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Everything posted by michael-ibk

  1. What an absolutely epic trip, @Treepol - I´m already looking forward to the report!
  2. I´m pretty sure it must be a Yellowhammer. Putting the physical features aside which were already discussed(mostly the bill) Ortolan Buntings are extremely rare in Austria even in summer. I´ve never seen one, they´re extinct now here as breeding birds. As migrating summer guests they should be long gone from Middle Europe by late November. Also, an Ortolan´s belly should never be yellowish. First winter Yellowhammers have distinct white eyerings.
  3. A stunning roller, Peter - wow!
  4. Agree, really beautiful pups, they look so clean and white.
  5. Austerity measures? Sure you will Peter - you will make yourself even poorer by doing more and probably more expensive trips. What are your itineraries, @Alexander33?
  6. @Seniortraveller@ice Sorry to hear the rains spoilt your safari. I can imagine that Chitake and Kanga especially must be very underwhelming with water everywhere. Seniortraveller, I´m glad you were not affected too badly by the coup.
  7. Wow, what an incredible sequence. You were really lucky to see this - awesome!
  8. From an economic point of view I do not really think it´s a good decision. Why would anyone pay double when you can have pretty much the same "product" in Uganda? (I don´t believe Congo is really a factor, the average tourist - and even the average member here - would probably not even consider it because it´s deemed unsafe by most.) Even if it is successful, after all they only need half the tourists to get the same revenue, which should be doable, it means less jobs for guides and lodge staff. Given the pressure the park faces from all sides this could become a big problem, and they will have to make sure that the local communities get some benefit from this. And I really worry for Akagera and Nyungwe. Let´s face it, they will always only be an add-on, nobody goes to Rwanda for those parks. And if the number of tourists decreases overall (which it probably already has by now) it certainly will for those two. African Parks has done a great job with helping Akagera back on its feet again, and the price hike is certainly not helping.
  9. Congratulations, Peter. All great new shots but I love the Helmetshrike most.
  10. @xelas I know of at least one place in Carinthia with Bearded Tits, only one hour driving time from Ljubljana - Maria Elend.
  11. Pen, we did Delhi - Jaipur - Ranthambore - Agra with a driver, then went by train to Bandhavgarh, by car from there to Kanha, by plane to Delhi (via Raipur), and then drove up North to Corbett. Almost three weeks. We used Nature Safari India and were very happy with them. On our second trip we used Wild World India (the company Janzin and many others have also used) and would go with them again. Second time around we didn´t really do cultural sights at all (apart from a day in Delhi) but concentrated fully on wildlife (Kaziranga, Kanha, Pench and Tadoba). As mentioned before flights really are cheap, so it´s not too difficult to get around in India to reach the National Parks. Just googled Nagpur - Delhi to cite an example, the flight is around EUR 60,-- both ways. Kanha and Tadoba would probably be the most convenient ones for you since it does not take too long getting there from the respective airports. (From memory about 3-4 hours from Nagpur to Tadoba, and slightly longer, about 5 hours from Raipur to Kanha and 4 hours from Jabalpur to Kanha - both are viable options.)
  12. Looks like a very interesting area indeed! Remarkable you saw Bar-Headed, I assume they can only be escapees, or is there a self-sustaining feral population in Italy?
  13. Hi Pen, given that you are kind of moving around the "Golden Triangle" area (no Jaipur?) Ranthambore certainly makes the most sense. Sariska is also pretty close but I have no information about the quality of sightings there. Ranthambore - still very good sightings from what I´ve heard but you need to make sure you get into one of the good zones. Some areas (I remember 7, 8) are pretty forgettable and you won´t see much there. "The best" is relative, of course. I love Kanha, and Bandhavgarh is also excellent for Tigers. Tadoby, I guess, is still the place with the most Tiger sightings right now. Inter-India flights are cheap, and you can also travel from Agra to Bandhavgarh by train (we did that on our first India trip).
  14. Fantastic photography as usual Geoff, really enjoying this report. And it seems that once again South Luangwa has really lived up to its reputation as a Leopard hotspot.
  15. Agree, it´s just so cool seeing them doing what they are famous for.
  16. I have the "Birds of Southern Africa" app but also the Princeton book, and the Princeton Photographic Field guide.
  17. Hm, on second thought I have to reconsider, Nxai Pan is a bit more South than the the distribution map shows for Bearded - not much though. I had excluded White-Browed Scrub-Robin because they have a streaked breast, but then I read there´s the subspecies ovamboensis (Namibia to NW-Zim) which has an unstriped buffy breast and "could be confused with Bearded" according to the book. So that´s probably the better guess.
  18. @africawild Sounds amazing, I´m looking forward to your report, especially to seeing pictures of Mana during and after those rains.
  19. Welcome back, Paco, glad to hear you had a good time and the torrential rainfall did not ruin your safari. Sorry you missed the dogs on the plains, did you get them in Chitake? I heard you had some special sightings there. Did you go to Kanga also?
  20. I think your early morning visitor is probably a Bearded Scrub-Robin. Great sightings in Nxai Pan!
  21. I´m not quite convinced this is a Scarlet-Chested. Facial pattern pretty much as in the book but belly does not look quite right. And shouldn´t the bill be just a tad longer? I have one from Kenya which definitely is a female Scarlet-Chested and it looks quite different, see photo below. But I´m afraid I can´t come up with a better guess. Amethyst only occurs in Southern Somalia according to Birds of the Horn of Africa. I considered Beautiful Sunbird. Immature male has a black throat, pretty short bill and tail, and also has that somewhat chunky look. But Lalibela is 2500 m above sea level and Beautiful Sunbirds are not supposed to occur that high up. Also, the belly on a Beautiful should look paler, a bit yellowish. Considering place (Lalibela) and altitude, only the following Sunbirds could be candidates: Tacazze (very common in Ethiopia, but quite a big Sunbird, and no black throat) Malachite (immature male may have black throat but looks quite different) Scarlet-Chested (possible) Shining Sunbird (immature has a blackish throat but belly should be more whitish) Olive (no black throat) Variable (no black throat) So I´d reluctantly go with immature female Scarlet-Chested - and will call @Galana
  22. I´m looking forward to your report, all the practical advice is very helpful. And don´t worry, your English is absolutely fine. (At least to another non-native speaker like me. )
  23. Welcome back, Peter, glad to hear you had a great time, and looking forward to your new conquests!
  24. I´m pretty sure your Marsh Sandpiper is a Wood Sandpiper.
  25. Congratulations on #200, Tony, that is a great number for Europe. Very pleased you chose a Hoopoe for the milestone post.

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