Blouberg, Woodbush and 600

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9 years 2 months ago #8612 by Doug
Doug created the topic: Blouberg, Woodbush and 600
HI all.

Gordon King, Eric Ehlers and I headed out to Blouberg Nature Reserve to look for the Ruppels Griffon. Arriving early we were greeted with a spectacular African dawn.



Waiting at the gate for the reserve to open we had some excellent sightings.
Golden-breasted Buntings were everywhere and a White-browed Sparrow-weaver waited to greet us as we came in.


Golden-breasted Bunting


White-browed Sparrow-weaver

In the reserve itself, things were very dry and birding was slow by numbers but not by quality. We soon added White-crowned Helmetshrike and Hornbills were everywhere. A few other sightings of nice species got us off to an enthusiastic start as we also picked up Gabar Goshawk.

Very dray and very red sand!

The reserve itself is strictly 4x4 only with much soft sand and the road too the vulture colony is increadibly bumpy and the Prado was really put through its paces. As we got to the top of the mountain however, we were reated with my first lifer for the day.... Swallow-tailed Bee-eater.

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater

The continuous onslaught of hornbills left us no option but to start taking photographs.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill


Red-billed Hornbill

We got the the vulture colony and we scanned. The we scanned and scanned somemore. Oh for goodmeasure we scanned again... No Ruppels Griffon unfortunately.

The reserve however has some amazing contrasts.


We headed on to the vulture resturaunt and there was more than our fair share of vultures present but still on Ruppels Griffon.

Cape Vulture

Having been stuck now for a few hours on 599 we headed off to Woodbush in Magoebaskloof.
As we arrived.... Cape Parrot


And that was it... My 600th bird for South and Southern Africa.

All I can say is what an amazing day and yes racing arund picking up vagrants and rarities is truly amazing but nothing tops reaching miles stones like 600 and more specifically when you reach thosespecial targets, having some of your closest birding friends around to share in the one special moent really is something I will never forget.

Cheers,
Doug.

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9 years 2 months ago #8613 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Congrats on 600 Doug!

Glad I was there to share the moment!

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9 years 2 months ago #8614 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Thanks Gordon....

Those Cape Parrots were nothing short of amazing. I have wanted Cape Parrot for so long now.

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9 years 2 months ago #8619 by Birdlover
Birdlover replied the topic:


Doug got his 600 th BIRD. CONGRATUALATIONS.




Doug i am doing a trip with Japie to Namibia in Jan 2009. I have high hopes of also reaching my next goal of 600 birds seen.

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9 years 2 months ago #8624 by JGB
JGB replied the topic:
Congratulations, see you there in a few decades time!

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9 years 2 months ago #8626 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Thanks guys and good luck Phillip. Hope you get your 600. Keep us all posted!!!!!

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9 years 2 months ago #8631 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic:
Well, done Doug :P - and I still need Cape Parrot <!-- s:evil: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_evil.gif" alt=":evil:" title="Evil or Very Mad" /><!-- s:evil: --> .

The milestones come along ever more slowly, so savour your 600 for a while. I hit my 500 seven years ago this week, 600 in April 2005, and I reckon that 700 will take me to at least 2011, even with some special trips to northern Namibia and northern Botswana.

Neil

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9 years 2 months ago #8636 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Thanks Neil and good luck with your DRC trip.

By the way I am sure it is fine but just check your 40D for front/back focus problems... Mine was killing me but now it has been fixed <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->

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9 years 2 months ago #8637 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Thanks Neil and good luck with your DRC trip.

By the way I am sure it is fine but just check your 40D for front/back focus problems... Mine was killing me but now it has been fixed <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->

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9 years 2 months ago #8663 by Peregrinedive
Peregrinedive replied the topic:
Congratulations Doug!

Very nice pictures you have there too!

Regards,
Abe

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