Wednesday, October 24, 2012

To Forest and Back Again

Today between the morning drive and the afternoon drive, we walked over to Forest lodge, toured a suite, toured the safari shop, and walked back again.  All with Sam, who was obviously a great guide! First the were some nyala in the field we started in.  If I can figure out how to flip this picture in iPhoto I will use it as my cover photo...... yes, that should be an easy easy question.......

Human and Nyala 
 A good-sized baboon troop came through, all ages and sizes.  They all carry their tails quite high!
Sam found us this bush shrike, and we were looking at it frustrated by how it hid when it flew off.  Then Jack said, "No, it's still there, just look!" and we wondered what he was looking at........
Orange-breasted Bush Shrike
 ...... it was this bunting in the same tree!
Golden-breasted Bunting
 Another violet-backed starling.  I think this might be my favorite starling.
Violet-backed Starling
 Once we got to Forest Lodge this red duiker was waiting for us, charming us into considering staying there for our next trip.  The forest was quite lovely, like a storybook come alive.  It was not as birdy as I thought it would be, but it was much prettier than I imagined.  The paths are really through the woods, and it's a lovely walk from the main part to the suites.  The suites were also lovely.  Actually really gorgeous.  There are no plunge pools, just the main pool, but that doesn't matter to us.  The other big difference was the number of people.  There are many more suites so it's always more people.  But if we had gone with Forest instead of Vlei I would not have been upset, that's for sure!
Red Duiker
 On the way back we got our best look at white-faced ducks in a small water hole. They are so cute!
White-faced Ducks
 I am getting very spoiled with all of the kingfishers this trip.  I really didn't expect to see them here, yet here he is!
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
 Almost home, just need to get past this nyala who apparently loves our suite nearly as much as we do. :-)
 While Jack napped I ventured out to find cool birds.  Instead I found this cool tortoise!  I told the manager about it, and we went out to have a look.  It turns out that's it is a hinge tortoise, its shell has a hinge in it so that it has much more movement than the average tortoise.  Which explains why we saw a tick on it - I guess it can get through the hinge.  It was so cool!
Hinge Tortoise
 This is the same mystery bird that came by the same bush by our suite.  Again, I remember finding it in the guide, but it eludes me today.
Mystery Bird
 At tea before the afternoon drive this hadeda ibis came by. I thought they were saying "har-de-har" and that is what I will probably always call them in my head.  :-)  I love it here!
Hadeda Ibis

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