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Everything posted by offshorebirder

  1. Ditto!
  2. @CDL111 - I am really impressed with the photos of the Fischer's Sparrow-Lark nest! And I'm really enjoying following this TR. Thanks for taking the time to prepare it.
  3. Nice job @Geoff - I've never seen a Fairy Martin's toenails!
  4. Good stuff @Steven NY. Thanks for sharing photos and impressions from your safari. I tried googling " Steven Fromewick " Facebook but only came up with a couple of your posts on Michael Moore's FB page. Would you mind posting the URL (web link) of your FB page so we can look at the complete set of photos? Thanks in advance.
  5. Great stuff @Geoff - from your wild welcome to Mwamba, to the dogs, to the incredible extended Leopard sighting. You also did well capturing the special sightings.
  6. -- I wondered whether to post this in the "General Africa Talk" forum or "Trip Planning" forum, but decided on the latter. This seems sure to affect tourists visiting Cape Town: "Cape Town - Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille is in talks with the police and the army to prepare for May 13 2018 - the day the taps are now anticipated to run dry around the city, with water only available at collection points, she said on Thursday. "The City is consulting with the South African Police Service and the [SA]National Defence Force to ensure the safety of residents at these sites and maintain general law and order," said De Lille in a statement. "Today (on Thursday) teams are testing how a real water collection point will work. This is one of many preparedness exercises that the City is undertaking". She said "Day Zero" has moved from March, which was earlier predicted, due to dramatic consumption reduction, and major interventions, but when the dams hit only 13.5% full, almost all the taps will be turned off. Dams are currently at an average 37.5% full. When that happens, residents will be rationed to 25 litres of drinking water per person per day, which will be distributed at about 200 points around the city. A massive public health communication campaign will be mounted to limit disease and keep sanitation systems working. "
  7. Wonderful trip report so far @bettel. No problem with all the Cheetah photos - more please! The photo sequence of the newborn Giraffe and its mother is very endearing. I especially like the photo of the Crowned Plover guarding its nest. Looking forward to following along with the rest of this report!
  8. I'm very sorry to hear about this.
  9. Wonderful birthday safari you had @PHALANX. Thanks for sharing the text and photos.
  10. I read the article and I agree with @ZaminOz. I think the researchers suffered from a bit of proverbial tunnel vision. Frequent fires don't tend to kill mature trees - they kill seedlings and young trees. This is because the frequent fires consume fuel which never builds up for enough of a conflagration to kill mature trees. It generally takes a large buildup of material to burn high and hot enough to take out mature trees. So if it were not for elephants systematically destroying the Chobe's mature trees (that produce seeds or fruit) then there would be a steady supply of new seedlings and saplings that would have a much greater chance of surviving the human-caused fires. But with the elephants destroying the "seed factories" then the fires finish the job the elephants started. And removing the mature trees and canopy makes for a hotter and drier microclimate in the forest, which makes it more fire-prone. Plus other cascading effects.
  11. I think it is a Sharp-shinned Hawk @cjt3 - but I'm not 100% certain. It is difficult to tell perched Sharp-shinned Hawks and Cooper's Hawks apart, but the size relative to the Squirrel and dove? plus the not-so-long tail make me think Sharpie.
  12. Sounds like you are a good and conscientious drone operator @LarsS - I applaud your checking with staff and other guests before using the drone. And for only using it around camp and not in the presence of wildlife. If everyone was that responsible, the world would be a better place!
  13. Just had to use the "unlike" feature for the first time - did not expect drone video...
  14. Just noticed the Tawney Eagle in post #57 @Geoff. Question: is it in the process of vomiting?
  15. @PHALANX - perhaps the Buffalo were only coming to wish you happy Birthday?
  16. Great new additions @Bush dog. I particularly liked the photo series of the Red-crested Korhaan's courtship!
  17. Great news - thanks for sharing @jeremie.
  18. Thanks for this useful info @Soukous. If you have similar tips to share for areas in Tanzania (particularly southern TZ) you would have some eager readers!
  19. @Bugs - that still does not make the following statement true CURRENTLY: "every horn sold by Hume is equivalent to the life of a wild rhino being spared ." Perhaps it might in the future if some Utopian system such as Mr. Eustace suggests is successfully implemented. But that is a very big "if".
  20. One question I have regarding the future of wildlife conservation in Botswana is: what happens after Ian Khama is no longer El Supremo? Does anyone know what Mokgweetsi Masisi's thoughts are regarding conservation, trophy hunting, etc?
  21. I simply do not agree with the following statement: "every horn sold by Hume is equivalent to the life of a wild rhino being spared ." That assumes the Rhino Horn market in Asia wants a very finite number of horns and that supplying a harvested horn makes a poacher in South Africa not take a Rhino. That is a false notion. It might drive down the price a tiny fraction but the poacher will still kill the same Rhino and the poached horn will still be bought. I do agree that the only solution is reduced demand and therefore reduced / eliminated price of the illegal commodity.
  22. In post #268 of this thread, @douglaswise asked some pointed questions about whether the Mara Cheetah Project's "costs required to run the Project can be justified by any likely conservation gains. " Nothing wrong with applying critical thinking to such questions, and all conservation projects should be able to answer such queries. I recently saw mention of the following peer-reviewed publication on MCP's Facebook page (along with a neat video of the 5-male coalition): "We are excited that our latest research on human-wildlife conflict has just been published in Ecology and Evolution: Human-carnivore conflict is a primary driver of carnivore declines and can inflict substantial costs on local communities. Resolving and mitigating these conflicts is therefore of primary concern to carnivore conservation and human livelihoods. Using data from 820 interviews we looked at both husbandry practices and environmental variables to help predict attacks on livestock enclosures and with that we made a map of areas where attacks on bomas are most likely to occur. We are hoping that the results will be used by management and community members to prioritise mitigation efforts to minimise human-wildlife conflict. This study was carried out in collaboration with the Mara Lion Project and was kindly funded by the African Wildlife Foundation, Basecamp Foundation Kenya- BCFK and numerous private donors." While their conclusions (see 'Discussion' section) are not earth-shattering revelations, to me they seem worthwhile and an incremental improvement of the state of knowledge.
  23. Lucky you @penolva! Were they in OMC or the main reserve?
  24. Definitely! I heard a rumor that day trips to Shaba (from nearby lodging in Samburu/Buffalo Springs/etc) will require hiring armed escorts to protect against Shifta.
  25. Wicked Gymnogene! But part of nature. You were lucky to see and photograph this @Soukous.

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