Whos keeping an eye on me....

Friday, 2 September 2016

South Africa 2016 - Mopani and Letaba

We met our guides early morning along with 6 other people for a mornings Bushwalk. We would be looking for the smaller critters and learning the bush mans way of life. Unbelievably we didn't come across any mammals at all during the 4hr trip , it would have been interesting if we had, depending on what we came across. Even without the mammals it was very interesting and informative and a very enjoyable walking in the bush. I bagged a couple of life birds with Bru Bru and the elusive White Backed Night-Heron.
 
White Backed night-heron

 

Back at Mopani camp we decided to have a few hours chilling in the garden before heading back out onto the roads. I racked up an incredible garden bird list with plenty of lifers at close quarters. Golden Tailed Woodpecker, African Paradise Flycatchers, Red Billed Firefinch, Grey Headed Bushshrike, the stunning female Black Cuckoo-Shrike, along with loads of the more regular species, Grey go away Bird, Grey Hornbill, Yellow Hornbill, Red Hornbill, Southern Black Tit, Crested Barbet, Chinspot Batis, Black Backed Puffback and plenty more. The woodland garden at units 20-24 where we stayed was a bird watchers paradise.
 
all three garden Hornbills
Grey Hornbill
 
Red Billed Hornbill
 
Southern Yellow Billed Hornbill


African Paradise Flycatcher



Red billed Firefinch

Grey Go-away Bird

Crested Barbet

Black-backed Puffback

Golden Tailed Woodpecker

African Mourning Dove

Yellow Bellied Greenbul

 
A spot of lunch and then back out onto the road, rivers and plains.

Boabab Tree
 
a battle scared Hippo
 

a rather cute youngster

while larger parties fed and watered


Once again we visited Middlevlei waterhole, this time it was quiet but just farther along the road we retried for the area that we had seen 2 lions the day before. This time we were fortunate to see the pair chilling, then just as we were about to leave we witnessed them mating. Incredible to witness this, again we had no one else around.



We spent a short while around the five Nshawu waterholes where the mammal life was quiet save for a few Zebras but we picked up 2 Gabor Goshawks perched together and a few Life birds with a Jameson's Firefinch, Long Billed Pipit and a Black Chested Snake-Eagle. Other birds included African Stonechat, Common Waxbill, Black Collared Barbet, African Palm Swifts.

Gabor Goshawk


Jameson's Firefinch

Black Chested Snake-eagle

The last night was a stop over at Letaba rest camp just to reduce the travel time to the Ba Phalaborwa Gate and Hoedspruit Airport.

The Letaba River didn't disappoint as a pair of Giant Kingfisher surveyed from the bridge
Giant Kingfisher

Zebra

Croc

while this Yellow billed Stork keeps an eye on another

This Juvenile Southern Ground Hornbill tries to stay cool by extending its wings, it was part of a family group that fed a little way into the bush

Kori Bustard

Long Billed Pipit

a family of Bushbuck decided to check out our accommodation, while one decided to have a rest



A few new birds recorded as we started our exit journey were at the Nhanganini waterhole, with Black stork and Woolley Necked Stork

Been there, and now its that way out....

just before the Gate the only African Hoopoe of the trip flew over while this magnificent African Hawk-eagle perched up for us.

Next stop Cape Town

4 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

Yet again, a wonderful collection of birds and animals your photographed at Kruegar National Park. Great post

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Those birds are all just staggeringly gorgeous!

BillN BillN said...

Wonderful images and Blog - thanks - Bill Nuttall from UK and France - we spend 2 months a year in your wonderful country - in the Western Cape

Andrew Fulton said...

Wonderful to see..