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Charbel's Kgalagadi: The Big and Small. KTP, June '13

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charbel
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:43 pm

Dear forumites,
I know I've been so slow to do my TR. It is the work, which has been taking basically all my time in the last months, combined with my planning for the next trip to KNP, next June.

But here I am back again, with an assortment of raptors we saw in June 4th, last year, in KTP, in the area ranging from Mata Mata to Montrose waterhole.

First, a nice Pale Chanting Goshawk scanning the environment from above, certainly looking for some prey.

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We were always making fun of the Pale Chanting Goshawks for going to the ground to find some food there.... Evolution turns you into a raptor and then you decide to live like chicken!

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This Goshawk decided to show us all the flexibility of its neck. What he was looking at? We could ponder about...

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I do like this pic of such a sharp beak!

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Another Pale Chanting Goshawk scanning from a tree.

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This Rock Kestrel was a first for us... Such a nice small raptor!

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A Red-Necked Falcon. What a gorgeous raptor! Wonderful!

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A Pygmy Falcon was also in the list for that day!

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All the best
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:36 pm

Dear forumites,
Finally a new posting. Work this year has been always overwhelming.
Now, late night in a hotel in Malaysia, good time for a new posting!

It's all about Ostriches seen in June 4th last year in KTP, in the Mata Mata area. I recently read that KTP is one of the places where the Ostriches we see were not reintroduced from animals raised in farms. So, it is a real wild treaty.

I do like how this male poses in front of the bush.

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How not to love an Ostrich against beautiful KTP colors! Below her in a close-up.

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It was astonishing so many things going on in the same spot, as you can see in the pic. While two Blue Wildebeests play with fighting in the back, Ostriches were dust bathing in the front scene. This is the kind of amazing findings we would make every day in KTP.

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Family in a handsome march!

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Another nice finding of the day, a touching family with three juveniles. How cozy they are with their spots!

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An attentive father looking for possible dangers while the new generation eats.

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Finally, two close ups of the juveniles.

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This was a very beautiful and strong male!

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And to finish an Ostrich and a BBJ in a waterhole against the landscape.

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That's all for the moment, folks!

All the best
Charbel

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:33 pm

Dear forumites,
So hard to see that I cannot handle to work in the TRs in a consistent manner. My professional work has been so demanding this year. Anyway, some bird pics from the now distant June 4th last year in KTP.

First, a Kori Bustard close-up, such an impressive bird, the longest wings among African birds. One of the few occasions we saw this bird on the top of a small tree/shrub.

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Crowned Plovers in three distinct pics. Lovely birds!

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A White-Browed Sparrow Weaver doing his job of finding food in the ground.

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Niche destruction in the making: how Sociable Weavers can bring a tree down.

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A Sociable Weaver coming out of the nest.

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In the work of constructing or repairing the nest, beaks in action!

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And then some deserved resting.

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Taken on flight, towards the nest.

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Something we didn't see quite often, Sociable Weaver in the ground.

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To finish this posting, Sociable Weavers in cosy interaction.

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All the best
Charbel

Check also the KNP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
And my homepage with pics from several trips: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:08 am

Thanks Pumbaa and Trrrrp-trrrrrr for the comments.

Some additional birds from that good productive day in KTP. A Lilac-Breasted Roller, common to see with their bright combination of colors. Outstanding!

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This bifurcated tail is so nice!

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Pic a bit blurred, but so nice to see the details of the feathers.

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Not very common position to take a picture of LBRs.

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Let's move for these gorgeous Red-headed finches among the Acacia thorns.

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And closer pics. In the second, they look like mirrored images.

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A Scaly-feathered finch. Pic has serious limitations, but it may be the only one got from this bird in this trip.

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Swallow-Tailed Bee Eater: such a gorgeous bird!

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And why not finish with the cozy Marico Flycatcher!

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Thanks, dear forumites, for the attention,

All the best
Charbel

Check also the KNP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
And my homepage with pics from several trips: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby arks » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:22 pm

charbel wrote:To finish this posting, Sociable Weavers in cosy interaction.

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Charbel, I think that these are actually scalyfeathered finches?
RSA 2015
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:31 am

What else did you see in KTP in June 4th 2013?

Crimson-breasted Shrike were often seen, but not so easy to photograph. Thus, we were quite happy with the results that day!

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Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills also gave us a show that day. either perched over branches...

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or foraging in the ground...

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Good close-ups were also in their menu to us that day!

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Thanks for all the interest!

Cheers
Charbel

See also my KNP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
And my personal website (with pics from several trips): http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:52 am

Dear 'mites,
Final posting for June 4th.

A Fork-tailed Drongo with its red eyes.

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This is a bird with an austere look, isn't it?

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I am not good at identifying flora. But here are some fascinating pics from the Kalahari flora, with some attempted identifications. Please correct me where I am wrong!

The vegetation at the top of the dunes was always touching something in us. So lovely! We called this bushy grass "angel's little hair" (translating literally from portuguese). It might be a Blue pea. But I am far from sure.

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Here is a closer pic of their lovely sunburnt colors.

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Along with the bushy grass, we see here perhaps Black Thorn just before the grass and, perhaps once again, a Camel Thorn in the back.

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I am more confident this is a lovely Camel Thorn. But I can never be 100% sure with plants.

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And a Camel Thorn shading a Blue Wildebeest.

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All the best
Charbel

Check my KNP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
Check my website with more pics from several trips: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:21 am

And now a new posting, already in 2015.

And moving to a new day in KTP, June 5th. We left Kalahari Tented Camp and followed the Aoub river road up to the Lower Dune Road. It was our first time up in the dunes. It was fantastic! Then we took the Nossob river road to reach Twee Rivieren, where we stayed for the night. We need to phone home...

Early in the morning we found some maintenance in the road.

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This posting will be for landscapes along the Aoub river road, like this beautiful set of aligned trees in the river bed.

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From a viewpoint, a marvelous view of the river bed and the opposite dunes. I think the colors are lovely.

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Going down from the viewpoint, what a beauty the contrast between the red sand and the green and grey shrubs.

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A waterhole in an old fashioned, not solar pumping, but wind pumping.

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Another scenery from a viewpoint, with different colors.

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Lovely road!

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Shrubby landscape once again!

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And now with a thorn tree taken by Sociable Weavers.

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All the best
Charbel

Check also my KNP trip report: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
And my personal page with pics from several trips: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:33 am

Dear 'mites,

Continuing with the KTP landscapes in June 5th, a pic from the entry of the marvellous Lower Dune Road, when we are going up the dunes... Something to be missed. It is a different world up there!

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Another view of the Lower Dune Road, crossing between the world of the dunes.

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A view of the red sand dunes!

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A broader view of the landscape, up to the horizon.

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A view of the dunes from one of the viewpoints.

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A view of the waterhole from the viewpoint, pumping in the old-fashioned way.

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A garden in the dunes.

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Nice plants among the dunes.

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An island of sand among the dunes, with footsprints, I guess, from a Gemsbok.

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And now... from a different perspective.

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A closer view of the footprints.

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Waves of sand carved by the wind in the soul of the dunes.

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It was sad to see the Lower Dune Road go.... We reached Kij Kij.

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But the Nossob River Road is so nice that can make us renew our enthusiasm.

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We reached Twee Rivieren, with the chalets seen from a distance. Nice to be able to call home, eat in the restaurant, in a renewal to get back to the core of the park.

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Now I say goodbye with a sunset pic, quite close to Twee Rivieren.

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All the best
Charbel

Check also my KNP trip report: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
And my personal page with pics from several trips: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:16 pm

June 5th was not a day of many predators for us. but those we saw were great to find... It was the first time we ever saw a Caracal. We were heading to Twee Rivieren after crossing the Lower Dune Road, late afternoon, light down, not so good for photos anymore. We were close to the camp. And suddenly a Caracal crossed running the road, fast enough to eliminate any chance of photographing while in the road. He disappeared in the bush, but we looked at the circumstances and thought that he might appear a bit further, when the bush was open. And it was indeed the case. It was not so close, light was dim, so the pic is blurred. But here is, proof of the first Caracal we ever saw.

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We were also pleased to find BBJs up in the dunes while crossing the Lower Dune Road. They are indeed flexible, so adaptable, that's why they thrive so much in the park.

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No doubt he was up there for food. Here a pic of this resourceful animal looking for something in the grass.

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But it didn't seem he got what he wanted. After some attempts, he moved on.

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We had seen Honey Badgers before in Kruger. In Tamboti they were making a mess below our tent (but we didn't see them, just experienced their mess), but in Satara I saw one of them stealing from the garbage can. We were pleased then to find them twice in the same day, two couples, one in the Aoub River Road, the other in the Nossob River Road, close to Twee Rivieren.

Here is the one from the Aoub, which was further from the road.

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Here the couple close to Twee Rivieren. I consider the pic good enough for the bad light at the end of the day.

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A closer pic. What's there to eat? He might be thinking while digging in the sand.

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No doubt this is a beautiful animal.

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That's it for this posting.

All the best
Charbel

Check also my KNP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
Check my website with pics from several travels: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

Next trip KNP:
Pretoriuskop - June 12th
Berg-En-Dal - June 13th-14th
Crocodile Bridge - June 15th
Skukuza - June 16th
Biyamiti - June 17th-18th
Satara - June 19th-20th
Olifants - June 21st
Mopani - June 22nd
Sirheni - June 23rd-24th
Letaba - June 25th
Tamboti - June 27th

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charbel
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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:09 am

Evidently antelopes were much on the offer June 5th. We see these guys all the time around... but who could be tired of them? Such beautiful and magnificent animals!

Gemsbok were having their share of mineral salts from the Aoub river ground, while a Springbok was grazing behind them. Their horns make us dream of sharpness!

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Sometimes we do have to dig deeper!

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And then a handsome bull. No ladies would resist him!

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A general view of the mixed herd of Gemsbok and Springbok.

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Band on the run!

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And a solitary runner!

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He stopped and took a look at us! Who are these guys out there in the road? Don't you think animals when free to be by themselves look us so intently? It is as if they were trying to read us out.

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This beautiful Gemsbok in turn was moving on the top of the dunes over the Aoub river bed.

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As you all know Gemsbok are ubiquitous in KTP. Thus, no surprise, there they were in the Nossob river bed.

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We found this guy resting by the end of the afternoon, near Twee Rivieren.

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But before getting to the Nossob road, we crossed the Lower Dune Road, which was fantastic! Gemsbok were also there, among flowers!

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A Springbok in a funny dance with itself!

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Let me finish with a close-up of a funny face!

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Cheers
Charbel

Check also my KNP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
Check my website with pics from several travels: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

Next trip KNP:
Pretoriuskop - June 12th
Berg-En-Dal - June 13th-14th
Crocodile Bridge - June 15th
Skukuza - June 16th
Biyamiti - June 17th-18th
Satara - June 19th-20th
Olifants - June 21st
Mopani - June 22nd
Sirheni - June 23rd-24th
Letaba - June 25th
Tamboti - June 27th

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Ha

Unread postby charbel » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:55 pm

Dear 'mites,
So much time in final preparations for KNP next June plus a lot of work, and my TRs got neglected. Well, never too late to get back.

To begin, two more Springbok close-ups from June 5th.

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Well, a part of the body not shown in many Springbok pics.... but no doubt an essential part of their lives...

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A nice and typical KTP landscape, day vanishing while Springboks calmly eat.

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Some Springboks beautifully running through the Aoub River.

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And then they began to exhibit one of their most characteristic behaviors: pronking. It is shown by Gazelles. It also happens in several deer species in North America. There are many explanations proposed for this behavior. Evidence suggests that at least in some cases they are signaling to predators that they are very health animals, not worth pursuing.

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A close-up of a Springbok in full pronking. We can understand how a predator might give up when facing such display.

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Finally some dust into the air, Springboks fighting or pretending to fight...

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All the best
Charbel

Check also my KNP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=65025
Check my website with pics from several travels: http://charbelelhani.wix.com/cnel-hani---viagens

Next trip KNP:
Pretoriuskop - June 12th
Berg-En-Dal - June 13th-14th
Crocodile Bridge - June 15th
Skukuza - June 16th
Biyamiti - June 17th-18th
Satara - June 19th-20th
Olifants - June 21st
Mopani - June 22nd
Sirheni - June 23rd-24th
Letaba - June 25th
Tamboti - June 27th

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Re: Kgalagadi: The Big and Small - Trip report Charbel El-Hani

Unread postby charbel » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:16 am

Finally back dear 'mites!

How I missed the forums! My work has taken me away from everything in the last weeks. But those who live always come back. Here I am doing another posting in the KTP TR, which I shouldn't forget.

This posting is for the last antelopes and other bovidae pics for June 5th 2013, when we were traveling around the Aoub River Road, going from Kalahari Tented Camp to Twee Rivieren, where we would call family and then turn to the Nossob River Road to explore it.

Blue Wildebeest gloriously posing against the dunes. A majestic animal.

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They were in group as usual and, as often, in a mixed herd with Springboks.

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And doing their funny postures...

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A close up, just for us to see this beauty in more detail.

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Looking back the shoulder he says, yes, I know what you did last summer... Frightening looks.

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Another close-up so that we can see how hairy this guy was...

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From majestic to majestic animals, nothing like a group of Red Hartebeests, particularly with a cute little one, with his already black leg.

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This was a funny line of animals.

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Yes, he knows he looks nice in profile.

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Such a nice thin face, wonderful bending forward and then backward horns... What a black face!

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Finally, a Steenbok that looked somewhat different and got me wrong while trying to ID it :redface: .

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He froze when he saw us and stayed there in the road. Good! We could take many pics. Yes, he froze for a while, then back to normal, grabbing something in the road we couldn't see.

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Finally he decided to go away, into the savana, but still allowing for a last pic.

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And now it's time for me to go.

All the best
Charbel
Last edited by charbel on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Charbel's Kgalagadi: The Big and Small. KTP, June '13

Unread postby charbel » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:21 am

Dear 'mites,
The TR had been closed and thus only the original postings with the pics have remained. It is just because I take so long do to the TR. Shame on me! And thanks for the patience.

Hilda so nicely opened up the TR again so that I can go on doing it... So, let's go, with some more pics from June 5th 2013. Last mammals on list for that day: Ground Squirrels, to begin. Always entertaining little creatures.

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A closer look on some eating activity, while no other animal bothers him.

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Running around is something we are sure to see when watching these very active fellows.

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Both Pedro and me are fascinated by rodents. Pedro discovered a new species of rodent in the Brazilian caatinga, in a sand dunes environment, at the end of the 1980s. A jumping rat! We worked together on the social behavior of this rodent for some years. So, rodents are a must-see for us.

We knew rodents are very seclusive. So, our strategy was to look for burrows, turn off the car and wait until some rodent appeared. It was a strategy that would be surely successful. And it was! Many times during the trip. That day our first tiny rodent for the trip, a Four-striped Grass Mouse. What a lovely animal!

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Now moving to the birds we saw that day. We were lucky to find this wonderful Giant Eagle-Owl just after we left Kalahari Tented Camp. It was sleeping on a tree by the side of the road, easy to spot, wonderful for photograph under the morning light. It was on Pedro's side of the car, so only pics by him.

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I love this detail of its eyes while sleeping. That was deep into owls dreamland!

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A couple of Pale-chanted Goshawk under the same wonderful morning light.

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It was funny to see these Goshawks in the ground, in a chicken-like style.

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All the best
Charbel
Last edited by charbel on Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Charbel's Kgalagadi: The Big and Small. KTP, June '13

Unread postby umtali1 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:46 am

Thank goodness Hilda was able to unlock your topic so we can see more of your fantastic photos :dance: :dance:
Thanks for persevering :gflower: Work and other commitments do get in the away :wall:
umtali1

2013 Mokala and KNP http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75574.

2015 "Cape Town to Namibia border" - Ebb and Flow, Karoo NP, Mokala, Augrabies & KTP


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