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Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

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

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:47 am

Brenden, thanks for your very informative input 8)

Johan, sigh. Oh dear, this is getting to that heaving ending feeling.

:popcorn:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:02 am

Meandering Mouse wrote:Johan, sigh. Oh dear, this is getting to that heaving ending feeling.

:popcorn:


Not yet, MM... not yet!

There is still a bit of wrapping up to do. :wink:

And then the end-of-March walk thread will continue here! :lol: So, you guys who have become friends of Mpongolo still have a bit to look forward to!

One of the sightings we had that I have not yet referred to was in camp on the last morning. Not five metres away from where Julie sat that previous night, Brenden pointed out a golden-brown baboon spider’s lair. After a bit of patient coaxing we got the spider to show itself.

Image

Augacephalus breyeri are called baboon spider due to their hairy appearance and the black scopulae pads on its "feet" resembling the pads on baboon feet. The most dramatic feature of these spiders is the black fangs that can exceed 6 mm in length and are parallel to each other, set into jaws that can project forward. These spiders are harmless to man although the bite is painful and mildly neurotoxic. If bitten, one will experience an intense burning pain in the region of the bite where two red blood spots will develop from the fang punctures. However, there will be no evidence of discolouration or any swelling.

Other interesting facts about the spider:

It has a life expectancy of about twenty five years and only becomes sexually mature at fifteen years.

They are protected by law and may not be killed nor kept as a pet.

The Golden Brown Baboon Spider lives in a hole that takes the spider between five to seven years to construct. The lair is lined with silk to keep out unwanted visitors (ants and the like). Once this spider has excavated and equipped one hole with silk it somehow loses some of the instinctive know-how for digging. If it loses its lair for whatever reason, the spider is vulnerable to predation and generally dies before they can reconstruct another lair.
677 Last 5 lifers: Caspian plover, Western marsh harrier, Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake, Lesser jacana

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by hilda » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:18 am

Although this spider looks very creepy to me, thanks for the interesting facts about it Johan. I never knew they had such a long life expectancy! :D
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Pooh Bear » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:32 am

I'm quite good at coaxing baboon spiders out their hidey-holes, but once they are out I don't hang around thanks very much! Starting to really look forward to the trip at the end of March......

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by dianne » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:48 am

Also didn't know about the life expectancy. And also super-excited for the trail!
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Bahamut » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:06 pm

Awesome TR Johan... makes me wish I was there without even getting a post card :thumbs_up:

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:12 pm

While we were getting conservation lessons with the honeyguide as lecture subject and again later when we actually followed this up with practical interaction with a honeyguide, I kept on remembering a video clip I saw some time ago. Back home I found it. JenB helped me to post it here. Enjoy...

677 Last 5 lifers: Caspian plover, Western marsh harrier, Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake, Lesser jacana

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by anne-marie » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:56 pm

:pray: please Johan... please... never give a course for (about ?) Spiders :shock:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by MattAxel » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:27 pm

Very cool video JvR. There's an article in the new Birds & Birding about the Greater Honeyguide's symbiotic relationship with humans, very interesting.

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by hilda » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:55 am

Thanks for a beautiful and very interesting video JvR! What a lovely bird! :D
"He who refuses to obey cannot command." - African Proverb.

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:44 am

Thank you, that was soooo interesting. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Waterbuck » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:34 am

Hey there all of you trailists / atlasers / wilderness seekers / great people and particularly those of you going on the trail at the end of March. I happen to be the guy that nabbed the last empty spot on the trail...........

I regard myself as a keen birder and nature lover and hope others see me as a easy-to-get-along person. Yet, I must post a warning here to my fallow campers for March. If you hear me screaming like a 4 year old girl at any time of night or day, you will know with certainty that I happen to have come across THAT ARACHNID.

I don't intend any malice towards any creature, including spiders. But I have a healthy and uncontrolled fear of the bliters. Let me illustrate this by copying and pasting something I posted on Facebook a while back:

I am not sure of the definition of arachnophobia, but today I can reflect on what happened last night after my kids found the biggest spider I have evvvvvvver seen in the lounge........It took me an hour to get it into a dustbin by strategically placing the bin and coaxing the monster in with a long long long feather-duster pole. After much hyperventilation I could not bring myself to pick up the (covered) dustbin and managed to convince my wife to take the bin and sit on the back seat of the car while I drove like a hells angel to get as far from my house as the petrol in the tank would allow. When the location was sufficiently far from my home I kicked the bin over and to my surprise...........ahhhhhh........the creature came out running!!!! Leaping into the car I was convinced it was heading for the tyres. Locked all the doors and sped away. And today I am still finding myself looking twice under my desk...........


......I've decided that I'm going to strategically develop irritable bowl syndrome at the moment the rest of you start coaxing spiders from their burrows. Didn't I hear somewhere that it is particulrly damaging and ecologically disasterous to coax these guys from their holes :big_eyes: So we just can't go around and cause such ecological damage, can we now :naughty:

See you guys there!!!!!!
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:03 am

Etienne Hinrichsen wrote: If you hear me screaming like a 4 year old girl at any time of night or day, you will know with certainty that I happen to have come across THAT ARACHNID.


:hmz: Looks like we get one of those 4-year-olds on every trip! :lol:
677 Last 5 lifers: Caspian plover, Western marsh harrier, Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake, Lesser jacana

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Cherries » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:58 pm

Thank you Johan!

Loved every word and every photograph. I like to read in a "oner" but will take this to be part 1 of a soul searching wonderful experience.

Thank you for sharing your Duke poem on this thread and reaching a wider readership! In the Universe you guys must have felt as big and as significant as those ants that get everywhere and into everything - the same as humans!! :wink:

Watch for those bed bumps second time around and take the most edible meal even if you eat it three nights in a row! Try leaving the 500 ml red wine sachets in camp to help you sleep better!! :thumbs_up:
Jackie

Croc Bridge - 6 April 2012
Berg en Dal - 7&8 April 2012

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:20 pm

Cherries wrote:Loved every word and every photograph. I like to read in a "oner" but will take this to be part 1 of a soul searching wonderful experience.


I'll try to keep the level of excitement equal, Jackie

Cherries wrote:Thank you for sharing your Duke poem on this thread and reaching a wider readership! In the Universe you guys must have felt as big and as significant as those ants that get everywhere and into everything - the same as humans!! :wink:


The Duke poem was sneaky, hey! :twisted:

Ants are mammoth creatures compared to how insignificant I felt at times on those awe-inspiring evenings. I started thinking: "All my troubles seemed so far away..." and that reminded me of some Beetle lyrics that goes a little way to capture the tumultuous confusion yet logical order of our existence as experienced under the sky with diamonds:

Words are flowing out like
endless rain into a paper cup.
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
pools of sorrow, waves of joy
are drifting through my opened mind,
possessing and caressing me.

Images of broken light, which
dance before me like a million eyes,
they call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
restless wind inside a letter box.
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
are ringing through my opened ears,
inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
shines around me like a million suns,
calls me on and on across the universe


Cherries wrote:Watch for those bed bumps second time around and take the most edible meal even if you eat it three nights in a row! Try leaving the 500 ml red wine sachets in camp to help you sleep better!! :thumbs_up:


Ooooo... I like the sachet suggestion! :lol: But all of it is good advice... Thanks, Jackie.
677 Last 5 lifers: Caspian plover, Western marsh harrier, Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake, Lesser jacana


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