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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:04 am 
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Thanks for sharing another wonderful series of springbok pictures :clap: :clap: .

They are just so cute :dance: :dance: .

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:25 am 
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These baby Springbokkies are absolutely adorable! Thanks Kesheshe! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:26 am 
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Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

We then turned around and headed south in the direction of TR and our first unusual encounter was of a pcg eating a snake and then flying off with it to demolish its meal. Not too long after this we spotted another cape cobra again surprisingly quite small but entertaining all the same as it went from bush to bush in search of food.

Just as we started down the road again SO spotted an African wildcat dart across the road in front of us and into the first tree it could find on the left hand side. When we got there to our surprise it had flushed out a barn owl from its nest to the outer branches of the trees. We sat here for about 20 minutes observing the consternation of the owl regarding the wildcat taking its home and contemplating where it was going to stay for the rest of the day.

The remainder of the drive to TR was quiet and we made fairly good time arriving at 11.15am. the first activity on the list was to fill fuel which took a while as we put in more than 120liters. On completing this we went to the shop to our surprise it was half empty as they were relocating for the upcoming renovation of the existing shop. We were basically looking for water and ice which we got but they had ran out of 5litres therefore we only took enough 1.5l bottles to keep us going in the hope of finding 6litre bottles in the next few days.

Death is always around in KTP.

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Crowned Plover

Breeding occurs in the spring months from July to October. The nest is in a shallow depression in the soil with a lining of vegetation and other debris. The nests are on flat ground near a shade tree and mammal droppings that are the same colour as the eggs. There are normally 3 eggs, sometimes 2 or 4. Incubation requires 28 to 32 days and is done by both sexes. Immediately after hatching the young leave the nest while both parents look after them.

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Pale Chanting Goshawk

Pale Chanting Goshawks are generally monogamous (have only one mate). However, rarely a female pairs up with two males (a primary and a secondary male). The secondary male assists with the breeding activities and, on occasion, also mates with the female. The reasons for this behaviour may be that the breeding territory needs to be defended by more than one male or that it takes two males to secure the food for the brooding female and the chicks.

During the wet season, they usually produce one brood. When conditions are particularly favourable, they may attempt a second brood. In particularly dry years, they may not breed at all.

At the beginning of the breeding season, the male - while perched on top of a tall tree - makes his melodious display call, continuously calling for hours at a time. The female and male can then be seen soaring together in circles.

Nesting varies depending on the latitude, mostly from May to February with peaks from July to November.

Their nests are usually situated on the upper fork of tall trees at heights of 10 - 33 feet (3 to 10 meters), or is placed on man-made structures, such as utility poles, survey beacons and steel pylons / transmission towers.

The nest is built by both the male and the female (and the extra male, if applicable).

The stick nest is relatively small, measuring about 20 inches (50 cm) across, with a cup-like indentation in the middle that is about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The nest is lined with anything suitable that the parents might find in their environment, including plant matter (i.e., leaves, grass), bird feathers, spider webs, rags, wool, rope, paper, plastic bags, dung, regurgitated pellets - even small bird nests. The nest is occasionally re-used during the following season or they may build a new nest. If they do, they often move the nesting material of their old nest to their new structure.

The female lays at intervals of several days 1 - 2 (occasionally 3) pale bluish or greenish white, unmarked eggs. The eggs are incubated for 33 - 37 days. Both parents fiercely protect the nest site.

If several eggs are laid, the young hatch at intervals of several days. The female feeds the young with food provided by the male. Both parents defend the chicks; however, in most cases only one of chicks survives to the end of the nesting period –likely caused by lack of food or predation. The chicks fledge when they are about 6 - 7 weeks old. The young will remain near the nest for several months or even the next year. Some eventually even breed in the same area.

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Cape Cobra

This species is oviparous. Mating season is during the months of September and October, when these snakes may be more aggressive than usual. Females will lay between 8 and 20 eggs (roughly 60 X 25 mm in size) in midsummer (December–January), in a hole or an abandoned termite mound or some other warm, wet location.The hatchlings measure between 34 and 40 centimetres (13 and 16 in) in length and are completely independent from birth.

In one captive study, mating occurred in the month of September and oviposition in November. Gestation period was approximately 42 days and the incubation period was 65–70 days at about 28-33°C (82.4-91.4°F). Clutch size was 11-14 (n=2) and hatchling ratio was one male to five females.

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Great sighting with wonderful narration kesheshe :clap: :clap: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:17 pm 
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Thank you for all the information Kesheshe! Very interesting, and your pictures are stunning! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:24 pm 
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Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

It is not often that I have seen barn owls during the day so it was a good sighting for us.

Barn Owl

Barn Owls eat mainly small mammals like voles, shrews and mice. Prey is often swallowed whole and indigestible parts are then regurgitated (coughed up) in the form of an owl pellet. Barn Owls do not hoot - they screech.

Barn Owls have remarkably long legs, toes and talons enabling them to catch prey hidden at the base of deep vegetation. When viewed from above Barn Owls are quite well camouflaged, as the rough grassland over which they usually hunt is predominantly light brown for most of the year. When viewed from below their white under sides are hard to see against the light of the sky.

Barn Owls hunt at night, and although they have very good eyesight, they rely mostly on their sense of hearing. Researchers found that in total blackness Barn Owls are still able to find the smallest of prey because of their excellent hearing.

Owl ears are located one higher than the other, which helps them to pinpoint tiny sounds. During flight, the left ear captures sounds below while the right ear focuses on sounds from above. The feathers on the edge of the Barn Owls' face create a disc, which works to trap and focus sound, rather like our outer ears. On average a wild Barn Owl eats about 4 small mammals per night, that's 1,460 per year!

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:59 pm 
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where did you find this Owl :mrgreen:
magnificent :dance: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:13 am 
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wonderful sighting of the barn owl, kesheshe :clap: :clap:

I hope you are going to show us the AWC as well :popcorn:

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TR KTP 2013 http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=75196
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TR KNP 2013 Gatita's KNP - will we visit a green park again? March 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:31 pm 
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So what was a Barn Owl called before its current name. Surely they haven't always roosted in barns. Great pictures and info.

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:42 pm 
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Thank you for your fantastic TR really enjoying it, with mounds of valuable information 8) and stunning :cam: :thumbs_up:

Photos of the Barn owl are superb. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thanks for sharing

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Some different sightings for sure. Lucky :mrgreen: :clap: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:43 pm 
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WoW Kesheshe,

I am totally :mrgreen: about your barn owl sighting and for sure all the brilliant pictures you took :clap: :clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:19 am 
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Day 14 - 16th October - Continued

We departed and headed over the dune road towards to the Auob river bed to complete the triangle drive back to KK. It was no real surprise when we ran into the cheetahs as they have been active the few days we have been here. What was a nice surprise was that they had killed a springbok had eaten what was required and moved on. The remaining part of the springbok was still substantial which raised a few questions in our mind regarding do cheetahs only eat fresh or would they come back and eat the balance of the springbok.

We left the kill and continued down the road and it was a surprise to us that instead of the usual 3 and 1 cheetah we had all 4 cheetah together. They were on the other side of the riverbank under a tree in the shade as per normal so we did not spend too much time there as it was now the middle of the day and boiling hot.

just before camp we spotted movement in the dune about 1 km from camp and where surprised to see an AWC on the move in the middle of the day.

We eventually reached our chalet and before we managed to get in willem nicely told us we missed the giraffe and this was quite frustrating as we had not seen one yet.

He then further surprised us by telling and showing us that the barn owls had moved from no2 and was visiting us in no3. This was a great surprise. After unpacking a few things we had chicken and salad for lunch and then showered and had a rest for 2 hours.

Snake - ID help please!

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Fork Tailed Dronga

Diet: Fork-tailed drongos feed on flying as well as crawling insects, spiders, scorpions, and other crawling animals, and also on small birds, and they dive into water for fish.

Reproduction (Breeding): The female lays three spotted or plain eggs, whitish to pinkish in colour, and the incubation period is about 17 days. The chicks take another 18 days before they reach flying age.

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spotted thick knee dikkop

•Monogamous, usually territorial solitary nester, although it occasionally forms loose colonies. It often rears two or even three broods in a single breeding season.

•The nest (see images below) is a shallow scrape in the ground, sometimes unlined but usually with a lining of a few twigs, animal droppings, leaves or stone chips. It is usually located in grassland, either out in the open or partially concealed beneath a bush

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AWC

SOCIAL HABITS: Being nocturnal and shy, African Wild Cats are seldom seen during the day. They are difficult to tame, and can become poultry thieves.

HABITAT: Semi-desert to forest and from sea level up to about 1 600 m. Cover includes rocks, bushes, tall grasses, crops and disused Aardvark or Spring Hare burrows.

FOOD / FEEDING HABITS: Small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects are their main prey.

REPRODUCTION & GESTATION PERIOD: Generally African Wild Cats have a litter of 3 kittens after a gestation period of about 56 days.

ENEMIES: Adults could be killed in fights and by other predators, while eagles and pythons are a danger to the kittens.

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KK Camp

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Surprise at our unit

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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:12 am 
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A few bumper filled episodes with some stunning stunning photos. the cheetahs are magnificent, the springboks are cute but I love the images of the barn owls. Thanks for sharing!!! :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Exploring KTP In October
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:31 am 
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Wonderful sightings kesheshe :clap: :clap: .

Love the barn owls :dance: :dance: .

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