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 Post subject: WCNP’s best kept secret….
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
A certain caracal has been out stalking again and has discovered a perfect little spot in WCNP.

A perfect chalet that has everything you could wish for….

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…the view of the chalet as you approach it.

A perfect birdhide…that is actually within walking distance but because of all the camera gear, and bird books I chose to drive there.

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Apologies ..the birdhide looks like it is about to topple over…that's just me using a lens that I have no idea on how to use properly

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…the walkway to the hide…by the way it is not as long as it looks.

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…the view to the left of the hide

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…view to the right

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..the view of the chalet from the hide…

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..just another view!

Excuse me…..you want to know where this is ???

Sorry not telling !!!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: WCNP’s best kept secret….
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Unfortunately for us the weather did not play along ...it was very windy and the rain finally arrived on Sunday morning. :cry: Even though it was windy I did spend a fair amount of time outside seeing what I could see!
There were hordes of hairy caterpillars around.....
An upside down view ...

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and a right side up view..

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As Johanita has already mentioned the weavers in the tree outside, the steenbokkies as well as the tortoises I will not go into too much detail....but I did discover this dead tortoise outside the chalet on Saturday morning. It was not there on Friday..I did think that a crow was maybe responsible.

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Later on in the day we came across a crow harassing a tortoise in the middle of the road...I suspect the crow was trying to get the tortoise on it's back whereupon it would start pecking at the soft bits.

A close up shot of the beautiful purple flowers that were to be seen all over the park.

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And the ever busy weavers.....I must admit it is quite fascinating to watch them build a nest...they are not still for one minute. They do get themselves into some strange positions though.

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 Post subject: Re: WCNP’s best kept secret….
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:08 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
I think the best kept secret must be the birdhide though...we had it to ourselves the entire weekend. :clap: Red-knobbed Coots, Sacred Ibises , South African Shelduck, Kelp Gulls , Black Crakes , Little Grebes and Common Moorhen kept us entertained. The Coots were quite aggressive towards the other birds..probably because they had chicks. We noticed many Great White Pelicans as well as Black - crowned Herons flying overhead. The reeds were alive with Red as well as Yellow Bishops and Cape Weavers. White -throated Swallows kept skimming the water right in front of the hide. Namaqua Doves as well as Cape Turtle Dove did a fly past every now and then. I noticed one little Cape Wagtail and another little brown bird in the reeds which I suspected was a warbler of sorts.
There were two highlights though....on two occasions we had the pleasure of watching a African Marsh Harrier hunting on the opposite side of the waterhole....it eventually caught something to eat but I was not sure exactly what had been on the menu.

The other highlight was the arrival of a couple of Spoonbills...they arrived mostly one by one, had a quick bath and then flew off again.

As you can see by the following photo I was not exaggerating about the wind :shock:

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We were nice and sheltered in the hide though!


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 Post subject: Re: WCNP’s best kept secret….
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Maybe I should add that there was a reason for this WCNP visit…
I had taken it upon myself to book a trip to the KTP for Tent Trash and Trailer Trash in July next year….so a meeting was in order. :thumbs_up:
Friday night was spent discussing our trip over a bottle of Orange River Old Brown Sherry and braaing indoors…the wind was horrendous. :shock: The indoor braai saved the day ( night) though.

Our plan for Saturday morning was to drive to Seeberg Viewpoint and Hide but only after some silly person had gone for an early morning run :big_eyes: (Tent Trash ♂ you need your head read!!!!).
Our drive to Seeberg was pleasant ..we went up to the viewpoint where we managed to watch the tail end of a Sacred Ibis swallowing what looked very much like a baby cobra.
We had a walk around the viewpoint and a quick visit to the derelict little house.

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Imagine waking up to this view every morning.

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I strayed from the path a bit because I eye spied a flower that I had not seen before…but I did not have the right lens on my camera so I gave up on trying to get a photo. Our next port of call was Seeberg birdhide..I spent the entire duration of that little trip picking ticks off me. Off course I got no sympathy from my companions. Their look said it all….stay out of the bushes. :naughty: Just before we arrived at the birdhide we saw a huge mole snake sunning itself in the road. Again I got reproachful looks ….
I had done some research work on tides and bird watching from the hide but somehow or other I had got it all wrong..the tide was out and the birds were non-existent….oh well better luck next time. This time I adhered to the pathway but I did manage to get a photo of another flower to add to my collection.

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By now the hunger pangs were becoming seriously evident so we headed back to basecamp for a skottel brunch of note!!!!
On the way back we came across another snake sunning itself in the road. Other interesting sightings were 2 Red Hartebeest, plenty of tortoises and more than plenty of Pied Crows.
The early part of the afternoon found everybody doing what they did best…some were snoozing and some were in the birdhide.
We had decided to go down to the beach (Tsaarsbank) in the later part of the afternoon and set ourselves up for a sunset of note.
The weather had got progressively more windy and more angry but we decided to go anyway!
There wasn’t too much wrong with sitting in the kombi and enjoying the view...albeit a bit of a stormy one.

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Just as we were about to leave Tent Trash ♂ spotted a seal swimming in the water. We lost sight of it but eventually it popped up again. It spent a few minutes rubbing it’s nose against the rocks and eventually it went into mermaid mode, climbed up onto the rock and posed for us…..

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After this little photographic session I was happy to head back to our chalet. We were hoping to spot a caracal on the way back but no such luck. :evil:

Again we braaied indoors and we finally came to a decision as to where we should overnight on the way to the Kgalagadi.....Augrabies !!!! :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: WCNP’s best kept secret….
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:05 pm 
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And to end this mini trip report....

We woke up on Sunday morning to a really miserable day but the weather did not get us down. We had to be out of the chalet by 9h00 but did that not mean we had to leave the park. Tent Trash had come up with a really good idea the night before...Breakfast at Geelbelk !!!!

We were under the impression that the restaurant only opened at 10h00 so we decided to go for a drive first of all. We had 3 really cool sightings. First of all I noticed an European Bee-eater flying past...a first to find in the park. :clap: Then we came across a small group of ostriches and before we knew it a female ostrich charged Tent Trash's car as they slowly drove past. Not only that...we got chased as well. :big_eyes: She ran right up to the kombi and she only slammed on brakes at the last minute..we wondered what had put her in a "fowl" mood :roll: Shortly after that we came across a Black Harrier scanning the bushes alongside the road....we spent a good couple of minutes following him...a really cool sighting. Eventually he veered off and we seemed to think he had caught his breakfast. I am not quite sure what he had caught but I suddenly realised that I had a huge hunger pang as well. We turned around and headed back to Geelbek. The group of ostriches had not moved very far away at all and this time we realised why Mama Ostrich had her knickers in a knot...she had chicks. We had not seen them in the bushes the first time round but this time they were sunning themselves in the road. She quickly ushered them back into the bushes and then turned around and once again charged us....serious mama she was !!!!

Breakfast at Geelbek was delicious ...service great..such happy smiling faces!

But eventually it was time to hit the road. Seeing that it was raining we really had no choice but to drive home but if it was a sunny day we would have no doubt gone off to the birdhides before leaving the park.

Excuse me...I am sorry I didn't hear that :roll: ...oh you want to know where we stayed ?????

Drum Roll...........

Sorry ...not telling :whistle:

But best you do a little bit of sniffing around...that is one awesome little chalet that we stayed in and it is well worth a visit !!!!!! :thumbs_up: :D


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