May 8 – Pretoriuskop

The moon was beautiful last night with some clouds floating by it.

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I got an extra early start this morning after waking up at 4:30 am, but I had a great sleep, interrupted only by the sounds of Hyaenas and lions about a 1/2 hour earlier. I could hear cars going by shortly after 5:00 am, so assumed the gate opened at 5:30. After spending a few minutes trying to figure out how to turn the lights on for the car, I arrived at the gate right at 5:30, only to find out that it doesn’t open until 6:00 am – but I was first in line. 🙂

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It took awhile before I found any critters at all, other than some unidentified flying birds, but once I saw my first elephants, I soon found more to watch.

 

Which way should I go?

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I went left.

A Hoopie was the first bird I could identify, followed by a Fork Tailed Drongo, Natal Francolin and possibly an African Yellow-throated Sparrow, but he didn’t turn around so I could see his throat.

 

I took a few scenic pictures – of course!  It is so beautiful here.

 

I also saw Kudu briefly before they disappeared into the grasses and bush at the side of the road. Then a Duiker was on the road, but quickly bounded away so no picture of him (or her).  Shortly after the Duiker was a pair of Waterbuck grazing peacefully, and the male finally lifted his head for a photo.

 

I am thinking this bird might be a Bulbul – but not sure.

 

I returned to my home and went to Wimpys for a wonderful breakfast. I had great service and great food. Wimpys is right behind my little bungalow and while at my table I realized my car lights were still on. I am much too used to having a car that automatically turns the lights on when it is dark and turns them off when I stop the car.  So, I walked over and turned them off before my food arrived.

After lunch I booked a morning drive for tomorrow. Then I wandered around camp, watching the Vervet Monkeys and Helmeted Guinea Fowl. They Monkeys were checking everything they could find outside any of the bungalows and were successful at one of them anyway. Then I watched one heading for Wimpys. Just as I was about to warn the diners, one of the waiters saw them and started to run at them, but then a lady screamed as one landed on her table and grabbed something. It then raced up a tree where he was joined by his partner in crime.

 

 

 

Along the perimeter fence, I saw a Purple Crested Turaco in a tree. I had no idea what it was until I downloaded my picture and looked it up. The Helmeted Guinea Fowl were getting very brave and walking right up to people and I also saw one successfully hunt and catch a grasshopper.

 

Here is my  little tracker & buddy – Zeb  – all ready to find what we can find.

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A short drive in the afternoon was mostly a Mongoose drive. I could not say what kind the first several were as they were at a distance running across the road in a few places. I don’t know if they were all the same or different types. I would say they were not Dwarf or Slender though. Later I did see 2 baby Dwarf and one was especially nice at posing for me.

 

A lazy Lilac-breasted Roller, another Hoopie and a White Crested Helmet Shrike finished off the day along with some scenic pictures.  I would say the black bird is a Fork-tailed Drongo, except that I can’t see his forked tail.

 

There are some interesting and pretty flowers, bushes, trees and fruit all around camp and I took a few pictures, but have no idea what they are.

 

It is so peaceful here and I have so much more to look forward to in the next few weeks.  🙂

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