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 Post subject: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala Nov 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:33 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
As promise, this trip report will provide a photo story of the Mokala park near Kimberley. I'll start with my latest visit to the park (weekend of November 25-27/11/2011) which was my fourth visit to the park since February 2011. During my first visit I used a Nikon D7000 with a 70x300mm f4.5-5.6 Nikkor lens (with Kenko 1.4 convertor). Just remember I only started with photography in December 2010 with my first ever trip the Kgaladadi. During my fourth trip I used Nikon D3s with 600mm f4 Nikkor lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor. Sometimes I had to remove the convertor as the objects were too close. Some of the photos were taken with my D7000 and the 70x200mm f2.8 with a Nikon 1.7 convertor.

I hope it will give the readers some idea what to expect in the park.

Right, put on your safety belt and lets go. Unfortunately it will be a slow drive because I still need to develop the photos but I'll post the photos as I finish with it.

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Last edited by WillemK on Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:38 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Friday afternoon:

After entering the park via Lilydale gate, nothing really of interest. So I proceed to Stofdam and the bird hide. There were 2 adult black winged Stilt with their two young ones:

Lets find some food in this muddy waters
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Lets try deeper
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O well, I am not in the mood rather lets do some exercises

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Friday afternoon:

Weel, still at the bird hide at Stofdam. One of the adults was not impressed with the exercises and keep look for food:

There must be something around here in some of the droplets
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However, the other adult decided to join the fun and did some balancing tricks.

So glad the knee ligaments are still functional after all these years:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:37 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Friday afternoon:

Well, I watched the Stilts doing their exercises in the shallow, muddy water for a while - they were the only birds within shooting range apart from a few other small birds on the other side of the waterhole (a variety of finches, buntings, weavers, sparrows, canaries, waxbill, and a goose. And then I decided to move on.

The last two photos of the Stilts - the young ones showing off:

Image

O, I like myself and my feathers.
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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Friday afternoon:

Just before I leave Stofdam and the bird hide - I saw this very nice phenomona: hunderds of "butterflies" flying and landing in the mudd. Iv'e tried to capture the momemt:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Friday afternoon:

After I left Stofdam, I came across the herd of buffalo. The first time I saw the herd, previously I saw only the few males/bulls. I sat for a while and they walked around my Fortuner. Then they started to move away and I moved on.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:44 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Friday afternoon concluded:

On my way to Mosu lodge, I saw a lot of general game - almost all of the bigger game:

My wife's favourite animal
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The next two you'll find around every corner

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Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

Got up early and left the lodge just after gate opening. I decided to start my morning ride via the Matopi loop - my favourite loop of the 4 loops in the park. Lots of general game around.

This little one said good morning with a few wing claps:

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Then I came across a group of six meerkats doing their thing in the morning. They were so quick and they didn't like cars. So they moved quickly away from the road into the grass. Luckily I got this one presentable photo:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

I drove up to the pinic spot (Matopi picnic spot) at the western side of the loop and made myself a very nice cup of tea. I continued with the loop watching the general game all around me. Then I reached the waterhole. There were a few doves coming to drink water - so I decided to have a pratice session or two. Pulled in next to the waterhole and start aiming.

These were two of the results:

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:37 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

While I was waiting for the doves to arrive, something special arrives in a flash.

If I am not mistaken - it is a African cuckoo. Some of the smaller birds in the tree didn't like him/her and chased it away. Luckily I got a few shot:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:40 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

And waiting next to the waterhole got even more interesting. The Southern masked-Weaver decided to have a bath with an interesting spectator - Cape glossy starling. Later on the starling also decided to take a bath but in a spot where I couldn't take a photo:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:42 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

And then all of a sudden, the zebras also decided to come and drink water at the waterhole:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

Well, the zebras didn't like me sitting around the waterhole and after about 15min, watching me from a distance, decided that they are too thirsty - came to water for a drink. Got a few nice photos including this one:

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

While I was sitting at the waterhole, there were two cardinal woodpecker chasing each other from tree to tree. They were just too quick for a photo. After a while, the female came and sat on an open branch. I took a few shots but the sun was not my friend on this shot - already too late in the morning.

Image

Then she took off - not too elegant.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: WillemK: Let the photos tell the story - Mokala edition
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 351
Location: Bloemfontein (RSA)
Saturday morning:

Then all of a sudden - a new surprise just after the woodpeckers left the trees around the waterhole. A brubru with her breakfast.

Image

After eating her breakfast, she made a dash and off she go.

Image

At the end I spend just around 2 hours sitting next to the waterhole. I identified and counted about 20 different birds species around the waterhole in the mentioned 2h.

Just to show the bird lovers around - Mokala is not to missed.

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