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Penza's Mountain Zebra - trip report - Sept '13

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Penza
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:25 pm

Penza's Mountain Zebra - trip report - Sept '13

Unread postby Penza » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:00 pm

My reason for visiting Mountain Zebra was to gain exposure to a different habitat and therefore different birds from what I am accustomed to in Durban. What a lovely reserve; beautiful in its aridity. As well as 11 lifers, I also picked up quite a few extras for my yearlist.

Southern Boubou was a frequent visitor at the chalet. Despite hearing this bird frequently, I dont see it as much.

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IMG_5915 by Penza1957, on Flickr

White-browed Sparrow-weavers were nest building outside the chalet so we saw a lot of them too.

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White-browed Sparrow-weaver by Penza1957, on Flickr

We went to the picnic site and found Cape Robin-chat, Chinspot Batis and Cape Bunting

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Cape Bunting by Penza1957, on Flickr

On the way back we hit the high road and were rewarded with this Jackal Buzzard hovering above

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IMG_5969 by Penza1957, on Flickr

The Rooiplaat and Kranskop loops were very productive. Here we saw Rufous-eared Warblers, Cape Sparrow, and Scaly-feathered Finch in amongst the ground squirrels, suricates and yellow mongoose.

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Scaly-feathered Finch by Penza1957, on Flickr

I was hoping to see a Sickle-winged Chat but every chat turned out to be a Familiar, until we stumbled across this one.

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Sickle-winged Chat by Penza1957, on Flickr

Then came the fun and games in trying to differentiate between the larks and pipits. Luckily we had Faansie Peacock's brilliant LBJ book. All in all we saw four different larks but only one pipit, you guessed it - African Pipit. The larks were Eastern Clapper Lark, Eastern Longbilled Lark, Spike heeled Lark and Large-billed Lark.

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Large-billed Lark by Penza1957, on Flickr

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Eastern Long-billed Lark by Penza1957, on Flickr

On to some black and buff beauties; Buff-streaked Chat; Northern Black Korhaan and Double-banded Courser

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Buff-streaked Chat by Penza1957, on Flickr

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Northern Black Korhaan by Penza1957, on Flickr

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Double banded Courser by Penza1957, on Flickr

I had been longing to see a bokmakierie as I haven't seen one for years. We heard them all over the place but there were none in sight until the last day when I was rewarded.

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Bokmakierie by Penza1957, on Flickr

I've had a Karoo craving ever since I've been back

Penny
Latest lifers: Large-billed Lark; Southern Grey Tit; Ludwig's Bustard; Barau's Petrel; Lemon Dove

User avatar
Penza
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:25 pm

Re: Mountain Zebra Sept 2013 - trip report

Unread postby Penza » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:18 pm

I fell in love with the Acacia Karoo dotted all over the place; from a distance the white spines look like flowers.
Here is a series of three Acacia Karoo photos.

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Acacia Karoo by Penza1957, on Flickr

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Acacia Karoo branches by Penza1957, on Flickr

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Acacia Karoo spines by Penza1957, on Flickr
Last edited by Penza on Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Latest lifers: Large-billed Lark; Southern Grey Tit; Ludwig's Bustard; Barau's Petrel; Lemon Dove

User avatar
Penza
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:25 pm

Re: Mountain Zebra Sept 2013 - trip report

Unread postby Penza » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Mammals

I was looking forward to seeing the iconic Mountain Zebra for the first time. I wondered if the differences were subtle or obvious. I was not disapppointed and they are very obvious differences.

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Mountain Zebra @ Mountain Zebra by Penza1957, on Flickr

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Untitled by Penza1957, on Flickr

such a treat for me to see a springbok - beautiful creatures that they are

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Springbok by Penza1957, on Flickr


Both Red Hartebees and Kalahari Gemsbok are mammals not seen in KZN (Tala doesnt count cos they shouldn't be there) so I loved seeing these too.

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Red Hartebees by Penza1957, on Flickr

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Kalahari Gemsbok by Penza1957, on Flickr

We went on the cheetah tracking drive which was great fun. This cheetah lead us a merry dance which was lovely as we saw a lot of birds on the way too.

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Untitled by Penza1957, on Flickr

I have many pictures taken from many angles of this Yellow Mongoose. Funnily when we saw it was after a passing car had stopped and said there was nothing to be seen. I think birders sometimes see more because we are not rushing through hoping for an animal to make itself know to us but creeping along slowly looking for larks.

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Yellow Mongoose by Penza1957, on Flickr
Latest lifers: Large-billed Lark; Southern Grey Tit; Ludwig's Bustard; Barau's Petrel; Lemon Dove

User avatar
Penza
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:25 pm

Re: Mountain Zebra Sept 2013 - trip report

Unread postby Penza » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:14 am

thanks guys - appreciate the feedback. We were lucky with the mongoose because it spent a lot of time there; here's one more for luck

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Yellow Mongoose profile by Penza1957, on Flickr
Latest lifers: Large-billed Lark; Southern Grey Tit; Ludwig's Bustard; Barau's Petrel; Lemon Dove


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