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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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I like Shitlhave Dam, often saw Ellies playing in the water :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:47 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Brazil
Shitlhave Dam is a must go, I think.
we also saw an ellie playing in the water, but up to the north... I'll reach it soon in the TR.

Cheers
Charbel


1 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren
2 June 2013 - Kieliekrankie
3-4 June 2013 - Kalahari Tented Camp
5 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren
6-8 June 2013 - Nossob
9 June 2013 - Gharagab
10 June 2013 - Grootkolk
11 June 2013 - Nossob
12 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:39 am 
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Charbel, That lions was really not a happy chappy :hmz: . He was so tired that he actually walked with his eyes closed :doh: . Thanks for sharing all your encounters in Kruger with us :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Just caught up Charbel and must say your bird sightings, especially of the trumpeter hornbill is making me extreme :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Please it come


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Still on board :thumbs_up:

:popcorn: Leana


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:22 pm
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Hi friends
Here I am, back to the TR. Pumbaa, I hope you enjoy the bird sigthings of this post.

Leaving Shitlhave Dam, we followed Napi Road again until reaching the short Napi loop (S11). It was a rich part of the road for birding. In this small part of the road, we saw: 1 Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra Africana), 1 Red-Collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens), 1 European Roller (Coracias garrulus) , 1 Cuckoo Finch (Anomalospiza imberbis), 1 Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti), and 1 Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis).

One nice thing is to see Shitlhave Dam surrounding by the savannah from Napi Road.

Image

Here is a picture of the Rufous-naped Lark calling for other larks around. Not a good picture, but an interesting behavior. I cannot resist. This is a nice bird, thankfully not threatened (Least concern in the IUCN Red List, but with declining population).

Image

European rollers were so common during the whole trip that by the end we were not photographing them anymore. We had many inside jokes during the trip. One of them was raised every time I asked to stop for one more picture of European Rollers (after hundreds of them, I am really compulsive…) and Carol and Peu would shout at me, “Not again!”

Image

Image


But they are nice birds, aren’t they? If I come back to Kruger in winter, when they’re not there, I will certainly miss them. European rollers have their non breeding distribution in sub-Saharan Africa, while it breeds in several other places, such as Morocco, Spain, Poland, Siberia and India. Although it is still common, it is classified as Near threatened in the IUCN Red List, with decreasing populations. Thus, we should be happy we saw so many of them in Kruger. He has a scattered distribution, showing preference to savannah biomes, mainly broad-leaved and Acacia woodland.

What is he doing in that branch? Probably hunting. It feeds mainly on flying insects (termite alates, beetles, locusts), waiting for them perched and pouncing on them when they get close.

The picture below is the only one we got from the Cuckoo Finch we saw in Napi Road. From our discussions on this sighting in the Sanparks forum, I’ve got the impression that it is a somewhat rare sighting. I am not sure. Anyway, it is such a nice bird that I dare put here this not so good (but single) picture.

Image

This bird is classified as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List, with stable populations. Thus, not really threatened, what is great! It shows diversified habits, it can be resident, nomadic or migratory, it can move in flock of 8-50 birds, sometimes over 1000 birds, looking for areas where rain recently fell. This was a lone guy to the extent that we could see. It mainly feeds on grass, rarely insects. Finally, the most outstanding thing about cuckoo finches is that it is a brood parasite, laying eggs in other birds’ nests, saving in parental care. It parasitizes several species of Cisticola and also species of Prinia. First, the female removes one or all of the host’s eggs and then lay a single egg in the parasitized nest. Usually it parasites four nests in the space of a few days.

As we followed the road, rain was becoming more and more probable. Look at the dark sky behind the fork-tailed drongo, the first of many we saw in Kruger.

Image

It is also a not threatened bird, with stable populations. The most interesting feature of its biology is that it is a kleptoparasite, stealing food from other birds and even mammals, such as meerkats. When we visit Kgalagadi next year, I hope we can see drongo perching over foraging meerkats trying to rob their food. It mimicks the meerkat’s alarm call to create confusion and then steal the food. That would be a great thing to see. In Kruger, unfortunately, we did not see any stealing event of drongos, evidently not of meerkats, not found there, but of other birds.


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:26 am 
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Beautiful TR!! Love the birdies. We usually go in winter so we don't see so many but now I think I need to make a plan to go in summer!

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Beautiful birds charbel :thumbs_up:

Thanks for the interesting info about the drongo :thumbs_up: I find them very fasinating and they are quite cheeky :) We have seen them attacking larger raptors when they came too close to the drongo's nest.
Will definitely watch them more carefully :)


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Dear Cape of Storms,

In our first trip to Kruger, we had no option other than go in the summer. We thought at first we would miss much, because gaming seem easier in the winter. Well, we saw every day more than a 100 animals, not that difficult to see them. And there is a lot of additional advantages: there is the feeling of 'when will an animal appear?' at each turn of the road, there are the offspring of many animals, recently born, there are the migratory bird. After Kgalagadi next year, I plan to go back to Kruger in 2014. Difficult to decide when to go, winter or summer...

Dear Sharifa,
I'd love to see drongos attacking raptors, already read about it. But we did not see... Basically we saw drongos perched...

Cheers
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:45 pm 
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Indeed I loved the feathered friends, charbel :clap: :clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:07 am 
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Nice, Pumbaa. Birding becomes an addiction...
I am already anticipating my next trip to do some birding, to Doñana, south of Spain, next December... And then Kgalagadi, June 2013...

Cheers
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:02 pm 
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charbel thanks for the tip. I will definitely think about it. Kgalagadi is amazing too! Enjoy your trip there - June will be pretty chilly but sightings plentiful!

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:08 am 
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Charbel, just so interesting. Thank you. You have really added another dimension.

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:45 am 
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"Not again" is heard in our vehicle quite often too..........but in my case monitors.......I really can't get enough of them!!!

Wonderful info on the birds.......thank you.......... :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:27 pm 
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Friends,
Thanks for all the supporting messages. It is been really really fun to write the TR.
About chilly Kgalagadi, already planning for a lot of stuff to buy to get protected from the cold weather....

Cheers
Charbel


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