Weekend at Kameel

At the end of May we spent some time on a game farm called Kameel,north-west of Thabazimbi, almost at the Botswana border. This is a good transitional area between Bushveld and Kalahari, wich allows for some interesting birds to be present. the highlight of the weekend was finding three Sandgrouse species: Double Banded, Yellow-throated and Burchell’s.

I spent around 5 hours hanging out a small watering hole, and had cracking shots of 2 male Burchell’s Sandgrouse coming in to drink, and filling up their belly feathers with water to take back to thier offspring. Also at the waterhole were some nice sightings of Barred Wren-warbler, Yellow-throated Petronia and Violet-eared waxbills.  On an open field we also had far off sightings of Temminck’s Courser.

 

Birding Big Weekend 2016 – Letaba

I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a guide for this year’s BBW in Letaba. Once again we had the privileged to guide an awesome group of birders, and it was great to do some birding with good friends.

The drought this year has had a severe impact on the park, and grazing, especially along the rivers was non-existent. This has a huge impact on the hippo population and all along the rivers we found dead hippos. Other tall grass grazers like buffalo were also not in top condition. Animal life was quite scarce but the birdlife was surprisingly good. Abundance of birds was less, but the number of species seen was still quite high. Seed eaters were scarce due the lack of grass. We found quite a few nice finds for the park which included Great White Pelican, Glossy and Sacred Ibis, and two Eurasian Golden Orioles in one tree.

 

Clocolan December 2015

A few images from the days spent over Christmas and New Year on the farm close to Clocolan in the Freestate. The drought has the area in its grip as well with grazing almost non existent, and water being scarce.

I spend a few hours at a spot where water seeped out of a rock down a little waterfall, where the birds of all species came down to drink.

 

 

 

Stutterheim & Hogsback

Our December holiday this year took us to two towns that we had long wanted to explore. First stop over was at Stutterheim, staying at the delightful Shire Eco Lodge with its bent wood houses. The lodge borders on the Kologha Forest with ready access to the trails and some distance a nice dam for cooling off.  I had the misfortune to be bitten by a Rhombic Night Adder in the forest, but apart from a painful leg of a day or two, and a helluva headache came of quite lightly.

Form here we headed for a few days at Hogsback, enjoining some walks there, the large labyrinth, and  just chillling. I managed to add to lifers here, Red-necked Spurfowl and Barratt’s Warbler.

 

 

Coach House Weekend

We recently spent a weekend at the Coach House close to Tzaneen enjoying the stunning views over the Wolkberg.

During the trip we stopped over at Cheerio gardens with the Azaleas and Cherries in bloom, one  of the sights I have always wanted to see.