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 Post subject: KGALAGADI = Unknown falcon hunting with a cape cobra
Unread postPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 9:05 pm 
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I was in the Kgagaladi National Park in the period between 28th of April and 6t of May. 20 miles from Twee Rivierin (direction Nossob) I witnessed a falcon (that I haven't been able to identify so far -gabar goshawk?) that was first sitting on top of a tree. He then flew on top of a bush nearby. Few minutes later we saw that at the bottom of the bush a cape cobra followed by a mongoose. The mongoose went after the cobra that hid himself in a rodent hole. The mongoose kept chasing around and after a while the cobra emerged giving the back to the mongoose that quickly approached. When the mongoose wanted to strike the falcon flew and disturbed the mongoose and allowed the cobra to hide again.
The mongoose stayed around for a while but the cobra didn't reappear and after a while she left.
When the cobra reappeared he started to hunt a mouse but when he was close enough (with the mouse staring at him without escaping) the falcon flew again and this time disturbed the scene to let the rat escape.
i was very puzzled by the behavior of the falcon, the cobra didn't look threated by the falcon. After a while the cobra started to enter in holes in the ground and mice and lizards started to run around and the falcon caught them having in a short time very easy meals.
Has anybody witnessed something similar? Could you tell me which falcon was it? I have pictures of the scene.
Near Mata Mata I have also witnessed to a black-backed jackal scavenging on another jackal (I have pictures as well) - Is that a common behavior?


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 1:08 pm 
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Interesting story...I would love to see the pics. I think what you were witnessing was the fact that the raptor did not want the snake but was hopefully going to catch a mouse or rat that were escaping from the snake. One often sees this happening in the Kgalagadi.I have seen something similar ....a honey badger being followed by a pale chanting goshawk as well as a jackal. None of them were interested in each other...just interested in all the escapees!
I am sure if you post the pics somebody will be able to identify the bird for you. :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 2:07 pm 
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Hi papirob & welcome to the forum.

On the 2R - Nossob road I have often seen lots of Lanner falcons. They look similar to peregrines, but have a smaller black 'cap'. From your description it would sound as if it was him, but pale chanting goshawks (PCG) have synergy with honey badgers and BBJ's as MN has said, and it could have been one. They are not similar and a pic should clear up the mystery. Another slight possibility is the greater kestrel.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 2:53 pm 
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Honey Badgers, AWC , Pale Chanting Goshawk often hunt together so it could have been that bird...definitly not Falcon behaviour at all so rule out the Lanner...possible gabar as the luike to duck and dive and cause grief...rather like an avian Jack russel...put on the pics to clear it once and for all but my money is on the Pale chanting Goshawk

Regarding cannabilism in jackals...possible for sure. Years ago we witnessed a lioness kill a tiny Leopard Cub and thr sad picture of the mother leopard returning to sadly sniff the carcass..She then atye half of it so it does happen


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:40 pm 
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papirob wrote:
...After a while the cobra started to enter in holes in the ground and mice and lizards started to run around and the falcon caught them having in a short time very easy meals.
Has anybody witnessed something similar? Could you tell me which falcon was it?...


Last year during our visit to KTP we saw the exact same thing happening (ok, except for the mongoose interfering :) ). We had a juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk following a Cape Cobra from hole to hole and catching any escapees. Quite interesting to watch. Snake and bird didn't seem bothered by one another, just kept on doing what they were doing.
For us to tell which "falcon" you saw, you would have to post some pics, but I'm pretty sure it is Pale Chanting Goshawk. Have read about this behaviour of theirs. An adapted hunting method.

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 Post subject: KGALAGADI = Unknown falcon hunting with a cape cobra
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:24 am 
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Thanks for your replies and sorry for the delay but I had problem with my broadband connections for the last few weeks.

If you are interested in the pictures you can see them at the following link:
Picasa

I have also attached 6 pictures of other birds we saw that I don't know the name.

Many thanks


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 Post subject: Birding: KGALAGADI
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:53 pm 
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From SA Bird Network:

We have just returned from a fairly long and very interesting trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The whole area is very dry, which made for some truly strange bird sightings. On the first of June a huge front pushed over the park resulting in a spectacular lighting storm over the Nossob river while the bulk of the rain fell in the dunes and the two river beds received only light showers. Next morning slap bang in the middle of the dunes we rounded a corner nearly running over a forlorn Hamerkop standing in a rain puddle in the middle of the road. Things got really strange once we reached the extremely dry and dusty Auob river.
We saw a Spurwinged Goose at Rooibrak, two Sacred Ibis pecking away in the arid riverbed and at Dertiende boorgat the strangest of all - a lone and very bewildered Quail Finch meters from our vehicle on the edge of the drinking trough oblivious to the hunting Gabars and Lanners that zoomed overhead. We took many photos and after more than an hour we moved on.
Owing to the dry conditions in the park large numbers of both Eland and Wildebeest have started moving to the permanent water of the Nossob from the Botswana side, both lion kills we saw were adult eland bulls. One other interesting mammal sighting was four cheetah being robbed of their freshly killed steenbok by a spotted hyena. He ran down into the river bed from the dune crest and proceeded to devour the whole animal in under twenty minutes with three or four jackals in close attendance.

Mike Taylor, Nelspruit

Nice one Mike - Nothing like a bit of rain in Kgalagadi to induce the unusual!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:41 pm 
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Kgalagadi list of birds seen during 1st week of July 2007. Call it a Twee Rivieren list as that was our base for the duration of our trip.

Barbet Acacia Pied, Batis Pririt (lifer), Brubru, Bulbul Red-eyed, Bustard Kori (lifer), Buzzard Steppe, Canary Yellow (lifer), Chat Anteating, Chat Familiar, Crow Cape, Dove Cape Turtle-, Dove Laughing, Drongo Fork-tailed, Eagle Martial, Eagle Tawny, Falcon Lanner, Finch Scaly-feathered, Fiscal Common, Flycatcher Chat (lifer), Flycatcher Marico, Goshawk Southern Pale Chanting (lifer), Hornbill Southern Yellow-billed, Korhaan Northern Black, Lapwing Crowned, Lark Fawn-coloured (lifer), Lark Spike-heeled, Martin Rock, Ostrich Common, Owlet Pearl-spotted, Prinia Black-chested, Robin Brown Scrub-, Sandgrouse Burchell's (lifer), Sandgrouse Namaqua (lifer), Shrike Crimson-breasted, Sparrow Cape, Sparrow House (not on official list for Kgalagadi), Sparrow Southern Grey-headed, Sparrow-Weaver White-browed, Sparrowlark Grey-backed (lifer), Starling Cape Glossy, Thrush Groundscraper, Tit Cape Penduline- (lifer), Tit-Babbler Chestnut-vented, Weaver Sociable (lifer), Wheatear Capped.

The full trip report can be accessed by clicking on the link.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:31 pm 
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Hi Kingfisha,

I'm new into birding but we saw an Albino Goshawk near Unions End in a tree near the road in February this year.

My wife made some useless photos with her little digicam. Jannie at Twee-Rivieren confirmed us, that it was indeed a Goshawk since there was no real identification possible for us.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:37 pm 
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Look for white browed sparrow weavers in 2R, crimson boubou in Nossob, LBR's are common, but our favourites are the pygmy falcons, & greater kestrels.

We usually tally between 70 & 90 per trip.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:47 pm 
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2 years ago, we also saw a red necked falcon on the way to mata mata and a couple of northern black korhaan.

don't know if these 2 qualifie for 'rare and special sightings' :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Mata Mata: Barn Owl roost/nest behind the shop/petrol station. Ask the attendants for exact spot.

Nossob: White-faced Scops Owl and African Scops Owl tend to roost in the trees around the reception and shop buildings. Ask at reception for latest position.
Some of the waxbills and other smaller birds tend to frequent any water around the taps in camp. (Try looking at all the camps)

Kwang waterhole (north of Nossob): rare, yellow form of the Crimson-breasted Shrike has been seen in this area. Great sighting if you happen to stumble upon it.

Craig Lockhardt waterhole (south of KTC): i've sat here watching hundreds (maybe thousands) of doves, canaries, wydah's, sociable weavers, scaly-feathered finches, waxbills etc coming to drink water and then having to duck and dive the attentions of some Lanner Falcons, Goshawks etc.

Will think back to our visit and see if I remember anything else and report back on our trip in December.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:10 pm 
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Looks like mostly everything has been covered here. I would just like to add that I have seen a woodpecker( not sure which kind ) and a female dusky sunbird at KIJ KIJ. Something else that has not been mentioned are vultures. mostly I have seen white backed vultures and lappet faced vultures between Dikbaardskolk and Nossob. Strangely enough I have not ever seen a vulture near a kill or carcass !!!Oh and wattled starlings at Nossob. They were females and juveniles so I was a bit confused but I managed a photo or two and the ranger confirmed for me....he was of the opinion that this was quite rare sighting . One would normally only see them after good rains !!!!

Quote:
Ludwig’s Bustard being relatively common during summer.

The only time I have ever seen Ludwig's bustard is in winter and we saw lots of them...just goes to show how unpredictable the Kalahari can be!

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:12 pm 
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Cubitje Quap waterhole north of Nossob is great place for watching sandgrouse fly in and drink. 8) Perhaps not rare, but very pretty!

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:11 pm 
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Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!
White faced owls - also at Kamqua picnic site. In March this year we also saw a red necked falcon and a pallid harrier near Kij- Kij.

We have heard that jackal buzzards are uncommon in KTP, but we have seen quite a few on the calcriet cliffs near TR, in both the Nossob and Auob riverbeds.


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