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 Post subject: noel-Random Photographic TR-22-26 July 2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:52 pm 
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OK-This is a new one for me-and seeing as I am constantly being reminded by other forumites that they are doing a TR for the first time, (I feel guilty every time I read a new one :naughty: ) so thought I would share a few memories. The emphasis on random, as I do not keep a diary of all the roads travelled, but will try and fill in places if I remember-grey matter co-operating of course!

Left JHB at 04:30, pleasant, uneventful and excitable drive down to Mpumalanga. Arrive at Nelspruit, off to do my usual ritual which is to stop at Pick 'n Pay to buy some food, and my favourite, a koeksister-that is a twisted dougnut dipped in syrup and sprinkled with coconut. mmmm. Fill up the tank-again and its off to Numbi gate. Arrive, and give thanks to God for safe travelling mercy, and a prayer that He will bless me with sightings of His handiwork in this wonderful place. Check in-no problems. Take a deep breath to savor that special smell at reception. Have doughnut and coffee, (that's breakfast) and unpack everything from the boot to the inside of the car. Cameras, books.

Travelling alone as usual, and now the talking begins. You know what they say about talking to yourself :doh: It's quite OK to talk to yourself! It's when you answer yourself that the problems start coming-next you know you are fighting with yourself. So for this report I shall refer to myself as nutty Noel (as in DoughNUT, CocoNUTty Noel plus the Nutty chocolate in the cooler box, plus the nuts and raisins, plus-ah well- nutty Noel it will be). In any case, discussion with myself begins- Wonder what animal I will see first? Gotta be Impala? Drats- is a homo-sapiens? :huh: Maybe I am in the wrong place. Eventually, after some stern talking to my alter ego about patience, the first animals spotted Waterbuck (WB) and Plovers at Shitlave Damp, far on the other bank. Round 1= 1 point to the WB, 0 to Impala.
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And a family of Rhino's later. Dad was a bit shy, and stayed hidden for much of this sighting.
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Transport Dam was in a minimlist moods and only had this
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And then at last: :big_eyes: it came into view
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Cheerio-my 2 hours with a pride of lions will follow somewhere in this nuttyishy?? TR.

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:19 am 
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More random photos
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Always worth spending time with these birds-you never know what they may catch. This one caught a Herald snake or red-lipped snake. Have seen these birds with their prey (frogs, lizards, snakes etc) many times over the years and they display peculiar-or should we say "nutty" behaviour. The bird with his prey will strut around with it for quite a while before consuming it, and seems to enjoy showing it off to other members of the party-sort of bragging with it and even teasing the others with it. This was no different-it must have been at least 20 minutes before the Hornbill actually swallowed the snake.

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Cheerio

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Time for another interesting episode-my apologies, I was moving home-regrettably not closer to KNP.

I usually make sure I do the triangular trip at least once between Skukuza, Tshokwane and LS, usually several times, especially if I have elected to stay in the South of the Park, as I did on this occasion. On one of these, between Tshokwane and LS, I came across this fellow, walking on the road.

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Most unusual to see this fellow-or gal, on the tar road-usually they are in the water, or on the banks of dams and rivers. He must have walked a 100 meters the time I spent with him. He soon recognised another "nutty" guy taking a-more-than-casual interest in him. So he turned towards me with this smile
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He was trying to curry favour with me-so I told him I do not have any curry, only chicken mayonnaise. No-he was not interested. How about some nuts and raisins? No. Chocolate? No. Negotiations eventually broke down all together-and off he marched in disgust! :huh:
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I actually felt very sorry for this guy-he was literally miles from water, the sun was blazing, (which I tried to convey in these pics) and you could see he was struggling. Every few meters or so he would rest, and then tackle the road again. And of course the temptation to pick it up and drop it off at the nearest waterhole was present. But I remembered a childhood myth about tortoises-if you pick them up they invariably urinate on you (there is a thread about that somewhere on this forum) and the net result of that act is guaranteed to be warts on the hands. And this was no ordinary tortoise-he had a plan to get somewhere! Who knows what ill-effects the urine of a terraping will have :hmz: So I decided better not. Besides-have look at those "claws". I may be nuts, but there is no way I was going to tackle him. Could only hope that he found water soon, and that he would not be run over (nearly happened while I was taking some pics-some idiot in a 4x4 came whizzing past, and my attempts to draw attention to the terrapin failed) or that he would not become an item on the menu of some eagle. That would have been quite a sighting. But you will notice that he kept pretty close to the grass, and was ready to scramble there if necessary. Eventually bade him goodbye and good luck.

Also on this road, scanning the bushes- saw a bare branched tree with what I thought was a growth- turned out to be this beauty. I so love seeing owls in the park-and even though this was too far for a decent photo, I enjoyed watching it, until it eventually disappeared.
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The Sunset Dam monster was in attendance :big_eyes: He is so huge
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Only on the Sunday did I get to see any cat-big or small. And even then it was far away across the Sabie River. Still a great sighting, and I particularly like this image as it show the leopard high in a tree, showing its true agility. As usual, despite that it was far away-cars piled up for a traffic jam.
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More to follow.

Have a great day!

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:03 pm 
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Thanks Kamadejo, Elsa, Pumbaa, Charming1 and Gunner. Some more.

Young Hippo having some fun at Sunset dam
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A giraffe took a risk and came for a drink
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Travelled the N'watimhiri Causeway (S79), there is a small loop leading down to the river, and saw this, a happy sighting for me :dance: :dance: , as it means there will soon be eggs and chicks. Great to see a Fish Eagle nest, they are usually so well hidden. This one is quite visible, so any of you travelling in the Park soon, should be well worth a visit to this spot.
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And this interesting sight at Sunset dam.
[img][IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/2052neu.jpg[/img][/img]
(hope this comes out-using Tinypics for the first time-if not, I'll download it to Flickr and repost)
What was interesting about this episode is that there seems to be a hole in/below this concrete block, and the fish must think that it is a safe haven (do fish think??) little did they know. Well these two herons had it figured out, no need to spend energy elsewhere, when all you have to do is wait and there is instant take-away. Actually saw the Grey Heron catch a fish, but I was busy with coffee, so missed out on that magical photo. Conversation with me-self-YOU SILLY NUT-YOU MISSED OUT ON A FANTASTIC PHOTO OPPORTUNITY :rtm: :rtm: . In any case, the Grey Heron was not going to share this bit of heaven with the Green Backed Heron (GBH), and so the chase was on-around and around the block literally :lol:. Poor GBH-he so wanted to cash in. Eventually it flew away, only to return a few minutes later for another attempt.
Great photo opportunity for some portrait shots.
[img][IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/inh2x1.jpg[/img][/img]
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And the Crocodiles at Orpen Dam have taken camouflage to new heights
[img][IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/5uimph.jpg[/img][/img]

This was also a nice sighting-At the junction of the H1-1 and H3. They are always there and in the past have usually seen only two-this time it was family time :thumbs_up:
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A magnificent Kudu Bull :dance:
[img][IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/1zvbx40.jpg[/img][/img]


More to follow soon!

Have a great weekend :thumbs_up:

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:44 pm 
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Here you go :lol: Like Kamedejo said. Capital IMG at the end and start

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Kruger 2010 countdown

19 sept Letaba, 20-22 sept Sirheni, 23 sept Olifants, 24-26 sept Amukela (Balule Game Reserve), 27-28 sept Lower Sabie, 29-30 sept Skukuza, 1-2 oct. Shishangeni Camp Shonga , 3 oct. Lower Sabie, 4-5 oct Satara, 6 oct. Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:48 pm 
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Image

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Here are the other 2. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Great pictures, Noel :clap:

_________________
Kruger 2010 countdown

19 sept Letaba, 20-22 sept Sirheni, 23 sept Olifants, 24-26 sept Amukela (Balule Game Reserve), 27-28 sept Lower Sabie, 29-30 sept Skukuza, 1-2 oct. Shishangeni Camp Shonga , 3 oct. Lower Sabie, 4-5 oct Satara, 6 oct. Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:33 pm 
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Oops-still not working-Better go check out the tutorial!
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Lets have some more nutty stuff.

So, I am staying one night in LS. Checked in, have my dinner (salads and cold meats) most people are having braai's and beers, hushed conversations going on all around the camp. Off I trundle to wash the dishes, arrive at the communal wash-basin clean dishes and then I look around. Off I trundle to my hut, fetch camera, and back to the communal wash-basin. Now my fellow guests must think I am nuts. Unlikely there are bats around-it is dark and they should be long gone. Then they notice the flash going off-What must they be thinking of me? That guy is nuts-but this is what I saw
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These Gheko's were so beautiful, tremendous contrast between their whitish colouration and the tar black bckground of the poles of the communal wash area. And they were upside down too- just right for a nutty guy! Could not resist taking a few shots, at the risk of being thought "nutty". Taking photos of poles :huh: If you ever get the chance to read about just how they can walk up glass, or even upside down like in these photos-it is amazing-gives you new appreciation for their unique skills.

And when you are "nutty" you get all kinds of strange visitors-like this feathered friend at Transport Dam, who promptly got onto my bonnet to have a closer view of me, and checking out if there were any nuts to be had? It was not at all afraid, even when I moved inside the car, it only moved its head to get a better view of me. It only flew off when I started the car.
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And here is the Molondozi Picnic site Monster-Be careful when you are next there :wink: That is the 60cm lizard! Found him lurking in the parking area.
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And no visit to the KNP is quite complete without a sighting of this bird, somewhere, somehow, on a bridge, giving endless pleasure just taking shots of it.
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This Giraffe was offensive-greeting me with a "Good morning Mr Nuts!
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This beauty made my day :thumbs_up:
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Time for bed!

Cheerio

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:54 pm 
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Thanks Micetta, Pumbaa, Steamtrainfan, Hippofan and Kamadejo. My busy day has ended, and seeing that sleep will elude me for a while, I thought I would add some more.

Stayed one night in CB, up early as usual, out of the gate soon after opening, and had already decided I would do the famous S28. This afforded this wonderful photo-even if I think so myself. It shouts out loud everything that is special about KNP. Early morning Giraffe. I love this photo albeit that it makes one long to be back there.
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And then this nutty exercise. Have look at this.
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Now you must understand the madness here. I go the the Kruger to see animals, take photo' of them, spend time with them. Never in all my years have I taken photos of trees :huh: Except perhaps of this tree (taken from my January visit)
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So there I am on the S28, plus a few other cars. I stop to have a look of appreciation for this stunning image. Other cars stop too, they look at what I am looking at. Nothing but a tree. Then I go and start taking photos of the tree. They stop for longer, just in case I am seeing something. NO-it's nothing they can see. Perhaps its a bird-No-no bird there. Perhaps he is looking at a reptile? No-no reptile! Maybe its an insect! Can't see that either. What to make of it? He's nuts-taking photos of trees with nothing in it! They confirm what I already know about myself-nutty :thumbs_up: .Well actually, it is a tree with something on it-and that is early morning sunlight falling on this tree, giving it an exquisite coppery glowing colour. I like this photo too!

I redeemed my sanity in the sight of everyone when I took a photo of a tree with something in it a few hundred meters later-martial eagle :thumbs_up:
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A quick visit to BnD produced this beauty
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These ones for Micetta-Skukuza Water Lillies. Stunning!
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And this young upstart wanted to be like a car-wanting to get from one bank of the Sabie River to the other bank via the bridge. Very risky-he almost got killed-fortunately there was a nutty guy to alert cars to his presence.
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No earings needed on this beauty.
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Have a great week everyone! Lions to follow :thumbs_up:
Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:18 pm 
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Thanks Kamadejo. Black shouldered Kite it is :thumbs_up: Elzet-Nutty-yes, professor NO-they are too serious.

Only met 2 forumites during this weekend-P@M (I think) and had a chat to her and SO. The other was the famous Raymond of BnD fame. Had a long chat to him. He came to chat to me just as I arrived in the evening for my i night in LS. Asked him about seeing big cats-as I had only that one sighting of a leopard which was far away. His reply, try any road around LS, early in the morning. So up early as usual, but now which road to take, there are so many options? Decided to stick to plan, and do the road between LS and Skukuza. Right decision, and was blessed with seeing a pride of lions. First there were 3 huge males, in a very playful mood too. Then they were joined by some females, some sub adult females and one cub. So here are some photos, random once again. Most enjoyable time of my weekend
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This one I have titled "any one want to give me a tummy rub please?" Image

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Two of the males decided it was time to pretend they were sentinels and pose like some of those lions that you see from time to time at buildings etc.
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Notice there seems to be a brand mark on the front leg of one of the lions and on the back leg of another. I am sure it is a brand mark, and these lions were being studied, as there was a research vehicle, complete with one of those arial tracking gadgets, and the driver was following this pride with the rest of us, constantly making notes. One of the lionesses had a collar, and she did look a bit gaunt.
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Some others
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This image we are all familiar with. I entitle it "the main attraction"!
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And then there was junior-delightfully in a happy mood too.
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Cheerio.

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Thanks Dotty, Bushcraft, Kamadejo, Micetta, Pumbaa and Flutterby. Seeing that I will be a bit busy over the next few days, better get this TR going long.

Before I get to the birds, and the LIT, let me mention that I saw lions 3 times that last day I was in the Park :dance: :dance: Here are some photos.

First up, this sleeping beauty
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Well, when I saw this, made a decision that I would give up my Seally Posturepeadic Bed and invest in rock. Will give new meaning to the expression "caught between a rock and a nut" :whistle: She looks utterly comfortable. Did move once to look at a nut, of no interest or value to her at all. Such damage to the nut ego :huh:
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Then do my normal-before-I-go-out-the-park-trip Skuks to Tshokwane. merrily chugging along, and then two huge males on the road, on the way to some females (which I did not see but was told by others that had seen them) at Manzimahle Dam.
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Watched them-so thrilled to see more Lion. Taking photos, and then it happens.
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Lions can be so disinterested in human beings, mostly. This one decided I was of interest. And focused on this nut. Well you know, it just does something to you when you realise you are in the focus of the Lion, just as he was in your focus a minute ago. Chilling Spine tingling moment. There is the expression "knee jerk reaction" well, I had a elbow jerk reaction, roll up the window, start the car, into reverse. Especially when he starts walking straight towards your car.
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He eventually just passed me by-little realizing what he had just done.
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Off he went on his merry way.
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His companion was not at all as interested in nuts, more interested in getting to the females. He did not know what he missed-a shaking, nerve wrecked nut.
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Nice to see an-almost-black-maned lion (like they have in KTP)

Did not get to see too many big tuskers :( this one in the far distance and which I think is Nhlowa.
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This one at Transport Dam
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Posting these next two here as they contributed immensely to my enjoyment during those 5 days. Already posted in the reflections thread.

Moonrise or early morning moon over Sunset Dam
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Sunset over the Sabie River at LS.
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Cheerio for now

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:32 pm 
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Thanks again Flutterby, TPF, Anne-Marie, Gunner (like your random TR too) and Kamadejo. Well work is not as hectic as I thought it would be, so here goes with another installment.

Stayed one night in Pretoriuskop. Booked in, off to by hut, only to discover my neighbour has parked in my parking bay. Now I may be nuts, but I know which parking bay belongs to me. What to do? What if I am wrong? Hate confrontations. Eventually pluck up the courage to knock on the hut, and announce to the lady "you have taken my parking place" Really? yes! Let me check. You may be right, let me call my husband, who was on the other side of the circle. Oops-Now I am in trouble. The lady moved her big 4x4 and up comes her SO. Expecting him to give me piece of his mind, the opposite happens-an apology, and then we get chatting about sightings of the day (just like it used to be in the old days). Great chap :thumbs_up: He then tells me that he heard lions had killed a Kudu down Voortrekker Road, and he was going down that road first thing in the morning. Well if he can ,so can I. So off early in the morning, saw little on that road, and eventually came to the spot. Only the carcass left with vultures.
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Waiting on the side was this beauty

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Eventually the vultures flew off, and it was able to get to the carcass. Difficult to photograph with such long grass. Eventually up he flew, with a morsel in his beak.
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Struggled to balance trying to eat its morsel on that branch, eventually flew off to eat it somewhere else.

So love seeing eagles, have loved eagles from a very young age. Travelled on some road (can't remember which one) saw a tawny on a tree, stopped, get the binocs out as it was quite far into the bush, and just as I am ready to focus, off it flies. "You silly NUT-case of a bird, why can't you at least wait until I have focused". Well it must have heard me, because next moment it landed on the tree right next to where I was parked, a few meters from the car, and well, I had a splendid view from there. Here are some pic of these special moments.

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It did also consider changing its diet to nuts and raisins at one stage, took one look at me, and decided-well let's just say the nut ego was damaged a bit more.
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Some other eagles :dance:
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And some other images of birds
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Blame for this photo should be laid squarely with Flying Cheetah :whistle: because I saw his beautiful picture like this, and like any nut-case-i'm a copy-cat. Not anywhere near as beautiful as his.
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And this one reminded me I was hungry-it was close to dinner time, and promptly gave me a hamburger image. Not fair to nut-cases.
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Next up, LIT.

Cheerio

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Thanks once again Kamadejo, Pumbaa and Gunner.

So, after spending two hours with that pride of lions, off I went to Skuks, as happy as a lark. bout two km further, a traffic jam. And a lady exitedly telling me it was a leopard with a kill-nice lady :thumbs_up: and insisted that I must get in on the act, or should that be cat? as you do not get to see this often in the park. No need to tell me that as I had no intention of letting this one slip me by. The last time I saw a leopard with a kill, I was very frustrated at the number of cars all jostling to get a better view. Ended up so frustrated, took one shot of that which ended up out of focus too, and struggled for over half hour just to get out of that traffic jam. This time I was not going to let anything get in the way. So patiently waited in the queue, until I got to a spot where I was happy with the view. Switched off the car, and then I CAMPED :whistle: For another hour or so. Which was not too bad, considering I was in a sedan car, and these big 4x4's could happily park alongside me and still have the same view, as they are highly elevated. Thoroughly enjoyable view I had too. These are some of the best pics.

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This one showing it having a taste of its food. Did not eat much, mostly justing hanging around, completely at ease.
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Some other photos

Always nice to see the worlds largest flying bird.
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This cute guy catching some early morning sunlight.
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Have not mentioned Lake Panic-which for years I thought was Lake Picnic (wonder why? Must have something to do with all things with nuts-like chocolate, biscuits)
These are some images from there.

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The most successful breeding pair of Herons-been at this spot for a few years now already, and building again.
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Close this session with another stunning dramatic sunset scene
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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:08 pm 
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Tks Kamadejo and Pumbaa.

OK, lets see if we can end this TR. Some more bird pics, seeing that I will
end this TR with sightings of my favorite bird.

This I think is a Wahlberg Eagle, different from the Tawny in my previous post, as the gape extends well beyond the eye.
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Spoonbill at Sunset Dam
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This Pied Kingfisher came right in front of my car, I was parked right on the waters edge at Shitlave Dam. Only had a moment to grab the camera, take a few shots on auto-focus and this is the result. Not too bad for a random shot, through the window. One day I shall get a pefect shot of this hovering bird. Have been trying for a while now.
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Hammerkop
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Early morning Zebra
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This is a difficult bird to photograph, and spent a lot of time trying to photograph a flock of these. They are very furtive, hrdly sitting still for long enough.
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This lizard at Mlondozi Picnic site seemed to be in a bullying mode with this pose.
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Saw this baboon early on my trip-ugly hole in the muzzle (also posted on the Baboon thread)
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Better end there, I m hvaing trouble opening Flickr, so will have to post another time some photos of my favorite bird-Saddle Billed Stork.

Cheerio and have a great week.

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Thanks Kamadejo, Gunner, Flutterby and Crested Barbet. Better see to it that I finish my TR. Been a bit busy, and having trouble with connection to internet.

I simply love Saddle Billed Storks, in my opinion the most beautiful bird around. Red feet with matching red knee socks, matching Red Bill and all set against black and white plumage, and the coup de ta, a yellow saddle. Cat walk models try bettering that :hmz: This year the WWF were doing a census of these beauties, so that gave me extra incentive to watch out for them. So had plesaure of seeing one of the birds on two different occasions. One at Mpondo dam, a must visit for me, where I saw this one.
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Tinypic website is closing, and I could not upload any more pics :sniper: so have to upload to Photobucket. Hope I get this right. New rules, new lessons to learn. If it does not post, I shall have to do it again.

She ( I think it is a female) was accompanied by this fellow. He was huge, not the kind of fellow to have around.
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Very happy that I had 4 sightings of monitor lizards, this one at Transport Dam
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The other sighting would have been great if I could have captured it, as it was a mating pair at Shitlave Dam, but too far for a decent photo. I love reptiles so that was great.

Some other pics and next I will post the last of the other time spent with the other saddle billed stork.

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Looking over the abyss.

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This was the moon during daylight over the Sabie River.

Have a great weekend everyone. It is a public holiday tomorrow, so we are having an extra long weekend.

Cheerio

Noel


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 Post subject: Re: Random Photographic TR-22-26 July
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
Thanks Rookie 2009, Flutterby and MM. Not sure what the problem could be Rookie2009, probably hsa something to do with nuts. I see I even posted the same post twice-no idea how I did that. Maybe it has something to do with your browser. Somewhere on the forum you find the solution to the problem.

So, the next time I saw a Saddle Billed Stork was at N'Watimhiri Causeway (I think) and I was able to spend a long time alone with this beauty. Amazing to watch, huge mount of energy, as she strutted aroung the small dam, first this way, then that, sweeping her beak through the water, occasionally stopping to check out the nut with the camera. The following photo's will then be portraits, action and portraits showing the complete bird.

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Please excuse me if you think I have posted too many of this special time, you'd swear I was in love with this bird-or as someone else would say-a love-sick nutcase :thumbs_up:
I mentioned the cencus earlier, and have sent photos of all my sightings (this trip, as well as my earlier trips in March and January) to the WWI which has been acknowledged. Very glad to be a part of that census.

Right, to close this TR, here are some especially for MM.
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This one entitled- "action".
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And this one "who needs tooth picks when you have claws.

Enjoy MM!

And now I will go and read other TR's wistfully thinking and waiting for my next visit to KNP, which will hopefully be in December.

And have a great weekend everyone!

Cheerio

Noel


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