Travelling in the Time of Covid – Kruger National Park – Big Birding Day

Every year, Birdlife South Africa encourages birders to take part in Big Birding Day no matter where they are in the country. The idea is to chalk up as many different species in 24 hours within a radius of 50km. Species seen or heard may be recorded between midnight on Friday 27 November to Midnight on Saturday 28 November. Teams can be up to four people working together. In order to take part in the competition, you need to register beforehand and most of the competitors use BirdLaser to record their sightings. The Earl and I have never treated birding as a sport but we thought today it would be fun to see how many species we could get in a day. We came nowhere near the bird nerds who competed officially! We cannot believe that some managed over 300 species in a single day! Our neighbours got over 60 but they birded in a bigger area than we did. We just did the Mahonie Loop and the tar road which was a distance of about 30km. Our starting time was 7:30 am until 11:30 am and then again from 13:30 to 16:30. It was raining most of the morning and only started clearing up at around 15:00. We chalked up 47 species and enjoyed every moment. I have posted some of the photos of the birds we saw as well as some of the other creatures.

The rains have come and the impala moms are dropping their lambs. This morning we were delighted to see lots of little ones gamboling about and enjoying being alive.

Only few days and already steady on their feet and even leaping into the air with joy
Mom what’s in that can on wheels?
It’s too early – why are my friends so frisky?
One of the first for the list (White-backed vulture)
Hello – I’m here – mark me down! (Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill)
“Go Away! No I don’t mean you. Put my name down too” (Grey Go-Away-Bird)
I’m wet but I’m still beautiful (Lilac -breasted Roller)
I don’t mean to turn my back – I’ll pose properly later – Woodland’s Kingfisher about to take off
Is this better?
It’s a chilly morning so I’m fluffing up my feathers – (Mrs Red-backed Shrike)
My friends and I were busy foraging in the grass but I thought I’d hop on this branch and pose. Sorry, I’m not in full breeding plumage yet. (Long-tailed Paradise Whydah)
So you’re birding today? Then why are you looking at us! (Male Kudu)
Good Morning
Birds? Yes – I’ve seen some about. (Male Nyala)
The grass is greener on the other side
I’m really keen to find some breakfast. (Tawny Eagle)
I think I know where to get a snack – I’m outa here
Yes I know I usually hide and keep you searching when I sing my liquid call – but I want to be part of the game so here I am. (Black-headed Oriole)
Hi there, I am not as colourful as my cousins but I’m still a handsome chap. (Grey Hornbill)
Looking for birds? But can you find me?
Peek a Boo!
Only too happy to give you another one to tick. (Dark-capped Bulbul)
Pity for me that I’m all alone today. (Brown-hooded Kingfisher)
Another roller for the list (Broad-billed Roller)
You didn’t think I’d pose for you did you? (Mosque Swallow)
Birds, birds, birds! – What about a cute squirrel instead?
Punda Waterhole when we got home this afternoon.
It’s lovely having the place to myself

Tomorrow we pack up and make our way to Letaba.

Published by puppy1952

I am making the most of the South African Lifestyle and hope with my blog to share some of the adventures my husband and I are having in our retirement. We live at the Southern Tip of Africa in the small coastal town of Struisbaai. Earl and I have a Gecko off-road caravan and we travel around South Africa frequently. We are bird and wild life enthusiasts so are often in game reserves.

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