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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Son godin, ( no problem with the dates- I missed it :cry: ) Sharifa, MM, Hilda, Pumbaa, John n poppy and Heksie. Heksie, you have me in stitches with SIES MAN!

Well, a new day has dawned, and it another long trip down south to Skuks, which unlike many others, I love very much. It has an ambience unlike other camps. A lot to see, a lot to do. What would this day hold? Ready to leave at about 0600, I say a sad goodbye to Letaba. Reflecting on the flood damage which was so recent, I am glad that during my time there, I had seen minimum damage. A hearty congratulations to Sanparks for doing a sterling job on repairs, and making everything look like nothing had happened.
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Hyena, the first of the trip, cam trundling along, with determination to get back to its den and hardly sparing me a glance as it passed.
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A quick stop to have a look at the Oliphants before I join the detour road. I was a bit sad that I could not get to that lovely vista point outside Oliphants. But the river always provide some lovely photos.
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And the hippos were having a party, especially a young one was having a romp. Spent quite a bit of time watching them, while sipping a cup of coffee.
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Oops I see that I have to load some more photos to the Photobucket. So that will have to be it for tonight.
Cheerio.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:28 pm 
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Thanks MM( :thumbs_up: for Skuks), Hilda and Sharifa. OK, uploaded at least the next installment.
Here's a handsome bachelor in Modelling mode.
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My initial thinking on seeing this bird was Groundscraper Thrush, which I would have been happy with. Turns out to be a Dusky Lark, (please correct me if I'm wrong) which my edition of Roberts birds describes as "uncommon non-breeding intra-african migrant". I was even happier to have seen it after I id't it back home.
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This tortoise was catching the early morning sun.
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Most of us will know the fantastic views of Oliphants Camp. But as you approach the camp, there is also some views to delight. Just love these kind of panorama pics.

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And a pit stop at Oliphants revealed this Red winged Starling that had an identity crisis. Everytime it looked at itself in the mirror, it regurgitated whatever was in its crop. This happened about 4 times. Crisis?
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Reverse focus
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Regurgitating
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A quick pose
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And then another sickening-look-at-myself
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Good night.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Thanks Hilda, MM, Pumbaa and Joanm456. Joanm456, those green dragonflies were fearless, and I had to make sure the were looking the other way before I got back into the tent. Oh, and she never came back for pillow talk. It would have been a crushing exercise. 1 dead insect, 1 guilty forumite.
Some pics of the fabulous vista that Oliphants affords.
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Never seen this cute statue before, even after many years of visiting Oliphants Camp.
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The impala lilies were looking gorgeous.
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As was this flower just outside the camp
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Somewhere along the way I must have taken this pleasant image.
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Moving Down to Skuks, what a wonderful treat to see these 3 beauties in one tree.
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Good night


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Thank you Cheetah2111, Hilda, Pumbaa and Puppy. Hilda, it's probably a good thing I only saw it on this trip, otherwise it would'nt be there anymore. It is a rather cute statue.
Moving south, a few more pics, before I reach the S100, which is the plan today.
Wildebeest are always seen around Satara, this one seems to have a pattern on its hide.
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Red Billed Quella, difficult birds to photograph, as they never sit still long enough, and flit from tree to tree.
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The Red backed Shrikes were much more obliging
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As was this Lesser Grey Shrike
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And the Long tailed Shrike.
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And the delightful Carmine Bee Eater. I'm sorry folks, I do love this bird, so you'r gonna see a lot more of it. I miss it very much when they are not there in the winter months.
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This bird was a bit fast for me, bu I was very glad to have seen it, connected I am sure with the RHino poaching. Sanparks Helicopter :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:40 pm 
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This chapter I will merely call-Four Friends. A delight to see.
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They were joined by some Zebra and Warthogs, but they were not allowed to drink.
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Playing a bit with Post processing to create an artistic effect.
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Quintessential Kruger
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Here's one giving his ear a good wash
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Good night


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:47 pm 
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Thank you Barryels, MM, Hilda and Pumbaa. Hilda and MM, every trip top Kruger I try to get an image of the Red Billed Quella. Hardly ever successful. They drive me nuts.
My apologies for not installment last night. Blame it on teh EUFA semifina between Barcelona and Chelsea. What a game. By the end, my throat was sore from the shouting-hence no postings :)

So still moving south, just outside Satara fence, this beauty of a Tusker.
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Along with some members of the family
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Close by this impala was mocking my intentions of doing the infamous S100.
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Some wildebeest wanted to cross the road to join the Impala
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More tonight- before the next Semi final of the EUFA.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Thanks Aat, Hilda and Sharifa. Aat, I am tempted to ask you about some of these tuskers I have seen, but I've opted not to give you any further work :lol:

Moving on, still getting to the S100. Captured this beautiful scene. Forgive me if you think its a bit much, but I did warn about the abundance of the Carmine Bee Eater on this TR. It was just special to watch this bird brak off the legs of this locust before swallowing the real juicy parts.
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And finally on to the S100. This fellow had some decidedly amorous intentions
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She was a bit shy though, what with another handsome young buck sitting in car not far away :tongue:
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Lots of general game, including this young fellow
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He evev stuck his tongue out "ne ne ne, you're not as handsome as I am."
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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:46 pm 
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A lot of elephants as usual
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A small herd with some young-I was very happy that they were across the river.
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Some big bulls too.
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and the best of the S100-Some black storks, which I have not seen in yonks.
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The wildebeest on the S100 are almost tame. I could reach out and touch them if I wanted. So got a few portrait shots.
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The Kudu were more reticent to show themselves, this fellow allowed only this and before I could even zoom out, he was gone.
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Next up- the things that made this the saddest of days in the Kruger


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Thank you Hilda, Sharifa, Heksie, Pumbaa, Charinda, Radman, MM and Barryels. MM, that Chelsea/Barcelona game was matchless :tongue:

Better get this TR going again. A quick visit to Satara for Petrol (running out of petrol is one thing you avoid in KNP) revealed this very appealling plant
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This Giraffe looked at me skew.
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Then straightened out a bit
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Then the first of the 3 sad things. ABout 3 km from Satara, came across the sad sight of a burnt out car, with some trees and grass still smouldering, so it must have happened a few minutes before I got there. Not the kind of thing you hope to see in Kruger. My first instincts, on seeing the Helicopter and some guys on the cell phones, walking up and down, was that this was related to poaching-car chase ending with this crash and burn-out. If only! Turns out, as has been reported on this Forum, a lady from the Finnish Embassy in Pretoria. How very sad that is. We were not allowed to stop, let alone take some photos. The guy before me tried, but was firmly and decisively told to move on, which I was glad about. We have enough road carnage here in Gauteng to take pics of. It does make one philosophical of course. Not the way one wants to die, though the location is spot on. From what I can gather, the police and Sanparks handled this situation very well indeed and are to be commended.

The brief stop at Satara did show Lions on the way south, and sure enough, I found him. A lone Male, doing his usual unco-opertaive lazing around, doing nothing. Despite the number of cars, he merely carried on in his lazy mode. I did like his Mohican hairstyle though :)
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And then the next of the sad things- this makes me so mad. Now it is possible that the Impala jumped a bit too high and crash landed to cause this injury, but I think not. This is road kill, of the worst possible kind. Poor Impala. For the senstive viewers, my apologies. I post in the hope that it will cause all of us to drive with extra care in the Park. Having seen a snake killed before my eyes, this is not exactly what I wanted to see again.
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Whoever did it- should not be allowed in the Park for a 100 years. :sniper: :sniper: :sniper: :sniper: :sniper:

It had attracted its'usual spectators-or should I say hungry fellas.
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Amongst them a Tawny-Such an opportunistic bird
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Usually I woudl wait a while at something like this, in the hope that a lion/leopard/hyena would come along to eat on the carcass. The birds were obviously waiting for such visit, but I had to get to Skuks, so moved alon


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:06 pm 
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While the going is good, and before it gets tough :)
Somewhere along the road came across this family of Saddle Billed Storks, together with Woolly Necked Storks and plovers. A lovely sighting, just what I needed after that road kill. My favourite bird.
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At one of the many dams-the Grey Heron was still in the trees
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Mazithi Dam also had something in store to make me glad.

Giraffes
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and a Rhino :dance: :dance: Except he was playing copy-cat with the lion. No movement.
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This Hammerkop had migrated recently from Sunset Dam, where he learned a trick or two from the Herons there.
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More tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:38 pm 
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John, agree that i could be an accident, but then again, this kind of thing will happen only if you are travelling faster than is allowed. I just get mad.

Moving along towards Skuks- a visit to Leeupan is always a must. This time it was more rewarding than on the way up.
First time I have seen this bird, and I was very happy-Pygmy Goose.
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With his partner
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A lone buffalo was also there
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And then a young Elephant came to drink. He was in a boisterous mood by all acounts, and would not let an impala drink at the waterhole, chasing it away.
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Chasing the impala
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A car was parked to the far left of the dam, and he headed their way, but they had been watching him too, and like me, promptly moved off. Too boisterous for my liking.
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Good night.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:48 pm 
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Thank you Pumbaa, Barryels, Heksie and Norms. Still along way to go, so better get on with it.
Just before Leeupan, came across a pair of Big Tuskers. Man, are they beautiful. Spent a bit of time with them, gentle giants, munching away, hardly glancing my way, which is just the way I like it.

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And then the next, and probably the saddest of the 3 events of the day. Exactly 34 km from Skuks, came across this, what must have surely been an orphaned Rhino calf. Now anybody who knows a bit about Rhinos, will know that the calves are never far from mom (hanging onto mums apron strings for 2 years is how it is aptly described) so coming across a Rhino calf, with no mom in sight anywhere is very disturbing. And some other folk gathered there mentioned the presence of Hyena's in the immediate vacinity, though I never got to see them myself. There was the calf, standing in the shade of a tree, beside the road (another indications that it was probably an orphanes calf). Well, I made a mark of the distance from there to Skuks, went immediately to the reception, reported it, was transferred to what I think was the "protection unit" who thanked me for the info, and assured me it would be investigated immediately, and I would receive feed back on whatever findings were made. To date I have not received any feedback, but I am happy to leave it in the capable hands of Sanparks. Normally, I do not believe we should interfere with the course of nature, but in this instance, what with the wanton killing of our precious Rhino's, I felt an effort should be made to rescue this toddler, it was too precious to leave to the inevitable. I hope they found it, and did something about it. I wanted to jump out the car, grab it, bundle it into my car, and take it to the nearest Rhino orphanages that seem to be springing up all over the place. What a sad commentary for our Rhino's. I t looked very forlorn, and not the happy young Rhino's that I am used to, comfortable in the protective presence of mom, and sometimes dad as well. Does'nt seem as of anybody else thought of reporting it to Sanparks, as I was the first to report it at Skuks. Guess other people also felt that non-interference with nature is the route to go.
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Further south, some buffalo
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Got to Skuks about 16:00 and did the report, checking in etc. And the rest of the day spent at Lake Panic. What a great place to reflect on these sombre things of KNP.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Thanks Barryels, Hilda and Pumbaa. Sorry this is taking longer than I anticipated, have been quite busy of late, with only brief moments to check whats going on on the forum.

Images from Lake Panic to close this day.
This cutie pie, safe and secure with mom, unllike that Rhino.
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Success
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Submerging Hippo's
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Sometimes they are close enough for a real close portrait
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And on my way back to Skuks-This fellow stopped a moment to look at me
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Got the fright of his life and was gone
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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:52 pm 
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Good grief, this is the slowest TR I've done. Thanks for your comments Hilda, Sharifa, MM, Charinda and Barryels.
Day 4- 24 March.
Woke up reasonably early, having already decided to head towards Phabeni gate today, in the hope to see some wild dog and leopard that have been spotted so often on this road.
A Guinea fowl was there to greet me early in the morning.
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It was very quiet, a few birds, which made me think that today I am in the wrong place at the wrong time :hmz: Of course that can never tbe the case with Kruger-anywhere in Kruger is the right place at teh right time- You just gotta add some animals.
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The beauty of the place is everywhere to be seen.
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Then across a tree with quite a few Pygmy Falcons. A wonderful sighting, as I admire these lightest and smallest of our raptors. I counted 7 of them in the tree.
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At this spot, another forumite arrived- Mellory and her SO, Holigan. I have met them on a few occasions in the Park, on one occasion they gave me some yellow ribbon, after I had forgotten mine back home.
THey were also looking for the Wild dogs, but like me had experienced a quiet morning. They had seen some lions on a kill near Phabeni gate, which was hopeful. We chatted a bit, wishing each other the best for the rest of the day. This was the socnd time on this trip that I met them, the other being at Lake Panic.

THis Francolin was also there to greet me.
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The sighting of this young Kudu caused a bit of a traffic jamwhich was a bit confusing, but I guess like me, the sightings had been poorer than usual that morning.
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Some long tailed Shrikes were there too.
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This aeroplane was circling a lot -and I figured it had somethign to do with the Rhino Poaching-well at least I hope so.
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These Giraffes were squizzing me out
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This sight greeted me as I approached Phabeni- a little mountain top bathed in sunlight
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 Post subject: Re: Kruger in a sombre mood in March
Unread postPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Thank you Pumbaa, Hilda and Barryels. Just been reading the "speeding in the Park" thread again, having jsut seen the Citizen Newspaper's front page article about the 7 impala killed by a contractor near Skukuza. Its a catastrophe, and needs catastrophic measures to combat the carnage. Makes my one dead impala posted earlier look a bit mild.
Moving on- What route to follow from Phabeni? Well the S3 has always been good to me, so lets follow that one. Turns out to have been the right decision-for me at any rate.

My second sighting of this illusive-never-sit-still-bird.
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LBR
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That beauty again
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And this fellow. See this bird regularly in the suburbs oif Johannesburg, but somehow always seems special to see them in the wild environment.

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And a hundred meters further yet another one - S3 is being good to me
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ANd that other beauty was also in attendance
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