Hluhluwe again

Flying ants, black rhino, wild dogs and a magic unidentified raptor.

Plus impressive thunderstorms, pelting rain, dry stream beds that ended up running merrily. The Hluhluwe river changed from dry sandy bed to quite a brown torrent between Friday night and Sunday morning.

I thought ‘Augur Buzzard’ as I stopped the car just outside the reserve cattle grid gate on the main road. Three raptors were soaring in the wind welling up from a little ridge on the north of the road, right overhead.

Pale leading edge, rust-coloured trailing edge, black ‘fingers’; A falcon-like head pattern (yet not quite) and the size of a YBK or a marsh harrier). Soaring and diving spectacularly. Saw the underside mainly. Upperside I think brown-ish. Forgot to take a photo!! Foolish!

A coucal bubbling in the rain, then listening intently till his mate or rival called then immediately hunching and bobbing into his call (The girls said “Look Dad: he’s laughing!”.

Yep, three teen girls. Who were most impressed by the buffet breakfast and most unimpressed by the massive thunderclap that banged right overhead in the wee dark hours of Saturday. “Dad, I thought the thatch was going to catch fire!” says Jess. And by the lack of wifi.

Samango and vervet monkeys with babies, bushbuck, nyala, duiker, impala, zebra, francolin, longclaws, lots of buffalo, a dozen white rhino; Two eles right at the roadside each munching a tree for breakfast; Baboon; a hippo out of water; a few giraffe.

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