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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:02 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Oh well, here I go again.

I love the birds, the songs, the colour. Breakfast wouldn't be the same without them.

You just have to remember to have finished the food before going back for your second coffee!

Richard


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:22 am 
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I made mention in my January/February 2006 trip report that when we visited Tshokwane on that trip that there was only one dove and none of the usual flocks of birds present at the picnic spot. Something one immediately notice.

I suspect that maybe the numbers of birds at the larger picnic spots fluctuate according to available food outside of them. Where I work we normally do not see Red-winged Starlings during the summer but during winter they come in to town to feed on trees with berries.

Will be interesting to get an indication of the number of birds at Tshokwane in the different months as it might show that when food is low the come for easy pickings.

Lower Sabie restaurant area always have a lot of birds.

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 Post subject: Re: Tsokwane Picnic site
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:59 am 
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Suzz wrote:
Don't blame the animals, blame the visitors who started feeding them. If no-one EVER fed an animal at a picnic site, this wouldn't be a problem, now would it?


I do not fully agree with this, Suzz. Yes some people do feed, but this is very very uncommon lately.

We've been to the Park over the past weekend. We stopped on a loop along the Olifants river on the dirt road between Letaba and Olifants and had coffee and rusks as we watched the sun come up. No sooner we had 4 Glossy Starlings right next to the car, waiting for scraps. I do not believe for one moment that these birds hang around there waiting to be fed.

They are just clever enough to see an easy opportunity for finding food.

Even if you did not feed a single bird at these picnic spots, they would still be clever enough to hang around there waiting for a scrap to fall or lie around.

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Hi forumites

Just a quick word on the monkeys and starlings. The starling in fact disappear during the summer months with just two or three pair nesting in the hollow tree trunks on site. Where the rest go I have no idea. They probably have enough food elsewhere then. They are back "en masse" since the beginning of May. The problem is dingbats that feed them. This in turn attracts the monkeys. The monkeys we sort of manage. The catapults seem effective if applied all the time. About the starling we can do nothing I`m afraid. Touch wood so far we do not have the same bee problem as last year.
I would like to use this thread to do a bit of publicity. It is all in the general interest of the visitor so I cannot see why anybody might object to this. But then you get funny ppl.
Anyway, since October last year we have as a menu option for our visiting groups something interesting and different. A Picnic basket for two packed with mouth-watering goodies.
It comes in a wicker basket with cutlery and crockery. We have now decided to make this available for other visitors as well. The only thing is we need need 24 hr advance reservation or booking and we take a R100 refundable deposit when you receive your basket and you reclaim your deposit once you return your empty basket.
The price is R120 per basket (2 person basket)
The basket contains
French Salad with Parmesan shavings and wholegrain mustard dressing
Tri-color spicy pasta salad
Quiche Provencal and/or Quiche Lorraine
Duo of Kudu carpachio and Hoedspruit Pastrami
Fruity Bushveld Bobotie
Chicken Liver Pate
Olive Ciabatta Bread
Traditional Milk Tartlet or Lavender and Honey Ice Cream
Coffee or Tea.

I "launch" this here cos I think there might be some mites that would love the idea.

Et Voila...come try!


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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 3:12 pm 
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A Pic, but this basket was a special request for a group and not the menu above...just an idea

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 7:46 pm 
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o-dog wrote:
Although its not correct to feed the birds (and I dont anymore) I cant see why people are so against it in the National Parks.

The problem comes in where, especially at the picnic sites, 1)people do not stop by feeding only monkeys and 2) the monkeys/baboons also wants in on this free meal
I see this on a daily basis. monkeys litterally attack people, because they do not want to part with their fruit or whatever.
The more birds that gets fed, the more other animals are attracted.
We as concesionares, understand this problem, because if you are bitten by a monkey at one of our places, chances are that you will never, ever come back.
Both me and David are trying our utmost best to stop people from feeding anything. Our staff will pick up any dirty plates as soon as humanly possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:32 am 
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o-dog wrote:
Although its not correct to feed the birds (and I dont anymore) I cant see why people are so against it in the National Parks. I remember feeding birds was a highlight growing up as a kid on holidays at places like Shingwedzi and Olifants in particular. It certainly was a main reason to get me to appreciate birds with a passion. I think those people who feed birds are not as big offenders as everyone makes them out to be. If it helps people love the Kruger and love birds surely its only going to do better for nature on this earth. To me the costs of people feeding birds to the birds and the other people who just get irritated by them, are negligable compared to the good that people get out of it and In think birds and nature get more allies by such experiences.
It makes the trips for me having all the birds at the various picnic spots and camps. If the birds are such a problem to people then I think they should just go to the Park in summer when as is mentioned the birds disperse and wont be a nuissance.
With food around animals are always going to be attracted - people shouldnt feed I guess but people always will continue or will at leave crumbs behind etc thereby attracting wild animals. Should we just convert all the stop over spots to large chicken wire fenced enclosures so that no birds or animals can get in and so that no one gets disturbed??


The problem with the ignorant visitors is that they only see the fun of feeding the animals and oohh and aahh and imp[ress everyone. But, once they feed birds, they won't stop there: it will progress to monkeys, and baboons, and whatever else comes their way. That's why it is best to nip it in the bud at source.

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:49 am 
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o-dog
I can see point, but please do not entertain this thought too long. Feeding the birds at picnic sites create further problems. Period.
If in any doubt you can work here for two days during a long weekend or school holidays.


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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:58 am 
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Some of the Tshowkane bandits.

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Image

Image

Despite their nuisance factor, I enjoy watching these little devils.

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:16 am 
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To get off the topic of birds and monkeys.
2 Saturdays ago we had a LIT at Tshok behind the kitchen. A few fortunate visitors could enjoy the sight for 20 minutes or so before it jumped down and disappeared.
This past Saturday we saw a lioness with her two cups down the road about 50 yards from Tshok turnoff towards Satara.
Our resident ellie bull paid us a visit last Thursday and this morning it was the first time I saw buffalo at the tearoom.
Took this pic about 10 minutes ago across the road from the parking area.
Now we need that rhino we saw next to the bridge while cycling I while ago to come and show face.

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:46 am 
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What a life you have.
I never get visitors like that, sigh!!!

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:32 pm 
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o-dog wrote:
Although its not correct to feed the birds (and I dont anymore) I cant see why people are so against it in the National Parks. I remember feeding birds was a highlight growing up as a kid on holidays at places like Shingwedzi and Olifants in particular. It certainly was a main reason to get me to appreciate birds with a passion. I think those people who feed birds are not as big offenders as everyone makes them out to be. If it helps people love the Kruger and love birds surely its only going to do better for nature on this earth. To me the costs of people feeding birds to the birds and the other people who just get irritated by them, are negligable compared to the good that people get out of it and In think birds and nature get more allies by such experiences.
It makes the trips for me having all the birds at the various picnic spots and camps. If the birds are such a problem to people then I think they should just go to the Park in summer when as is mentioned the birds disperse and wont be a nuissance.
With food around animals are always going to be attracted - people shouldnt feed I guess but people always will continue or will at leave crumbs behind etc thereby attracting wild animals. Should we just convert all the stop over spots to large chicken wire fenced enclosures so that no birds or animals can get in and so that no one gets disturbed??

While at Satara once I was watching a small boy playing, well I had to as his parents and grandparents were too busy chatting. He managed to put his hand in some rather yucky bird mess. Because he was doing something that he obviously knew he shouldn't have been doing, he didn't tell his parents. Instead he managed to wipe the said yucky mess on the seat, the table and anything else he could reach, thus managing to spread it everywhere else. He then ate a burger and chips. I just wonder how ill he was that evening.

Birds = bird mess = health risk.

Sorry to bring the topic back up but irresponsible feeding of birds and monkeys needs to be discouraged.

The picnic basket sounds great but my SO's a veggie :roll: I will be trying your venison pie though.

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Last edited by saraf on Mon May 25, 2009 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:37 pm 
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Taken in March 08....

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:44 pm 
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I spoke to a staff member at tshokwane in my last visit he said one day when they got there a lion was lying at the one bathroom! :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Tshokwane Picnic Spot
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:35 pm 
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Too end off the topic if you want then....

These guys say "Please dont keep us out!"

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I say 'what a pleasure to admire you beauty from 1 metre away'...once youve had ur big 5 and kills or not (more than likely from the confines of a vehicle)...its moments like these that get you to appreciate what the park is really about!! ...

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