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  2. This past weekend we have joined business with pleasure; by coming to Vienna to retrieve our visas for upcoming trip to South Africa we have extended it with short birding trip to Seewinkel. Weather was not good on Friday afternoon and on Sunday but forecast was spot on for Saturday, with enough sun to allow us a couple of new entries . BY 341 / AUT 15 Bullfinch - Pyrrhula pyrrhula Seewinkel, 18/11/2017 BY 342 / AUT 16 Great Grey Shrike - Lanius excubitor Seewinkel, 18/11/2017
  3. Day 4 (still not the end)Ironically, they again met topi herd with day or two old calves (different herd). And there were again some inexperienced mothers there. Usually experienced mothers start to run away with their calves as soon as they see a predator as they know that a calf will not be able to overrun a cheetah on a short distance. If it does not work they run from a cheetah being close to their calf because they can try to fight a cheetah or two. However in this case not only mother topi did not bother to move her calf earlier (cheetahs were seen in advance) but she ran away herself and left her calf behind the herd alone. The outcome was predictable, it was an easy hunt and not even for Malaika, one of her boys did it start to finish: Got it:Nothing got wasted:I promise the end of the day will be more positive.
  4. 315. Lappet-faced Vulture. Kruger NP, November
  5. 314. African Hawk Eagle. Kruger NP, November
  6. Day 4 (continuation)Malaika walked little bit, chose nice bushes and fell asleep. And we were sitting there, and sitting, and sitting. Good thing I had my book with me :). After a few hours of sleep and a good shower (I love rains, they make cats to move ) the family started to move:Some drink:One of sons was posing. As far as I know Malaika had already made one attempt to push them out (it is suggested that she went to mate), then she returned, she will probably push them out completely within a few weeks.Pipit:The hunt has started:Hiding:
  7. A stunning roller, Peter - wow!
  8. Thank you @lmonmm !! I am so excited to share the experience with my hubby. I feel a little greedy going to the same (similar) ecosystem six months later but he deserves to see it too! I'm noodling over a trip to Uganda next, so that will be an entirely different trip. (Isn't it a shame that we have to wait for our trips of a lifetime?)
  9. 313. Purple Roller. Kruger NP, November. Definitely one of my favourites.
  10. 312. Wahlberg's Eagle. Kruger NP, November. Harassed by a courageous Drongo...
  11. 311. Mocking Cliff Chat, Kruger NP, November
  12. Agree, really beautiful pups, they look so clean and white.
  13. Today
  14. Taken at Augrabies falls
  15. @AmyT Have a fabulous time!!!!!!!!!!
  16. @Steven NY Lovely photos! Judging photo competitions is all about opinions - I think you can be proud of the images you have taken.
  17. We all decided that this deal was done, Malaika would get it as she had two sons to trick the mother topi. And Malaika started to run: ... wait a minute! What was going on? She was running after the "wrong" calf. She ran after the one that was older (on the left, on the photo above). She did not notice the younger one or maybe she lost it when whole herd started to run. It was a very dramatic chase, Malaika got the other baby, but the mother pushed her away... then Malaika's son joined the chase and ran after the baby, the topi mother was trying to catch, but she tripped and fell over her head. Malaika boy approached the calf.... and did nothing. He got confused, sat and was checking what Malaika was doing. The herd and the calf ran away. But where was the new born calf? It stayed unnoticed and lied on the ground: It was lying without any movement but it was quietly calling for the mother. It was heart breaking. I was told that normally topis come and check later if their calves are alive. But in this case the mother was way too inexperienced she could have decided that the calf was eaten. It was also a new born calf so the mother did not have that strong attachment. All in all the chances were high that she would never come back. We stayed in the area for a few hours (we could see the spot with binoculars) and she never came back. The sun was very strong, then it was raining, I could not stop thinking about the baby. I am still having tears in my eyes. Sometimes nature is such a bitch.
  18. I am keeping my fingers crossed for them to stay together. They are such a treat for any safari lover :). Thank you for kind words! Day 4. That was one of saddest morning for me. But first things first. I don't remember why we did not go to boys. Either they were not found or they got something the night before (after we left) or maybe Malaika was hunting and we decided to join her. In any case we went to Malaika. We stopped near bat eared fox den and fox cubs are the cutest cubs ever Then we met a topi herd with some youngsters: And right after this we came across a new born topi. It was so great to watch the calf. The mother seemed to be very inexperienced as she did not allow a baby to suckle for quite a long time. She was pushing it away but after like 30 attempts she figured this out:I told Meshack that as things seemed to be settled here we could continue our way to Malaika. And I was shocked when he replied that we did not have to move as Malaika was very close and she would appear here very soon. I almost got a heart attack, as this calf had no chances and even more I was afraid that Malaika would not even kill it and just would allow her boys to play with it. Sure enough Malaika arrived. Here she is, watching the herd and the new born baby (the one on the right):
  19. An interesting twist in Trump's reversal of his decision: According to the Washington Post, it was influenced, if not altogether driven by, considerable blowback from the conservative media that forms his base support. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/11/20/daily-202-elephant-trophy-reversal-shows-what-influences-trump-the-most/5a124f4b30fb045a2e00325f/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_daily202-820a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e0b6158a1c6b I never saw that coming. I swear I'll never get to the root of the chaos that rules this administration.
  20. We totally agree. With sand it is normally quite easy when the tyre pressure is low and one keeps momentum. Mud is a total different story, especially the cotton mud! We had some fun and games in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve during the rainy season. The one lesson we learnt was to stick to the track - even if it looks like a never ending river and the veld next to the track seems drier. Don't leave the track. We used Tracks4Africa.
  21. Thanks @amybatt, from memory Nicholas said that the cubs initially suckling were the mother's cubs and the ones that then tried to muzzle in were from one of the other mothers. l don't think you will be surprised of our opinion of Porini Rhino.
  22. Thanks @wilddog, its probably where the vehicle was parked, as much as it may look mischievous it was well behaved. We did see them again two nights later.
  23. @michael-ibk This is the issue that really has me questioning this low-volume, high-return business model that is being pursued. From a conservation standpoint, this approach may yield more revenue per visitor with less impact on the gorillas, but what about the local people whose livelihoods depend on a certain degree of tourist volume? Under the current plan, local communities are supposed to receive a larger share of revenue from each permit sold than under the previous fee schedule. However, how will that replace the jobs that likely will be lost on account of lower tourist numbers, the cooks, housekeeping staffs and other employees at hotels, the guys that depend on tips for each pair of boots they clean, the poachers-turned-porters? Again, it will be interesting to see how this turns out, but it is cause for concern.
  24. @BeatNavy Darn! Then bears in Alaska will have to wait until his retirement. We'll go looking for spirit bears in British Columbia instead.
  25. I think many of us here do not like the idea of hunting/ culling or anything else like that and bury our heads in the sand. We sit on our terrace in camp watching the elephants wander in and out at a waterhole, hear the lions roaring and hyenas calling at night and for us it is heaven. Away from the crowds in London, Nairobi or NY and we are living our dream. But that is what is ..OUR dream. Beyond where we are camping are growing numbers of human beings trying to eke out an existence, farming say, and fighting off elephants and lions who want to eat the grain and live stock. It would all be wonderful if human numbers were not increasing also. People need space too. We in the Western world have already filled our space hence our desire to visit the bush! We have no right to expect people who live in the countries concerned to suffer so we can have our dream. I can well understand how a little poaching for meat or perhaps even an elephant tusk could make a massive difference to a families life style. As has been said before if it pays it stays...................... and me and my camera are not going to save the continent. So reluctantly I accept that hunting DOES have a role to play. On the other 'elephant in the room' the huge numbers of elephants in some areas, Hwange being the PRIME example no one has come up with an answer.................. that we will accept. So I am going to say something else equally unpopular. Culling may have a legitimate place. Large translocations are VASTLY expensive although it is wonderful to hear of what ANP are acheiving in Malawi but that was just 500 elephants not 5000 or 25000. Bugs mentioned earlier the issue at Hululwe and numbers of lions and and elephants that had to be culled some years and that the elephant population has now regrown beyond what is sustainable. Are we to pretend that is not an issue that needs resolution? We need to wake up to reality. I know I always read these contentious threads but rarely make direct comment but today I have. Not sure how many others do read them or just stick to trip reports. We do owe it to the wildlife to try to fully grasp the issues at stake and learn to work with them. I shall now retire to my arm chair and wait for the flack. I should just stress that these are my personal views not necessarily the views of the Management!
  26. Husband Harry and I leave the day after tomorrow for Tanzania: Kichuguu Camp in Tarangire NP (1N), Lemala Ngorongoro (2N), Namiri Plains (4N) and Sayari Camp (3N); plus a night/day at either end in Arusha. Private vehicle and guide for all but the Asilia camps, which will be a new experience. Harry enjoyed sharing the photos I took of the June Kenya trip that when we discovered he had to have surgery on his foot, I scrambled to book this trip during his recovery time.
  27. @michael-ibk Hey, I’m already having to eat cat food for dinners. Can’t I at least have the wet stuff instead of dry? In Kenya, it’ll be all Kicheche camps: Laikipia, Mara, and Bush, 4 nights each. In Brazil, we’ll start at Pouso Alegre for 3 nights and then Porto Jofre for 6 before heading on to Barranco Alto.
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