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 Post subject: Ferdelance-My Bird's eye view TR...Sep 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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SO here I am ...... One crazy birder and two weeks of bush bliss! What can I say! God willing it will be the Kruger trip of a life time, (edit: It was that’s for sure). So now in retrospect I’ll try and relive some of the moments again. What a round trip. It started in Olifants, then Letaba, Tambotie and Lower Sabie.
I was fortunate as I got 150 species of birds in the 2 weeks and 10 being lifers.... but all of that later. The game viewing was excellent. The piece and quite was what I needed and Kruger’s magic left me touched and sad to a degree knowing that it is under threat from poaching and that I had to leave ....eventually!

So I’ll try and make this an “extended” summary of my High lights and low lights.
Anyway here are some “captured moments” to start off with.

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First sunrise at Olifants camp.

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My First Bird for the trip:Purple Roller....

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White browed Scrub Robin

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Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


Last edited by Ferdelance on Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Bird's eye view TR...
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:42 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Olifants Part1

Well I haven’t stayed in Olifants for as long as I can remember. So this time I added a 2 day stop over there. I must say I wasn’t disappointed. The view from Camp is stunning! Coming in on the first day was tough and yet very pleasing. Was finished after spending the last 7 hours in my car and yet not even missing the Taita Falcons at the Strydom tunnel could disappoint me enough. I was in Kruger! This place really does touch you some were.

The first afternoon I spent in the camp relaxing and detoxing from Gauteng and the noise! A nice braai and watching the moon come up over my fireplace…hmmm now where was that sundowner again? Well those special moments! Enjoying the moment while it lasts…. Carpe Diem!

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The next morning I got up early and was the 4th car at the gate. Weird feeling standing and waiting for the gate. Hey I was trying to escape the rush…. :wall:
Well I wasn’t disappointed though. Note to self: Remember BIG sticker for boot BIRDING PLEASE PASS! :tongue: Was really comical watching the disappointment in some peoples eyes when they were told I was stopping for brown crowned Tchagra! Oh well not every one has the patience for birding I guess.....
:rtm:
I deceided to take the Balule loop and that paid of really well! Got some nice birds in the morning there including: White browed Scrub Robin; yellow fronted canary; red billed quelea; Brown crowned tchagra and Lesser striped swallows. The drive went well with Lions, steenbok, giraffe and hippos! Little did I know what was install for me on the afternoon drive.....

Lions near Balule:
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Bru Bru in the thickets. He just didn't want to pose...
Image
Dwarf Mongoose
Image

_________________
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


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 Post subject: Re: My Bird's eye view TR...
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:51 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Olifants Part 2:

Well so now that the long weekend is basically over, (sigh), I guess its back to the trip report.
OK so after a successful morning spent birding seeing quite a few species including yellow fronted Canary, lesser striped swallow, wire tailed swallow, brown crowned Tchagra, White browd Scrub Robin and a scarlet chested Sunbird in camp I decided that I would go south on the Timbavati loop and try my luck there.
Brown Crowned Tchagra:
Image

I found a very relaxed Red crested Korhaan next to the road at the start of the loop. I love these guys and every time I see them I take photo's. Lots of photo's. A very beautiful species that gets overlooked to often....
Red Crested Korhaan:
Image

I also came across a baby giraffe who was all on his own. This was puzzling to me as at this age I would think they are still in a group? But there just wasn't anyone else. I got a very good explanation later on in the loop though. :big_eyes:
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I found a bird party further down the road but unfortunately some very shy critters as they all flew away as soon as I stopped. The group consisted of Red headed weavers; ground scraper thrush and Golden Breasted bunting. The strange thing for me however is that when the car is moving most birds are ok staying where they are, but as soon as I stopped they are off? Interesting. :wall:

After driving for 30 minutes and not seeing much however I started to wonder about turning around and going back as the loop was big and my time management was starting to time "OUT". :hmz:
Luckily I stuck to my guns and around the next bend I spotted a hooded vulture in a tree top and then some White backed Vultures. Immediately one gets this sense of "Oh boy here is something"!
Hooded Vulture:
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When I got to the acacia tree there were 30 odd vultures on the floor including some big Lappet Faced Vultures. They were squabbling over scraps. Something however didn't make sense because even with the long grass I couldn't see why they vultures would still be here for so little. After I took some photo's I needed to get going to make it back in time. Its strange how the human body works. Shape recognition in my peripheral vision! As I left I just caught a shape in the corner of my eye, in a clearing behind the vultures. WOW lions! Boy oh boy. How did I miss that! I guess this explained the giraffe mystery as they were feeding on a Giraffe kill. 2 big males and some females.
Image
Image

So all in all a very successful start to my Kruger adventure. The next day I had to leave for Letaba, my favorite camp! Defiantly more birding coming up ....

_________________
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


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 Post subject: Re: My Bird's eye view TR...
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Good Evening Shi and Anne Cathrine!
8)
@Chip. Definatly one of my choice destinations! :thumbs_up:

Hope your doing well. I decided to do less talking and more pics for my next post.... :cam:

Letaba Part1

So after my 2 lovely nights in Olifants it was time to head north. Wow the first day in Letaba yielded 3 lifers for me! Bearded Woodpecker; Red capped Robin Chat and Lesser masked Weaver!

The birding in Letaba always seems good. Fantastic place!
White browed Robin Chat:
Image
Arrow Marked Babbler: (One of my faviorites)
Image
Brown Headed Parrot:
Image
African Mourning Dove:
Image
Kurrichane Thrush:
Image

_________________
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


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 Post subject: Re: My Bird's eye view TR...
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:44 pm
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Location: Far away from Home....
@Chip. Yes that list is for the SADC region. My list for the 2 weeks that I was in Kruger came to 150 birds.... a little under par but some really nice species as you will see. :thumbs_up:

Letaba 2

There is one day from the Letaba part of the journey that stands out. Today 27 Aug. But a little side tracking before I start that story.

The weather across the five days was extremely hot and very nice, except that my parents complained about the 35 degrees in the midday. I was ok with it because the birding was really good. The only thing that I felt was disappointing was the lack of water birds. It has been a concern that I have had over the last year especially. It just strikes me as weird that there a millions (a little exaggeration) of Egyptian geese, but very few other species in the river systems. Maybe conditions were not that great. I just hope it has nothing to do with the state of our water......

So on the 27th Aug we decided to take a day trip to Shingwedzi. We went up to Mopani and then took the S50 dirt road up to Shingwedzi.

Mopani Buff:
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Juv Yellowbilled Oxpecker:
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It is such a good thing to see these guys again after a long abscence in kruger...

Had Lunch up in Shingwedzi and then returned via the H1-6. We were all a little finished after spending the whole day in the Car in that heat. But it was worth it. The game viewing and even the bird viewing was a little less than what we hoped for! But I did find an Orange breasted bush shrike near Shingwedzi. Sorry no photo’s, just didn’t want to pose for the camera.....
Double Banded Sandgrouse on S50:
Image
Green Winged Pytilia:
Image
Bootlegging Zebra:
Image
Machuchule near Shingwedzi:
Image

The highlight of the day came almost at the end of the day. Just 5 Km north of the Letaba river bridge on the eastern side of the road there are some strange open areas where not a lot grows. We found 2 Kori Bustards here.
Image

As I love to watch these guys, we decided to take a closer look and as we drove into the little dirt road loop we startled 2 or 3 birds which looked like crowned Lapwings. Boy but when they took off they looked like nothing else I’ve ever seen flying. Those colour’s just didn’t match. Man the adrenalin was pumping and I was silently praying they land again. Thank God they did! Fantastic. Mad rush for cameras and binocs. My Parents very confused at this point. WOW Temmicks Coursers. Defiantly a LIFER.

Image

I have never seen them before. Jee wiz. I’m going bonkers and my parents are wondering why? I tried to explain how rare Coursers are but no luck.... Oh well! My trip was made. I had an insane lifer, something I just never would have imaged. That evening sitting in my camp chair, enjoying my Tafel Lager and watching the stars I reflected on the day and boy was I a happy camper! Fantastic.....

Image

_________________
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


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 Post subject: Re: My Bird's eye view TR...
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:38 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Far away from Home....
Thanks Shi. Yes Machuchule was special. I had a really good time up north. It was hot though and no rain....

@Pantera leo. Yes we probably walk past one another and didn't know it.... man that sucks! Next time definatly! :thumbs_up:

Well unfortunatly I've been a little rushed with my long weekend away and therefore I decided to end the Letaba section of the trip report with some photos. The next destination was Tambotie and boy there were some great moments there. For now however I want to close out Letaba with some moments.

Ghost Bird....(Grey headed bush shrike)
Image
Long tailed shrike
Image
Red Crested Korhaan
Image
Black backed Jackel
Image

_________________
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


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 Post subject: Re: My Bird's eye view TR...
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Far away from Home....
Hi everyone. Boy sorry for the delay.... I had to work the whole weekend, even missed sharks winning on the weekend! :?

trip to Tambotie!

Ok so the 5 days at Letaba where up unfortunatly and we had to make our way down to Tambotie. I have never been there and I was wondering what to expect. Lots of opinions and everyone had a different story to tell. Watch out for the baboons they said, boy they were not wrong. But more of that later!

Anyway another wonderful Kori sighting just south of Olifants!

Image

And a Hoopoe. Havn't seen to many of these guys in Kruger so very glad to see him. A little shy though.

Image

Boy it was hot during the drive. 35 degrees on the 29 August. On the way there I noticed a pair of Rollers sitting near the road. Unfortunatly the road to Satara is like a gauteng freeway and I knew that they usually fly away when you stop your car next to the road. But the law of averages dictates that eventually one will sit and be photogenic! Right, :lol: Ok so I cheated a little..... :whistle: he had just caught the biggest locust I could manage to swallow and was in the process of ending the battle!

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and then there were 2:
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I really love the Lilacs. They are truley stunning to look at.

I must say my Kruger Cheetah "curse" continues. I still havn't seen one and my parents stopped by the next big traffic jam and told me there was a cheetah somewhere in the veld. I didn't see anything and decided I'm looking for birds anyway. So later in camp I was informed by my mother that I had missed a Cheetah mother with 2 cubs..... :sniper: What can I say....

Image

Well I was very suprised what I found in Tambotie. Really magical campsite and all those big trees are truely magnificant and very comforting. I decided that this place definatly needed a second check up..... :wink: Funnily I found this fellow near the bird hide:
Image

A cane rat in Kruger. Strange ! wow. a first for me.
(I just realised that in my focused approach at making this a bird trip, I completely forgot to take photo's of the camp! :redface: )

_________________
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


Last edited by Ferdelance on Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Bird's eye view TR...
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:02 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Far away from Home....
Tambotie Part 2

Ok Tambotie had started to really sink in. The camp feeling was incredible. I loved the big trees and the brush and the feeling of the bush was cool. I had also found some awesome birds in camp including green backed camaroptera, white browed and white throated robin chats, Grey headed bush shrike, emerald spotted wood dove, white bellied sunbird, White backed vulture on nest, Green pigeons and a very beautiful tame Crested Barbet!
Image
Emerald Spotted Wood Dove
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Green Backed Camaroptera
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The drives were a bit tiresome as the mercury regularly hit 35 and my parents were feeling the heat…. Game viewing was really good and we were regularly seeing beaut Kudu bulls, some lovely giraffe, ele’s and lots of zebra and impala. :roll:

Image

But the second morning must take the honours for game viewing pleasure! On the Orpen/Satara road. We drove out early the morning to to the Timbava loop and have breakfast at the Timbavati Picnic Site. We thought that the loop should be productive but we were sourly disappointed and apart from the little bee-eaters I got there was nothing but corrugations to keep us company! WOW the road was bad…. Being a little dejected and hot after a stop off at Satara and a fruitless search for the white faced owls, we headed back to Tambotie.
Image

Like the saying goes, in Kruger you never know what is around the next corner! And true as that when we came to the Phelwana spruit on the Orpen road there was a truly spectacular traffic jam…. :hmz:
:pray: instant excitement in the car ! The guesses are flying round in the car as to what is causing the jam? Lion, leopard the usual candidates are mentioned…. Everyone is hoping it is leopard of course. First one for the trip! Well now what a surprise. It took my parents 30 years to witness this… can’t belive it. Also my first LIT ever! And what a nice sighting. 1 hour of leopard in a tree. Beautiful female lying on an open part of a big tree. And amazingly everyone behaving at the sighting. No pushing in or impatient people! :big_eyes: :lol:

Image
Image

Probably the best sighting I have ever had, because of the longevity of the sighting. The male I got on foot last year near Metsi-Metsi was special but only fleeting.
And then guess what happened the next day….. ok but tomorrow maybe. :cam: :thumbs_up: :tongue:

_________________
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


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