So over at Olifants I found this fella
Then we headed back towards Letaba. We were running short of time, so I couldn’t dally with birding or any such things.
I kept my eyes peeled for the kill though.
I found it! Now this was the current situation – the kill had been dominated by vultures. They had cleaned it off within the two hours it had taken us to get back (even less I think); there was just dirty bone, skin and some flesh left from the neck up. For those who haven’t seen these birds eating in close proximity: it is awesome as it is gory.
(look at those talons!!)
The kill was dominated by two Lappet Faced vultures. They are huuuuuuuge. I was astounded by their size! Especially in comparison with the others….
They wouldn’t let any of the other birds have a bite, none at all. The Cape Vultures neared ever closer, but as they got too close, the Lappet would turn around in sheer powerful anger and scare everyone watching, not just the cheeky Cape’s. Sometimes they would lash out and grab a wing in their enormous talons, allowing the victim to scream and plead mercy until he was satisfied. It was awesome and humbling.
On the way back we found some kudu too
I had wanted to hunt for Pels today but decided I would visit Olifants another day for this.
At camp we had a quick dip in the pool and then hit the road again. We went up the H1-6 and headed onto the river loop to try our luck. The condition of the small loop after all the rain…
Through the thick Mopani charged two freaked out impala rams, one even tripped on the road before composing himself and running off again. We searched but the bush was so think we couldn’t see a thing. Nothing else showed itself, except..
Then just before my favourite part of the loop, we found this.
I just love the bush when it’s so green!
4-5kms back we found ellie! They must have been hidden by the thick bush!
I love how the bush doesn’t stay static, things are always changing.
We looked for a squirrel we often find on the smaller loop, screaming at passing cars (we called him p***ed off squirrel) but he was off shouting at someone else.
Saw some nervous waterbuck on the loop and sat with them for a while but the time forced us to get back to the gate before we got into trouble.
It was New Year’s Eve, so we conjured up an enormous braai and cooked ourselves a feast. The bush was so alive after all the rain (unfortunately insects were included in that excitement) and the crickets and cicadas were singing to their heart’s content, fireflies were cruising over the river and everything was alive but peaceful (mostly after the raucous from the restaurant died down). There, alongside the river in the wilderness, we spent the first hours of the New Year surrounded by life.
_________________Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014
Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3Exploring Letaba