Monday, June 7, 2010

On the road to Nossob

After a leisurely start to the morning we packed up and moved off from Urikaruus around 9am, to head off to our next camp which is to be Nossob. This camp is about 100km from Urikaruus and we anticpated that it would take us the best part of the day to get there.

Not far out of camp we spotted this little mongoose.
I unfortunately cut off the tip of its tail in this image, and this was the best shot I got, as this little chap was very busily going about his business and hardly stood still for a moment!

The road between the Mata Mata road and Dikbaardskolk was probably the worst we'd experienced in the park, and in fact turned out to be the worst section we drove on in our entire trip. Sections were so corrugated we really felt like we were getting shaken to bits! But, we weren't about to let that spoil this great trip. You are warned about the roads in this park when you book and at the various camps you are advised to deflate your tyres to as little as 1.2bar, to minimize the impact and both the raods and your travelling comfort!

Next we spotted this black-headed heron sitting on the edge of a water reservoir. It was making an interesting movement with its throat, but did not appear to be making any sound that we could hear.

To be honest by this time I had grown tired of taking photos of springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest and would only take if there was something unique in the shot that we had not seen before. A little while later I spotted a couple of Lanner Falcons sitting on a tree, they were unfortunately a little too far away to get a decent picture of, so I won't bore you with a poor quality image. Then we saw a kori bustard, now we had seen quite a few of this majestic birds, but I still had not really succeeded in geeting a nice clear shot as they seemed quite wary of the motor vehcile and always started to move off as we got closer. Perhaps it was all the rattling and creaking my poor old Sani was developing on these roads? ;-)

Then, at last, we saw a pale chanting goshawk in a thorn tree right next to the road. Now, if you've read my previous posts you'll know I'd been wanting to get a nice clear shot of one of these birds. They had also become almost iconic, at least in my mind, with respect to the Kgalagadi. So here are two of the shots I took.

Then we saw a black-cheasted snake eagle, it was a little too far to get a great shot but I quite liked this one as it shows the starkness of the landscape and the clarity of the sky.

A short while later we saw this greater kestrel, this was the first time we had been able to identify this bird, on this trip, and it was the only chance I got to take a photo of it.

By now we were almost half way through the mornings trip. It had not taken quite as long as we'd expected, but we were feel somewhat shaken and not really stirred! We arrived at the Dikbaardskolk picnic spot and decided to get out and rest a while. As with most of the (human) inhabited spots in the park, this was no different and the yellow mongoose were ever present looking for a tidbit of any sort.

The balance of the trip into Nossob was fairly quite and we did not see much at all. We arrived at the camp at about 13:35, sooner than we had expected, but defintely not sooner than we'd wished after rattling to bits for a couple of hours! (But that's another story)!

all the best,
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