Meanwhile it was early afternoon but we still had not enough and decided to give the Mlambane loop also a chance but before we could turn into same we had to stop on the bridge on the tar road where you can spot into the Mlambane riverbed itself as there was a huge buffalo herd spread all over.
Lots of them were resting in the water and others were grazing and although this was not our first buffalo herd we ever saw it is always again a magnificent spectacle to spot so many of them so close together
and I even can promise you more of those spectacles later in this trip report. Lilac breasted rollers, kudus, European bee eaters as well as lots of magpie shrikes accompanied us nearly the whole drive back to Berg en Dal.
Whereas we enjoyed the ride on the Mlambane loop with again stunning views into the river we had to stop because of an impala herd out of which most members were resting under a shady tree
and in a bed of flowers.
Their obligatory feathered attendants were not far
and allowed us once again some nice shots.
After we also rested a bit together with them it was time for us to carry on but in fact we did not travel far until a horde of vervets forced us to stop again.
On our way back we also enjoyed the presence of a sunbathing terrapin,
saw our very first black-bellied bustard of the trip and could not get enough from the many wattled plovers.
After this already very exciting and successful first morning drive in the camp we relaxed a bit on our verandah and whilst we were already busy in packing everything back into the car for our afternoon drive we realised another never seen bird (No. 4 during that trip) which was busy in feeding a juvenile in the tree close to our bungalow – a black headed oriole!
Although it was a bit tricky to at least get one decent picture as the birds were moving permanently and to juggle with the heavy lens from right to left was another thing. Needles to say that we chose Matjulu waterhole for our afternoon drive where we so much hoped to find our bee eaters as well as swallow friends again and gladly they decided to entertain us once again.
Both species could be spotted once again plentiful and all were busy in catching a lot of insects for dinner.
The sunbird also arrived and landed on the very same flower as yesterday but same was once again gone before Timon had the camera handy – There were once again so many birdies to be watched that you could not have your eyes everywhere but this one was so cute and fluffy and so patient that we had to press the button - a spotted flycatcher - also a new tick for us
Only one full day in the park and already five new ticks – we were already curious to know what still might come next featherwise. Time for an excessive photo shooting with some white fronted bee eaters – especially this trio was so cute.
Another pin tailed whydah still without the long tail feathers so I guess it was a younger respectively not yet breeding male entertained us by landing on one blade of grass which immediately fell down on the ground with the bird on it and I already thought that this whydah might be stupid as he was miscalculating his weight on the grass so wrong
but whilst observing this behaviour more and more I noticed that I was stupid and the bird was clever as so he was able to pick up the seeds of the grass easily!
That’s why I love to watch all kind of animals so much as you can learn so much from their behaviour much more than you can ever get from reading books about them.
The bee eaters once again landed close by and offered another crazy dust bath.
Pity was that it was meanwhile time to return to camp as otherwise we might be too late so we had no alternative than to say good bye to all our feathered friends there but another one of them crossed our pass on our way back in camp – One of the many hamerkops we spotted this year in the park – Sigh!
The braai tasted even better than the evening before and we still sat a while on our verandah and enjoyed the quiet evening until we were far too tired to even keep our eyes any longer open.to be continued with some bellies in the morning light......