27 October 2009

Camping it up in Kruger...(South Africa): October 6, 2009

Leaving the highland grasslands of Wakerstroom behind we traveled north into "real" Africa, or more specifically the bushveld of Kruger NP, one of Africa's finest park, that is packed with both birds and game (for game wait for later posts to come). Within minutes of arriving at the park the floodgates opened, and we were being inundated with new birds and animals, with some of the very best birding being right in the park camps, where the birds are tame and conspicuous, and ready for a hand out! Hordes of hungry Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starlings (see photo) patrolled one of the camps, along with Southern Yellow-billed and Red-billed Hornbills (see photo of the former), and Francolins swept the ground for scraps too: Crested and Natal Francolins (see photo of the latter). For a while we chased around a calling Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike with extremely limited success, only for a pair of these beautiful birds to show to us once we piled into the van right by the car park! Also in the same camp was the bark-like African Scops-Owl (see photo) that was not at all difficult to find due to a largish sign planted below the tree challenging all to find their owl, which was roosting (rather conspicuously I should add) in the open tree above! At another camp we arrived to find a gorgeous Golden-breasted Bunting (see photo) panting in the mid-morning heat by the sign for the camp, and after a hearty feed we watched as a Purple-crested Turaco floated lazily in the air over the river and landed slap bang in the camp beside us, the large scarlet wing flashes in flight drawing us to it immediately. A truly magical first day in one of Africa's top wildlife venues.

1 comment:

john said...

Wow Sam, Which camp had the Scops Owl? I will visit Kruger in early February.