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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:46 am 
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Beautiful scenery :cam: MxM :clap: :clap: .

Also great birdie pictures :dance: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Thanks for the kind comments, all. I appreciate it and feel motivated to continue.

Thanks for turning the page, barryels. I try to keep the pics limited, but there are so many, so lets hope the pages keep on turning.

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Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:12 pm 
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
John, I am now also here to help turn the page :thumbs_up:

Thanks for sharing

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April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:19 pm 
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A new page is coming :dance:

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Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th ,Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP booked


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Location: France for a while
While waiting a new page we could start telling a story ? :hmz:

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Carpe diem

2014:
Golden Gate july 25th-27th,
Cambedoo july 30th-31th,
MZNP august 1st-4th,
Addo august 5-8th,
Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth august 9th-11th ,Ebb and Flow : 12th-15th
Bontebok:16-17th
Agulhas:18th

2015 : KTP booked


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Location: Secunda
11.3. Day 3 – Getting into nature’s rhythm

Distance covered: 151 km
Route travelled: Nossob river-lower dune road-Auob river
Daily fuel consumption: 8.6 l/100km
Maximum temperature: 40oC
Food: packet of crisps, oats biscuits, Rolo ice-cream, Coke Light, 2 pies (1 chicken and mushroom, 1 venison)
Highlights spotted: porcupine, brown hyena, bat-eared fox, hunting owl
Favourite moment: feeling of booking first ever SANParks activity – night drive
Birding lifers: black-chested snake-eagle, Kalahari scrub-robin, chat flycatcher
List of birds for this trip: black-headed heron, secretary bird, black-chested snake-eagle, rock kestrel, crowned lapwing, laughing dove, spotted eagle-owl, pearl-breasted swallow, cape crow, Kalahari scrub-robin, chat flycatcher, crimson-breasted shrike, dusky sunbird

As became my daily routine (although I prefer the word, tradition), I awoke at 0516 according to my cell – this is about 0511 regular time. I took a relatively cool shower (not only as it was not that hot, but also to save on power); this also kept the showers shorter which saved water, something I felt had some poetic justification being in the desert.

I was a touch low on fuel as the sandy roads were making me use significantly more fuel than expected (giving the driving speeds and style, on a flat tar road I would get closer to 7.6 than 8.6 l/100km – not that I wanted the tar roads, I was just not prepared for the increased fuel usage). As I was too late the previous evening to fill up and I did not want to wait until the pumps opened, I wanted to be out the gate to experience my first sunrise drive in KTP, I rather changed from the plan of doing the long upper dune road and did the LDR instead. Also, I was extremely tired. I was trying to balance being on holiday and doing some work, after all, it’s the few special images I hoped to get that would need to pay for the trip later. The heat was by no means unbearable as a rule, but I remember moving slowly when outside on this day, it was super scorching, and coming from a Paarl/Stellenbosch kid where the schools did not have aircon, this is noteworthy heat. The long driving was also taking a toll – I am accustomed to sharing the driving with SO doing most of the highway stints as she enjoys it, so doing all the km myself was just a little tiring I guess. Working until late (I would download, back up, ID birds and delete the bad images in the evening) and being up with the sun was also working my gizzard into a tickle. So, I decided, I can take it easy today, maybe even nap.

Let's now start with some images. First up are some general images of relatively common guys I saw near TR.

I prefer not to overlook the common: a brown bird or an everyday springbok - it is still a privilege to see wild animals in the wild!
Image

Much like kori bustards, I have a special liking for secretary birds. I reckon it stems from their unique look, but surely their dance when trying to catch a snake must add to their appeal? Anyhow, I saw quite a number of them, however, like so many animals/birds I encounter, that elusive "wow, that is the shot" photograph is still waiting for me on a different trip. This guy was hunting, but did not find his lunch at this bush.
Image

There was little wind so the flies were really a pest - luckily not for me (I did have my shower). Btw, here is a big photographic lesson. Study the picture and then read the rest of this paragraph... Did you see it? I have the white balance set on sunny when much of the time, like with this shot, it was overcast, hence the yellow hue. I like to use custom white balance settings where I actually set the temperature to a specific number based on what my eye sees. In this case, when I am taking many shots over a few hours where the light changes, conditions change, and the camera must be ready for that life changing sighting, I prefer auto white balance (also the only thing on my cameras that I leave on auto). The 1D4 does a good job. However, a week before the trip, while I was testing other equipment, I let a friend borrow my 1D4 while we shot birds together, he changed it. He said he let me know but I probably was more focused on the view from the hide than something about white balance. STUPID! I check battery levels, I check that the camera is in high burst mode, Av, all of it, but I assumed the AWB was fine as I had not adjusted it in a long time. Check, always check.
Image

Gotta love these little guys. I saw fewer than I thought I would outside the camps.
Image

Always a smile when I spot one. The only time I ever really got much success with these little guys was at MZNP last year when there were 4 near my chalet.
Image

First sighting of one for me. I was sure I would see many later, but hey, rather safe and get a shot in now. Anyhow, it's a new birdy for me.
Image

Let this be a hint to the first teeth and first totally exciting part of my trip. Son godin and the organised game drives saw the same guys a few times.
Image

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:48 am 
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Awesome pictures MxM! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:15 am 
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hilda wrote:
Awesome pictures MxM! :clap: :clap:


agreed :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

It does seem that fuel is a serious consideration. Thanks for the warning.

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:51 pm 
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Thanks for all the awesome pictures, Matt :clap: :clap: :clap:

Especially the landscape and the birdies are my favourites :thumbs_up:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:11 pm 
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MxM the spotted hyena silhouette is a great photo. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:31 pm 
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Day 3 continued...

A group of five hyenas came down the hill and played next to and in the road. I was brave this day and allowed some light rain to hit my favourite lens. I threw a towel over it and luckily, as the rain was not too hard, the lens itself did not get wet. A general note, however, is that after such incidents, check for any droplets as not only will they leave waster marks but will also make a nice big dust spot as they dry. Keep a suitable lens cleaning cloth with you (I keep a spectacles microfiber cloth - standard type - in a plastic cover in the side of my car). It appeared to my less trained eye that the one was with child(ren). Anybody who could confirm?

Image

Somehow, these creatures manage to look devious most of the time, like they are about to help rob a bank.
Image

Ok, so here are two cases of them looking cute.
Image

Image

Note that, especially with shots where there is little action, make sure you get some good eye contact and an detail of the face. Wait for good poses, especially ones that accentuate the shape and/or size of the subject: hyenas have an odd shape so a shot that is at least partially side-on will look interesting. But the eyes are the key. Rather wait for a good pose than take lots of pictures of angles that you could tell then are not worth the time - they just take up space on a hard drive and take time to delete while wading through.
Image

Image

Image

So, that concludes the first big stop for me. Light was dull, but by setting the camera to be a little lighter (exposure bias), all was well. Note that these images were all in late November - the rains were threatening their arrival but the ground was still dry and the vegetation seemed dead or non-existent.

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:02 pm 
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Hello MxM

Enjoying this report - I particularly enjoy the way you pay attention to the small stuff as well as the big stuff. Looking forward to the next instalment.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:17 pm 
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Fantastic hyena pics

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:09 am 
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The difference in colour of the two Hyenas in the last picture is very interesting MxM! The "red" one must have rolled around in the red dunes! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:34 am 
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Very Nice photos of the Hyenas MxM. Hoping to see them in two week's time. Great trip report. Cant wait for the rest.

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