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 Post subject: Tobieo's A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP, June '13
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
I recently spent a short weekend in Kruger and would like to share some images with you.

I only arrived fairly late Friday afternoon and after checking in at Skukuza made my way to Lake Panic. I will start with a strange behavior between 2 dragon flies (for me strange) Any explanation will be appreciated.

I noticed a dragon fly sitting on a twig with a red one pestering it all the time. As soon as the blue one (sorry no ID :redface: ) landed the red one would fly towards it and even land on it. Is this two different species, male and female?? Is it protecting it's territory? Help please :shock:

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While this was happening this purple one enjoyed the sunshine..

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Hi Tobie, absolutely beautiful pics, very well crafted with a very steady hand! Wish I could do that. :mrgreen:

In an attempt at finding an explanation for the dragonfly behaviour, I've had a look at a wonderful reference book I have called "African Insect Life" by Dr. S.H. Skaife, a legendary entymologit from way back, and revised by John Ledger in 1979. I used to play at "amateur anything-to-do-with-nature" and so this has been on my bookshelf for many years, apart from the occasional browse. I suspect these dragonflies (Order: Odonata) are of the same species, courting, as the sexes are usually different colours, hence the blue and red. Could be Orthetrum caffrum, but not certain of this. Interestingly, these insects mate on the fly, so keep an eye out for a pair flying along in tandem! :redface:
For the scientists in our midst, I'm guessing the purple one looks like it is a Trithemis, probably waiting for some prey to come by, which is typical behaviour.


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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
My friend is not very helpful (or I am very stupid) This is some information that is available on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthetrum_caffrum

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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While we are trying to clarify if the dragonflies are in fact Two-striped Skimmers it is time to start a fresh early morning at Lake Panic

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I will only post further photo's after the page has turned otherwise I slow down the downloads :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Hi Tobieo.
Great photos so far!
I am no expert on dragonflies but hopefully I have some answers on your queries.
Firstly, the 2 dragonflies have a different body shape and therefore I think they are different species. Prof Erik Holm always says that a dragonfly reacts in 3 ways to every other dragonfly: 1st it tries to mate with it; if not successfull it tries to eat it!; if not possible it finally chases it away.
I think your photos show hostile behaviour between individuals from 2 different species.
My best guess at the ID's: The red one is probably in the genus Crocothemis (Scarlets). The darker one is either in the genus Orthetrum (Skimmers) or Trithemis (Dropwings). The purple dragonfly is probably a Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).

Hope this helps. Check out Warwick Tarboton's website on birds and dragonflies for some nice pictures of many species of dragonfly.

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Let us start where I left off with some early morning images from a (not too) chilly morning

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The sun tried it's best to warm up the African Darter

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The darter then decided it was time to go and find a quick snack although it turned out to be quite a struggle to swallow

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The Black Crakes then made their appearance enforce and were also looking for an early morning snack

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Even the younger ones eventually showed themselves
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tbc

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:21 pm 
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The Pied Kingfishers stayed busy for most of the morning

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Then their colorful family arrived
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stayed tuned for the next episode

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Here are some of the other feathered ones that kept my shutter finger very busy

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tbc

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:09 pm 
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This beauty was enjoying the early morning sun

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Some funny facial excersizes
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before enjoying a nice snack

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These guys were chased by something

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while this guy came really close to show off his hairy ears
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tbc

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
There were two Goliath Herons hunting when I arrived, one to the east and the other to the south of the hide.

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I did not realize that the Goliath Heron had such a long tongue. When I first noticed this I thought he was busy eating a lizard. I was so surprised when I it struck me it is actually his tongue

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At one stage the "eastern" heron flew to the "southern" one and for about a minute there was a huge fight with really a lot of noise, water splashing and probably feathers flying. :sori: no pictures as it ALL happened behind the reed bush in front of the hide (south side). Very soon it flew back to the eastern side and continued to hunt as if nothing has happened.

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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
This hippo is yawning from boardroom as he would like the bus to continue as the 2 day journey is almost over but it would appear as if the last hill is halting the momentum :tongue:
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 Post subject: Re: A 2 day photographic excursion to KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:07 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Some final images of this short, but most enjoyable two days in one of South Africa's gems
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Although it was in winter just look at the number of ticks (no not that :naughty: )

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This Giant Kingfisher was enjoying a fish on a branch next to the Sabie River but was unfortunately not too happy with me watching him

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I love watching troops of baboons as you get some amazing interaction. Unfortunately this was very late in the afternoon and quite far off so the quality not too good but I would still like to share with you.

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Thank you for joining me on this journey. Keep watching this space as my next visit is in 5 weeks time after which I am off to Kgalagadi for 2 weeks in Oct / Nov. :yaya:

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