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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:46 pm 
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anne-marie wrote:
it's a nursery :lol:
magnificent :clap: and nice to see all these raptors all together :dance:
one seems indeed a very new one :wink:


A nursery with lots of carers of different races. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Thanks, Richard! :thumbs_up: Also for the new page, so I can get on with the overload. :whistle: :redface:

This bateleur one had me in stitches:

Spreading the legs…
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Image

Image

…uhm, no good. Let’s start all over again:

Image

Image

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Check… Nah, still no good… One more go…

Image

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And start leaning forward…
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… and further…
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… and flat out:
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We laughed so hard that all photos that followed came out absolutely bonkers. :slap: But hey, I got treated big time for many an hour of relative silence. The day was mine again. :mrgreen:

Eventually we proceeded towards GK as it was getting hot and we were getting bothered after the so far long drive. We were met by Franco, the camp attendant. Another first timer as well and an absolutely pleasant one as I had read so much great stuff about him on the forums. All I can say is that every word is justified. Franco is brilliant! :thumbs_up:

That night we would have our first brownie sighting at GK. :clap:

TBC with the other sightings of this day. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Other sightings of the day:

Steenbok with an itch, just outside the camp:
Image

The red dunes in the early morning:
Image

White-backed vulture against a deep blue sky:
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Cape Cobra, slightly hostile:
Image

Image

Black-headed heron at Gunong (I think):
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One of the very few occasion with a BSE:
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A cheerfully coloured LBR:
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At GK camp:

Image Black-faced waxbill

Image The noisy sociable weaver lout.

Image Bliss!


The downer of the day was this red-necked falcon… :roll: I shouted “Stop”! to take a photo of it as I had thechallenge going with a certain Duke E. :wink: and this was the first red-necked falcon we had seen so far. (If I had know then what I know now, I would have never bothered to attempt to photograph this guy :twisted: )

Anyway, Spots slammed the breaks so hard that the camera on the backseat smashed into the armrest between the two frontseats… I don’t blame SO though… Was my fault just as well. How can one possibly be so daft to let the camera sit unsecured on the backseat like that??? :slap: :slap: :slap: Still awaiting the quote for the repair… :roll:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Seeing that I got a new page already...

Day 4
24/10/2012 Grootkolk

Our first highlight was already early in the morning: We had gotten up just in time at 5.30 am to see a brownie coming to the waterhole. :dance: :dance: Otherwise we took it slow after the long travel the day before and left the camp only around 7.15 am instead of 6.00 am with gate opening. Not far after the turn off from GK in northern direction I saw two batties cuddling up together in the sun. Unfortunately they decided to hide behind the sparse grass and all I could get was some ears. :slap:

Image

5 k’s north I noticed a golden dot in the wheat fields and was pleased to see we had found ourselves our first lion. Far off and therefore rubbish for photos:

Image

But on this trip something new had set in: Experience over photos. Kinda weird, I suppose. :lol:

Anyway, Madame La Lioness had a blood smeared face and as we watched her for a while it became clear that there she had made a kill not too long ago which she consciously protected against the arriving jackals and vultures. Through the binocs we could see that it was lion mum with her offspring. Alright, I’ll admit it: Not getting a decent photo of a cub does make me grumpy. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:50 pm 
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We moved on towards Union’s End.

Image

On our way back, we checked out the lioness again and saw that a second one had appeared on the scene. Still far off, so we made our way home where we spent the rest of the day lounging on our patio and overlooking the waterhole in company of some chilled Charles Glass later in the afternoon.

Image

But apart from 3 kudus at 3 pm and the reliable brownie at 9 pm it remained pretty quiet.

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Well, quiet as in the big animals – the birds certainly kept me entertained:

Image Kalahari scrub robin

Image Mrs violet-eared waxbill

Image Mr violet-eared waxbill

Image black-chested prinia

Image white-browed sparrow-weaver

Image chestnut-vented tit babbler (tick! :D )

tbc with my highlight of the day and the other sightings. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:24 pm 
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My highlight was a kill happening right on our patio! A plated lizard caught a western sandveld lizard at our front door. This happened all too fast so I didn’t really get what was going on and thought the plated lizard had caught a big insect. Alas, it disappeared with its catch underneath the kitchen where all the water and wood was parked. :slap: Taking photos was pretty difficult but eventually predator and prey moved into the open again:

Image

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The resident familiar chat had gotten note of the kill as well and was trying to participate, but the plated lizard was faster and hid underneath the fence:

Image

The lizard then moved off into the bush and I lost sight…

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:25 pm 
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Other sightings of the day

Juvenile PCG
Image

Jackal at UE
Image

Agama basking in the sun
Image

Sundown at GK
Image

Tree mouse at night
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:37 pm 
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wanderw wrote:
Superb cobra and gorgeous birds! :clap: :clap: GK really hums when it comes to birdlife! :dance: :thumbs_up:
I think we saw the same two camera shy batties as you :wink: but at least we both saw them! :thumbs_up: As for your camera :( - Hope the repairs are not too expensive.

Do you reckon those batties moved around all over Nossob riverbed? :hmz: Because we mainly saw shy ones on this trip. :lol:

Pumbaa wrote:
WoW Mel,
your birdies are fantastic and here I like especially the colourful waxbills - Both I never seen before :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Also great capture of the cobra :big_eyes:

Funnily enough, there are people out there who see the waxbills elsewhere - I only get them at GK (and with their bright colours they can't be that hard to spot in the bush?!) :doh:

Jan van Wyk wrote:
Just caught up with your TR and WOW love the detail and images. Wish we were there with all the raptors at the waterholes ......superb sightings!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Hope the Eland are still there when we arrive on Friday :D
Report is :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
Jan, thanks for joining and your lovely comment. Really appreciate coming from a talented photographer like you. :thumbs_up:

hilda wrote:
Lionspoon, your bird pictures are absolutely fantastic! :clap: :clap:
What a great shot of the Cobra! :dance: :dance:
Hope the repairs to the camera are not too costly! :shock:

I'm starting to feel embarrassed that I didn't appreciate the cobra enough as you and many others seem to think it's a wonderful sighting. But I'm not into snakes yet. Well, maybe I'll learn that as well. I definitely learned to appreciate the birds. :whistle:

Trrp-trrrrrrrr wrote:
Caught up and have been amazed at all your stunning sightings and beautiful pics. :clap: :clap:
Great pics of all the birds, scenery, raptors, snake and sunset. :thumbs_up:
Pic of Lion ....not matter how far off it was ...Lion stays a Lion. :dance: ...pity she would not show her cubs too :(
Thanks for sharing :tongue:

I like your thinking! :thumbs_up: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:42 pm 
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There is at least enough space for an appetizer:

Day 5
25/10/2012 Grootkolk

The brownie was back at 6.15 am and the lions started roaring at 6.30 am. Something I wouldn’t mind starting my day with much more often… :whistle: Now the omnipresent question when staying at GK arose: To stay or not to stay? :doh: We compromised and left the camp only at 8.15 am… Only to find the lions from the previous day in the very same spot again. This time however it was one of the two males we discovered first. He was dragging a wildebeest kill along the riverbed underneath a tree.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Right, page is turned - let's move on.

But firstly - thanks once again, Philip1, anne-marie, hilda, Trrp, wanderw! :D



Through the binocs we could also make out the rest of the gang under said tree: the two lionesses, the cub and the other male. We sat with them for a while even so we didn’t expect much more to happen for the time being. Well, glad we did! The cub soon decided that he had enough of that particular tree and was headed towards the road all by himself! :big_eyes: He crossed right behind us, went up the dune a bit and laid down always watching what his family would do. It didn’t take long for his concerned mum to follow him. Le petit prince certainly knows to push the buttons! :tongue: Not long after and aunty also got up to move towards the cub (and us of course). In the meantime the little cutie pie crossed the road once more

Image

and laid down underneath a tree right next to the road. Mum and aunty followed suit,

Image

whereas mum got fed up with our presence at some point and decided to put some space between her and us.

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:09 pm 
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During all the action I was completely challenged as I didn’t know where to point my camera first… :slap: Once they had all settled however, I decided that the little one would be the one to focus on.

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:10 pm 
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By now it was 10.00 am and hot and the lions certainly wouldn’t go far for the next hours, so we turned around and headed back to the camp. We had just settled down when our neighbour from no. 2 who had also been there informed us that one of the males had made his way to the road as well. Darn! Now we would have to go out again to see our first proper Kalahari lion.
I’m sure no. 2 had come to tell us because before we had moved for him to see the lions. Kinda payback time. How nice! Little did I know back then that we were talking to another forumite. It had been enrico and his mate Larry! Two very entertaining guys and it was an absolute pleasure to get to know the two of them! :dance:

When we arrived at the scene, Mr Grootkolk graced us with his back… But just look at his belly!!!

Image

Eventually he turned around and I took another belly shot from the front:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:11 pm 
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We decided to wait a bit longer for him to change position again in order to get to see more of him than what we had got so far. This was sorted within 20 minutes:

Image

Image

And I couldn’t resist zooming into his nostrils:
Image

After that we went back to the camp again.

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 Post subject: Re: Lionspoon goes lionbored in KTP (Oct 2012)
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:12 pm 
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For the afternoon we had planned to go up to UE’s waterhole. We never made it. The shade of the tree where the lions were fast asleep had moved into the road and that’s where dad and son were sleeping now.

Image

Even if we had tried, we wouldn’t have gotten through without disturbing the animals, so we decided to sit with them for a while. Our neighbour from no. 4 was also there and had occupied the prime location. But when neighbour no. 1 also arrived he could see sod all, so we made space for him. He looked for some minutes then reversed and even if he and us couldn’t take photos anymore because of looking through the windscreen we all could at least watch the little one who was not too sleepy anymore. No. 4 was still hogging the sighting from the prime location… And no. 2 hadn't even bothered to make the trip. :tongue:

Image

Image

Image

Tbc with the evening sightings and the other sightings of the day. :wink:

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