Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:46 pm

Thanks PRWIN & Lis.

Etosha? Any room spare? :lol:

We came across the same Lions that Bushveld Jock and PRWIN mentioned in their TR.

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"Ooohhh, I can't get this sand out of my ear."
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"Try blowing it out for me will you sis."
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"Ha! I'll walk past them nonchalantly then tickle her nose with my tail."
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"Ooohh, that tickled."
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"Right, time to play with some cars I think."
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"Aha, I see they use a non return valve to stop the water going back down the pipe. Clever.'
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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:48 pm

Hi PRWIN, They were playing with the ball as we drove up. By the time we had manoeuvred into a decent viewing position, they moved behind some bushes, then gave up when the ball broke. :roll:

Lis, Much better now. Can walk without a limp as long as I don't bend the knee too much. I now look more like a Racoon rather than a panda, so the eyes are fading slowly. Still not a pretty sight to see. (Not that I ever was in the first place :lol: ).

Thanks Fluts.

"Mind you, the system could be improved if they fitted a new ball valve."
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"Wow! Who's that good looking gal in there?"
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"Hmmm, I'm getting bored now."
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"Think I'll just go and annoy my sister."
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"Ha, gotcha."
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"I wonder what sis found so interesting here."
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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:48 pm

Thanks Lis & Mel.

As usual, I have been mucking around with some of my pics and converted them to mostly black & white.

Martial Eagle
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Black-chested Snake-eagle
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Lioness
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Springbok
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White-faced Scops-owl
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Spotted Eagle-owl
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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:49 pm

I seem to be finding pics that I missed on first sort through.

This is a panoramic of the river from the top of one of the dunes.

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The Lioness close to TR was still having a bit of a feed when we drove past.

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But I think she was almost full as she was playing with her food.

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She looked in the direction of the waterhole.

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Suddenly, I noticed a Cape Wagtail in the scrub further back.

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Another Lioness was already at the waterhole.

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And was soon joined by the big male.

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I found another two photos to add onto this panoramic which was posted previously. Much better now I have the whole scene in I think. :D

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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:50 pm

Thanks Nan, Flutterby & Bushveld Jock.

BJ, the dune panoramic was from the same spot you mentioned.

OK, I know I've posted this next bit elsewhere, but every single photo is a different one - one or two frames ahead or behind those I've posted before, so hope you don't mind too much if you have seen similar before.

On our last evening, on the very last drive, we headed out to see what was about. We passed Leeudril, and a few klicks further on, saw Dr. Gus Mills' vehicle parked up with a couple of others. We soon found the object of their attention, keeping a low profile behind the tail end of a dune.

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She was keeping a sharp eye on a couple of Springbok which were grazing nearby. As she watched, she settled down to wait for an opportunity.

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The Springbok were spooked briefly and moved further away, but calmed down and wandered back to within range. The female Cheetah looked to be getting ready to sprint.

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As the Springbok wandered even closer, she went into readiness for the chase.

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Suddenly, she shot forward at breakneck speed and chaos erupted.

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The Springbok saw her too late and darted away, but the larger of the two antelope was not quick enough to escape.

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They came together in a cloud of dust and the Cheetah went for the stranglehols immediately, with the Springbok srtuggling to escape her vice-like throttle.

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Eventually, the struggling antelope weakened anf the Cheetah sensed that the fight was over.

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She let go of the Springbok and regained her breath slowly.

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On checking my camera data, the whole chase and kill took only a few minutes, the chase being 21 seconds from start to grab, and the throttling process tokk 2 minutes and 32 seconds from when she first made contact with the Springbok, to when she let go of the throat. Amazing! What a sighting this was.

Next up, the cubs come in to feed......

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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:51 pm

...................

The female Cheetah called out to the cubs in that very un-catlike chirrup that they use when the coast is clear.

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She rested next to the carcass, still chirruping for the cubs to come and join her.

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After several minutes, we noticed movement up on the hill and saw the cubs making their way down towards mum.

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They were very wary, especially the last cub, and constantly checked around for potential dangers.

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They seemed to take an age to move closer, but it was great to see them in gorgeous light.

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Eventually, the lead cub strode ahead of the other two.

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While the two stragglers held back a little, still wary of potential predators.

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Before finally continuing on towards their mother and food.

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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:51 pm

Thanks Nan, Amoli, Fluts & Lis

So, after taking their time, the cubs slowly made their way to the carcass.

The more adventurous of the three arrived first.

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Followed by no 2.

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They both sniffed at the carcass, but seemed disinterested.

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Cub no 3 finally arrived on the scene.

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Where thyt milled around as if unsure of what to do.

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One flopped down for a rest.

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Then all three cubs wandered off to lie down a few metres away and left mum to open the carcass.

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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:51 pm

Thanks again WD, Nan, Lis & Fluts.

Hope you don't mind one or two more Cheetah pics?


Eventually, cub no 1 returned to see what was happening, but wandered off again.

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While cubs 2 & 3 milled about uncertainly.

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Cub no 2 decided to come back.

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Sniffed about a bit.

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Then settled down to feed.

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Curiosity or hunger got the better of another cub.

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Who decided that eating was a good option after all.

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The last cub decides that being alone is no fun, so returns towards the feeding trio.



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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:52 pm

Thanks BJ, Nan & Lis.

OK, last entry for this sighting coming up.

Tha last cub joined the feeding frenzy, but just sniffed aroung to begin with.

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This cub still seemed worried that something was sneaking up on them and continued to check every little movement out.

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Until finally it was satisfied that the coast was clear and settled down to rest next to the others.

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It then started to roll around in the dust, obviously enjoying itself.

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Before finally deciding that eating might be a good idea and joined the others.

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Even then, the coast was checked, just in case.

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All four sat and fed together for a few minutes, then mum got up and moved to one side.

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We left them there to hurry back to the gate in time.

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To think that only a week previously, I'd never seen a cheetah in the wild and this was only my fourth sighting of these enigmatic cats (we had seen this family earlier in the day, albeit very distantly). I count myself very fortunate to have witnessed this amazing sighting.

I'm just so glad that I said to the others just before we left camp that afternoon....."Let's go and see if we can find those Cheetah's again."

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Dewi
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Re: Once Upon a Time in the Northwest

Post by Dewi » Mon May 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Thanks Mel & Lis.

Mel, I meant that I suggested we go and look for these Cheetah's just prior to the hunt sighting, which turned out far far better than expected.

OK, what's next?

Sprinbok I think.

This group were taking shade under a tree to escape the searing heat.

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But in the evenings when things cooled down, the youngsters became a bit more active.

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It was marvellous to watch them practice their pronking skills, but when they put on a turn of speed, boy could they move.

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