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October 27, 2010

Round-Up of South African Animals - then we can move on

I know, you've had enough of my South African critter photos to last you a lifetime or two.

But because this is my blog, I get to say we're having one final post to summarize all the other fifteen and make them easy to find.

So here's the index:

MAMMALS
BIG FIVE
Big Cats

Cheetah (not in the Big Five, but definitely a cat!) ]

Elephants

Rhinoceros and Cape Buffalo

Giraffe & Hippos

Antelope (8 kinds)

Other Mammals: Zebra, warthog, hyrax, monkey, mongoose, baboon and jackal

REPTILES (Rainbow Skink, Giant Plated Lizard, Nile Crocodile, Rock Python)

BIRDS

Eagles, Hawks, Vultures & Owls (10)

Water Fowl (5 kinds)

Birds in Flight (5 kinds) ...& Flightless Birds (penguin, ostrich)

Colourful little birds (11)

Other Birds (8)

(This is being posted to both my blog sites (at Typepad and at Posterous), but the links take you to the Typepad one, which is my original blog.)

There. No one can say I wasn't thorough with my animal and bird photos now. Not that I was worried. I am just your most detail-oriented person ever and I love data and organizing it. And I had a great time on safari with my husband and two kids.

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South African "Other" Birds!

So these guys didn't fit in any other category...

Helmeted Guinea Fowl


 



Red-billed Oxpecker (on a rhinoceros)

 



Striped Kingfisher - singing with open beak - he sang a good long time while we sat nearby.

 




Pied Kingfishers (on a bush near a river)

 



Magpie Shrike (now there's a tail for you! That whole long black thing is his tail; it just goes on and on)

 




Fork-tailed Drongo (these like to follow animals like rhinos to eat the bugs disturbed from the grasses as they graze)

 



Black-backed Puffback

 




African Green Pigeon (or it would be green, if it had been sunny and we'd had more light...)

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South African Colourful Little Birds

African Hoopoe

 



Blue Waxbill

 




Greater blue-eared starling

 



Black-collared Barbet


Crested barbet

 




Little Bee-eater

 



White-fronted Bee-eater

 



Yellow-throated longclaw

 



Orange-breasted bush shrike

 



Lilac-breasted Roller

 



Purple-crested turaco

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South African Birds in Flight... & Flightless Birds

Secretary bird (with a token giraffe)

 



Black-shouldered Kite

 




Saddle-billed Stork

 




Cape Glossy Starling

 




Black-bellied Bustard in flight

 



And for good measure, a Black-bellied bustard on the ground - looks quite different, eh?

 


And along with these 5 birds we caught in flight, here are two birds that will never fly...one that prefers to swim, and one that excels at running...



Penguin - at Simon's Bay, on the Cape

 



Ostrich - at Cape of Good Hope

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South African Eagles, Hawks, Vultures, and Owls

4 kinds of eagles, 2 hawks, 2 vultures, and 2 owls...

Bateleur (Eagle)



Wahlberg's eagle



Tawny eagle



Black-breasted snake eagle

Dark chanting goshawk

 



Lizard Hawk (aka Lizard Buzzard)


 



Hooded Vulture


 



White-backed Vulture

Barn Owl



Grass Owl - how the tracker spotted this one in the dark from a bumpy moving vehicle I'll never know

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South African Water Birds

Grey Heron

 



African Jacana

 




Water thick-knee, AKA Water Dikkop

 




Three-banded plover

 



Egyptian Geese

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South African Birds - Pre-Disclaimer

We think we ending up seeing 64 types of South African birds in our four days at the Sabi Sand Game Reserve (quite a paradise for birders), but we "only" took somewhat identifiable photos of 41 species. 

These other 23 were too briefly within our sight, or too far away to pose for a snapshot, so if you want to know what they look like, click to see someone else's photos:
African fish eagle
bearded woodpecker (the red-headed kind)
brubru
ibis

I'm going to post photos of the 41 kinds "we" (meaning David or possibly Jason) personally got shots of, no matter how fuzzy or far away...so I'm sorry about about the poor quality of many of them; birds are hard to photograph because, well, they're small and fluttery and tend to fly away just before you are ready to capture their likeness...but I want to have a record here of the ones we witnessed.

I'll split them into a five categories:

- Water Birds (5)

- Eagles, Hawks, Vultures, & Owls (10)

- Birds in Flight... & Flightless Birds (7)

- Colourful Little Birds (11)

- Other Birds (8)

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And the Rest of the South African Mammals we saw

Zebra, warthog, hyrax, monkey, mongoose, baboon and jackal. When I say jackal, of course, you'll see I mean straw-colored blur.

Okay, these zebras are possible rivals to the leopard's beauty. Great invention, God!

 




Warthog. Not the nicest name, but great blend-in coloring...

 



"Dassie" - rock hyrax locally known also as a "rock rabbit." This was south of Cape Town, on the cape.

 




Baby vervet monkey - he was so cute hanging on this tiny branch...amazing the guide spotted him.

 



Dwarf Mongoose - smallest carnivore in Africa

 



Baboon. Hey, he's in the picture, but he wasn't interested in posing. It was the best we could do with this species.

 



Believe it or not - a jackal at nighttime...moving FAST past where we were standing drinking hot chocolate. It's amazing Jason caught the shot at all.

 

I know, you're thinking, WHAT is the point of posting such a poor quality picture? It's my way of record-keeping, of cataloguing what we saw and what our trip was like. I like remembering we saw a jackal, however dark and brief the experience was...

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South African Rhinoceros & Cape Buffalo

So, to complete the Big Five sightings (after the lion, leopard and elephants), here we have the final two - rhinoceros & cape buffalo. I was tempted to say "rhinoceri" like hippopotami, but it's incorrect. Sad, because it sounds cool.
The "crash" of five or so rhinos did not seem at all upset like you normally see them in animated movies. They were peaceful & slow.



Our driver/guide Patrick & tracker Tyrone...dangling his feet off towards the rhino.



The birds eat ticks off the animals' backs - a symbiotic relationship.

 




A little wrinkly...

 




Cape buffalo - curious but not enough to charge us.

 



Quite the hairstyle.

 

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South African Elephants

My favorite was the baby one. We saw lots of elephants. They just keep on munching and swinging their trunks back for the next mouthful. We also saw them shaking the grasses before eating, to get the dirt off. They like their food tidy and clean. 

The elephant photographer


 



The elephant

 



Hello, are you right-tusked or left-tusked? (They do have a preference)

 



It takes the little ones several years to learn to use their trunks properly.

 



Look both ways before you cross, now dear.

 




Look at this cutie!

 



Elephant in a dry river bed...

 



The sun sets on the herd

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