Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

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RichardJ
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Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

Following on from our recent trip to KTP

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

and our retirement tour

The Circle of Life - retirement tour 2019

Our dream of spending lots of time in our parks, further became reality thanks to the "long term camping discount" offered, and provided us with an ideal opportunity to visit Kruger.

Birding had become a new focus for us, animals seen whilst looking for birds were a bonus.

Every second bird we saw was either a Starling, Shrike or Roller .... thankfully a great variety was seen in between.

My approach to keeping a Life List is to have photo proof of each bird.

Therefore, as a starting point, I hoped to get pics of those I was short of, namely:

Scarlet-chested Sunbird. We had seen one in passing in Kruger.

Violet-backed Starling. Had blurry distant record pic.

African Green Pigeon. Saw some many years ago just after entering the S28 from Crocodile Bridge. Lots of searching but could not find the pics.

Glossy Ibis. No pics :hmz: surely everybody has seen them.... :wall:

Long Crested Eagle. Seen one outside Nelspruit, but couldn't stop.

As a relative 'newbie' to birding I have lots of opportunity to add to my list.
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

The Circle of Life - retirement tour 2019
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RichardJ
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

The report may follow haphazard highlights from the different camps.
We were booked at Malelane, Berg-en-dal, Satara, Maroela, Satara and Crocodile Bridge.

Booked does not always equal reality.

I had read warnings about the extremely hot weather for that time of the year in Kruger. As it turned out only about 6 days were hotter in Kruger than it was at home, so it was actually an escape.
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

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Bush Baptist
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by Bush Baptist »

:popcorn:
Whatever : "You are right but I don't want to admit it".

In a world of grey, be RED

Latest lifers: Red-rumped Swallow, Red Phalarope, Purple Gallinule, Chukar Partridge, Australasian Gannet, Brown Booby

Latest World Lifer: White tailed eagle
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pnm
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by pnm »

Looking forward to this!

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arks
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

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:popcorn:
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

So cool. 8)

:popcorn: :popcorn:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

Welcome on the tour BB, Pete, arks and MM :thumbs_up:
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

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RichardJ
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

11 Jan 21 we hit the road as early as we could, taking curfew times into account.

Our target was to get to Bloemfontein before the curfew and get into Mpumalanga by the next day.
A family meeting would be held on the 11th and if Provincial borders were closed, I wanted to be in MP.

Our customary pic, about to leave.

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With the limited time, breaks were kept to a minimum and I drove a little bit quicker than normal whilst towing. Fuel consumption suffered, so long distance tanks were useful.

Driving into the rising sun.

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Sunny through the Karoo

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A sign of things to come....rain, rain and more rain

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We made Bloemfontein with an hour to spare to get something to eat.
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

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As an avid birder I'm looking forward to this report.
:popcorn:
Longing to be in Kruger. :yaya:
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

I took note of the Family Meeting adjustments. We had had warnings that strict lockdowns would be announced. Yes they were tightened again but would not affect our plans.

Passing under the bridges in the Free State, we have always noticed a hive of activity by Swallows and Swifts. We tried taking pics as we passed through to maybe id them. White rumped something or other is the best we could do....

Image

I did see, and added to my ‘need-a-pic’ list Yellow-crowned Bishop and Long-tailed Widowbirds along the Free State grasslands.
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

The Lowveld, getting closer to our planned overnight stop, is re-invigorating, I love the vegetation, mountains, streams and waterfalls....

Image

The turnoff came up, slightly water eroded gravel road took us across the Crocodile River and then onto the ‘resort’.

Took it slowly.

Image
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

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RichardJ
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

And then we were there. On the property winding down to Reception and campsite...heaven

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Te ‘resort’ overlooks the Crocodile River

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There are 6 camp sites with private ablutions. A number of different types and prices of cabins etc.

Image
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

The Circle of Life - retirement tour 2019
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pnm
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by pnm »

I agree with you - the feeling of arriving in the Lowveld is great. I love the lush farms, nut trees, bananas, mangoes, citrus, avos - it's a feast for the eyes.

Enjoying the pics - keep them coming!

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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

Agreed thanks Pete, here are a few more ..... :thumbs_up:
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

The Circle of Life - retirement tour 2019
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RichardJ
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Re: Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Unread post by RichardJ »

I took an evening walk around the property.

Early up I found a Yellow-breasted Apalis, a Lifer
caught supper, moving so a little blurred, sadly

Image

Image
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

The Circle of Life - retirement tour 2019
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