Friday, 23 December 2011

Quiet days at the river

I spent a relatively quiet few days up at Shingwedzi, followed by a night at Letaba before I was to fetch my family at the airport. I did not take nearly as many photos as usual, nor did I really photograph any cats, although I did see leopard, lions and an African Wild Cat. This morning I did however get to photograph a leopard on my way out of the park. She was a beautiful female who moved from side to side of the road using the drainage lines underneath, much to my surprise.

Shingwedzi area has fantastic birding, and I saw Parrots, Broad-Billed Rollers, Bee eaters, Vultures, copious eagles and Woodlands kingfisher in abundance, as well as Fish Eagles, but these were mostly beyond the reach of my lens. I was also tired, so I did get some extra sleep (after a morning drive, of course).  The weather was scorching, easily 40 some days!

Kingfisher waking up - looks far better than I do!

Buffalo herds were everywhere, large herds upwards of 200 animals plodded about, moo-ing like so many cattle as they walked. There were also large herds of elephant, and pods of hippo in the river and Kanniedood dam.

I wound my way along the river loops, stopping to listen as the birds called to one another, or to watch an impala chewing some grass. Some monkeys entertained me for a while, and it was enjoyable. I did miss photographing cats though, as I do love them, but I guess there have to be some quiet times so that you can appreciate the good ones! The highlight of these drives was for me seeing my first Roan Antelopes, stately animals, in a herd of 12. They were drinking at a waterhole, before moving off over the dry bush, into the sunlight and away.

Impala early morning

First rays of light!

Enjoying the last rays of sun

Now, I am off to the Sabi Sands for a few days with my family for Christmas. That is if their plane ever leaves Cape Town, already having been delayed over 3 hours as a part had to be flown down from Johannesburg. Oh well!! To be fair, the delay is not too bad for me, as I have to sit at Land Rover anyway, again having some different brake pads replaced. Oh the joys! At least there is great tasting coffee and an air-conditioned board room for me!

Sharpe's Grysbok

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