Kingfishers

For the Kingfisher lovers among you – as promised 🙂

PS: I got pictures of seven of the ten Kingfisher species in Kwazulu Natal. I will try get pictures of the other three species (Grey-headed Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Half-collared Kingfisher) in time 🙂

Frustration and Birds

Today was a bit of a frustrating day. I could not find anything exciting “in the mammal department” on both game drives. And when good sightings were called in on the radio they were too far away to reach in time before the end of the drives. Well, every occupation must have his frustration from time to time.

A bit of a compensation (at least for me 🙂 were two very nice bird bird sightings:

A Brown-hooded Kingfisher and a Cardinal Woodpecker.

Sniff!

My favorite picture from today’s game drive is of one of the younger Elephant bulls sniffing the back of Anton’s game viewer. Priceless looks on the faces of some of the volunteers 🙂

Outtakes

When I was selecting, sorting and filing the images I took since I arrived at Thanda I came across a few pictures I liked very much, but which did not make it onto my blog at the time. So here are four of these “outtakes”.

The first is of a small bird trying to reach the pollen on a Mountain Aloe. It is a Long-billed Crombec.

The second is of a small Vervet Monkey sunning itself in a tree.

The third is of two juvenile Lions of the Thanda North Pride “staking” a Warthog across a waterhole (for the Warthog lovers among you: the Warthog was never in danger from these two 🙂

The fourth picture is of a bunch of Red-billed Oxpeckers riding on the back of a Buffalo. The Buffalos, like most large mammals, love the Oxpeckers because they eat the Ticks of their back.

I hope you enjoy this set of “outtakes”!

Close Encounter

Today’s morning game drive started very slow. It had been a cold night with high winds and most animals had withdrawn into thick bush.

I tried to find Elephants but the only animals I found after 1.5 hours search were a group of Giraffe. But while we were watching them a young Elephant bull walked in on us. After showing his annoyance with a few head-shakes he moved off into the forest and moved away.

For our way home to Intebane camp I had chosen a route over a hill. When we came over the ridge the six Thanda South Pride Lions walk straight towards our game viewer. I stopped the car and told everyone to sit still. The Lions passed within a few feet of our car. Very exciting for the volunteers!

 

We followed them for a while and I got the beautiful shot of the young south pride male.

 

I love Lions!

Accidental Game Drive

On Sunday afternoon I was driving to the Bayete Camp on Phinda Private Game Reserve and I took a wrong turn on the way.

It was rather a lucky turn, because after a few hundred meters (or yards) I spotted a Black Rhino that developed some interest in my car. I got a few pictures before I turned around from my “accidental game drive” and got onto the right way to the camp.

My friends from Panthera (www.panthera.org) and Phinda (www.phinda.com) took me on a proper game drive in the evening. On that drive I took this picture with the funny Cheetah pose.

Reflection

Today’s picture was actually taken two days ago. I like the reflection in the ripples of the water.

I was not driving today (Office work and cleaning my Land Rover!). Tonight I will be meeting some of my friends from Panthera on Phinda Private Game Reserve 🙂

Have a good week!

One more image!

A few people have asked me: Why/how did the Zebra get away.

The answer: With a good kick – as you can see in this picture 🙂

This shot is a bit out of focus, but I thought it is worth posting it to illustrate the strength of a Zebra.

Have a good weekend!

A Lucky Friday, the 13th!

What a day!

At the end of our morning game drive we encountered a Lioness stalking a group of Zebra and Wildebeest.

I positioned the vehicle to the left of the lioness half-way between her and her prey. She singled out the Zebra that had gotten very close to her. The Zebra saw her just before she was able to start her run.

She almost got the Zebra, but in the end she had to give up and the Zebra got away.

Have a look at her face – Pure Focus!

And on the way home a few lions were very close to the road in the high grass. When we drove by (without knowing that they were there) they gave the car a short chase. This was very exciting for my passengers 🙂

For the Zebra it was a lucky Friday, the 13th, and it was for us seeing this scene!

Cold and Bliss

The morning game drive was very quiet. The cold morning air combined with wind had driven most animals into thick bush. But we had an early morning sighting of this juvenile Bateleur (Eagle). His puffed up feathers suggest that he was a bit cold!

He is at the stage where his plumage turns from the brownish colors of the juvenile bird to the black, brown and white design of the the adult. The morning drive ended with a Cheetah sighting on the savanna.

In the afternoon we saw a herd of Buffalo, White Rhinos and an Elephant Bull. This young Rhino bull was part of a crash of seven animals. I enjoyed his facial expression and his groans when he gave himself a good scratch – Pure Bliss.