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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:14 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
A ‘hide and seek’ game between mom’s front and back legs!

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Framed by mom.

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When mom walked off up the dune, with the cubs following, we reluctantly had to leave. Albeit a bit far, we were very happy that we had witnessed the cubs playing and the mom/cubs interaction.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Enuf Cheetahs for now.

A strange sighting near Urikaruus.(We did not have front row seats so pix are not great - pix taken by myself and markw.)

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2 Juvenile PCGs attacking a steenbok. :big_eyes:

The steenbok took refuge under a small bush while the PCG stood guard.

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After a while the steenbok started to walk away - just at the right time because a cobra appeared on the scene which interested the PCGs.

Sorry :redface: , was not fast enough to catch the PCGs attacking, but did catch the cobra at the end of rearing up and spreading its hood.

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The cobra made its way to the nearest tree under the watchful eye of one of the PCGs.

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We wondered whether the PCG would attempt another attack....

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but the PCG backed down in the end and the cobra went on its way.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Adding on to Wanderw’s original post, it was great meeting up with all the forumites in the park. We exchanged a lot of information on experiences, which helped us in finding some of our good sightings :clap: . We were fortunate to come across a lot of interactions between animals in the park :D . Some extra pics of the interactions between the mating lions.

Well, this is more about the interaction between us and the lions to show how close we managed to get - to hear every grunt, snarl, pant and roar.
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It seemed that the lioness controlled the mating. When the male approached and she was not ready, she clearly showed her displeasure.
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After a mating, she signalled to the male lion to keep his distance, but like all males he simply ignored this.
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During the mating we parked on the opposite side of the road, and the lions showed little interest in us, apart from the odd hard glare with those yellowy orange eyes. If a car passed between us and the lions, they seemed to cross an accepted boundary, and the male lion showed his anger, while the lioness showed distress and move further under the tree (if you can call it that?).

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Thanx Vlakvarkvrou, Pumbaa and Sharifa! :thumbs_up:

One morning, as we approached a tree near Sitzas, we found a striped kingfisher sitting right at the top and an AWC jumping into the base of the tree. We finally ended up with pix of both the bird and the cat, but this was our most difficult sighting as the 2 subjects’ prime viewing spots were 15 metres apart and there were 2 opinions in the car as to which subject was the prime one. :whistle:

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vs

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
A little while after we both had settled down after the previous sighting :wink: , we started searching for the cheetah mom and cubs.

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We found her on the dune side of the road, on a mission. :dance:

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She crossed the road into the riverbed and walked at quite a pace - she was obviously looking for breakfast.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
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The cubs followed although 2 got a bit distracted along the way...

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For tree climbing they slowed down a bit, but otherwise the 3 were a bit like whirlwinds!

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Thank you Elsa and tedredrum! :thumbs_up:

The cubs followed their mom across the road and into the riverbed.

Ready ,set......

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Attack!

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and Belly-Up! :wink:

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http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
For 2 cubs it was non-stop fun and games all the way!

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One cub seemed to struggle to touch ground.

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Hey guys, Mom’s disappearing fast!

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So off they went...

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until they found a tree again. :roll:

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We followed Mom and cubs for about 2kms. We had been the only car at this sighting for some time. Cars now started to join us. We were very happy when we first saw the cheetahs, but the sad thing was that my sister and her SO were not with us as they had made a later start from camp that morning.

Finally Mom decided to rest under a tree, with a distant view of a lone springbok further down the riverbed. We looked up to find my sister and her SO were about to join us. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
The cubs settled down and seemed to drink from Mom.

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In the mean time the springbok had become aware of the little family and was now on high alert.
Mom decided to leave the riverbed , with cubs in tow.

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And of course the 2 cubs continued to play.

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They crossed the road again(amongst the traffic), and went up the dunes. Mom would obviously try again later.

At least my sister and SO had got to see the cheetahs up close. :thumbs_up: We worried that Mom had not made a kill, but, a few days later, we bumped into some people at Ljiersdraai, AND they had great news - Mom had killed a big springbok and the family were happy and healthy for now. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:37 pm 
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Adding on to where wanderw left off, as the cheetahs crossed the road in front of us, mom (Gertie?) gave us a last look, as if to say goodbye :( (we had been with her for over a fantastic hour).
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The fluff balls scampered after her to keep up.
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Then scrambled down the embankment at the side of the road, crossed over and disappeared over the dunes.
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The whirlwind of cubs had disappeared, but was replaced by a whirlwind of sand, over the days we saw a number of these due to the heat.
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Some other interesting sightings in the Aoub river area were lots of yellow ribbons, eland at the Mata Mata camp water hole (apparently very unusual), collared and other lions, Kudu, and a very dark Gabar Goshawk (melanistic? :? ).
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Pearl-spotted Owlet
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Two juvenile PCGs in the shade next to the road, that seemed to be struggling to walk, let alone fly - was this due to the heat (47°C), young age or deformity?
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And the adventure continued...


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:00 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
Hi Toddelelfe! Thank you! :thumbs_up:

Some years previously, on one of our early trips to KTP, my daughter, Eagle Eyes, had got so excited when she discovered a jackal at Dikbaardskolk picnic site. That sighting had started EE’s love affair with jackals. This time we arrived at the picnic site and were scrutinized by this old guy - looking a little bit worse for wear.

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:hmz: I wondered whether it was perhaps EE’s 'Dikkie', as she had named that jackal.

To be continued.....(Mark will continue this instalment soon).

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:22 am 
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Thanks Caracal - I am sure KTP will deliver for you, as always :) .

During lunch at Dikbaardskolk, a pile of mud with a VW polo underneath pulled up, and out stepped arks! Continuing from Dikbaardskolk towards Nossob, apart from the usual plains game and birds, and lots of field mice, the next unusual belly up sighting was at Chaleka. A juvenile Bateleur was drinking from the water hole when a beautiful adult male came in to land.
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The juvenile immediately showed interest in the adult, walking round for a closer look.
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When he/she got too close, the adult started spreading its’ wings and turning its’ back towards the juvenile, as if to say “move off”.
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The belly got pushed further and further out, and wings spread to full extent, similar to lionspoon’s pics, but with better balance (from experience?) and tending to fall backwards rather than forwards.
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The display discouraged the juvenile who backed away to the other side of the water hole.

We arrived at Nossob after a quite drive around Marie’s, unpacked and took a short drive north. Just outside Nossob, a Blackbreasted Snake Eagle next to the road.
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At Cubitje Quap, the usual Bateleurs (adults and juveniles) with Lappet-faced and White-backed Vultures. There seemed to be fewer raptors than usual, even though there were field mice in virtually every bush next to the road.

The next morning we headed north to Grootkolk, and found the BbSE in the same tree, but fast asleep.
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Followed by a fleeting glimpse of three spotted hyaenas.
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Just before Kwang, we noticed lots of tyre tracks in the road (a good tip to finding sightings), and stopped to investigate. We found two jackal pups, enjoying the morning sun.
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And the adventure continued... :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
We loved the time spent with the jackal pups. :dance:

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http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

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 Post subject: Re: BELLY-UP....in KTP!
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:26 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
At Kwang there were two more jackals and a big herd of wildies.

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We sensed that the jackals were a bit uncomfortable. (Only after we got to Ljiersdraai picnic site, and arks asked us what we had thought of the gory jackal carcass hanging in the tree near the road at Kwang, we realised why. We had missed it! :redface: )

At Bedinkt we found 4 lions snoozing near the watertank. One lifted his head...

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When another big herd of wildies arrived at the waterhole, we got excited, hoping for some action. The lions were not interested. :roll:

At Ljiersdraai we had a reception committee waiting for us.

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Seemed like we were the highlight of the little creatures’(birds,lizards and mice) day.
And a pic of the mouse who liked to sample toes :whistle:

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Our first Agama in a bush - just past Ljiersdraai.

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http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

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