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Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:46 am

Johan, you are becoming rather a sage and mystic :hmz: from spiders to meandering thoughts.

I love the banter between the foot soldiers here 8)

I am sorry that I am going to have to leave in a while to my hard day's night, to work like a dog. :wink: so pleased that there is more on its way. 8)

:popcorn:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Jazil » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:46 am

Johan, what a wonderful report, thank you. I just love that Golden Brown Baboon Spider , what a magnificent species, and a wonderful pic too.

I really look forward to your next trips report as well...........

Wonderful Ode to Duke, the magnificent old man. :clap:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by JenB » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:58 am

I would have loved to see the spider. :)
Thanx Johan, lovely writing and a wonderful report. :gflower:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:13 am

Regarding our on-foot atlassing effort for pentad 2305_3110: I asked Michael Brooks of the Animal Demography Unit of the University of Cape Town to run some queries on the SABAP2 database to evaluate our effort. It turns out that the 135 birds seen on this trip was the third highest score for a virgin pentad in Limpopo province. Although not earth-shattering history, it is an achievement that we three 'mites, two rangers and a ghost can be proud of!

Great job, team! :clap: :clap: :clap:

For our next effort, Les Underhill has suggested a strategy that will see us submitting seven cards for the virgin pentad we choose to do. There will be one card for the overall period, then we will have two members of the team forming observer squads that will record extra cards for the same pentad:
1. on the morning of day two
2. the afternoon / evening of day two
3. on the morning of day three
4. the afternoon / evening of day three
5. on the morning of day four
6. starting on the morning of day two, ending noon day four.

That will take this pentad from virgin to dark green in one fell swoop! I was initially pessimistic about keeping 10 people keen and occupied for the duration... Now we have a challenge that will really test our mettle!
685 2016 lifers: Spotted crake, Lesser jacana, Burchell's courser, Double-banded courser, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, House crow, Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by ndloti » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:18 am

Johan , most enjoyable read , poetry included !

Do you have any more photos , even if it is of the camp , general scenery ?
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Waterbuck » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:24 am

Hey Johan- soooooooooooooooooooo glad we have loads of birding to do so we can leave 'em arachnids alone! :D
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Pooh Bear » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:04 pm

Etienne, I hope you don't snore because I've heard this is a great attraction for Roman spiders..... :twisted:

I will pack my spider book and my UV torch and, in between all this heavy work JvR has for us, we can try and get to grips with a few phobias (me too!) and also hunt for the odd scorpion at night.

Like you, I was petrified of spiders and thought the only good one was a dead one but I had to re-think after I nearly burnt my house down while trying to dispose of one. Now I tolerate them but still don't venture too close......

3 weeks to go!
:dance:

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by hilda » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:24 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:Regarding our on-foot atlassing effort for pentad 2305_3110: I asked Michael Brooks of the Animal Demography Unit of the University of Cape Town to run some queries on the SABAP2 database to evaluate our effort. It turns out that the 135 birds seen on this trip was the third highest score for a virgin pentad in Limpopo province. Although not earth-shattering history, it is an achievement that we three 'mites, two rangers and a ghost can be proud of!


:congrats:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by JoelR » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:46 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:For our next effort, Les Underhill has suggested a strategy that will see us submitting seven cards for the virgin pentad we choose to do. There will be one card for the overall period, then we will have two members of the team forming observer squads that will record extra cards for the same pentad:
1. on the morning of day two
2. the afternoon / evening of day two
3. on the morning of day three
4. the afternoon / evening of day three
5. on the morning of day four
6. starting on the morning of day two, ending noon day four.

That will take this pentad from virgin to dark green in one fell swoop! I was initially pessimistic about keeping 10 people keen and occupied for the duration... Now we have a challenge that will really test our mettle!


While reading your entertaining report, I burst my brains over some way to do more than one card of atlassing. Mr. Underhill has just solved that problem, excellent! Looking forward to it!

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:54 pm

Prof Underhill to us, JoelR... :lol:

A brilliant mind was required to solve this problem!!! :wink:

Hope you didn't bust your brain beyond recuperation, JR... We need you intact!
685 2016 lifers: Spotted crake, Lesser jacana, Burchell's courser, Double-banded courser, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, House crow, Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by JoelR » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:10 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:Prof Underhill to us, JoelR... :lol:

A brilliant mind was required to solve this problem!!! :wink:

Hope you didn't bust your brain beyond recuperation, JR... We need you intact!

Prof indeed!

I just heard a far away Levaillant's Cuckoo calling, so I think my brains have held. On the other hand, I can't decide if the swifts above are African Black or the less common Common...

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:43 pm

JoelR wrote:I can't decide if the swifts above are African Black or the less common Common...


If you get the key to that conundrum, please share with me...
685 2016 lifers: Spotted crake, Lesser jacana, Burchell's courser, Double-banded courser, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, House crow, Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Waterbuck » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:00 pm

Hey there fellow Forumites :think:
I like mapping and like analysis almost as much as I like being in the bush. So for all of you that are in the team to atlas at the end of March, I have put together a little orientation map. Johan tells me that we will be doing the virgin pentad 2300_3100.
To the group members that are not familiar to atlasing: a pentad is a block of 5' longitude by 5' latitude and for the atlas project one records bird species found in such a block.

To show you where we will be, I have added the pentad grids to a Google image that depicts the part of Kruger we will be in. I have added the location of some camps and you should be able to see the Kruger border on the left and right. Further to that I have marked each pentad as follows:
- the little white curled arrow means the pentad has been covered before
- the upside down green teardrop means the pentad is virgin - never atlassed
- the upward pointing blue arrow shows the pentad that was covered by the previous group in February
- the red cross shows the pentad that we will be covering in the upcoming trip at the end of March

Image
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Waterbuck » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:36 am

Johan and team
......now that I've illustrated where we will be looking for birds at the end of March, I decided to take a closer look at what birds have been recorded in the SABAP2 for the area in which we will be walking. As you know by now, we will be recording birds in a virgin pentad, so I looked into what has been recorded in the surrounding pentads. This provides us with a good baseline list to work from and makes for some interesting reference.

:think: using our pentad (2300_3100) as the center point, I looked at a block consisting of 25 pentads that includes a span of two pentads to the north, east, south and west of the one in which we will be. It is therefor a 25 pentad block (5x5 pentads) that surrounds the one we will be targeting. In this block I found the following:

- of the 25 pentads only 13 have been covered and 12 (including our target pentad) are virgin, with the virgin ground laying mainly to the south and east of where we will be
- the 25 pentad block includes the popular birding areas of Sirheni and Bateleur camps
- only 62 cards have been submitted for this 25 pentad block. Of these, 20 have been submitted for the Sirheni area and 15 for the Bateleur area
- 293 different bird species have been recorded on these 62 cards accorss these 25 pentads that surround the area in which we will be walking.

I'll email the list of species indicated above to all of you that are walking (and birding) at the end of March :thumbs_up:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Cherries » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:00 am

WOW and double WOW!! :big_eyes:

That area looks like a long walk from camp!

Etienne thanks so much for your very informative input! I can see this is going to be one s-e-e-r-i-u-s trip!

Johan and party - me thinks you guys are going to nail this one! :dance: :dance:
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