The leppie was gone in less than 5 minutes, I felt so lucky to have seen him!
I ventured onto the H1-6 to see the river. I followed the morning drive for a while but I could tell that the driver was getting annoyed so I moved off while he spoke to his guests about some baboons.
I crossed the high water bridge and went off towards Engelhardt. Look at the sky
The first bit of the road was great. It was riverine and bustling with birdlife, I even saw a nyala in the bushes! I haven't seen them near Letaba before.
After a Senegal Coucal spotting near Shingwedzi, I looked for the barring on the tail of the Burchell's Coucal, you can see it in this picture
I kept my eyes on the trees and hoped for an owl, but was unlucky that day.
As I headed towards the hide, I saw a car had stopped. He was looking at a Red-crested Korhaan, which I feared I may have scared away. So I stopped him and told him there was another one just down the other way right next to the road.
For a while we chatted about the revamp of Shingwedzi, where they had just been, and it sounds as if the park has done an amazing job. They only had good things to say. But other than that he said there was nothing along the road.
I took the turn to Mathambeni and was astounded by how corregated the road was. I tried to push on and hoped it was just a bad patch. As I was about to turn around in a huff, I saw the hide at the end of the road, so I went on through.
I was all alone.
It became alarmingly clear to me that I am a lonely and defenseless human with no form of protection the moment I leave my car. The bush around me was still and the hide before me hopefully empty of any baboons or worse.
It took several minutes for me to build up the courage to go in alone.
When I finally did I found the hide empty (THANK GOODNESS) but it also proved empty of any sightings, even birds.
All that for nothing.
I trudged forward to Engelheardt, the road was rocky and harsh and I worried about the little car and my all alone-ness. The birds fled form my car, to my sheer annoyance.
I crossed a beautiful weir and enjoyed the view very much before going on.
As the landscape rose the road became worse, and I huffed and puffed and cursed and turned around. The road was atrocious. And I huffed and cursed all the way down again because the bush was so quiet, and all I could hear was the rocks of the road.
I stopped at the weir and sat for a good mount of time, allowing the peace to calm my nerves, and enjoing antics of some Pied Kingfishers.
Then a car approached me from behind. So I had to move on, and he sped off past me.
Not 100m later I found an amazing surprise.
The other guy must have sped right past him!
That's two (short) leppie sightings in one morning!!!
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Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3Exploring Letaba