I have recently been to Kruger National Park for a few short but very nice visits. As Lake Panic, just outside Skukuza, has always been one of my favorite bird hides I have obviously made sure that I also stopped there for some excitement.
The first trip was during June 2013 and early morning it is still very cold. If you leave Skukuza as the gates open you get to Lake Panic just before sunrise.
As it warms up (yes including me) the action starts. Normally the African Darters are first to start diving for fish. They are quite quick and actually spear the fish and after it is dead swallow it whole
The next visitors are normally the Pied Kingfishers. They sit and watch for fish hover above the water and then dive into the water to catch the fish with their strong beak. They then fly to a branch where they start knocking the hell out of the fish. This is done to firstly kill the fish but secondly also to remove the scales before commencing to swallow the catch.
After swallow the meal the cleaning and grooming starts, firstly by rubbing the beak against the branch, then actually diving a few times into the water.
While all this action is going on the other inhabitants of lake Panic go about doing what they do best, eat, relax and enjoy the sun.
Every now and then a thirsty herd of elephant will visit for a quick drink or sometimes even to take short cut across the Lake, very weary of old Sharpes and his family
Until next time…