“I adore Pilanesberg National Park”. There, I’ve said it.
As I stopped to check my favourite kopje for Leopards, a Glossy Starling dropped into the bush beside me and began gorging itself on the berries.
No Leopards yet, but just around the corner were a pair of White Rhinos that taxed the minimum focus range of my camera. They were accompanied by a couple of Red-billed Oxpeckers and a Fork-tailed Drongo which will make a separate post for www.10000birds.com in the near future.
There was so much going on that I was very reluctant to leave and barely made it to the car park before the Arrow-marked Babblers caught my attention.
With a bit of a run-up, I made it up the slope just as the Leopard stepped off the road on the next curve. I was thrown into a quandary. Should I stop and watch, or drive closer and risk spooking it? I took a rotten shot through the windscreen as it moved across the corner and headed out of sight.
It took a cursory look over its shoulder as I caught up, then crossed a tiny patch of sunlight before melting into the bushes and rocks of the kopje.
Timing is everything. On safari as well as when you are birding, a moment taken here or there can put you in the right place at the right time through no skill or knowledge on your part, just luck.
The rest of the evening could not live up to the excitement of the afternoon, except for watching from the Eagle’s Nest picnic site (on the hillside at Google Earth ref; 25 16 10.92S 27 7 35.85E) as the elephants continued towards the dam, meeting up with a few more as they went.
Birds seen; 78