Monday, 11th June DAY 25

Today is Sweni day so in partly cloudy weather with a light south wind, we hurry onto one of our favourite roads (S126).

The sunrise does not disappoint. Sweni is one of those roads one could drive up and down each day and not tire of it – such is its beauty. Warren  is dropping off guests at the airstrip at 9.30am so we dare not loiter and after a quick breakfast at the Welverdiend water trough, we retrace our steps back to Satara.

Warren is bang on time and we spend some hurried moments with him before he must hurry off back to the lodge.

Pearl Spotted Owl

With a hazy light cloud cover the light is still good for photographs so Renette and I take off down the (S100) Nwanetsi river road and before long we hear the call of the Pearl Spotted Owl.

One little burst on the bird caller and two arrive on the tree next to us.

Interesting are the ‘false eyes’ at the back of his head to confuse would be threats.

We continue along this astounding road again marvelling at the prolific animal herds.

Not far along the road there is a little ‘pan handle’ down to a large pool attractively lined with grasses and covered with lilies – surely a good place for my elusive Painted Snipe.

I play the call and within a minute an exquisite female flies across the water and alights nearby. The thrill of finding and photographing this rare bird so well is indescribable and I would willingly have given up quite a few leopard for this. We then see the male skulking in the long grass but he is much more shy and unwilling to expose himself.

Whilst watching the Snipe a Brown-hooded Kingfisher perches on a nearby branch and feeds on a dragonfly.

Elated we return to camp for lunch.

Later this afternoon we again go down the S100 and again find our snipe without the aid of a bird caller. In fact she pays no attention to it at all.

Really, I feel privileged to enjoy a hobby that brings one into contact with the extreme beauty of nature. This female Painted Snipe is just a masterpiece of colouring.

Further down the road at the windmill a pride of lion are typically snoozing and I wonder how many of the attendant cars would even know or be interested in the extreme beauty on offer at the pond just around the corner.

We return to camp happy and content after another incredible Kruger day.