Augrabies
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:33 am 
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Thanks for the bird ID SueJ, I appreciate it.
Carolv- PM sent about some tips for night photography. Hopefully you can see some of this if you go further north from where you're at now...
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Skarabee- I always shoot a lot of the ground folk, wherever I'm at. It's becoming my favorite part of the trips lately.


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