Tag Archive for Bateleur

Bateleur

This Bateleur landed on the road behind us. We turned around to make a few photos.

Bateleur with kill at Kruger National Park

Bateleur with kill at Kruger National Park

Bateleurs with kill at Kruger National Park

Bateleurs with kill at Kruger National Park

This is a different bird, but a nice close-up of a juvenile Bateleur.

Juvenile Bateleur at Kruger National Park

Warming up in Kruger | Bateleur

So, here we are at Bateleur Bush Camp. It’s a tiny camp, in the middle of nowhere. It’s also bone dry and hot. At check-in we meet the charming and much appraised Lazarus Lekhuleni, Bateleur’s Hospitality Manager. Lazarus shows us to our bungalow, whilst giving us the latest news and the best spot for cell phone reception (Tshanga look out point). We get no 6 as requested, it has a bird bath. We settle in, put fresh water and a few ice cubes in the bird bath and relax 🙂

Bateleur Bush Camp

Bird bath at no 6

The next day we drive off to discover Rooibosrant Dam. On our way we see the beautiful Long-tailed Paradise Whydah. ✓

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah

When we arrive near the dam, we see the loop road has been closed. We can drive onwards a bit, but there is only a small spot to park and we need to peer through the foliage to see the dam. 🙁
There’s a Fish Eagle (first of the trip!) in a dead tree and we spot a Jacana tiptoeing on the lilies, but that’s about all we manage to see. Most of the view is obstructed.

African Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)

African Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)

African Jacana

African Jacana

Very disappointed we drive back and decide to have a look at Silvervis Dam. We are out of luck. Silvervis is overgrown by reeds. Can’t see a thing. Time for plan C:  off to Shingwedzi. We were instantly rewarded with this lovely sighting of African Hawk-eagle ✓

African Hawk-eagle (Aquila spilogaster)

African Hawk-eagle (Aquila spilogaster)

Near Shingwedzi Rest Camp we stop to watch a Marabou Stork, that is foraging for food in elephant-made puddles of water.

Marabou Stork

Marabou

We spot a Saddle-billed Stork stalking fish.

Saddle-billed Stork @ Shingwedzi

Saddle-billed Stork

A White-fronted Bee-eater waiting for lunch

White-fronted Bee-eater

White-fronted Bee-eater

Little Egret taking off

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

After lunch we slowly drive back to camp and decide to do what the impala are doing; rest in the shade.

Impala

Warming up in Kruger | Unexpected sightings

We leave Sirheni Bush Camp at the crack of dawn.

Sirheni dawn

We’re off to Bateleur Bush Camp, but taking the long way – via Letaba Rest Camp – because we need the ATM machine there. Maybe one day, the little ATM machines at the park’s shops will be sophisticated enough to accept foreign bank cards. Until then, we will have to make do 🙂

So, off to Letaba it is. No stops on the way down. Apart from the usual suspects we don’t see anything spectacular. After feeding the ATM machine our bank card and receiving fresh new bank notes as a reward, we drive back up. First stop Letaba river bridge …

From Letaba Bridge

… where we spot a buffalo and a small herd of waterbuck. On the other side of the bank we see a lonesome Ground Hornbill strolling towards the bank. (River bank, not the ATM)

Southern Groundhornbill

We arrive at Mopani Rest Camp, where we want to pick up some groceries. While there, we see there’s an exhibition going on in the conference center, so we decide to have a look.

Mopani conference centre Moholoholo Show

Brian Jones of Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre fame is giving a talk. The talk has already started, but the Honorary Ranger ladies show us to a seat anyway.

Brian Jones has the gift of the gab. He talks faster than anyone I know. He also has a lot to say!
The goal of Brian’s presentations is to make the public aware of the plight of the Environment in Southern Africa. He does this with the help of two cheetahs, a bateleur, a – was it a pearl-spotted owl? (I don’t remember) – and Queenie the Crowned Eagle. (Thanks for the reminders Cees & Corina)

Queenie the Crowned Eagle

Crowned Eagle

Bateleur

Bateleur

These most unexpected sightings turn out to be the highlight of the day. We skip petting the cheetah – what’s his name again? – and drive off towards Bateleur Bush Camp instead.

To be continued …

Have a look at more bird photography at Bird Photography Weekly for more bird photos around the world.