African Cuckoo

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6 years 1 month ago #57418 by mossie
mossie created the topic: African Cuckoo
I was in Kruger on the weekend, and picked up an African Cuckoo near the Paul Kruger Gate. Lifer <!-- s:bouncy: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bouncy.gif" alt=":bouncy:" title="Enthusiastic" /><!-- s:bouncy: -->

It must be one of the first of the season to arrive.

I also heard Klaas cuckoo, but it can also be one of the many Robin's immitating it?

Also, if anyone has not seen a Senegal lapwing (lesser black winged plover), there were quite a few on the left side of the road in the burned veld on the road between the gate and Skukuza. (But you've got to look real carefully, and ignore the millions of tourists asking "what are you looking at <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> )

Mossie

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6 years 1 month ago #57474 by Ranger Piet
Ranger Piet replied the topic: Re: African Cuckoo
Hi Mossie,

I went to Monty Brett LBJ course this year, was interested with a comment that Clive Hopcroft made that the African Cuckoo and the European Cuckoo were nearly impossible to tell apart. Newman has drawn them quiet distinguishable. Clive said he identified the European because it was in a reedbed and it parasites the reed warber.

You have kids my age, what is the general view with Kruger and Malaria?

thanks

Antony

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6 years 1 month ago #57488 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: African Cuckoo
Hi Anthony

My kids are age 2 and 4 now.

It is tricky, and there is always an issue of risk and reward. If we were to attempt to be 100% risk averse, we would never drive, fly, bath, drink, smoke, use electrical appliances etc As a general comment, I hate taking anti-malarial drugs, as many have quite an unpleasant side effect profile, however malaria can be fatal! So each person has to ballance their own risk/reward profile.

Our own [url]personal[/url] choice is as follows:

Children under the age of 2. We avoided malaria areas, even in winter. Our reason is that malaria is more likely to be fatal in young children, and we would struggle to live with ourselves if something went wrong! Infants are also unable to describe symptoms like headache fever etc, so it is hard to get a diagnosis!

Children over the age of 2. We do enter the park in the low risk periods (winter months). Spray them from head to toe with insect repelent (including their cloths). Make them sleep under mozzie nets. And the same for ourselves. (no anti-malaria drugs)

I would probably only go into the park in summer, when the kids are a lot older, and then I would have to think long and hard about whether to use anti-malaria drugs or not. If you don't use them, you need to be very vigilant with spraying yourself and cloths with mozzie repelent, sleeping under nets, and most importantly, if you think you are developing symptoms, you must go to your doctor and you MUST mention that you have been to a malaria area!

I'm not sure if this helps, but I think the conservative advice from say a travel clinic would be no young kids in the park full stop, and everybody should take anti-malaria drugs. I'm not sure if this makes me a bad parent for not following this advice, or a good parent for teaching the kids about the natural world that gives us life. <!-- s:scratchchin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/scratchchin.gif" alt=":scratchchin:" title="Perplexed" /><!-- s:scratchchin: -->

Regards,
Mossie

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6 years 1 month ago #57490 by Barry
Barry replied the topic: Re: African Cuckoo
Anthony

I have no kids, just my 2c. I spent two weeks last November in the Caprivi strip, being around one or another river almost every night. This was at the start of the rainy season and there were lots of stagnant pools around. We slept under mosquito nets every night, and we soaked ourselves with Peaceful Sleep in the morning, twice at night and anytime we went for a walk in the bushes. Only heard one mozzie during the entire trip. Regarding what Mossie said about low risk periods; unfortunately the migrants also don't visit the park during these times. Bit of a dilemma...

De Wet

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6 years 1 month ago #57494 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: African Cuckoo
I agree with DeWet that if it were up to my wife and I, as we have done in the past, and would continue to do it the same way.

However, with kids you need to take a few extra things into consideration.
1. They are more likely to die from malaria than adults if they get it.
2. They are less likely to be complient with the precautions than adults (I can't even get kids to wear sunblock!!!)
3. You as an adult are responsible for their lives (amazing how parenthood changes your outlook!).

By the way, herewith are my pics of the cuckoo... not amazing photos, but still... evidence:-)






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6 years 1 month ago #57552 by Ranger Piet
Ranger Piet replied the topic: Re: African Cuckoo
Hi Mossie / de Wet,

thanks for your input.

I have never taken the approach of being 100% risk adverse and don't for a minute believe that the real world is my environment in Sandton.
In the 90's i expated in Ghana, took no precautions (we had a doctor on site) got malaria, got cured and life went on. I have serious respect for malaria, it is a monster.
I have two daughters aged 2 and 7 months and never believed how much it would change my life......for the better.
I did with the two year old pop into the Southern Kruger mid winter, some of my friends thought i was a criminal, but as previously said 'we have to leave our house and live in this world"
I have however discovered a love of the Pilansburg and use it for my get aways, had a great moment a few months back when i said to my 2 year old "look at the birdy over there" and her reply was "DAD, thats not a birdy it's a Guineafowl" :D
My wife did give me a glanse <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> when i reply "you mean a helmeted Guineafowl"

happy birding & parenting

Antony

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6 years 1 month ago #57557 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: African Cuckoo
:D
I know how you feel on all accounts.

Child friendly campsites like Pilangsberg, Mountain Sanctuary Park and to some extent Boracalolo are a winner.

If it is any conselation, with two kids, it gets a lot better as they grow up. The first year of the second child is hellish, the second year an improvement, and from there on, when they can both talk, walk, and don't need bottles or nappies, they are an absolute pleasure!

Enjoy,

Mossie

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