PeterHG

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PeterHG last won the day on November 25

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About PeterHG

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  • Gender
    Male
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    Netherlands
  • Interests
    Birds, Wildlife, Photography

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  1. Congrats on the 500! Impressive collection.
  2. Nothing new in this post, but a few doubles just because the snowy conditions make for a different kind of photo. With the snow of the meadows acting like a giant reflection screen the flying birds get more light under the wings than usually and I do like the effect. Greylag Geese A juvenile Black-headed Gull And a great Egret. The lighting makes it look almost transparent against the misty skies. As the sun had gone by then, some blue appeared in the whites. I converted it to B&W, except for the colours of the bill
  3. Thanks for the tip, @Galana. I'll certainly give that a try next time.
  4. Ah yes, that one is bigger. You're welcome @Peter Connan. Glad you sorted it out!
  5. Very good picture again, @Peter Connan, like many you're showing us this year. I' just a little hesitant about Sabota Lark, I thought (mainly because of the bill) it looked perhaps more like a female Pin-tailed Whydah. But then, I'm no expert on larks by any means, so I might be totally wrong....;)
  6. I have plenty of those. I was just hesitant to include them in the count....
  7. Hope you do get your bags soon. Then you can forget about the frustration of the flight and enjoy the wonders of Namibia! The first birds already in the bag...
  8. Thanks @michael-ibk and @TonyQ ! Glad you joined me on this outing. I think a cousin from the east would be perfect @xelas , go for it!
  9. Thanks, @Peter Connan and @xelas ! Yes a short trip like that is certainly feasible and, in fact, it felt like we’d been away much longer. We did make good use of the time we had, by getting up early and do pretty extensive game drives. But even so, we had ample time to relax and enjoy lunch at one of the restcamps during the hotter hours of the day. Short, yes, but that’s all the time we had and I haven’t regretted it for one second. Of course, one needs a brother like mine .
  10. An impressive raptor collection, @michael-ibk ! Lots of great photos, too. I especially like your White-headed Vulture.
  11. 9. Time to go back home, unfortunately. As our flight did not depart before 11 pm we could take our time and still enjoy as much of the Kruger park as we felt like. In view of this we decided not to exit through the Open Gate, which would have been the most logical option from Satara, but drive all the way down to the Kruger gate. This gave us the excuse to do our favourite S126 road again. After only a few kilometres we saw two cars parked at the side of the road. It turned out they had spotted a Cheetah, lying in the shade of a tree, at quite a distance. Hardly visible against the sun and in the tall grass, but after some intensive searching we found it. Not the best view, obviously, but a Cheetah on our last day was a nice surprise. We waited for some time, hoping it would get up, but in vain. But there were other interesting things to be seen there, like the majestic Saddle-billed Stork that came flying by. The S126 was an elephant-rich drive the three times we had driven it before and also this time it did not disappoint. The drive south did not produce any new sightings, but was nice enough. We said goodbye to the Zebras And to the Giraffe and Oxpecker. And the Steenbok, always single and wary. Near Skukuza we crossed the Sabie river again where a single Marabou Stork stood on a sand bank. The only one we saw on the trip. At the other side of the bridge a familiar wader was searching for food: the common Greenshank. We decided we had time enough to visit the Lake Panic bird hide and soon found the turn-off and the parking lot. We were not the only ones there. Apparently this is a popular hide and for the first ten minutes we could not even find a place to sit down. The reasons for its popularity were soon obvious. The hide is L-shaped and overlooks a dam. The south leg of the L overlooks the short end of the dam and there are plenty of reedbeds and water plants. The view to the east is of the wider part of the dam and there are tree stumps in the water, serving as a perch for Kingfishers and Herons. Like this Striated Heron We managed to find a spot near the corner, so we could reasonably see both sides. A Squacco Heron was feeding quite near the hide. A Fish Eagle landed in one of the trees on the opposite bank. As this was early afternoon the light was not ideal for photography, but I still needed a Fish Eagle shot. A beautiful Jacana was feeding on the waterlily leaves, showing its incredibly long toes. We had already seen the Water Thick-knee on the opposite bank, but suddenly it was joined by a chick and later even by two. When a hippo yawns it’s the right moment to take a shot. Impressive jaws! The Lesser masked Weavers were busy gathering nest material. In spite of the crowd the hide had been well-worth visiting, but our time was up. We exited the park through the Paul Kruger gate and started the long drive to the airport. We stopped again at Milly’s, as we had done a week before and had a meal on the terrace overlooking the dam, in the company of Lesser Striped Swallows and Pied Starlings. We made everything in good time and had an uneventful flight back to Amsterdam. Only a week, but what a week it had been! We’d had a great time together, enjoying our many game drives together, the shared photography interest and the long talks about all the things that mattered in our lives, both in the present as in the past. We managed to see 135 species of birds, of which 3 were lifers for me and some 20 mammals. I brought home too many photos, as always, and a firm conviction to do this again. Thanks for taking the time to travel with me on this little trip!
  12. Cheers to you, too @Galana ! I hope you'll have a wonderful trip! You do mention some mouth-watering species from up north and I will be more than happy to look for any bread crumbs you leave. I see you may just survive your daily ration of alcohol
  13. Excellent pictures and a great start to the trip report! We’ll be going to Namibia late January, so I’m reading your story with added thorougness. Interesting to read that you visited Deadvlei at sunset!
  14. 8. Our last full day in the park. We decided to drive down the S126 and that turned out to be a good decision. Together with the S100 this was our favourite road from Satara. Already in the first few kilometres we came upon a large herd of buffalo, near the Sweni waterhole. We spent some time admiring these impressive animals and watching them cross the road slowly but steadily. As was often the case they were hosting a number of Oxpeckers, but this time it was the Yellow-billed Oxpecker. They seem to be less common than the red-billed ones and this was the only time we saw them. We encountered some big male elephants again and kept our distance while they made their way to the group of females and calves. A Burchell’s Coucal showed briefly and what a beautiful bird it is! Things were rather quiet at the next waterhole except for a few Impala’s that were testing each other’s strength. They kept at it for almost 10 minutes. My brother drove on until I suddenly spotted something in one of the trees some 20 metres form the road. I called out to him to stop and go back. And there it was, the tail hanging down from a big branch: a leopard. It was so rewarding to have spotted it ourselves and spend the first 15 minutes there without any other cars. Our second leopard, how luck can you get? Of course we waved down the car that drove past us and pointed them to our find. The four of us waited till finally the leopard decided to climb down. When we later the couple again at the picnic site they said they had been trying to find a leopard for a whole week and had not succeeded until this moment. Good to share our elation with them. The picnic site itself was home to a Scops Owl, which I probably would never have found on my own. The 'braai attendant' showed it to us and even then I had to look carefully as its camouflage is so perfect. We decided to drive back along the same S126 and again it did not disappoint. First a Lilac-breasted Roller decided to pose for us And after that we were greeted by a family of Double-banded Sandgrouse. Another lifer for me. A Wahlberg’s Eagle was being chased harassed by a Fork-tailed Drongo. Much lighter that the Wahlberg’s Eagles we’d seen before, so obviously the pale morph. We concluded the day with yet another gathering of Elephants, before heading back to Satara.
  15. My Pearl-spotted Owlet (#295) is in fact an African Barred Owlet (thank you @Galana, for pointing this out). Also a lifer and it does not change the number, but to keep the records straight.....

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