Lower Sabie Day 2
February 3, 2022

We slept in a little yesterday and only headed out shortly after 6am. It was misty as we headed north to a picnic spot that overlooks a dam. We got further delayed in getting onto the dirt road to the dam by an elephant that decided to be half in the road eating from a tree on the side of the road. He wasn’t budging and we waited for 15 minutes before he finally headed more into the bush so that we could pass.

Shortly after turning onto the dirt road we had a hyena lope across the road in front of us (while we had stopped to ID a bird!). The game life thinned out as we headed further north approaching the dam. We had coffee at the dam and then started to head back to camp. The road back had even less game but we did manage to add a few birds to the trip list. Before we headed back into the camp we did a quick turn at Sunset Dam (which is right outside of Lower Sabie) and I am glad we did because I added number 503 of lifers – Cut throat finch.

By this point the temperature was 28 degrees and it wasn’t even 9am yet. The prediction was for 35 degrees (and it did get there). Our weather app said 35 degrees but feels like 42 degrees. They were right – it did feel that hot! We tried to do a bird walk around the camp but it was so hot in the sun that the only time I was prepared to stop and look at a bird was if I could stand in the shade.

We spent the balance of the morning and most of the afternoon in camp as we reckoned it was just too hot for animals to be doing anything but lying under a tree. Even when we did go out (at about 4:15pm), it was still 32 degrees and we did see very limited game. We did manage to all 11 birds to the trip list and that took us up to 195 birds so far. That is already the best we have done in any one trip (we are decidedly better birders now and can ID some birds simply by their calls). We are confident we will get to 200 birds for the trip with 1.5 days to go.

We did a braai for dinner – ribeye steak with vegetables in the coals. It was quite pleasant sitting outside again – no insects attacking us. The only thing that drove us in was the allure of the airconditioning and a cold shower!

P & H

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