South Africa Day 14

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Today it's my last full day in the Park. I'm disappointed that my holiday is ending.

I leave Lower Sabie at 0434. First, I'm going to drive a little way along the road to Skukuza. There are often lions along this road at this time of day. Then I'm going to take a back road to Mlondozi dam. There was a sighting of cheetah on the road yesterday.

But I spend the morning seeing the usual animals. The biggest excitement is finding that the road to Mlondozi dam has a lot of korhaans.

There are two sorts: one is the blackbellied, the other is the redcrested, I find it difficult to tell them apart as both birds have black bellies and the redcrested rarely has a red crest. When they cry, they both have very distinctive cries. And so I have to wait until they cry before I can work out whether it's a redcrested or a blackbellied.

Today I looked the korhaans up in my bird book. The book has a description of the cries made by these two birds. Big disaster. For several years, I've had the two cries the wrong way round. So all my notes for several years have said blackbellied when I saw a redcrested, and vice versa, Grim. FIX I need to go through and alter previos refs and say here that I've done that,

Anyway during the next 90 minutes, I see 7 korhaans.

I don't think there's as much game this year as in previous years. For example, I don't think I've seen any elephants, and I wonder whether this is because the water level in the rivers is a lot higher.

Later in the morning I head down to Crocodile Bridge (where I go to the loo). I then drive north up the main road back to Lower Sabie. When I was at Crocodile Bridge I saw both leopard and lion on this road. Today I see only lion: there are two lionesses.

I leave again at 1556. I decide to do my usual route. According to the sightings board, people saw wild dogs at the S28 dam. After 10 minutes I see a snake as it finishes crossing the road. It comes out again to have its photo taken. Then within a minute after I haven't got over the excitement of seeing a snake two bucks cross the road. I think they are bushbucks. They are almost into the bush by the time I take a photo.

Besides those two bits of excitement, the ofher sightings are fairly normal. However, I do see several openbilled storks.

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