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 Post subject: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari-Oct 2010
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Posts: 138
3rd Oct 2010 Cape Town to Gansbaai

Trip Participants: Jo Dale and Helen Dale

Today didn’t quite go according to plan. We arrived into Cape Town in glorious sunshine, just about on time despite an hour’s delay leaving London Heathrow. Whilst admiring the view of Table Mountain without its “table cloth” we picked up our hire car, an Opal Corsa and quickly realised that any plans to stop off en route to Gansbaai would be hindered by the fact that a lot of our luggage was on display. Consequently we put plans to stop at Rooi Els (to look for rockjumpers) on hold. We stopped briefly at a quaint little art cafe in Betty’s Bay for a coffee on our drive along the scenic coastal route of the R44 and R43.

We arrived and checked into our comfortable self catering accommodation at Gansbaai, which Helen had arranged over the internet. An interesting observation, coming from the UK, is that we were a bit stumped by the lack of facilities. We stayed at Air del Mar, in a twin bed self catering studio room on the ground floor with a sea view. The rate quoted on the website was R490 per unit. The studio was equipped with a fridge/freezer, microwave oven and utensils sufficient to prepare a light meal. I think we wrongly assumed that self catering here would be the same as in the UK, where we’d expect to get a hob and an oven, but to be fair we probably just didn’t pay enough attention to what the facilities would be like. The owner was very friendly and even supplied us with some fresh milk for tea. There’s supposedly a communal braai but we did not make use of this owing to the weather.
We had hoped to arrive in time to arrange a whale-watching excursion, but this plan was scuppered by a rather inclement storm front that quickly closed in, whipping up the sea in the process. This, coupled with the scenery, made us wonder if we’d got on the wrong plane and found ourselves in Scotland!

Cape Agulhas
Not wishing to waste the day, we quickly decided that the best course of action would be to head down to Cape Agulhas, since that excursion wasn’t weather-dependent. This was not ideal as we’d done the coast road down to Gansbaai and so it was a long drive for Helen on the first day. The most direct route turned out to be along a series of easily navigable gravel roads. This actually seemed to be a nice area to do some birding, but given it was now late in the day and we had a lot of ground to cover, we didn’t stop very often.
We did, however, make time to watch a slender mongoose attack a rather dead and smelly Puff Adder, dropping his prize as he crossed the road in front of us. We also observed a Blue Crane, Denham’s Bustard and Cape Long-claw. Several raptors were also seen, including Yellow-billed Kite, Steppe Buzzard, African Marsh Harrier as well as Ostrich.
We arrived at Cape Agulhas and walked to the southern-most tip of Africa, admiring the view out onto a fairly rough sea. It was quite chilly with the wind and drizzle so we didn’t linger long. We took a different route back along the tar road, which was much longer, but also quicker. We stopped off in Sandford for a delicious meal of BBQ ribs and chips before heading back to Gansbaai.
It was with a sense of foreboding that we retired to bed. Looking at the weather we didn’t expect that our dive with the sharks would be going ahead, despite assurances from Marine Dynamics that they were expecting us bright and early the next morning.
Bird list:
Cape Wagtail
White-necked Raven
Pied Crow
Cape Crow
African Pied Starling
Blue Crane
Denham’s Bustard
Ostrich
Helmented Guineafowl
White-breasted Cormorant
Brimstone Canary
African Marsh Harrier
Egyptian Goose
Steppe Buzzard
Cape Long-claw

Mammals:
Chacma Baboon
Slender mongoose

Image
S AFRICA JO 005 dev Blue Crane by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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S AFRICA JO 015 Brimsone (Bully) Canary by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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shark dive 028 To the Southernmost tip of Africa by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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S AFRICA JO 021 African Pied Starling by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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S AFRICA JO 024 Cape Wagtail by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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shark dive 012 Cape Aghulus by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Posts: 138
4th October Gansbaai Shark Cage diving

We needn’t have been concerned. First we were greeted with the sight of our first Southern Right Whale off the coast right outside our window. The sea state seemed quite a bit calmer than the previous evening, yet still there was a bit of a swell. We met up with the other Shark Bait... er I mean divers for our breakfast and briefing at a local restaurant. A marine biologist from Marine Dynamics gave us a safety talk and spiel about how this company has a better ethical record than some others because they supposedly do not pull the bait towards the cages (where sharks might injure themselves), and they don’t deliberately feed the sharks (which some other companies allegedly do). The marine biologist giving the talk also told us about the migratory behaviour and conservation issues facing the Great White Sharks (from finning and bycatch), and how tagging them is helping to monitor their movements so that marine protection areas can be set up.
We were expected to then sign an indemnity form for the excursion. This really bugged us! We did not get why you have to sign, particularly when you even have to waive any claim over negligence. This wouldn’t be acceptable in UK law and was frankly quite worrying when the shark dive operators are required by law to have high levels of indemnity insurance which you hope to rely on if something goes wrong. Particularly when most travel insurance policies won’t cover that activity.

We then got kitted out with trendy fluorescent red waterproofs and headed down to the boat. With Marine Dynamic’s own boat out of commission, we were placed on Apex Predator, an apt name for a Great white shark dive boat if ever there was one! We were told there were two sites where the boats operate at this time of year, one a shallow bay and the second, the infamous Dyer Island and Shark Alley. It was to the latter site that we were headed. We were joined en route by a Subantarctic Skua who kept pace with the boat, picking up scraps of food that were being offered by a member of the crew.

As we arrived on site, one of half a dozen or so boats, the crew started to chum the water in order to lay the scent trail that would surely lure in any sharks in the area. Soon enough the first dark shapes of great white sharks started to circle the boat. I’m not sure if anyone said it out loud but I know I was thinking that we were going to need a bigger boat! The crew kept the sharks interested by tossing both a float in the shape of a small seal and a tuna head tied to a line off the side of the boat as the cage was lowered into the water. Shark diving is a bit of a misnomer, since you don’t actually get any diving equipment other than a face mask and wetsuit. This means you have to hold your breath and duck your head under whenever a shark swims past.

As the first couple of groups of brave (or foolish) souls entered the cage, we watched from the top of the boat as sharks repeatedly struck both the float and the tuna, sometimes getting away with their prize. Funnily enough we didn’t really see much difference between what the crew were doing, and what we had been told was bad practice! One particularly large shark, generated some excitement from the biologist who exclaimed “I tagged this shark, I know this shark!” One woman had a hard time ducking her head under water and chickened out of the dive altogether.

We were the third group in the water and I took up a position on the far right hand side of the cage. This was right at the end where the bait and float were being tossed out and dragged back in. As such, I was treated to many close-up encounters with hungry white sharks striking and tasting the float and tuna in front of me. It was totally exhilarating, especially when on several occasions the sharks would grab the bait, turn and power straight towards me, only turning to avoid the cage at the last possible moment, passing so closely that it felt like I could have reached out and stroked it..(not advisable of course!) One particularly special moment was when the shark went for the bait which was close to the cage at the time, and I could see right down its throat. Another time, the shark dived deep and then reappeared, powering head first up out of the depths like a torpedo.

The water was freezing cold though and it was a struggle to hold my underwater camera steady enough to record the action. But I did manage to record at least some of the dive which gave a real sense of being under water and the closeness and sheer awesomeness of the sharks. After ten minutes we needed to make room for any other people, but as most people had had their turns there was space for those who wanted to go in again to do so. Helen decided to sit that one out, but I jumped at the chance of going back in. This time I was right in the middle of the cage and once again I was treated to an exhilarating experience. Eventually, shivering in the cold and with my fingers getting numb it was finally time to call it a day.

A number of other seabirds were also seen on this trip including a distant albatross, but I didn’t see which one it was. These included, Sooty Shearwater, White-chinned Petrel and Great Winged Petrel.
We returned to a nice hot buffet lunch whilst DVDs were burned for those of us who wanted them. We shopped for souvenirs, Helen plumbing for the obligatory “I survived” and “dare to dive” t-shirts, whilst I opted for a 3 million year old fossilised Great White Shark tooth necklace as a nice reminder of the trip.


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S AFRICA JO 060 Great White Shark by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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S AFRICA JO 039 Great White Shark by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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GWS 1 copy Great White Shark by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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GWS 2 copy Great White Shark by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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GWS 4 copy Great White Shark by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:08 pm
Posts: 138
Thank you! :dance:


Hermanus shore-based Whale Watching

After lunch we drove up to Hermanus to spend the afternoon whale watching from the shore. Sadly, we were not able to get out on a boat that afternoon, as the trips had been cancelled because the sea was still too rough. The whales were being quite acrobatic off shore, readily breaching and tail slapping and we were still able to photograph their spectacular antics, if somewhat more distantly than we would have liked.

Birds seen on the day:

Subantarctic Skua
Sooty Shearwater
Great Winged Petrel
White Chinned Petrel
Cape Cormorant
Black Harrier
Cape Francolin
African Black Oystercatcher
Cape Gull
Sabine’s Gull
Speckled Pigeon
Laughing Dove
African Black Swift
White-rumped Swift
Pied Kingfisher
Greater-striped Swallow
Common Fiscal
European Starling
Red-winged Starling
Pale-winged Starling
House Sparrow
Southern Red Bishop

Mammals:
Southern Right Whale

Fish:
Great White Shark

5th October Boat-based Whale-watching Hermanus

This morning was a beautiful day, so having arranged to get on a whale-watching trip at 0900 we left Gansbaai for Hermanus. We booked with Hermanus Whale Cruises. Once on board we headed west to the next bay over, whereupon we found ourselves two Southern Right Whales, possibly a mother and calf. Unfortunately we were advised that because the sea was so calm, the whales would probably be lazy today. This turned out to be the case, and they spent a lot of time just lying at the surface ignoring us. We got close enough to see the calluses on their heads, and it was just incredible to hear them so close to us when they were breathing out, like the puffing of some great locomotive. Occasionally the whales would lift their massive tails out of the water, creating waterfalls as they dived down into the deep blue sea.

We were told that the boat had to stay 60ft away from the whales, but at one point the boat actually went over the top of a submerged whale as we motored slowly towards a visible one at the surface further away. This was rather concerning, but thankfully we believe the whale was unharmed. I’m guessing that the captain was just not aware of the other whale’s presence, but we felt he should have seen it. New birds seen during and just before the whale-watching trip included:

Cape Gannet
Cape Canary
Cape Cormorant
Lesser Kestrel
African Goshawk
Jackal Buzzard

We stopped for a lunch of waffles whilst doing a bit of souvenir shopping and spent a bit more time watching the whales from the shore. I also saw my first Rock Hyrax or Dassie running over the cliff-top.


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S AFRICA JO 09802 Southern Right Whale by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo sharks & whales 014adj Southern Right Whale by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo sharks & whales 018 Southern Right Whale by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo sharks & whales 031 Southern Right Whale by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo sharks & whales 036 Southern Right Whale by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo sharks & whales 040 buzz sim Southern Right Whale by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo sharks & whales 059 Familiar Chat by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:17 pm 
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Posts: 138
Penguins of Betty’s Bay

After lunch we drove on to Betty’s Bay to see African Penguins. Given this was supposed to be the smaller of the two colonies I expected to see only a handful, so I was really surprised by how many there were. We spent an hour or so photographing these charismatic birds. They offered so many photo opportunities; it was difficult to know where to look. I tried to get a sense of the challenges that they faced getting back to their nest sites, capturing them being tossed around in the surf and clinging precariously to rocks.

Unfortunately, what Helen hadn’t prepared for was that someone should try the door of the toilet at Betty’s Bay when she’d hung her camera on the back of the handle. So unfortunately, her camera fell to the ground and damaged the lens!

Image
jo penguins 006 African Penguins by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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jo penguins 010 African Penguins by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo penguins 042 African Penguins by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo penguins 078 African Penguins by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo penguins 052 Black Girdled Lizard by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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jo penguins 055 Southern Rock Agama by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Posts: 138
In search of Cape Rockjumper

We then drove to Rooi Els and stopped in at a local shop-come-environmental centre to pick up a few snacks and check the latest gen on the Cape Rockjumper. Following the instructions given we parked at the gate and headed up along the gravel track in search of this special cape endemic. Sadly the bird proved elusive, but we did see Cape Rock Thrush. We met a group coming the other way after walking about a kilometre who warned us that a rather large Puff Adder lay up ahead on the path. Given that we were only wearing sandals, we decided to turn back.

Birds seen around Betty’s Bay:
African Penguins
Kittlitz Plover
Little Egret
Black Headed Heron
Bank Cormorant
African Black Oystercatcher
Hartlaub’s Gull
Swift Tern

Rooi Els:

Cape Rock Thrush
Cape Bunting
Cape Bulbul
Karoo Prinia

Image
missing cape rock jumper 001 Cape Rock Thrush by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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missing cape rock jumper 007 by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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missing cape rock jumper 009 Cape Bunting by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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missing cape rock jumper 013 by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Posts: 138
Arriving in Simons Town, I was delighted to find two of my target birds, right outside our apartment, Orange Breasted Sunbird and Cape Sugarbird!
Our accommodation, the “Port of Call” in Simons Town was set right up into the Cliffside with a view out to sea, accessed by a rather steep and winding road. We finished the day with a delightful fish supper at a local chippie.

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missing cape rock jumper 014 Brimstone (Bully) Canary by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 001 Cape Bulbul by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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kirstenboch 027 Cape Sugarbird by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:44 pm 
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Posts: 138
Glad you like it. :dance:

6th October Albatrosses Ahoy!

Today was surely one of the highlights of the whole trip for me, a pelagic seabird trip. There are a number of pre-arranged tours that one can book, but these tend to be at the weekend, which is unfortunately when we were travelling, so the dates didn’t work for us. So we decided to take the risk and charter a boat through Anne Albatross. This was on the understanding that she would do her best to advertise the extra spaces for us and try to fill the boat, but if she couldn’t manage it, we would need to make up the shortfall. In the end, Rene, a local, and her travelling companion Jeanne from California. This meant that Helen and myself had to make up the remainder of the cost at a surcharge equating to about £50 each.

It was, in my opinion, well worth the money. Our skipper on the trip was Alan Blacklaws and our guide was the enthusiastic and very knowledgeable Alvin Cope. As we headed out, just past the harbour we encountered a southern right whale, which was a great start to a wonderful trip. We started to get a little concerned when we had trouble finding any trawlers. We did finally manage to locate a lone long-liner, which seemed to be loosing most of it’s catch of Kingclip fish to a large mixed flock of seabirds and Cape Fur Seals. We were 15 nautical miles out at co-ordinates s 34,27,18 and E 18,11,61. Rene eagerly goaded Alan into collecting some of the lost catch for dinner later, much to the chagrin of Alvin.



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albatross jo 002 cape point by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 006 White-chinned Petrel & Pintado Petrel by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 027 White-chinned Petrel by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 077 White-chinned Petrels by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 036 Subantarctic Skua by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:53 pm 
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Alvin enthusiastically pointed out the different birds we were seeing. The most common birds were White-chinned Petrels, elegant black birds daubed with varying amounts of white on their chins. There were also quite a few sooty shearwaters. Of course the stars of the show were the albatrosses. Of these, the majority that we saw seemed to be Shy, these were beautiful birds, subtly coloured in shades of grey. He also pointed out both Atlantic Yellow-nosed and Indian Yellow-nosed two very similar species, which I found to be quite difficult to separate in the field. He also pointed out the occasional Black-browed Albatross.

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albatross jo 009 Shy Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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albatross jo 038 Shy Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 023 Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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albatross jo 015 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross with Shy and White-chinned Petrels by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 047 Black-browed Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:59 pm 
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Alvin then got very excited when he saw a much larger albatross and shouted out to us that it was none other than a Wandering Albatross! But then after getting a better view he quickly realised that it was a Northern Royal Albatross, a massive bird, with a snow-white back and long black wings that dwarfed all the other albatrosses we had seen. In fact, we believe we saw two different Northern Royals through the trip.

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albatross jo 043 Shy Albatross fights seal over scraps of Kingclip by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 055 Northern Royal Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 017 Northern Royal Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 020 Northern Royal Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 053 Shy Albatrosses eating kingclip by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:07 am 
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Other rarer finds that excited Alvin were Northern Giant Petrel, the little checkerboard-patterned Pinatdo Petrel (Pintado meaning “painted” in Portugese), a Great Shearwater and one that caused Alvin a few ID problems, a Flesh-footed Shearwater (which is near identical to Sooty Shearwater).

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albatross jo 060 Shy Albatrosses by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 063 Shy Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 072 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Pintado Petrel and White-Chinned Petrels by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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albatross jo 075 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 026 Cape Fur Seals by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 027 Flesh-footed Shearwater by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 027 Flesh-footed Shearwater by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:12 am 
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The seals were also a joy to watch as they squabbled over the fish and then, in little rafts fell asleep at the surface. On the way back we stopped to look at a rock on which four species of cormorant could be seen, and then we went on to see another colony of seals.
Back in the harbour there was a line of terns on the jetty, this included Arctic, Common, Swift and Sandwich.
List of birds seen:
Northern Royal Albatross
Shy Albatross
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
Atlantic yellow-nosed Albatross
Northern Giant Petrel
Pintado petrel
White-chinned petrel
Great Shearwater
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Subantarctic Skua
Cape Gannet
Arctic Tern
Common Tern
Swift Tern
Sandwich Tern
Kelp Gull
White breasted Cormorant
Cape Cormorant
Bank Cormorant
Crowned Cormorant

We took a trip into Cape Town (after Helen went back to the boat to collect my camera that she’d borrowed, and my monopod that I’d forgotten) to look for a new lens for Helen’s camera. We managed to locate two camera shops, which were able to supply a sigma version of her 70-300 but we’d have to come back for it a few days later. This wouldn’t prove to be a problem, as we had time before our train journey to Johannesburg. We returned to Simon’s Town and had a relaxing evening.

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albatross 2 042 Cape Fur Seal by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 044 Cape Fur Seal by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 046 Cape Fur Seal by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross 2 047 Swift Tern and Sandwich Terns by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Thanks everyone!

7th October Sugarbirds and Sunbirds



Today we spent some time at Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. Having already seen both target birds outside our window in the morning, the pressure was off, but I was still hoping to get a few nicer shots. Despite the inclement weather we managed to find both the Cape Sugarbird and Orange-breasted Sunbirds in the Protea garden as described in my Southern Africa Bird Finder. Helen isn’t much of a birder, but I was really hoping that she would be interested in the botanical aspect of the place and want to explore the full extent of the garden, but she wasn’t keen.

Between Helen’s general lack of enthusiasm and the drizzly weather, offering poor lighting and the fact we’d found the two key birds, I wasn’t too bothered about cutting the visit short. As such, we probably didn’t see as many birds as we might have on a specialist birding holiday. We stopped in the café for a coffee and a pastry before driving the scenic route back via Chapman’s Peak, stopping to admire the view and discovering another Southern Right Whale in the process.

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kirstenbosh h 001 by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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kirstenbosh h 004 Egyptian Goose by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 081 Orange-breasted Sunbird by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 092 Cape Sugarbird by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 103 Orange-breasted Sunbird by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 120 Dusky Sunbird by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 122 Giant Protea by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 124 Orange-breasted Sunbird by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 126 Helmeted Guineafowl by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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albatross jo 129 Karoo Prinia by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:07 pm 
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We’ve done Penguins

Our final stop was at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. This was with hesitation from Helen who felt that we’d “done penguins”. However, it turned out to be worthwhile when we found a Rock Hyrax foraging in a small clearing, just off the boardwalk. So we spent a bit of time photographing this unlikely cousin of the elephant. Dassies are primitive ungulates, which look a lot like marmots or wombats. We decided not to pay to view the penguins, feeling that we wouldn’t gain anything much from the experience, but there were a few red-winged starlings and cape white eyes that I could focus on instead.

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kirstenboch 005 Rock Hyrax (Dassie) by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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kirstenboch 008 Rock Hyrax (Dassie) by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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kirstenboch 013 Rock Hyrax (Dassie) by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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kirstenboch 019 Cape White-eye by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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kirstenboch 022 African Penguins (Boulders Beach) by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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kirstenboch 023 Red-winged Starling by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Later on we went shopping in Simon’s Town for a bag for Helen and a few Savannah’s for me. When we got back to our apartment I spent the remainder of the afternoon photographing two pairs of sugarbirds fighting over a protea bush.

Whilst sea-watching from the balcony I spotted a blow from a whale and a small hooked dorsal fin. This led me to believe that it was a different whale to the Southern Right, most likely a Bryde’s Whale (but I can’t be 100% sure).
Birds seen at Kirstenbosch:
Egyptian Goose
Helmeted Guineafowl
Hadeda Ibis
Cape Robin-chat
Cape White-eye
Orange-breasted Sunbird
Cape Sugarbird
Birds seen elsewhere:

Familiar Chat
Olive Thrush
Karoo Eremomela
Karoo Prinia
Lemon Dove
Cape Spurfowl
Red-winged starling
African Penguin

Mammals:
Southern Right Whale
Bryde’s Whale (prob)
Rock Hyrax

Image
kirstenboch 031 Cape Sugarbird by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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P1450179 Cape Robin-chat by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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P1450186 Speckled (Rock) Pigeon (his name is Jim) by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's Cape to Kruger Safari
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:27 pm 
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8th October Cape Town Sightseeing Table Mountain

After a leisurely start we took a trip up to Table Mountain. A pair of Red-winged Starlings was nesting in the eaves of the ticket office. The cable car revolves as you ascend so that you get a view of the mountain and of Cape Town and the coast below. Views were spectacular and we also came across several more Dassies, including a pair that was relaxing in the sunshine. After stopping for a coffee we headed back down.

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P1450193 Views from Table Mountain by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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blyde river Helen 036 Me on Table Mountain by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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P1450204 Rock Hyrax (Dassie) by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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P1450217 Rock Hyrax (Dassie) by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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P1450235 Views from Table mountain by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


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