Friday, November 21, 2008

Birding in South Africa

Well where to start?

Truely amazing trip with over 300 lifers. Not as overwhelming as you might first think as i had done lots of research and tried to learn as much as I could from videos before I went. Being in the field is where its at and i was soon learning faster than a cheetah runs!
We saw over 350 birds - and that helped, seeing birds I was familiar with.

(I learnt my lessons from my trip to peru in 2005 - I was overwhelmed there - but since I thought there was a bird called a College Cleaner are you surprised? It was of course Foliage Gleaner! I was very tired when it was called and I did spot it!LOL!)

As well as the birds we saw lots of Mammals - well not lots of different species but lots of individual species...lots of Elephants, Lions, Buffalo's and a fair amount of White Rhino's (1 Black Rhino) + 2 Cheetah's (defo the stars of the trip!), all those "deer" now I know they are "Antelopes" ...I had given up trying to learn which was which before I left but now i can tell a Kudu (I grew to be impressed by this ante) from a Sable ( and as for the fast food for all that is the Impala.(or pyjama bottoms)

My big regret was not seeing a Leopard. They were everywhere apparently. We missed one in Kruger by 5 mins or so....where we stayed in St Lucia - there was resident male who frequented the garage roof, not when I was there alas!

But Giraffe are as elegant (and very pretty) in the wild as I thought and Rhino are scary! Elephants just cant help but be endearing.....except when they sway at you......get out quick...they didn't at me but....respect!
It was surreal though looking out of the minibus to see Giraffe by the window and then later a Rhino looking at the front of the minibus and spraying!

Hippo's lie about, submerge and reappear with no noise at all, we did see one trotting off about his business, on a Game Drive, this was just outside a camp.Moving remarkably quickly!

Crocs - yes there were a few - some huge ones - I must admit I as happiest when they were not to be seen , altho come to think of it actually it was better when you could see them!

Warthogs I found surprisingly endearing!

Gnu/wildebeest were there...might find something to say about them......

but ah yes the Duiker -( Red the most attractive little Ante. and the best of all - really liked this little ante- the Steenbok ( how could you not be when they look like this?

Thats it for this afternoon!

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