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Waterbuck's Quickies are BACK! KNP - June '13

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Philip1
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Philip1 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:31 am

:thumbs_up: Lovely TR and fantastic pics. :thumbs_up:

Waterbuck wrote:Image


:shock: When i looked at the above pic, i thought.....now what happened with this poor Ellie's eyes. :lol: :lol:
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Waterbuck
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:47 am

OK - sorry - :offt: ........I know I have been drifting off topic. To make matters worse I will be doing a one-night stand in Camdeboo National Park tomorrow night :thumbs_up:

Back to the current TR.......the last night in Shimuwini and for those of you that may recall, I was taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the bush-veld afternoon from the lawns of the camp overlooking the Letaba. Ambling back to our chalet some movement in the tree in front of our veranda caught my eye. In the last rays of the winter sun that fell on a horizontal branch a family of Tree Squirrels was soaking up the warmth and doing their thing. I must have sat there for 20 minutes watching their antics.........just another example of how Kruger is always a treat - even in the camps.
At first there were two......
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From another branch a third eyed the action from an acrobatic position.......
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Huddled up......three is a crowd......
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Cuddling any which way........
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Another stretch to soak up the sun........
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And then the ultimate........acting dead while being lovingly groomed :wink:
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Waterbuck
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:55 am

Thanks for the kind words JeanniR
Philip1 wrote::When i looked at the above pic, i thought.....now what happened with this poor Ellie's eyes.[/color] :lol: :lol:
I only now also see what your saw Philip1 - I actually just added a pair of eyes to the pic and its very funny - but won't post it as a Mod may have me expelled :roll:
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:24 pm

Thank you for the comments all........
It was the last night at Shimuwini before the trip south to Biyamiti. As always, we left Shims with a heavy heart and got onto the road early the next morning........
Before I leave Shimuwini to tell you about the rest of the trip, I can report that Shine (for those of you that know her) is still well and alive. It may sound funny that I am saying this, but we have been visiting Shims for a few years now and every year Shine has graced us with her presence. Hand-reared by camp staff many moons ago, she was already old when we got to know her. Nowadays she comes and goes as she wishes and although she is protected by the safe surrounds of the camp, I have watched her wiggle her way through the electric camp fence with a few high-pitched squeals and kicks. Now then, I have the unenviable task of preparing my kids every year for the fact that Shine may no longer be around. Apparently they live to an average age of around 10 or so years, but Shine is (I think) over 16 years old. She looks a bit shaggy, but then again, she always has.
I recall my sister joining us in Shims two or so years ago. The sun had set and she was sitting sideways near the fire, on the step of the veranda, just quietly enjoying the moment. The next moment she let out a blood curdling scream that got a number of the camp visitors outside and some came across to help..........lame at the knees she realized that it was Shine that had quietly come up from the side and poked a wet muzzle into the side of her neck...... :thumbs_up:
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Last edited by Waterbuck on Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:56 pm

We woke in good time, did the packing thing and headed out.......direction South. We must have only got out of camp between eight and nine and didn't see much in the way of animals on the first stretch. First pit stop was Letaba just to de-water everybody and then on to Olifants for brunch. Found this friendly law enforcer between Letaba and Olifants ambling along the road after he had shown some dislike to his reflection in the metallic car in front of us..........think that poor guy had some polishing to do to get the scratches off........
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:10 pm

Hi there freinds. Thanks for all the nice comments..........
Afraid I must confess that I am on a quickie at the momemnt......... sitting with my headlamp on at my laptop, typing this. For those that did not read my posts from earlier, try and guess where this is.........its a National Park in SA. :hmz: :hmz:
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:34 am

Yes barryels :dance: :dance: You got it - it is one of the four tents at Camdeboo National Park.
To me its quite plain - if you're the kind of person that thinks nature is about the Big Five in Kruger, then Camdeboo is not for you. But if you love the diversity of landscapes in South Africa, like the great outdoors, whether forest or desert, hot or cold, dry or wet.........then you will enjoy Camdeboo. This was my second stay in one of their tents and I really enjoyed it (once again). Yes, it was bitterly cold (radio reported Graaff Reinet as being minus four on Tuesday night when I slept there) and you can hear the road leading into town if you listen carefully, but otherwise it is a quite little haven, lots of game around and the vistas from the hills around the Valley of Desolation are magic.
I went for a drive through the park on Tuesday afternoon and saw lots of antelope - Springbok, Eland, Kudu, Blesbok, Wildebeest........
Driving along I saw a raptor duck into a road-side tree from a distance and slowly inched the car towards the spot some two hundred meters away. We all dream of getting great photo's of raptors taking prey, but seeing this Spotted Eagle-owl with its quarry already caught was a treat.......this was the first photo as I was getting closer and before I started shaking to much......
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:09 am

Thanks Philip1
........managed to creep closer to the owl and got this side on shot while he/she was swallowing the mouse.....
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:11 pm

Thanks for the comments.......barryels, I was the only one in the tent and each bed had two spare blankets.....I ended up sleeping under the duvet and four blankets pilled up over me. Slept fine until I had to get up and out for a shower at 6 am. The shower is as close to an open-air setup as you can get and I foolishly took all my clothes off before turning the water on (never try this when it is -4 :big_eyes: ). With my body rapidly turning bright red I put the tap on and listened to the deafening silence echoing from the fact that there was no water. I sincerely believe that I was the only naked person standing outside at 6 in the morning in the entire Karoo........ :doh:
OK - on with the owl. I kept moving the car so that I could get a front-on view. Stopping, I realized that the owl had aborted the attempt of swallowing the mouse (hoping it was not because of my disturbance and hoping it was not going to take flight). The corpse was still in his/her claws and I knew that if I stuck around and stayed still that he/she may try and swallow it again. By this time my hands started trembling in anticipation of a good photo..........
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:07 pm

Sure enough.......it didn't take long for the owl to get swallowing again. And sure enough, my pics were not all well focused :doh:. It all happens very fast and some focused on the branch next to the owl. But the afternoon light was good and I got a sequence of shots.......

Starters.......
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Determination......
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Say ahhhhhhhh.......
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Not quite.....limb problem......
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Concentrate.......
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Hope nobody is looking.......
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Why are rodents designed with tails......
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Embarrassment.......
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Just act like its part of your body......
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Smoking it.........
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Got to do something about this......
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Smirk of satisfaction......
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The full belly one-eye stare........
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Patto » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:47 pm

Firstly, Waterbuck what an incredible report with special sightings!!! :thumbs_up:

Secondly, could the owl possibly be a Cape Eagle Owl? From the pics, the eyes look more orange than yellow (one of the distinguishing factors between it and the Spotted Eagle Owl). It also has more pronounced bands on its breast.

What do the experts say? Im just a rookie here... (sorry for hijacking your TT).

Kind regards,

Pat :D
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Waterbuck
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:59 pm

Hey there Patto - nice to see you in the TR :D
To be honest, I also took two looks at the owl 'cause that exact though crossed my mind. What convinced me that it was a Spotted was the barring on belly, it being less rufous on the chest and the habitat (more woodland type). But lets have one of the bird fundies confirm / deny this. Any help out there please :hmz:
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Re: Quickies are BACK!

Unread postby Waterbuck » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:15 am

Thanks for all the nice comments :wink:. As you may recall, this is actually my TR for my last Kruger trip, but I have somehow lost direction and I am currently showing some pics of my Camdeboo visit this past week. I must have lost my direction and be suffering from the same ailment as this Springbok that I found as I was making my way towards the Valley of Desolation.
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