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 Post subject: noel Much Addo about...... 2 day TR Dec 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Well hello there!

Here's a two day TR, of my time spent in Addo, day one was 27th, day 2 on the 29th December 2011. I was born in the city of Port Elizabeth, but have not lived there for the past 27 years. I last visited family 6 years ago, and thought it about time for a visit. For those who are wondering, I usually head east, KNP, over the festive season. I had hoped to include at least 3 days in Addo, but it was not to be, family were already moaning about me spending two of my 6 days in Addo and not with them.
What a wonderful time I had, falling in love with Addo, after an absence of many years (was there when I was a kid- plus a shortish visit in the 90's). It was raining when I arrived on Christmas day in Port Elizabeth, and only cleared the 28th-so the visit on the 27th was with cloudy, rainy conditions. Not so the 29th-beautiful clear day.
Comparisons with KNP are inevitable, and despite the differences, Addo gave me some sightings which I have only longed for in KNP but never got. I saw Caracal (no pic though, as by the time I got my Camera in hand it was gone) Jackals twice (also no pics) and a few other sightings which will follow in this TR. Over 1000 photos for 2 days-sheer madness!
Addo is not quite small enough to do in one day, but quite big enough to do in two or ideally 3 days. Henk in his TR mentioned how crowded it was on the 29th- well i was crowded on the 27th too, despite the weather.
I knew from the start that any aspirations for a big 5 sighting in two days would be a hard ask, and one which I never got. with only 9 lions, there was a distinct possibility that I would not get to see them. I did get to see 4 of the big 5, and iwht many other sightings for which I will gladly swop for big 5 sighting any day. I would rather see raptors than Lions (now I am in trouble :lol: :rtm: ) and Addo was spectacular with its abundance of raptors. No eagles though, but kites, buzzards and goshawks. Other comparisons will follow in the TR. I can gladly recommend a visit to Addo anytime, even instead of a trip to KNP or KTP. For those objecting to that sentiments, I offer you the opening pic. BEWARE!


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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi RayK- Thanks for joining.
Been thinking about how to do this TR-me thinks I should do it like I did one of my other TR's- in sections to cover the Flora and Fauna. Insects, flowers, birds, animals and scenic views.

Lets start with what you see when you enter the South gate. You know you are in elephant country when you see a sign like this. Probably goes back to the time when oranges were used to keep elephants from roaming onto farms around the area. Or perhaps some idiot that fed oranges to elephants. So a risky business to take oranges into the Addo.

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And then this one, which I like even more: Beetles rule OK ( and we are not talking about the fab 4)
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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Oh yes, sorry klotzof, I read that part too. You are right. I just wondered if the elephants remembered oranges-they have such good memories. Surely that generation has passed and how would the new generation know about oranges. In any event, Oranges not allowed!

Moving onto things more alive- Insects- Do I hear a Yipppeeee!
Gently now- Butterflies. Well I am tempted to call Addo Butterfly heaven. WOW, there are so many of them, both numbers and species. Arrived at the gate and there they are.
On the rocks
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in the shrubs
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on the flowers
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On the elephant dung
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On the ground
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If you love butterflies-Addo is for you! Cheerio for now


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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks for joining Rookie, Pumbaa and Wanderw. Rookie, I am :mrgreen: :mrgreen: . Hope you have a fabulous trip.
And onto some more insects, first up a huge fly that came to sit on my BIL car before I had entered the park. Completely unafraid, it allowed me some macro photo's. The closest a fly will ever come to being beautiful
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Beetles-I do not think this is the one mentioned in the notice board.
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And then this which I think is a burrowing wasp. Well it certainly burrowed at frenetic speed. Just love its moustache like yellow antennae
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Even using a pebble for leverage
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This I think is the flightless beetle of Addo. If I am wrong, don't tell me just yet! :D
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This locust provided some entertainment for curious kids. He did not move an inch.
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This beautiy was right inside the car, and only jsut managed a Macro shot.
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And another different Beetle that decided it needs to get away from me as fast as possible. So no frontal pics.
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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:37 pm 
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Well onto the flowers and reptiles

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Cactus flower
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Flower and Bee
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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Pumbaa. And welcome Crested Barbet and MM. MM, I have 2 Macro lenses, and I agree with you on the contours of Addo-made for some great panoramic views, and plenty places to just sit and take in the views.

Onto the animals, birds up first. So many, so i'll just post and comment where necessary.
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This is a Batis I think-ID help would be appreciated.
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Lovely to see a Guinea fowl in a tree. I should have waited a bit longer and I would have got it in flight.
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The Guinea fowl was in the company of this beauty, which is where my concentration went.
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A rather large flock of Ostriches
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From which that opening and threatening portrait was taken.
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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Then this beauty-Jackal Buzzard. A bit far away, but glad to capture it. What a beautiful raptor.
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In Addo, it is not the lions that cause road blocks, but the raptors. This one caused quite a roadblock. A forest buzzard I think, but it could be a Steppe.
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Everybody just wanted tp take shots or just enjoy the close to the road sighting.

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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Pumbaa. Here's another installment
BSK's were plentiful too.
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These were also plentiful, black headed Heron
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This one looking bedraggled in the wet weather
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Another forest buzzard seen
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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:18 pm 
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Another quick installment
Another BSK
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This fellow and his partner were around-the partner was a bit shy and stayed a distance away.
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Anybody interested in sleeping on their knees-A spoonbill will give you some tips.
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Not me. i'm gonna sleep in my side-good night.


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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Pumbaa :thumbs_up:

Moving along.

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One of the highlights for me-a pair of Greater double collared sunbirds
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Mousebird
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And another hightlight. Heard this bird before I saw it, switched off the car and waited until it made an apperance-Blue billed Finch
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natures architecture
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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Another special highlight. This DCG had flushed out a rat or something, and it fled under another bush, at which point the DCG pursued it (which is where arrived) and it promptly tried to flush whatever it was. What a wonderful sighting as it it went form one position to another to atry and flush it out.
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It never flushed out whatever it was hunting-and eventually flew off not to be seen again.


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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Pumbaa and Arks. Arks, I based my ID of the Forest Buzzard from Roberts, whom I seem to think placed Addo within its range. Though I confess I did not consider a Juvenile Jackal Buzzard. Same applies to the DCG, and it is its paler cousin which I seem to think occurs on the drier western parts of Africa. Will check again.
Onto another installment.

Took this one of a common house sparrow, a bird whose nest we raided so ofen when I was a kid. Woe betide any sparrow who built a nest anywhere near our houses. Well, I have come a long way, and instead of harming, I now admire and respect.
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3 Water dependent birds having a rest.
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This crow was on a fly-by, despite a carcass lying below.
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This I think is a sub-adult BSK. What a beauty :dance:
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This late in the afternoon on my second day
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And then as if these birds knew I cannot get enough of them, BSK again.
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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Let's see if we can finish of the birding section. Interesting to watch raptors being harrassed by small birds- this was a bit far, but interesting to watch.
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A short truce
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and then attack again.
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Eventually the smaller bird knew it was getting nowhere and flew off.

Nice to come across a confluence of Black headed Herons-perhaps a breeding pair. They soon parted ways as another car arrived.

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Some close ups of this very graceful bird.

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Another stone Chat
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One more posting of birds to come.


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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:51 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Pumbaa.
This should be the last bird posting, a fantastic one too, and what a pleasure to see these beauties.. Another first for me. Pair of Malachite Sunbirds :dance: :dance: . Posting just a few images.
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The female also beautiful to behold.
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Good night!


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 Post subject: Re: Much Addo about...... 2 day TR
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Rookie and Pumbaa. Rookie, you are sure to have a good time. Might just make another trip down there, though I think it will be March or July.
Getting onto the mammals. Wondered what I would see first, besided birds and insects. A monkey in fact, the only one seen in the 2 days I was there, and another reminder of the difference between KNP and Addo. KNP they are pests at times, in Addo, they seem to be a bit rare.
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Lichtenstein Hartebeest was next. Great to see these, and plenty more. I'll post all the sightings now.
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Some were lying around
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This one was just chillin on the road, unperturbed by cars or anything else, and allowed me to take some portrait shots.
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