Friday, 17 October 2014

SOUTH AFRICA 4th November, 1990 to 24th November, 1990

SOUTH AFRICA          
                                                        4/11/1990 - 24/11/1990
                                                              J.F. & D. Cooper



We visited South Africa in November, 1990 flying into Cape Town and hiring a car and covering coastal areas and National Parks in this area and we then drove to Pietermaritzburg where we stayed with Nigel Robson and then drove to the Kruger National Park before flying out of Johannesburg.
                                                                       
                                                                    Itinerary

Nov 4th           Arrived at Johannesburg Smuts Airport and after 2 hours wait caught an internal flight to Cape Town arriving around mid-day. Drove to Green Point Sewage Outlet, then south to some pools near Kommetejie and then on to the Cape of Good Hope. We then returned to Kommetejie and booked into the City Lodge for £12 per night. Weather calm and sunny and we saw 62 species.

Nov 5th         Spent the morning driving the Langebaan Loop, driving on to the Veldriff  river outlet, cutting across country to the Raydn Dam near Malmesbury, with an evening  drive over Michell's Pass staying in a hotel at Ceres at a cost of £10. Weather very windy and cool. 116 species seen of which 73 were new for the trip.

Nov 6th          Drove east through Karoopoort along the Calvinas Road some way into the Karoo Desert until late morning. We then headed back and made our way to Sir Lowry's Pass spending the rest of the day here, which was followed by an evening drive to stay in a hotel at Bredasdorp. Cost £8. Weather very windy and cold. 83 species seen including 29 new for the trip.

Nov 7th          Early morning spent along the road to De Hoop with a couple of hours in the Reserve, followed by the drive to the pools and estuary at Knynsa with an evening drive over Prince Alfred's Pass staying in a hotel at Willowvale for £8. Weather still windy and cool.94 species with 18 new for the trip.

Nov 8th          Drove slowly along the road from Willowvale to Graaff Reinet making frequent stops. Birding around the dam and campsite at Graaff Reinet with afternoon drive to Somerset East and birding in the forest during the evening. Late evening drive to Alexandria staying in a local hotel for £8. Weather cloudy in the morning, with heavy rain during the afternoon. 108 species seen with 28 new for the trip.

Nov 9th          Spent the morning birding along the trail at Alexandria Forest moving on to the Ebb and Flow river area which is just north of Port Alfred. Late afternoon drive to the East London Breakwater for an evening sea-watch. Stayed in a hotel at  Gonubie for £10. Weather warm and sunny.98 species seen with 30 new for the trip.

Nov 10th         Early morning birding at Gonubie Mouth quickly moving to Morgan's Bay area with a late morning drive to Umtata in the homeland of Transkei and on to Kambi Forest, continuing to the foot of the Naudesnek Pass where we slept in the car. 85 species seen with 17 new for the trip. Weather sunny and warm.

Nov 11th          Morning spent birding at altitude at the Naudesnek Pass with afternoon drive over the Lower Pitseng Pass to Weza where we spent the evening in the forest staying at the Ingeli Forest Motel for £8. Weather sunny but cool in the morning with heavy rain in the afternoon and overnight. 70 species seen with 11 new for the trip.

Nov 12th           Morning spent in the Weza forest followed by a drive to Nottingham Road with the evening spent at Mooi River Falls staying with Nigel Robson (a friend and a former Beachy birder) at Pietermaritzburg. Weather thick fog all day with heavy rain setting in late morning and lasting all day. 73 species seen with 14 new for the trip.

Nov 13th           Morning spent at Ferncliffe Forest and afternoon at Blinkwater. Spent the night with Nigel again. Weather warm and sunny. 53 species seen including 11 new for the trip.

Nov 14th           Early morning spent at Darville Sewage Farm, moving on to Enseleni Nature Reserve with a quick visit to Thalzhinkha Pan at Richard's Bay. Late afternoon and evening at St. Lucia camping at the start of the Mvubu Trail. Weather warm but dull with heavy overnight rain which soaked our tent. 102 species seen with 28 new for the trip.

Nov 15th           Morning spent along the Mvubu trail with an afternoon drive to False Bay birding along the shore. Weather dry for a couple of hours, with torrential rain wiping out the rest of the day and causing us to stay in a hotel at Hluhluwe for £8. 60 species seen with 15 new for the trip.

Nov 16th           Morning spent along the Mpophmeni trail at False Bay followed by a drive to Mkuzi, where we spent the rest on the day in this fabulous reserve in the various hides. Slept in the car in the campsite at Mkuzi. Weather overcast becoming sunny later. 118 species seen including 33 new for the trip.

Nov 17th           Spent most of the morning in the Fig Forest at Mkuzi with a quick tour of the more productive hides followed by an afternoon drive to the highlands northwest of Piet Retief, staying in a hotel at Ermelo for £8. Weather hot and sunny. 119 species seen with 22 new for the trip.

Nov 18th           Morning driving north from Ermelo to the Blyde River Canyon returning to the Natural Arch at Grasskop in the afternoon, with an evening drive to Pretuiskop Camp in the Kruger National Park. Weather hot and sunny. 91 species seen with 13 new for the trip.

Nov 19th            Early morning drive from the camp on a large loop via Jock of the Bushveld returning to Pretuiskop cam by mid-morning to bird the camp-site. Dismantled the tent and driving north through the Kruger via Skukuza to Satara campsite where we camped overnight. Weather hot and sunny. 103 species seen with 29 new for the trip.

Nov 20th             Morning driving through the Kruger from Satara to Olifants using the lesser roads crossing an excellent river just south of Olifants then drove north to Shingwedzi driving the loop road via the Bateleur Camp in the evening. Slept in the car. Weather hot and sunny. 123 species seen including 21 new for the trip.

Nov 21st             Drove slowly north from Shingwedzi to Pafuri returning in the afternoon to Punda Maria where we rented a hut for £5 for the night. We drove the loop road around the camp in the late afternoon.
126 species seen including 13 new for the trip.

Nov 22nd            Again visited Pafuri during the morning before we left the Kruger National Park mid-morning driving across the homeland of Venda to the Langjan National Reserve, being welcome by the warden renting a primitive hut in the Reserve for the costly sum of 50p. We birded in the Reserve in the late afternoon. Weather still hot and sunny. 121 species with 17 new for the trip.

Nov 23rd             Very heavy overnight storm. Early morning birding around Langjan where we managed to get stuck in the mud from the heavy overnight rain which just happen to be the first good rain for four years.
We then drove south to the Pietersburg Game Reserve, but this was shut due to the rain so we moved on to the Forest Drive where it again started to pour with rain causing a very slippery decent in the car. We  finally tried the Nyl River Floodplain where incredibly there was no water due to a 12 year drought, and therefore not many birds. This was followed by a drive to Delta Park in the centre of Johannesburg where we slept in the car. Surprisingly we still saw 106 species but just 6 new for the trip.

Nov 24th             Spent the first 3 hours birding in Delta Park until we gripped a Red-throated Wryneck, we then moved on to the Pans in the vicinity of Benoni. Booked into the City Lodge near the airport for £12. 75 species seen including 1 new for the trip.

Nov 25th             Caught the early morning flight to Heathrow, stopping briefly in Zaire.

Systematic List

Ostrich - Struthio camelus australis C
This species has been domesticated in Cape Province where it has been hybridised with  the form S. c. camelus becoming feral on farms (Brown et al. (1982)). Birds presumably relating to this population were encountered in the south with 10 seen on the Langebaan Loop, 50 at De Hoop and 6 near Graaft Reinet. As wild birds are confined to National Parks (Brown et al. (1982)), birds considered to offer better credentials were 2 seen at Olifants in the Kruger NP, and even perhaps up to 4 seen on each of the two dates at the Langjan Reserve.


Ostrich in Mkzui National Park

Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis C
Seen on nine dates at scattered locations with a maximum of 30 seen on the 14th.

Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus infuscatus C
Only seen on two dates with 3 seen at Raydn Dam and c.25 on the lakes at De Hoop and Knynsa.

Eared Grebe - Podiceps nigricollis gurneyi C
Seen on our first four dates in large numbers with a daily maximum of c.350 recorded on lakes just north of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve on the 4th.

Sooty Shearwater - Puffinus griseus C
A single individual was seen from the East London Breakwater on the 9th.

Great White Pelican - Pelecanus onocrotalus C
A total of 50 were see on the Langebaan Loop on the 5th.

Pink-backed Pelican - Pelecanus rufescens C
Seen at St. Lucia, False Bay and Mkuzi with a daily maximum of 9 recorded on the 16th.

Cape Gannet - Morus capensis C
A total of 80 were seen from various sea-watching points on the 4th and 8 were seen from the East London breakwater on the 9th.

Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus C
Seen on six dates with a daily maximum of 30 seen on the 4th.

Cape Cormorant - Phalacrocorax capensis C
At least 20 were seen at various coastal locations on the 4th and 6 were seen off Morgans Bay on the 10th.


Adult Cape Cormorant along the coast at Cape Town


Bank Cormorant - Phalacrocorax neglectus C
A total of 10 were seen off the western coast of the Cape on the 4th.

Long-tailed Cormorant - Phalacrocorax africanus africanus C
Seen on thirteen dates at widely scattered locations with a daily maximum of 12 noted on the 16th.


Long-tailed Cormorant in the Kruger National Park.

Crowned Cormorant - Phalacrocorax coronatus C
At least 100 were seen along the western Cape coast on the 4th.

Darter - Anhinga melanogaster rufa C
Seen on seven dates at widely scattered locations with a daily maximum of 4 seen on the 14th.

Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea cinerea C
Seen on sixteen dates in small numbers.

Black-headed Heron - Ardea melanocephala C
Seen on fourteen dates in fair numbers with a daily maximum of 15 seen on the 7th.

Goliath Heron - Ardea goliath C
A pair were seen at Thalazhinka Pan, 1 at Mkuzi and up to 2 near Shingwedzi in the Kruger on the two dates there.

Purple Heron - Ardea purpurea purpurea C
Seen on four dates in small numbers with a daily maximum of 6 seen at Thalazhinka Pan on the 14th.


Adult Purple Heron at Thalazhinka Pan
Great Egret - Ardea alba melanorhyncha C
Seen at Thalazhinka Pan, Mkuzi and Shingwedzi in the Kruger NP in small numbers.

Black Heron - Egretta ardesiaca C
Singles were seen at Thalazhinka Pan and Mkuzi.

Intermediate Egret - Egretta intermedia brachyrhyncha C
Seen on seven dates with a daily maximum of 50 seen on the 16th.



Intermediate Egret

Little Egret - Egretta garzetta garzetta C
Seen on seven dates with a daily maximum of 15 seen on the 16th.

Squacco Heron - Ardeola ralloides C
Seen on four dates with a daily maximum of 6 seen at Mkuzi on the 16th.

Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis ibis C
Seen virtually daily in large numbers.

Striated Heron - Butorides striatus atricapillus C
Singles seen on two dates in the Kruger NP.

Black-crowned Night-Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax C
Seen on just four dates with 3 seen at Cape Town, 1 at Mkuzi and 1 at the Nyl River Floodplain.

Hamerkop - Scopus umbretta umbretta C
Seen on nine dates in scattered locations in small numbers.


Hammerkok at False Bay


Yellow-billed Stork - Mycteria ibis C
Singles were seen near Belfast on the 16th and near Olifants in the Kruger NP on the 20th.


 

Yellow-billed Stork near Olifants in the Kruger NP.


African Openbill - Anastomus lamelligerus lamelligerus C
Singles were seen at Mkuzi and at Olifants in the Kruger NP.

Black Stork - Ciconia nigra C
A single individual was seen near Somerset East on the 8th and 3 were seen on the Shingwedzi River in the Kruger NP on the 20th.

Woolly-necked Stork - Ciconia episcopus microscelis C
Seen on five dates at Enseleni, St. Lucia, Mkuzi and in the northern part of the Kruger NP in small numbers with a daily maximum of  7 at Pafuri on the 21st.

White Stork - Ciconia ciconia ciconia C
Seen on four dates with a daily maximum of 20 seen near Blinkwater on the 13th.


White Stork
Saddle-billed Stork - Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis C
Up to 2 were seen daily at various water-holes in the Kruger NP.



Saddle-billed  Stork in the Kruger National Park

Marabou Stork - Leptoptilos crumeniferus C
A single individual was seen at Mkuzi and up to 12 were seen daily in the Kruger NP.


 

Marabou Stork over Mkuzi 

Sacred Ibis - Threskiornis aethiopicus aethiopicus C
Seen on eight dates at scattered locations with a daily maximum of 100 seen on the 5th.


 

Adult Glossy Ibis at the Thalizhinka Pan

(Southern) Bald Ibis - Geronticus calvus C
A single individual was seen at the Mooi River Falls on the 12th and 18 were seen at the small Sewage Farm along the R532 between Grasskop asnd the Blyde River Canyon.



Southern Bald Ibis at the Mooi River Falls.
 Hadada Ibis - Bostrychia hagedash hagedash C
Common and widespread being seen virtually daily.


Hadada Ibis
Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus C
Seen at Thalizhinka Pan, Mkuzi, and the Benoni Pans with a daily maximum of 6 seen at Benoni on the 24th.

African Spoonbill - Platalea alba C
Seen along the Langebaan Loop, at Mkuzi, near Piet Retief and at the Benoni Pans in small numbers with a daily maximum of 10 seen on the 16th.

Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus ruber roseus C
Up to 100 were seen on the Langebaan Loop with a single individual seen near Piet Retief and 18 on the Benoni Pans.

White-faced Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna viduata C
Seen at Pietermaritzburg, Darville Sewage Works, St. Lucia, Mkuzi, Nyl Floodplain and the Benoni Pans with a daily maximum of 15 seen on the 14th.

White-backed Duck - Thalassornis leuconotus leuconotus C
A total of 6 were seen on roadside pools between Port Alfred and East London on the 9th.

Egyptian Goose - Alopochen aegyptiacus C
Very common being seen virtually daily.

South Africa Shelduck - Tadorna cana C
Seen at Raydn Dam, Calvina Road, Graaft Reinet, Port Alfred, near Pietermaritzburg and at Benoni Pans in fair numbers with a daily maximum of 20 seen on the 12th.

Spur-winged Goose - Plectropterus gambensis niger C
Common being seen virtually daily between the 5th and 18th with a daily maximum of 40 seen on the Langebaan Loop.

Comb Duck - Sarkidiornis melanotos melanotos C
We saw 3 just north of Shingwedzi in the Kruger NP and a flock of 15 around 25km north of Pietersburg.

African Black Duck - Anas sparsa sparsa C
We were pleased to find a single individual on a small water-hole at Mkuzi and then somewhat surprised to see at least 10 on the pools and along the stream in the fenced-off area of Delta Park in the centre of Johannesburg.

Cape Teal - Anas capensis C
We saw 7 at the Raydn Dam and 2 on the Benoni Pans.

Yellow-billed Duck - Anas undulata undulata C
Seen on eight dates in scattered locations with daily maximums of 70 seen on the 7th and 12th.


Yellow-billed Ducks at De Hoop.

Red-billed Duck - Anas erythrorhyncha C
We saw 25 at the Raydn Dam and 6 at the Benoni Pans.

Hottentot Teal - Anas hottentota C
We saw 6 at the Darville Sewage Works and 14 at the Benoni Pans.


Hottentot Teal at Darville Sewage Works 
Cape Shoveler - Anas smithii C
Seen on five dates in good numbers whilst visiting suitable habitat with a daily maximum of 300 seen at De Hoop on the 7th.

Southern Pochard - Netta erythrophthalma brunnea C
We saw 4 at Raydn Dam, 30 at De Hoop and 8 near Pietermaritzburg.

Maccoa Duck - Oxyura maccoa C
A single individual was seen at Raydn Dam followed by 3 at De Hoop and 4 on the Benoni Pans.

African Cuckoo-Hawk - Aviceda cuculoides verreauxii C
A single individual was seen mobbing a Jackal Buzzard just south of the Mooi River on the 12th and a superb individual was watched both perched and in flight at close range in the riverside forest to the east of the Pafuri Picnic Spot in the Kruger NP on the 22nd.

European Honey-buzzard - Pernis apivorus C
A dark phase individual was seen at the Ferncliffe Sewage Works at Pietermaritzburg on the 13th.

Black-shouldered Kite - Elanus caeruleus caeruleus C
This species proved common being seen on seventeen dates with a daily maximum of 20 being seen on the 5th.



Adult Black-shouldered Kite with prey.

Black Kite - Milvus migrans migrans/parasitus C
A single migrans was identified at False Bay on the 15th. Yellow-billed parasitus was fairly common being seen virtually daily.


Yellow-billed Kite at False Bay
African Fish-Eagle - Haliaeetus vocifer C
Seen on eight dates in scattered localities when visiting suitable habitat.


Pair of African Fish Eagles

Hooded Vulture - Necrosyrtes monachus C
Only seen in the Kruger NP where a single individual was seen at roost just south of Shingwedzi and 3 were seen at Pafuri.

Lammergeier - Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis C
A superb pair were seen at close range near a carcass along the road over the Lower Pitseng Pass on the 11th.

African White-backed Vulture - Gyps africanus C
An immature seen at a carcass at the Lower Pitseng Pass was seemingly out of its normal range on the 11th. Up to 20 were seen daily in the Kruger NP.

Cape Griffon - Gyps coprotheres C
We watched the first 6 to rise at Naudesnek Pass at around 10am and then saw 73 at a carcass along the road over the Lower Pitseng Pass. We also saw 2 on the two days at Mkuzi.




Lappet-faced Vulture - Torgos tracheliotus tracheliotus C
A pair were seen over the Fig Forest at Mkuzi and 4 between Lataba and Shingwedzi and a pair and 1 immature in a nest near Pafuri whilst in the Kruger NP.



Adult Lappet-faced Vulture in the Kruger National Park.

White-headed Vulture - Trigonoceps occipitalis C
A single individual was seen along the entrance road to Mkuzi and a pair were seen on the loop around Punda Maria in the Kruger NP.

Black-breasted Snake-Eagle - Circaetus pectoralis C
A single individual was seen near Jock of the Bushveld in the Kruger NP on the 19th.

Brown Snake-Eagle - Circaetus cinereus C
Up to 2 were seen daily at Mkuzi, Kruger and Langjan.

Fasciated (Southern Banded) Snake-Eagle - Circaetus fasciolatus C
A single individual gave good views both perched and in flight along the roadside roughly 15km before reaching the causeway to St. Lucia on the 14th.


Southern Banded Snake Eagle
Bateleur - Terathopius ecaudatus C
A single individual was seen at Mkuzi and up to 5 were seen daily at Kruger NP.



Immature Bateleur at the Kruger National Park

African Marsh Harrier - Circus ranivorus C
Pairs seen on the Langbaan Loop, near Port Alfred, Thalzhinka Pan and near Pieterburg.

Black Harrier - Circus maurus C
Superb views of 3 seen on the Langebaan Loop and singles also seen well at Sir Lowry’s Pass and along the entrance road to Alexandria Forest. Superb.




Black Harrier on the Langebaan Loop

African Harrier-Hawk - Polyboroides typus typus C
Seen on five dates in small numbers at scattered coastal locations.

Lizard Buzzard - Kaupifalco monogrammicus meridionalis C
Singles were seen at Mkuzi, Pretuiskop in the Kruger NP and at the Nyl River Floodplain.

Pale Chanting-Goshawk - Melierax canorus argentior / canorus C
A total of 15 canorus were seen along the R57 between Willowvale and Graaft Reinet on the 8th and up to 4 argentior were seen daily at the Langjan Game Reserve. Superb.



Pale Chanting Goshawk near Willowvale

Gabar Goshawk - Micronisus gabar gabar C
A single individual was seen near Pretuiskop in the Kruger NP on the 19th.

African Goshawk - Accipiter tachiro tachiro C
A single individual was seen at Ferncliffe Forest near Pietermaritzburg on the 13th.

Shikra - Accipiter badius polyzonoides C
A single individual was seen near Pretuiskop in the Kruger NP on the 19th.

Little Sparrowhawk - Accipiter minullus C
A single individual was seen in the tall trees at the Shingwedzi Camp Site in the Kruger NP.

Black (Great) Goshawk - Accipiter melanoleucus melanoleucus C
A single adult was seen at its breeding site at the Darville Sewage Works at Pietermaritzburg.

Eurasian Buzzard - Buteo buteo vulpinus C
Common being seen virtually daily.

Jackal Buzzard - Buteo rufofuscus C
Seen on six dates in scattered locations with a daily maximum of 8 seen on the 12th.


Adult Jackal Buzzard

Lesser Spotted Eagle - Aquila pomarina pomarina C
We saw 2 along the approach road to Mkuzi on the 16th.

Tawny Eagle - Aquila rapax rapax C
We saw 3 in the vicinity of Punda Maria and Pafuri in the Kruger NP on the 22nd.

Wahlberg’s Eagle - Aquila wahlbergi C
Up to 3 were seen daily on the dates between the 16th and the 22nd.

Verreaux’s Eagle - Aquila verreauxii C
A pair were watched displaying along the ridge to the north-west of Karoopoort. Superb.

African Hawk-Eagle - Hieraaetus spilogaster C
A single individual was seen near Skukuza in the Kruger NP on the 19th.

Booted Eagle - Hieraaetus pennatus C
Singles were seen at Karoopoort, Graaff Reinet Dam and near Port Alfred.

Ayres’ Hawk-Eagle - Hieraaetus ayresii C
A single immature was seen at the Langjan Game Reserve on the 22nd.

Martial Eagle - Polemaetus bellicosus C
Singles were seen at Sir Lowry’s Pass and Mkuzi and a total of 5 were seen in the northern half of the Kruger NP on two dates there.




Immature Martial Eagle in the Kruger National Park

Long-crested Eagle - Lophaetus occipitalis C
Up to 4 were seen near Morgan’s Bay, 3 at St. Lucia and 2 near Grasskop.


Pair of Long-crested Eagles near Morgan's Bay.

Crowned (Hawk-) Eagle - Stephanoaetus coronatus C
A fine pair were watched perched and in flight at the Ferncliffe Forest at Pietermaritzburg on the 13th and an immature was found in the forest near Punda Maria in the Kruger NP on the 21st.

Secretary-bird - Sagittarius serpentarius C
A pair were seen between Graaff Reinet and Somerset East and singles were seen near Pietermaritzburg and Satara in the Kruger NP.


Pair of Secretary-birds near Graaff Reinet.

Lesser Kestrel - Falco naumanni C
Seen on six dates between the 5th and 11th with a daily maximum of 4 seen on both the 8th and 10th.

Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus rupicolus C
Seen on eight dates at scattered locations with a daily maximum of 18 seen on the 8th.

Greater Kestrel - Falco rupicoloides rupicoloides C
A pair were seen along the R63 between Graaff Reinet and Pearston on the 8th.


A distant Greater Kestrel near Graaff Reinet.

Dickinson’s Kestrel - Falco dickinsoni C
A pair of these superb birds were located sat together on a large dead tree approximately 4km west of Babalala along the S56 in the Kruger NP.

Red-footed Falcon - Falco vespertinus C
Two females accompanied a male Amur Falcon just north of Shingwedzi in the Kruger NP on the 21st.

Amur Falcon - Falco amurensis C
We watched a female over Olifants Camp, a male just north of Shingwedzi and a pair just outside Punda Maria. Superb.

Eurasian Hobby - Falco subbuteo subbuteo C
We saw a single individual at Mkuzi, a flock of 8 just outside Numbi Gate at the Kruger NP and singles daily whilst within the Kruger NP.

Lanner Falcon - Falco biarmicus biarmicus C
A pair were seen on the grain buildings at the East London Breakwater and a single individual was seen c.25km north of Pietermaritzburg.

Crested Francolin - Francolinus sephaena sephaena C
A pair were seen at Mkuzi and up to 12 were seen daily whilst in the Kruger NP and at Langjan.


Crested Francolins in the Kruger National Park.

Red-winged Francolin - Francolinus levaillantii levaillantii C
A party of 3 were seen along the R36 north of Ermelo on the 18th.

Grey-winged Francolin - Francolinus africanus C
We saw 4 on the Langebaan Loop and 30 at De Hoop.





Greywing Francolins at De Hoop.
Cape Francolin - Francolinus capensis C
We saw 4 on the Cape of Good Hope, 12 on the Langebaan Loop and 4 at De Hoop.


Cape Francolin at the Cape of Good Hope.
Natal Francolin - Francolinus natalensis C
We saw up to 25 daily in the Kruger NP.


Natal Francolin in the Kruger National Park.

Swainson’s Francolin - Francolinus swainsonii swainsonii C
A pair were seen at the Mooi River Falls and up to 25 were seen daily at the Kruger NP and at Langjan.



Swainson's Francolin in the Kruger National Park.

Common Quail – Coturnix coturnix
We heard several at both Blinkwater and in the highlands west of Piet Retief.

Helmeted Guineafowl - Numida meleagris coronata C
Seen virtually daily in large numbers.

Crested Guineafowl - Guttera pucherani edouardi C
We were pleased to see 2 creeping through the forest along the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia and were therefore surprised to see up to 15 daily in bushland habitat at Mkuzi.

Grey Crowned-Crane - Balearica regulorum regulorum C
A total of 24 were seen in Transkei on the 10th most of which were in a single field between Maclear and Naudesnek Pass.

Blue Crane - Grus paradisea C
A total of 7 were seen along the road between Bredasdorp and Malgas especially where it ran parallel to the De Hoop NR.



Blue Crane near De Hoop Nature Reserve.
Wattled Crane - Bugeranus carunculatus C
A trio of 2 adults and an immature were located in a large field on the left hand side of the road approximately 5km west of the town of Nottingham Road on the road leading to Kamberg NR proving to be one of the highlights of the trip.

Black Crake - Amaurornis flavirostris C
Singles were seen at the Darville Sewage Farm, Mkuzi and the Benoni Pans with 12 at the river crossing along the S90 just south of the Olifants Camp in the Kruger NP and 2 at the Pafuri Bridge.



Black Crakes in the Kruger National Park.

Buff-spotted Flufftail – Sarothrura elegans
We heard up to 6 in the early morning at Ferncliffe Forest, Pietermaritzburg.

Purple Swamphen - Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis C
Singles were seen at Gonubie NR and Thalzhinka Pan and 4 were seen at the Benoni Pans.

Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus C
Seen on five dates in scattered locations.

Red-knobbed Coot - Fulica cristata C
Very common being seen on thirteen dates in large numbers.

African Finfoot - Podica senegalensis petersii C
A single individual was watched for an hour as it patrolled along the far bank of the river at Enseleni NR. On several occasions it left the water and at one stage preened whilst stood on a log revealing its bright red feet.



African Finfoot at Enseleni NR. 
Kori Bustard - Ardeotis kori kori C
Up to 5 were seen daily at Langjan NR both within and outside of the perimeter fence.



Kori Bustard at Langjan.

Ludwig’s Bustard - Neotis ludwigii C
The trip inland to Graaf Reinet paid off handsomely as it produced 5 of these spectacular birds along the road between Willowvale and Somerset East. A highlight of the trip.


A distant Ludwig's Bustard near Graaf Reinet.

Stanley Bustard - Neotis denhami stanleyi C
We saw 2 along the road running parallel with De Hoop and a pair in a field near Morgan’s Bay.


 

Stanley's Bustard along the De Hoop road.

White-bellied Bustard - Eupodotis senegalensis barrowii C
A pair were located in a grassy field 25km north of Pietersburg on the 23rd.

Blue Bustard - Eupodotis caerulescens C
A group of 4 adults and an immature were located in the highland fields to the west of Piet Retief on the 17th. Our 1,000th species of the year.

Karoo Bustard - Eupodotis vigorsii vigorsii C
A pair were seen along the road running parallel with De Hoop and a total of 9 were seen along the road between Willowvale and Graaff Reinet.


Karoo Bustard.

Red-crested Bustard - Eupodotis ruficrista C
A total of 5 were seen between Olifants and Shingwedzi in the Kruger and 4 were seen daily at Langjan NR



Female Red-crested Bustards in the Kruger National Park.



Male Red-crested Bustard in the Kruger National Park .
Black (Korhaan) Bustard - Eupodotis afra C
A single individual was seen near Veldriff on the 5th, 2 were seen at De Hoop on the 7th and a total of 10 were seen between Willowvale and Somerset East on the 8th.



Male Black Korhaan near Willowvale.

Black-bellied Bustard - Lissotis melanogaster notophila C
A single individual was seen displaying at St. Lucia Airfield on the 15th and 2 were seen in fields to the west of Piet Retief on the 17th.

African Jacana - Actophilornis africanus C
Seen at the Darville Sewage Works, Thalazhinka Pan, Mkuzi and in the southern Kruger with a daily maximum of 20 seen on the 14th.


African Jacana

African Black Oystercatcher - Haematopus moquini C
A total of 10 were seen on the rocks at Kommetejie on the 4th and 4 were seen at Knynsa Lagoon on the 7th.


African Black Oystercatcher at Knynsa Lagoon

Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus C
Seen on twelve dates in scattered locations with a daily maximum of 12 seen at the Benoni Pans.

Pied Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta C
We saw 2 at Langebaan, 8 at Mkuzi and 25 at the Benoni Pans.

Water Thick-knee - Burhinus vermiculatus vermiculatus C
A single individual was seen at Mkuzi and 3 were seen at Pafuri in the Kruger NP.




Water Thick-knee at Mkuzi .

Spotted Thick-knee - Burhinus capensis C
Pairs seen at Bredasdorp, De Hoop, Alexandria Forest, St. Lucia, Pietersburg and 3 were seen in Delta Park, Johannesburg.





Spotted Thick-knees at De Hoop.

Spotted Thick-knee - Burhinus capensis C
We saw 2 in close proximity to a Rhino in the Nairobi NP during our first afternoon on the 9th.

Collared Pratincole - Glareola pratincola fuelleborni C
A total of 16 were seen on the St. Lucia airfield on the 15th.



 Collared Pratincoles at St. Lucia airfield.


Blacksmith Plover - Vanellus armatus C
Seen virtually daily in good numbers with a daily maximum of 30 seen on the 14th.



 Blacksmith Plovers in the Kruger.

White-headed (crowned) Lapwing - Vanellus albiceps C
A single individual was seen on the S90 river crossing south of Olifants and up to 4 were seen daily from various vantage points overlooking the Luvulhu River around Pafuri in the Kruger NP.


A distant White-headed Lapwing on the S90 river crossing south of Olifants 


Crowned Lapwing - Vanellus coronatus coronatus C
Seen in good numbers on eleven dates in scattered locations with a daily maximum of 30 seen on the 14th.



Adult Crowned Plovers in the Kruger National Park.

Wattled Lapwing - Vanellus senegallus lateralis C
Up to 3 were seen daily at Mkuzi, 1 was seen near Pietersburg and 4 were seen in the fenced-off area at Delta Park in Johannesburg.

Grey Plover - Pluvialis squatarola C
A total of 10 were seen at Langebaan on the 5th.

Ringed Plover - Charadrius hiaticula C
We saw 2 at Kommetejie on the 4th, 1 at Langebaan and 1 at False Bay.

Kittlitz’s Plover - Charadrius pecuarius C
We saw 4 at Cape Town, 10 on the Langebaan Loop, 8 at De Hoop, 2 at Mkuzi and 1 at the Benoni Pans. Superb.

 

Kittlitz's Plover at Cape Town
Three-banded Plover - Charadrius tricollaris tricollaris C
Seen on eleven dates between the 8th and 24th with a daily maximum of 8 seen on the 20th.


Pair of Three-banded Plovers.

White-fronted Plover - Charadrius marginatus C
At least 10 were seen in the Cape Town area on the 4th, 15 were seen on the Langebaan Loop, 1 at De Hoop and up to 3 daily at St. Lucia.

Pair of White-fronted Plovers on the rocky coast near Cape Town.


White-fronted Plover on the Langebaan Loop.


Mongolian (Lesser) Sandplover - Charadrius mongolus pamirensis C
We saw 4 on the lawns at Green Point and 10 on the Langebaan Loop.

Greater Sandplover - Charadius leschenaultii crassirostris C
We saw 2 at Langebaan on the 5th.



Greater Sandplover at Langebaan
African Snipe - Gallinago nigripennis nigripennis C
We saw 2 at the Nyl River Floodplain on the 23rd.

Bar-tailed Godwit - Limosa lapponica lapponica C
We saw 3 at Langebaan on the 5th.

Whimbrel - Numenius phaeopus phaeopus C
We saw 6 at Langebaan on the 5th.

Eurasian Curlew - Numenius arquata orientalis C
We saw 4 at Langebaan on the 5th.

Marsh Sandpiper - Tringa stagnatilis C
Seen on five dates at scattered locations with a daily maximum of 16 being seen at the Benoni Pans on the 24th.

Greenshank - Tringa nebularia nebularia C
Seen at Langebaan and on the six dates from the 15th to the 20th with a daily maximum of 12 seen on the 5th.

Wood Sandpiper - Tringa glareola C
Seen on ten dates at scattered locations with a daily maximum of 15 seen on the 14th.

Terek Sandpiper - Xenus cinereus C
We saw 2 at Langebaan on the 5th.

Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos C
Seen on nine dates between the 12th and 22nd.

Turnstone - Arenaria interpres interpres C
We saw singles at Kommetijie and Langebaan and 2 at Port Alfred and 3 on the Benoni Pans.

Sanderling - Calidris alba C
We saw 2 at Kommetejie on the 4th.

Red-necked Stint - Calidris ruficollis C
We tentatively identified 2 alongside 3 Little Stints at False Bay on the 15th.


 

Red-necked Stint at False Bay

Little Stint - Calidris minuta C
Seen on five dates in fair numbers with a daily maximum of 30 seen at the Benoni Pans on the 30th.

Curlew Sandpiper - Calidris ferruginea C
Seen on six dates at scattered locations with a daily maximum of 70 seen on the 5th.

Ruff - Philomachus pugnax C
We saw 10 at Langebaan, 10 at Thalzhinka Pan, 2 near Skukusa and 150 at the Benoni Pans.

Arctic Skua - Stercorarius parasiticus C
We saw 2 off Green Point, Cape Town and 10 off the East London breakwater.

Kelp Gull - Larus dominicanus C
Seen at Green Point, the Langebaan Loop, Knynsa and East London with a daily maximum of 200 seen on the 5th.


Adult Kelp Gulls near Cape Town

Grey-headed Gull - Larus cirrocephalus poiocephalus C
Seen at Thalzhinka Pan, False Bay and the Benoni Pans with daily maximums of 30 seen on the 14th and 24th.

Hartlaub’s Gull - Larus hartlaubii C
An estimated 400 were seen around Cape Town on the 4th and 20 were seen on the Langebaan Loop on the 5th.


Adult Hartlaub's Gull on the beach at Cape Town
Caspian Tern - Sterna caspia C
Singles were seen on the Langebaan Loop and at St. Lucia.

Lesser Crested Tern - Sterna bengalensis bengalensis C
We saw 4 at the St. Lucia estuary mouth on the 15th.

Sandwich Tern - Sterna sandvicensis sandvicensis C
We saw c.100 around Cape Town on the 4th, 10 at Langebaan on the 5th and 6 at East London on the 9th.

Crested Tern - Sterna bergii bergii C
We saw 2 at Kommetejie on the 4th and 30 at the East London breakwater on the 9th.

Roseate Tern - Sterna dougallii dougallii C
We saw 2 at Kommetjie on the 4th.

Common/Arctic Tern - Sterna hirundo hirundo / paradisaea C
Probably mainly Common Terns seen with 200 recorded at Kommetjie, 80 on the Langebaan Loop, 1 at De Hoop, 40 at the East London breakwater and 40 at the St. Lucia Estuary Mouth.

Little Tern - Sterna albifrons albifrons C
A single individual was seen on the Langebaan Loop on the 5th.

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybridus sclateri C
We recorded totals of 2 on pools near Kommetjie, 12 at the Darville Sewage Farm, up to 25 daily at Mkuzi and finally 120 north of Ermelo on the 18th. Many were in breeding plumage.


Adult Whiskered Tern on pools near Kommetjie.

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus C
Seen on seven dates in scattered suitable habitat with a daily maximum of 80 seen on the 5th.

Speckled Pigeon - Columba guinea phaeonota C
Seen on at least seven dates with a daily maximum of 50 seen on the 7th.

Rameron Pigeon - Columba arquatrix C
Seen on seven dates in small numbers with a daily maximum of 15 at Ferncliffe on the 13th.



Rameron Pigeon 

Lemon (Cinnamon) Dove - Columba larvata larvata C
Good views were obtained of 1 at Ferncliffe, Pietermaritzburg and of 2 at St. Lucia the following day.

Red-eyed Dove - Streptopelia semitorquata C
Seen in fair numbers on at least six dates at scattered locations. Probably overlooked elsewhere.

Ring-necked (Cape Turtle) Dove - Streptopelia capicola C
Seen virtually daily in large numbers.

Laughing Dove - Streptopelia senegalensis senegalensis C
Seen in large numbers virtually daily.

Emerald (Green)-spotted Wood-Dove - Turtur chalcospilos C
An apparently out of range individual was seen at Veldriff on the 5th and then seen daily between the 15th and 22nd with a daily maximum of 10 seen on the 21st.


Emerald Spotted Wood Dove in the Kruger National Park.
Tambourine Dove - Turtur tympanistria C
We obtained poor views of 2 at the Alexandria Forest and 2 at the Weza Forest but were finally rewarded with good views of 4 at Mkuzi as they drank from a water-hole.

Namaqua Dove - Oena capensis capensis C
Seen on seven dates with a daily maximum of 40 seen on the Langebaan Loop on the 5th.

African Green-Pigeon - Treron calva delalandii C
Up to 15 were seen daily whilst in the Kruger NP.

Brown-headed Parrot - Poicephalus cryptoxanthus cryptoxanthus C
A total of 7 were seen between Satara and Shingwedzi on the 20th and 2 were seen at Pafuri on the 21st.

Knysna Turaco - Tauraco corythaix C
We saw 4 at Alexandria Forest, 2 at Kambi Forest, up to 3 daily at Weza Forest and 1 at St. Lucia.


Poor record shot of Knysna Turaco in Alexandria Forest.


Purple-crested Turaco - Tauraco porphyreolophus porphyreolophus C
In the Kruger NP a pair were seen at the Pretuiskop Campsite and a single individual was seen at the Pafuri Picnic Spot.




Pair of Purple-crested Turaco's in the Kruger National Park

Grey (Lourie) Go-away-bird - Corythaixoides concolor C
Seen daily in the Kruger and at Langjan with a daily maximum of 20 seen on the 19th.


Grey Lourie in the Kruger National Park.
Jacobin (Pied) Cuckoo - Clamator jacobinus serratus C
We saw up to 6 daily in the Kruger NP and at Langjan including a dark morph bird at Pafuri. The species was often encountered in loose parties containing the odd Levaillant’s (Striped) Cuckoo C.levaillanti.



Jacobin Cuckoo at Langjan.

Levaillant’s (Striped) Cuckoo - Clamator levaillantii C
A single individual was seen near Shingwedzi along the S52 and 6 were seen around Punda Maria mainly at a locust swarm. Superb.


Record shot of a Levaillant's (Striped) Cuckoo near Shingwedzi

Great Spotted Cuckoo - Clamator glandarius C
We saw 3 near Olifants on the 20th including a superb pair in which presumably the male kept feeding a female whilst both were hopping around on the ground and 2 were seen just outside Punda Maria at a locust swarm with an assortment of other Cuckoos.




Pair of Great-spotted Cuckoos near Olifants

Red-chested Cuckoo - Cuculus solitarius C
Singles were seen on the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay, at Mkuzi and on the loop around Punda Maria being commonly heard elsewhere. Superb.

Black Cuckoo - Cuculus clamosus clamosus C
A single individual reacted immediately to a tape recording of Chorister Robin Cossypha dichroa on which it presumably therefore brood-parasites around 200m along the trail in the Alexandria Forest. We were then able to watch it for five minutes.



Black Cuckoo in the Alexandria Forest.

Common Cuckoo - Cuculus canorus C
Up to 4 were seen daily around Punda Maria in the Kruger NP.

Klaas’ Cuckoo - Chrysococcyx klaas C
A single individual was seen in response to playing a tape of Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum at Kambi Forest on the 10th and another was seen at Mkuzi on the 17th.

Dideric Cuckoo - Chrysococcyx caprius C
We saw 3 along the road between Willowvale and Aberdeen on the morning of the 8th and singles were seen near Ermelo, in the northern half of the Kruger NP and at Langjan NR.



Didric Cuckoo near Willowvale
Emerald Cuckoo – Chrysococcyx cupereus
Several were heard at Ferncliffe Forest.

Yellowbill - Ceuthmochares aereus australis C
A pair were taped into view in the Fig Forest at Mkuzi on the 17th.

White-browed Coucal - Centropus superciliosus burchellii C
We saw up to 3 daily at St. Lucia, Mkuzi and in the southern half of the Kruger NP.

Burchell's Coucal
One flew out as we were passing and flew into the side of our car. It flew and landed close by before flying off.


Burchell's Coucal.
Barn Owl – Tyto alba
A single individual was found dead on the road between Ermelo and Carolina on the 18th.

African Grass-Owl - Tyto capensis C
A single individual was seen in moist grassland along the road to the west of Panbult on the evening of the 17th.

Cape Eagle-Owl - Bubo capensis capensis C
Singles were seen on a telegraph pole c.20km south of Caledon along the road to Bredasdorp on the evening of the 6th and briefly at dusk in a narrow gorge along the R339 just south of Prince Alfred’s Pass to the north of Knysna.

Spotted Eagle-Owl - Bubo africanus africanus C
A single individual was seen along the R29 between Panbult and Ermelo on the evening of the 17th.

African Wood-Owl - Strix woodfordii woodfordii C
A single individual was seen outside the toilet block at the campsite at the northern end of St. Lucia during the evening of the 14th. It left before JFC had seen it but returned in response to tape-playback.

Pearl-spotted Owlet - Glaucidium perlatum licua C
We saw a pair outside the restaurant at Pretuiskop at dusk on the 18th and a single individual was seen hunting in broad daylight along the S90 north of Satara on the 20th.

Nightjar sp. – Caprimulgus sp.
We saw 2 sat on the tracks at dusk at Mkuzi and despite obtaining decent flight views we failed to identify them.

Bohm’s (Bat-like) Spinetail - Neafrapus boehmi sheppardi C
These spectacular performers were seen around Pafuri being mainly seen along the Impala Track with 8 seen on the 21st and 2 the following day. Superb.

African Palm-Swift - Cypsiurus parvus myochrous C
We saw 8 at Pietermaritzburg, 6 at Grasskop, 10 near Shingwedzi and 2 at Delta Park.

Alpine Swift - Tachymarptis melba C
Up to 25 were seen daily between the 4th and the 8th and 15 were seen at the Blyde River Canyon.



Alpine Swift along the coast near Cape Town



Common Swift - Apus apus C
Large flocks of a silent birds were tentatively identified as this species at both the Blyde River Canyon and Langjan NR with an estimated daily maximum of 1,000 seen on the 22nd.

African Black Swift - Apus barbatus barbatus C
Seen on eleven dates at scattered locations including birds entering their nests at Pafuri Bridge and often heard calling being less of a scream than Common Swift.

Little Swift - Apus affinis C
The first species seen on our arrival at the Jan Smuts Airport and seen virtually daily thereafter in good numbers.

Horus Swift - Apus horus horus C
A total of 15 were seen around Karoopoort and for five miles into the Karoo Desert on the 6th with undoubtedly others overlooked.

White-rumped Swift - Apus caffer C
Positively identified on eleven dates but no doubt overlooked elsewhere as small white-rumped Swifts were often left unidentified.

Speckled Mousebird - Colius striatus C
Seen on twelve dates in fair numbers.

White-backed Mousebird - Colius colius C
A total of 15 were seen on the Langebaan Loop on the 5th.


White-backed Mousebird on the Langebaan Loop
Red-faced Mousebird - Urocolius indicus C
We saw 8 in the Karoo Desert, 12 near Shingwedzi and 6 at Langjan NR.

Narina Trogon – Apaloderma narina
Unfortunately only heard at several sites including Ferncliffe Forest.

Malachite Kingfisher - Alcedo cristata cristata C
We saw 2 at the river crossing to the south of Olifants along the S90.

African Pygmy-Kingfisher - Ispidina picta natalensis C
Singles were seen at Mkuzi and Pafuri.



African Pygmy Kingfisher at Mkuzi

Brown-hooded Kingfisher - Halcyon albiventris C
Seen on fourteen dates between the 8th and 24th with a daily maximum of 5 seen at St. Lucia on the 15th.



Brown-hooded Kingfisher near Alexandria Forest

Striped Kingfisher - Halcyon chelicuti chelicuti C
Up to 2 were seen daily at Mkuzi.



Striped Kingfisher at Mkuzi.

Giant Kingfisher - Megaceryle maxima maxima C
A total of 6 were seen always near water and always seen from the car.



Adult Giant Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher - Ceryle rudis rudis C
Up to 3 were virtually seen daily.

White-fronted Bee-eater - Merops bullockoides C
Seen on three dates in the Kruger NP with 16 seen at the river crossing to the south of Olifants along the S90, 2 on the river crossing at Shingwedzi and 4 around Pafuri.


White-fronted Bee-eater in the Kruger National Park.

Little Bee-eater - Merops pusillus meridionalis C
Up to 3 were seen daily at Mkuzi and 4 were seen at the Langjan NR.




Little Bee-eater at Mkuzi.
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater - Merops hirundineus hirundineus C
A pair were seen at Langjan NR on the 22nd.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - Merops persicus persicus C
A total of 13 were seen on the causeway to St. Lucia on the 14th and 2 were seen at the southern campsite there on the 15th, and a flock of 8 were seen flying south over Langjan NR on the 22nd.


Blue-cheeked Bee-eater on the causeway to St. Lucia

European Bee-eater - Merops apiaster C
Seen on nine dates in fair numbers from the Cape to the Kruger with a daily maximum of 30 seen at Mkuzi on the 17th.


European Bee-eater at Mkuzi.

Lilac-breasted Roller - Coracias caudata caudata C
Seen daily from the 15th to the 23rd with a daily maximum of 20 seen in the Kruger NP on the 20th.


Lilac-breasted Roller in the Kruger National Park.

Rufous-crowned Roller - Coracias naevia mosambica C
Seen daily in small numbers from the 20th to the 23rd.

Broad-billed Roller - Eurystomus glaucurus suahelicus C
Seen at St. Lucia, Mkuzi and in the northern Kruger NP with a daily maximum of 8 seen on the 21st.



Broad-billed Roller in the Kruger National Park.
Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops C
Seen on eight dates at various locations with a daily maximum of 6 seen at Graaff Reinet on the 8th.

Green Woodhoopoe - Phoeniculus purpureus C
Seen daily at Mkuzi, the norther Kruger NP and at Langjan NR with a daily maximum of 30 seen around Pafuri on the 22nd.


 

Green Wood Hoopoe in the Kruger National Park.

Common Scimitar-bill - Rhinopomastus cyanomelas C
Seen in small numbers at Mkuzi and daily in the Kruger NP.

Red-billed Hornbill - Tockus erythrorhynchus rufirostris C
In the Kruger NP we saw 4 at Satara and 2 at Shingwedzi.


Red-billed Hornbill in the Kruger National Park.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill - Tockus leucomelas C
Seen at Mkuzi and daily in the Kruger NP with a daily maximum of 15 seen on two dates.



Yellow-billed Hornbills at Mkuzi.


Yellow-billed Hornbill in the Kruger National Park.

Crowned Hornbill - Tockus alboterminatus C
Seen in small numbers at Alexandria Forest, Port Alfred, Morgan’s Bay, St. Lucia, False Bay and Mkuzi.


Crowned Hornbill in Alexandra Forest.

African Grey Hornbill - Tockus nasutus epirhinus C
Seen daily in the Kruger NP and at Langjan with a daily maximum of 5 seen on the 21st.



African Grey Hornbill in the Kruger National Park.

Trumpeter Hornbill - Ceratogymna bucinator C
We saw 2 in the Weza Forest, 7 at St. Lucia, 20 in the Fig Forest at Mkuzi and 2 near Pafuri.


Trumpeter Hornbill over the Fig Forest at Mkuzi
Southern Ground-Hornbill - Bucorvus leadbeateri C
A pair were seen to carry snakes to their nest on a cliff face over the Lower Pitseng Pass on the 11th, another pair were seen on the verge of the road just east of Weza Forest and a party of 3 were seen at the river crossing just south of Olifants in the Kruger NP. Impressive.


 

Southern Ground-Hornbill near the Weza Forest

White-eared Barbet - Stactolaema leucotis leucotis C
Singles were seen at Enseleni and in the Mkuzi Fig Forest.

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird - Pogoniulus bilineatus bilineatus C
Singles were seen at Enseleni, along the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia, and 2 were seen in the Mkuzi Fig Forest.

Red-fronted Tinkerbird – Pogoniulus pusillus
Heard at many coastal areas including Alexandria Forest but unfortunately never seen.

Pied Barbet - Tricholaema leucomelas C
We saw 2 in the Graaff Reinet campsite and 2 at the Langjan NR.

Black-collared Barbet - Lybius torquatus torquatus C
Singles were seen at Ferncliffe, St. Lucia, the Mkuzi Fig Forest, Pretuiskop and Pafuri.

Crested Barbet - Trachyphonus vaillantii vaillantii C
Seen daily from the 17th to the 24th with a daily maximum of 5 seen in the Kruger NP on the 20th. Superb.



Crested Barbet in the Kruger National Park.

Scaly-throated Honeyguide - Indicator variegatus C
A single individual was seen along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay on the 16th.

Rufous-necked Wryneck - Jynx ruficollis ruficollis C
We devoted our last day to attempting to see this enigmatic species and were successful after three hours searching in Delta Park along the Barry Hertzog road in Johannesburg. We located a single individual which was watched feeding on lawns at a range of down to c.3m just outside the perimeter fence of the small bird sanctuary from where it flew into a dead tree and started calling being a quiet ke-ke-ke. Our last new bird of the trip and one of the highlights of the trip. Superb.

Bennett’s Woodpecker - Campethera bennettii bennettii C
A single individual was seen on the S52 near Shingwedzi on the 20th.

Golden-tailed Woodpecker - Campethera abingoni C
Singles were seen at St. Lucia, False Bay, Pafuri and Punda Maria.

Knysna Woodpecker - Campethera notata C
A single individual was seen c.200m along the forest trail at the Alexandria Forest.

Ground Woodpecker - Geocolaptes olivaceus C
A total of 7 were seen at the Naudesnek Pass on the 11th. Superb.



Ground Woodpecker at Naudesnek Pass

Cardinal Woodpecker - Dendropicos fuscescens C
A single individual was seen at Mkuzi and a pair were seen in the northern Kruger NP on the 22nd.

Bearded Woodpecker - Dendropicos namaquus coalescens C
We saw 3 near Pretuiskop and 1 at the river crossing south of Olifants.



Record shot of a female Bearded Woodpecker.

Rufous-naped Lark - Mirafra africana africana C
Seen in small numbers at the Alexandria Forest, Morgan’s Bay, Enseleni, the Piet Retief area and in the Pietersburg Game Reserve.

Flappet Lark - Mirafra rufocinnamomea C
A single individual was watched performing its display flight near Satara in the Kruger NP on the 20th.

Clapper Lark - Mirafra apiata marjoriae C
A total of 4 were seen along the road from Bredasdorp to De Hoop on the 7th.

Sabota Lark - Mirafra sabota C
This species proved to be very common from Satara northwards in the Kruger NP and at Langjan with a daily maximum of c.100 seen on the 20th.


Sabota Lark in the Kruger National Park.

Rudd’s Lark - Heteromirafra ruddi C
A single individual was seen well as it flew from long grass and perched on a fence for c.5 minutes. Another was flushed from the same field but flew until it was lost to sight without showing any sign of dropping. The long-grass field was located in the highlands c.20km west of Panbult just north of Piet Retief.

Karoo Long-billed Lark - Certhilauda subcoronata gilli C
A total of 6 were seen between Willowvale and Graaf Reinet on the 8th.

Karoo Lark - Certhilauda albescens C
We saw 6 in the Karoo Desert on the 6th.

Spike-heeled Lark - Chersomanes albofasciata macdonaldi C
A total of 15 were seen between Willowvale and Graaff Reinet on the 8th. Superb.


Spikeheeled Lark near Willowvale.

Red-capped Lark - Calandrella cinerea C
This species was common around the Cape with an estimated daily maximum of 500 seen in the De Hoop area on the 7th, otherwise just 2 were seen near Piet Retief.


Red-capped Lark at De Hoop
Long (Thick)-billed Lark - Galerida magnirostris C
We saw 6 on the Langebaan Loop, 1 in the Karoo Desert, 10 around De Hoop and 6 on the drive out to Graaff Reinet.

Sand Martin - Riparia riparia riparia C
A single individual was seen at False Bay on the 16th.

Plain Martin - Riparia paludicola paludicola C
Seen at scattered locations on ten dates with a daily maximum of 150 seen on the 5th.

Banded Martin - Riparia cincta cincta C
A total of 30 were seen on the Langebaan Loop on the 5th and 1 was seen at the Mooi River on the 12th.

Grey-rumped Swallow - Hirundo griseopyga griseopyga C
We saw 6 at the river crossing along the S90 to the south of Olifants.

Rock Martin - Hirundo fuligula C
Seen at scattered locations on nine dates with a daily maximum of 20 seen on the 6th.

Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica C
Seen daily in large numbers.

White-throated Swallow - Hirundo albigularis albigularis C
Seen daily in small numbers between the 7th and the 13th with daily maximums of  6 at Grasskop and 4 at the Delta Park.


White-throated Swallow

Wire-tailed Swallow - Hirundo smithii smithii C
A total of 30 were seen at the river crossing along the S90 just south of the Olifants Camp in the Kruger NP.


Wire-tailed Swallow in the Kruger National Park.

Blue Swallow - Hirundo atrocaerulea atrocaerulea C
A total of 3 were seen at the Natural Bridge landmark just west of Grasskop both perched and in flight. Unfortunately what we presumed to be the male only had short tail streamers with the female having longer. We visited the site at 3pm and were watching the swallows within five minutes with the birds being very active at that time of day.


A distant Blue Swallow west of Grasskop.


Pearl-breasted Swallow - Hirundo dimidiata dimidiata C
We saw 6 at the lakes near Yzerfontein on the 5th and 2 near Willowvale on the 8th.

Greater Striped Swallow - Hirundo cucullata C
Seen at scattered locations on ten dates with a daily maximum of 25 seen on the 8th.





Greater-striped Swallows

Lesser Striped Swallow - Hirundo abyssinica unitatis C
Seen at scattered locations in good numbers on nine dates with a daily maximum of 40 seen on the 20th.

Rufous-chested Swallow - Hirundo semirufa semirufa C
Seen at False Bay, daily whilst in the Kruger NP and at Lanjan in small numbers with a daily maximum of 10 seen on the 20th.



Rufous-breasted Swallow at False Bay

Mosque Swallow - Hirundo senegalensis monteiri C
We saw 1 near Punda Maria on the 21st and 2 at the Gate there the following day and 2 just south of Langjan on the 23rd.

South African Cliff Swallow - Hirundo spilodera C
A total of 12 were seen at various bridges between Ermelo and Carolina along the R36.

House Martin - Delichon urbica C
A total of 5 were seen along the road near Langjan on the 22nd.

Black Sawwing - Psalidoprocne holomelas holomelas C
We saw 2 at the Alexandria Forest, 12 at the Kambi Forest and 1 at Ferncliffe Forest.

African Pied Wagtail - Motacilla aguimp C
We saw 1 at the St. Lucia estuary, 2 at Mkuzi and 1 at the Pafuri Bridge.

Cape Wagtail - Motacilla capensis capensis C
Seen virtually daily in large numbers.


Cape Wagtail at Cape Town

Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava C
A single individual was seen on the 7th.

Mountain Wagtail - Motacilla clara torrentium C
A single individual was seen at Mkuzi on the 17th.

Yellow-throated Longclaw - Macronyx croceus C
Pairs were seen daily at St. Lucia and Mkuzi.

Orange-throated (Cape) Longclaw - Macronyx capensis C
A total of 6 were seen on the 5th and up to 4 were seen daily in the highlands to the west of Piet Retief.


Adult Orange-throated Longclaw

Mountain Pipit - Anthus hoeschi C
We tentatively identified c.40 at the Naudesnek Pass.


Mountain Pipit at the Naudesnek Pass.

Plain-backed Pipit - Anthus leucophrys leucophrys C
We saw singles at Mitchell’s Pass and on the drive up to Naudesnek Pass.

Buffy Pipit - Anthus vaalensis vaalensis C
A pair were located on the Protea-covered hillsides at the Blyde River Canyon.

African Grassland (Richard’s) Pipit - Anthus cinnamomeus C
Seen on six dates in fair numbers at scattered locations with a daily maximum of 30 seen to the north of Ermelo on the 18th.



Grassveld Pipit

Long-billed Pipit - Anthus similis petricolus C
We saw 4 at Sir Lowry’s Pass and 12 on the drive up to Naudesnek Pass.

Grey Cuckoo-shrike - Coracina caesia caesia C
A pair were seen near the gate at the Alexandria Forest on the 9th.

Black Cuckoo-shrike - Campephaga flava C
We saw 2 at the Alexandria Forest HQ and 1 at Shingwedzi in the Kruger NP.

Common Bulbul - Pycnonotus barbatus layardi C
Very common being seen on fourteen dates in the east of the country.

Black-fronted (African Red-eyed) Bulbul - Pycnonotus nigricans C
A pair were seen at Rhodes at the base of the Naudesnek Pass on the 11th.

Cape Bulbul - Pycnonotus capensis C
This species proved common on the first four dates with a daily maximum of 40 seen on the 5th.

Sombre Bulbul - Andropadus importunus C
This species proved common in forest areas being seen on ten dates.

Yellow-bellied Greenbul - Chlorocichla flaviventris C
Pairs were seen along the Mvubu trail at St. Lucia, the Mpophmeni trail at False Bay and at Mkuzi.

Terrestrial Brownbul - Phyllastrephus terrestris terrestris C
Up to 4 were seen at the Alexandria Forest, Kambi Forest, St. Lucia, False Bay and Pafuri.

Yellow-streaked Bulbul - Phyllastrephus flavostriatus flavostriatus C
A single individual showed well along Forest Drive on the 23rd.

Eastern Nicator - Nicator gularis C
A single bird was tape-lured into view along the Mpophmeni trail at False Bay where others were heard.

Cape Rock-Thrush - Monyicola rupestris C
We saw 1 just west of Ceres, 3 at Sir Lowry’s Pass, 2 at Somerset East, 1 at Naudesnek Pass and 4 to the west of Grasskop.




Cape Rock-Thrush near Grasskop.


Sentinel Rock-Thrush - Monticola explorator explorator C
We saw 7 at Naudesnek Pass on the 11th.


Sentinel Rock-Thrush at the Naudesnek Pass

Orange Ground-Thrush - Zoothera gurneyi C
A single individual was tape-lured into view in the Weza Forest and another was watched foraging in the indigenous forest at Forest Drive. Superb.



 Orange Ground Thrush in the Weza Forest.

Groundscraper Thrush - Psophocichla litsipsirupa litsipsirupa C
A pair seemed ever-present on the Warden’s lawns at Langjan. Superb.




Groundscrapper Thrush on the Warden's lawn at Langjan.
Olive Thrush - Turdus olivaceus C
We saw 1 at Graaf Reinet, 1 at the Kambi Forest, 10 at the Ferncliffe Forest, 2 at St. Lucia and 12 in Delta Park, Johannesburg.

Kurrichane Thrush - Turdus libonyanus C
Seen daily around the camps in the Kruger NP and at Langjan with a daily maximum of 5 seen on the 19th.


Cape Rock-jumper - Chaetops frenatus C
A pair were seen at Sir Lowry’s Pass. Superb.





Male Cape Rockjumper at Sir Lowry’s Pass

Orange-breasted Rock-jumper - Chaetops aurantius C
We saw 7 at the Naudesnek Pass. Superb.



Female Orange-breasted Rockjumper at the Naudesnek Pass



 


Male Orange-breasted Rockjumper at the Naudesnek Pass

Red-faced Cisticola - Cisticola erythrops nyasa C
We saw 3 near Langjan on the 23rd.

Rattling Cisticola - Cisticola chiniana C
This species proved common in the east and was seen from the 16th to the 22nd with a daily maximum of 50 seen in the Kruger NP on the 20th.

Red-headed (Grey-backed) Cisticola - Cisticola subruficapillus C
We saw 15 at Langebaan, 20 at De Hoop and 10 at Naudesnek.

Wailing Cisticola - Cisticola lais C
We saw 2 near Morgan’s Bay on the 10th.

Winding (Black-backed) Cisticola - Cisticola galactotes galactotes C
We saw 6 at Thalzhinka Pan on the 14th and 1 at St. Lucia on the 15th.

Tinkling (Levaillant’s) Cisticola - Cisticola tinniens tinniens C
Seen in scattered reed-beds on five dates.

Croaking Cisticola - Cisticola natalensis natalensis C
We saw 1 at St. Lucia and 4 at Mkuzi.


Cisticola 

Piping Cisticola (Neddicky) - Cisticola fulvicapillus C
Seen in fair numbers at scattered locations on six dates.

Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis C
We saw 2 at Morgan’s Bay on the 10th.

Desert Cisticola - Cisticola aridulus C
A single individual was seen near Satara on the 20th.

Cloud Cisticola - Cisticola textrix C
We saw 2 near Naudesnek Pass on the 11th.

Wing-snapping (Ayre’s) Cisticola - Cisticola ayresii ayresii C
We tentatively identified up to 2 at Morgan’s Bay on two dates and 2 near Blinkwater.

Tawny-flanked Prinia - Prinia subflava pondoensis C
Seen in fair numbers on five dates at scattered locations.

Black-chested Prinia - Prinia flavicans C
We saw 3 at the Pietersburg Game Reserve on the 23rd.

Karoo (Spotted) Prinia - Prinia maculosa C
Common around the Cape being seen on six of our first eight dates with a daily maximum of 15 seen in the Karoo on the 6th.

Drakensberg (Spotted) Prinia - Prinia hypoxantha C
We saw 6 Spotted Prinias to the west of Piet Retief which presumably fall within the range of this recently split species.

Namaqua Prinia - Prinia substriata substriata C
We saw 6 in vegetation bordering streams in the Karoopoort area on the 6th and 2 at Graaff Reinet on the 8th. Its song is a trill frequently sung from atop of reeds.

Rufous-eared Warbler - Malcorus pectoralis pectoralis C
We saw 15 in the Karoo and 2 at Graaff Reinet. A superb character.



Rufous-eared Warbler in the Karoo Desert.

Bar-throated Apalis - Apalis thoracica C
We saw 1 in forest at Somerset East, 6 in the Alexandria Forest, 1 in the Weza Forest, 1 at the Ferncliffe Forest and 4 along Forest Drive.


 

Record shot of Bar-throated Apalis in the Weza Forest.

Yellow-breasted Apalis - Apalis flavida C
Seen in small numbers on eight dates between the 8th and 22nd with a daily maximum of 5 seen on the 16th.

Rudd’s Apalis - Apalis ruddi fumosa C
We saw 2 along the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia and 4 along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay.

Green-backed Camaroptera (Bleating Warbler) - Camaroptera brachyura C
We saw 1 at ambi Forest, 1 at Weza Forest, 2 at St. Lucia, 6 at False Bay and 3 at Mkuzi.

Barred Camaroptera - Calamonastes fasciolatus europhilus C
An unexpected highlight of the trip was a single individual seen at Langjan which continually cocked its tail to such an extent that it virtually pushed itself over as it crept through the bottom of the bushes. Superb.

Cinnamon-breasted (Kopje) Warbler - Euryptila subcinnamomea subcinnamomea C
A single individual was seen in song at the small picnic site at the end of the gorge just east of Karoopoort on the 6th. Superb.

African Bush (Sedge) Warbler - Bradypterus baboecala C
We saw a pair at the Darville Sewage Farm.

Knysna Scrub-Warbler - Bradypterus sylvaticus C
A single individual was seen along the trail in the Weza Forest.

Victorin’s Warbler – Bradypterus victorini
A single individual was heard singing in a thicket c.3 miles from the Car Park at Sir Lowry’s Pass but due to strong winds we didn’t stand much chance in seeing it.

Cape Grassbird - Sphenoeacus afer C
Single individuals were seen at the Cape of Good Hope NR and at the Mooi River Falls.

African Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus baeticatus C
A single individual was seen at Graaff Reinet, 2 were seen at the Darville Sewage Farm and 2 were seen in Delta Park, Johannesburg.

Lesser Swamp-Warbler - Acrocephalus gracilirostris C
We saw singles at the Darville Sewage Farm and at Mkuzi.

African Yellow Warbler - Chloropeta natalensis natalensis C
A single individual was seen at the Darville Sewage Farm.

Fairy Warbler – Stenostira scita C
A pair were seen in the acacia at the bridge just west of Aberdeen on the 8th and 1 was seen at Naudesnek Pass.

Greencap Eremomela - Eremomela scotops C
We saw 2 at Pretuiskop Camp in the Kruger NP on the 19th.

Karoo (Yellow-rumped) Eremomela - Eremomela gregalis gregalis C
We saw a party of 5 in low scrub in the Karoo Desert on the 6th.

Burnt-neck Eremomela - Eremomela usticollis usticollis C
We saw a single individual alongside the S52 near Shingwedzi on the 20th.

Cape (Long-billed) Crombec - Sylvietta rufescens C
A single individual was seen on the Langebaan Loop and seen daily from the 17th to the 23rd with a daily maximum of 5 seen on the 21st.

Yellow-throated Wood-Warbler - Phylloscopus ruficapillus C
We saw singles in the Weza Forest on two dates, 2 at the Ferncliffe Forest and 1 along Forest Drive.

Willow Warbler - Phylloscopus trochilus C
Seen at scattered locations on eight dates with a daily maximum of 8 seen at Langjan. Individuals were often heard singing.

Layard’s Warbler (Titbabbler) - Parisoma layardi C
We saw 6 in the vicinity of Karopoort on the 6th.

Rufous-vented Warbler (Titbabbler) - Parisoma subcaeruleum C
We saw 2 near Aberdeen on the 8th and 2 at Langjan on the 22nd.

Pale Flycatcher - Bradornis pallidus C
We saw 2 daily at Mkuzi and 1 at Shingwedzi.

Mariqua Flycatcher - Bradornis mariquensis C
We saw up to 12 daily at Langjan NR.

Southern Black-Flycatcher - Melaenornis pammelaina ater C
We saw 3 at Alexandria Forest, up to 2 daily at Mkuzi and 6 around Pretuiskop.


Southern Black Flycatcher at Alexandria Forest.

Fiscal Flycatcher - Sigelus silens C
Seen at scattered locations on six dates with a daily maximum of 5 seen on the 8th.


 

Fiscal Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa striata C
Seen mainly in the north of the country on six dates with a daily maximum of 4 seen on the 21st.

African Dusky Flycatcher - Muscicapa adusta C
We saw 2 at Alexandria Forest, 4 at Ferncliffe Forest and 4 at False Bay.

Ashy (Blue-grey) Flycatcher - Muscicapa caerulescens C
A pair were seen at the southern campsite at St. Lucia on the 15th.

Grey Tit- (Fan-tailed) Flycatcher - Myioparus plumbeus C
A single individual was seen along the track to the Mkuzi fig forest on the 17th.

White-starred Robin - Pogonocichla stellata C
We saw 6 at the top end of the trail at Weza Forest and 4 along the trail at the back of the old Ranger’s House in the Ferncliffe Forest. Superb.

Cape Robin-Chat - Cossypha caffra caffra / drakensbergi C
We saw 1 C.c. caffra at Kommetejie, 2 at Graaff Reinet, 6 C.c. drakensbergi at Naudesnek Pass and 4 at Ferncliffe Forest.

White-throated Robin-Chat - Cossypha humeralis C
A single individual was tape-lured into view along the Mpophmeni Trail on the 16th, a pair were seen on the walk to the main hide at Mkuzi and 1 performed well in the light from the car headlights at dusk and another was seen near Pretuiskop in the Kruger NP. Superb.




White-throated Robin-chat along the Mpophmeni Trail.

White-browed Robin-Chat - Cossypha heuglini C
A single individual performed well for ten minutes along the edge of the dried-up river at the Pafuri Picnic Spot on the 21st.


White-browed Robin at the Pafuri Picnic Site.


Hegulin's Robin

Red-capped Robin-Chat (Natal Robin) - Cossypha natalensis natalensis C
Pairs were seen along the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia, the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay and in the Fig Forest at Mkuzi.



Red-capped Robin-chat along the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia

Chorister Robin-Chat - Cossypha dichroa dichroa C
Around 4 were tape-lured into view about 200m along the track at the Alexandria Forest, 2 were seen at Kambi and 1 at the Ferncliffe Forest. Larger and brighter than expected. Superb.


Male Choirster Robin in Alexandria Froest.

Bearded Scrub-Robin - Cercotrichas quadrivirgata quadrivirgata C
We tape-lured 2 into view along the Mpophmeni Trail and another was seen bathing along the road at False Bay and further singles were seen at Mkuzi and at Pafuri in the Kruger NP.

Brown Scrub-Robin - Cercotrichas signata C
Two pairs were seen within a hundred yards of each other along the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia where the trail closely borders the edge of the lake shore. Reacted well to pishing.

Red-backed Scrub-Robin - Cercotrichas leucophrys leucophrys C
A single individual was seen at Mkuzi on the 16th and up to 2 were seen daily in the Kruger and 5 were seen at the Nyl River Floodplain on the 23rd.

Kalahari Scrub-Robin - Cercotrichas paena C
We saw up to 5 daily whilst at Langjan. Superb.


Kalahari Scrub-Robin at Langjan.

Karoo Scrub-Robin - Cercotrichas coryphaeus cinerea C
We saw 15 whilst driving the Langebaan Loop, 6 at Karoopoort, 4 at De Hoop and 4 on the drive out to Graaff Reinet.

African Stonechat - Saxicola axillaris C
Seen on nine dates at scattered locations with a daily maximum of 100 seen at Naudesnek Pass.


South African Stonechat 
Buff-streaked Chat - Oenanthe bifasciata C
Singles were seen on a rocky outcrop between Ermelo and Carolina and at the southern end of the road from Grasskop to the Blyde River Canyon. Superb.

Mountain (Chat) Wheatear - Oenanthe monticola monticola C
A total of 8 were seen in mountains near Karoopoort, 2 were seen over the Lower Pitseng Pass and 3 were seen in the highlands to the west of Piet Retief.


Male Mountain Chat near Karoopoort
Capped Wheatear - Oenanthe pileata pileata C
We saw 8 on the Langebaan Loop, 30 in the De Hoop area and 2 at the Benoni Pans.





Capped Wheatears at De Hoop

Sicklewing Chat - Cercomela sinuata C
At least 20 were seen between Willowvale and Graaff Reinet and another 5 were seen at Naudesnek Pass.

Karoo Chat - Cercomela schlegelii pollux C
At least 30 were seen on our drive into the Karoo Desert on the 6th.

Tractrac Chat - Cercomela tractrac tractrac C
We saw 5 by driving c.25km into the Karoo Desert.

Familiar Chat - Cercomela familiaris C
Fair numbers were seen on six dates at scattered locations throughout the country.



Familiar Chat in the Karoo Desert.
Southern Anteater Chat - Myrmecocichla formicivora C
We saw 1 on the Langebaan Loop, 9 on the drive to Graaff Reinet, 1 near Umtata and up to 4 on two dates in the Piet Retief area.

Arnot’s (White-headed Black-) Chat - Myrmecocichla arnotti arnotti C
We saw a pair on our fourth attempt at the junction of the S59 and S60 near Punda Maria on the 22nd. They often perched motionless high in the trees. Superb.



Adult male Arnot's Chat near Punda Maria 

Mocking Cliff-Chat - Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris C
We looked down on a single individual singing from a bridge over the Blyde River along the R352. Superb.

Black-throated Wattle-eye - Platysteira peltata peltata C
Singles seen in riverside vegetation at Enseleni and the Pafuri Picnic Spot.

Cape Batis - Batis capensis capensis C
This species reacted to tape-playback of virtually any species with 12 seen at the Alexandria Forest, 10 at the Kambi Forest, 2 daily at weza Forest and 4 at Ferncliffe Forest.



 

Male Cape Batis at Alexandria Forest.


Chinspot Batis - Batis molitor molitor C
We saw 3 in Mkuzi NP and up to 3 daily in the Kruger NP.

Pririt Batis - Batis pririt pririt C
We saw 3 of these superb birds in stands of acacia between Willowvale and Aberdeen.



Adult female Pirit Batis near Willowvale


 

Adult male Pirit Batis at Willowvale

African Crested-Flycatcher - Trochocercus cyanomelas C
A single male was seen along the trail at Weza Forest.

African Paradise-Flycatcher - Terpsiphone viridis plumbeiceps C
Seen in small numbers on seven dates with a daily maximum of 4 seen at Punda Maria on the 21st.

Southern Pied-Babbler - Turdoides bicolor C
We saw up to 8 daily at Langjan NR.


Adult Southern Pied Babbler at Langjan.

Arrow-marked Babbler - Turdoides jardineii jardineii C
We saw up to 25 daily in the Kruger NP and 2 at Langjan NR.


Arrow-marked Babbler in the Kruger National Park.

Southern Black-Tit - Melaniparus niger C
A single individual was seen near Knysna, 8 were seen in the Mkuzi Fig Forest and singles were seen daily in the Kruger NP.

Grey Tit - Melaniparus afer C
We saw 2 in the Karoo Desert on the 6th and 1 near Graaff Reinet on the 8th.



Grey Tit in the Karoo Desert.

African Penduline-Tit - Anthoscopus caroli hellmayri C
We saw 4 opposite Shingwedzi on the 20th.

Southern Penduline-Tit - Anthoscopus minutus C
We saw 6 on the Langebaan Loop, 4 in the Karoo Desert, 2 near Graaff Reinet and 2 at Langjan Nature Reserve.

Collared Sunbird - Hedydipna collaris C
We saw 4 at Alexandria, up to 6 daily at St. Lucia, False Bay and Mkuzi and 5 at Pafuri.


Female Collared Sunbird at St. Lucia.

Orange-breasted Sunbird - Nectarinia violacea C
A single individual was seen in the Cape of Good Hope NR.

Eastern Olive Sunbird - Cyanomitra olivacea C
A pair were watched displaying at Ferncliffe Forest.

Mouse-coloured Sunbird - Cyanomitra veroxii C
A single individual was seen in the Alexandria Forest, 6 were seen along the Mvubu trail at St. Lucia and 2 were seen along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay.

Amethyst Sunbird - Chalcomitra amethystina amethystina C
We saw 2 at Graaff Reinet, 1 at the Alexandria Forest and 2 in the Ferncliffe Forest.

Scarlet-chested Sunbird - Chalcomitra senegalensis gutturalis C
We saw up to 8 daily in the southern Kruger NP.

Malachite Sunbird - Nectarinia famosa famosa C
Quite common being seen on six dates in fair numbers with a daily maximum of 6 seen at Graaff Reinet.


Male Malachite Sunbird

Southern Double-collared Sunbird - Cinnyris chalybeus C
We saw 6 at Karoopoort, 2 at the Alexandria Forest and 4 at the Ferncliffe Forest.

Neergaard’s Sunbird - Cinnyris neergaardi C
We saw 4 along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay.

Greater Double-collared Sunbird - Cinnyris afer C
We saw 2 at Graaff Reinet, 8 at Alexandria Forest and 2 at Kambi Forest.

Mariqua Sunbird - Cinnyris mariquensis mariquensis C
We saw 3 at Pafuri and 2 daily at Langjan NR.

Purple-banded Sunbird - Cinnyris bifasciatus strophium C
We saw 4 along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay.

White-breasted Sunbird - Cinnyris talatala C
We saw singles daily at Mkuzi and in the southern Kruger NP.

African Yellow White-eye - Zosterops senegalensis C
A single individual was seen at Pafuri and 3 were seen along Forest Drive.

Cape White-eye - Zosterops pallidus C
Seen virtually daily in good numbers.

Cape Sugarbird - Promerops cafer C
We saw 4 in the Cape of Good Hope NR on the 4th.

Golden Oriole - Oriolus oriolus oriolus C
We saw singles at Mkuzi and Pafuri.

African Black-headed Oriole - Oriolus larvatus larvatus C
Seen at the Alexandria Forest, the Kambi Forest, St. Lucia and in the Kruger NP with a daily maximum of 10 being seen on the 9th.

Red-backed Shrike - Lanius collurio C
Seen on eight dates with most birds seen in the Kruger NP where a daily maximum of 8 were seen on the 20th. Most proved to be adult males.

Lesser Grey Shrike - Lanius minor C
A total of 6 were seen in the northern areas of the Kruger NP and at Langjan.



Lesser-grey Shrike at Langjan.


Common Fiscal - Lanius collaris C
Seen virtually daily in large numbers.



Adult Fiscal Shrike

Magpie (Long-tailed)  Shrike - Corvinella melanoleuca melanoleuca C
Up to 10 were seen daily in the Kruger NP and at Langjan NP.


Magpie Shrike in the Kruger National Park.
White-crowned Shrike - Eurocephalus anguitimens niveus C
We saw 8 at Langjan NR on the 22nd.


White-crowned Shrike at Langjan NR 

Brubru - Nilaus afer C
We saw up to 6 daily whilst at Mkuzi and 1 at Punda Maria on the 21st.

Black-backed Puffback - Dryoscopus cubla C
Seen on seven dates in the east of the country with a daily maximum of 12 seen on the 16th.

Black-crowned Tchagra - Tchagra senegala C
We saw 1 in Mkuzi and up to 3 daily in the Kruger NP.


Black-crowned Tchagra in the Kruger National Park.

Brown-crowned Tchagra - Tchagra australis C
We saw up to 4 daily whilst in the Kruger NP and at Langjan NR.



Brown-crowned Tchagra in the Kruger National Park.


Tropical Boubou - Laniarius aethiopicus C
A single individual was seen and another heard on the loop around Punda Maria on the 21st.

Southern Boubou - Laniarius ferrugineus C
We saw pairs at De Hoop, Alexandria Forest, Ferncliffe, St. Lucia and Pafuri.

Crimson-breasted Gonolek - Laniarius atrococcineus C
We saw 2 of these striking birds at Langjan NR on the 22nd and 4 there the next day.


 

Crimson-breasted Gonolek in flight at the Langjan NR

Bokmakierie - Telophorus zeylonus C
Seen daily from the 6th to the 11th in fair numbers with a daily maximum of 8 seen on the 7th.



Adult Bokmakieries at De Loop

Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike - Telephonus sulfureopectus C
A single individual was seen along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay and 2 were seen near Mopani and 1 near Pafuri in the Kruger NP.

Olive Bushshrike - Telephonus olivaceus olivaceus C
We saw 2 at Ebb and Flow near Port Alfred on the 9th.

Four-coloured Bushshrike - Telephonus viridis quadricolor C
A single individual was seen along the road to Morgans Bay on the 10th.

Grey-headed Bushshrike - Malaconotus blanchoti C
A single individual allowed good views whilst in song along the S56 near Shingwedzi on the 21st.

White Helmetshrike - Prionops plumatus poliocephalus C
We saw up to 5 daily whilst in the Kruger NP.

Retz’s Helmetshrike - Prionops retzii retzii C
A party of 3 were seen daily at the Pafuri Picnic Spot.


Retz (Red-billed) Helmet-Shrike.

Square-tailed Drongo - Dicrurus ludwigii sharpei C
We saw 2 along the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia and 4 along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay.

Fork-tailed Drongo - Dicrurus adsimilis C
Seen in large numbers daily from the 7th to the 23rd.

Cape Rook - Corvus capensis C
Seen on eight dates at various locations with a daily maximum of 75 seen on the 11th.

Pied Crow - Corvus albus C
Seen on twelve dates with a daily maximum of 30 seen on the 5th.

White-necked Raven - Corvus albicollis C
We saw 4 at Sir Lowry’s Pass on the 6th and 15 in the Lower Pitseng Pass area on the 11th. Impressive.


White-necked Raven at Sir Lowry’s Pass 

Common Myna - Acridotheres tristis C
Up to 20 were seen daily between the 12th and 16th and 10 were seen on the 24th.

Starling - Sturnus vulgaris C
Seen from the 4th to the 14th.

Wattled Starling - Creatophora cinerea C
We saw 3 at De Hoop, 5 at Graaff Reinet and it proved very common from the 19th to the 23rd.

Cape Glossy Starling - Lamprotornis nitens C
Seen at Mooi River, Mkuzi and the Kruger NP in fair numbers.


Glossy Starling in the Kruger National Park.


Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling - Lamprotornis chalybaeus nordmanni C
Up to 30 were seen daily in the Kruger NP.

Burchell’s Glossy-Starling - Lamprotornis australis C
In the Kruger NP we saw 40 on the 19th and 100 on the 20th and 1 at the Nyl River.

Meve’s (Long-tailed Purple) Glossy-Starling - Lamprotornis mevesii mevesii C
We saw up to 10 daily around Pafuri.

Black-bellied Glossy-Starling - Lamprotornis corruscus corruscus C
Seen in the Alexandria Forest, Mkuzi and in the Kruger NP.

Violet-backed Starling - Cinnyricinclus leucogaster C
We saw up to 12 daily at Mkuzi and up to 15 daily in the Kruger NP.





Plum-coloured Starling at Mkuzi

African Pied Starling - Spreo bicolor C
Seen daily in large numbers from the 5th to the 12th.

Red-winged Starling - Onychognathus morio morio C
Seen in large numbers on seven dates at scattered locations.


Red-winged Starling

Pale-winged Starling - Onychognathus nabouroup C
We saw 12 in the vicinity of Karoopoort and 2 at Graaf Reinet.

Red-billed Oxpecker - Buphagus erythrorhynchus C
We saw up to 30 daily in the Kruger NP.

Yellow-billed Oxpecker - Buphagus africanus C
A total of 6 were seen tending a Buffalo just north of Shingwedzi.

House Sparrow - Passer domesticus C
Seen virtually daily.

Rufous Sparrow - Passer motitensis C
A pair were seen daily near the Reserve gate at Langjan NR.

Cape Sparrow - Passer melanurus C
Seen on nine dates often in large numbers especially around the Cape.



 Cape Sparrow at Cape Town
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow - Passer diffusus diffusus C
Seen daily from Mkuzi to Langjan with the greatest numbers being seen in the Kruger NP.

Southern Yellow-throated Petronia – Petronia superciliaris C
A single individual was seen daily at Mkuzi and 6 were seen at Punda Maria Camp.

Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver – Bubalornis niger C
Up to 15 were seen daily in the Kruger NP proving more common in the south.

Scaly Weaver – Sporopipes squamifrons squamifrons C
We saw 15 on the drive to Graaff Reinet and up to 20 daily whilst in the Langjan area.

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver – Plocepasser mahali C
We saw 6 daily at Langjan NR.


White-browed Sparrow-Weaver at Langjan

Lesser Masked Weaver – Ploceus intermedius cabanisii C
We saw 15 at Mkuzi and up to 50 daily on two dates in the southern Kruger NP.

Spectacled Weaver – Ploceus ocularis C
A single individual was seen drinking at a pool at Mkuzi.

Cape Weaver – Ploceus capensis C
We saw 30 on the Langebaan Loop, 40 at De Hoop and 50 on the drive to Graaff Reinet.

African Golden Weaver – Ploceus subaureus subaureus C
We saw 40 at Ebb and Flow near Port Alfred, 6 near Morgan’s Bay, 30 at Thalzhinka Pan and 2 at the St. Lucia causeway.

Holub’s Golden-Weaver – Ploceus xanthops C
A pair were seen outside the hide overlooking a small reedbed at Mkuzi.

Southern Brown-throated Weaver – Ploceus xanthopterus marleyi C
We saw 3 males at the St. Lucia causeway.

African Masked Weaver – Ploceus velatus C
Seen virtually daily in fair numbers.


Masked Weaver in the Kruger National Park

Village Weaver – Ploceus cucullatus spilonotus C
Up to 60 seen daily at their nests at the various camps in the Kruger NP.

Forest Weaver – Ploceus bicolor bicolor C
We saw 4 at Alexandria Forest, 3 at the Mvubu Trail at St. Lucia and 4 along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay.

Red-headed Weaver – Anapectes rubriceps rubriceps C
Singles were seen at the Pretuiskop campsite and at the Punda Maria Gate.


Adult male in breeding plumage Red-headed Weaver in the Kruger Nat. Park.

Red-billed Quelea – Quelea quelea lathami C
We saw 3 at the Mooi River Falls, up to 20 daily in the Kruger NP and an estimated 2,000 at Langjan NR.

Yellow-crowned Bishop – Euplectes afer taha C
We saw 30 along the roadside north of Ermelo and 2 near Langjan.

Red Bishop – Euplectes orix C
Up to 400 were seen virtually daily with many in full plumage.



Male Adult Red Bishop

Yellow Bishop – Euplectes capensis C
Seen in small numbers on four dates between the 4th and 11th.

Fan-tailed Widowbird – Euplectes axillaris axillaris C
Seen in good numbers on five dates between the 10th and 16th.

White-winged Widowbird – Euplectes albonotatus albonotatus C
A single individual was seen at the Darville Sewage Farm and 12 were seen at the Blyde River Canyon.

Red-collared Widowbird – Euplectes ardens ardens C
Seen in good numbers on seven dates between the 10th and 18th.



Male Red-collared Widowbird

Long-tailed Widowbird – Euplectes progne progne C
Seen in fair numbers on seven dates between the 10th and 24th.

Grosbeak Weaver – Amblyospiza albifrons albifrons C
We saw 12 at a small marsh at Pietermaritzburg, 10 at Darville Sewage Farm and singles daily at the St. Lucia causeway.

Green-winged Pytilia – Pytilia melba C
We saw 1 at Shengwedzi, 2 at Pafuri and 2 at Langjan NR.

Green-backed Twinspot – Mandingoa nitidula nitidula C
We saw 1 at Enseleni and 3 along the Mpophmeni Trail at False Bay.

Red-billed Firefinch – Lagonosticta senegala rendalli C
Seen in small numbers at Mkuzi and on three dates in the Kruger NP.

African (Blue-billed) Firefinch – Lagonosticta rubricata rubricata C
A single individual was seen in Weza Forest and 2 were seen in Ferncliffe Forest.

Blue-breasted Cordonbleu – Uraeginthus angolensis C
We saw up to 10 on our first three days in the Kruger NP.

Violet-eared Waxbill – Uraeginthus granatina granatina C
A pair was seen in a small dry streambed just south of Olifants and another pair was seen at the Nyl River.


Female Violet-eared Waxbill at the Nyl River.

Swee Waxbill – Estrilda melanotis C
A single individual was seen in the Kambi Forest.

Common Waxbill – Estrilda astrild astrild C
Seen in small numbers at scattered locations on seven dates.

Bronze Mannikin – Lonchura cucullata scutata C
A single individual was seen in Ferncliffe Forest.

Brown-backed Mannikin - Lonchura bicolor C
A pair was seen in the Mkuzi Fig Forest.

Cut-throat – Amadina fasciata meridionalis C
A single individual was seen at Langjan NR.

Red-headed Finch – Amadina erythrocephala C
We saw 3 in a stand of Acacia at Aberdeen and 2 at the Pafuri Picnic Spot.

Shaft-tailed Whydah – Vidua regia C
We saw 2 males at Langjan NR.

Pin-tailed Whydah – Vidua macroura C
Seen in fair numbers on twelve dates.



Pin-tailed Whydah near Alexandra Forest

Eastern Paradise-Whydah – Vidua paradisaea C
We saw up to 3 daily in the Kruger NP.


Paradise Whydah displaying

Cape Canary – Serinus canicollis C
Seen often in good numbers in any highland area on a total of nine dates.

Forest Canary – Serinus scotops C
We saw 4 in the Kambi Forest and 4 in the Ferncliffe Forest.

Black-throated Canary – Serinus atrogularis C
We saw 30 on the roadsides north of Ermelo on the 18th.

Yellow-fronted Canary – erinus mozambicus C
Seen daily in fair numbers from the 14th to the 21st.

Yellow Canary – Serinus flaviventris C
Seen daily in large numbers from the 5th to the 11th.

Brimstone Canary – Serinus sulphuratus C
We only positively identified 2 being at Potberg on the 7th.

White-throated Canary – Serinus albogularis C
Seen daily in small numbers from the 5th to the 9th.

Streaky-headed Seedeater – Serinus gularis C
We saw singles at Knysna and near Port Alfred and 2 feeding on Thistles along the road to Morgan’s Bay.

Cape Siskin – Serinus totta C
We saw 10 in the Cape of Good Hope NR and 6 along the edge of the plantation at Sir Lowry’s Pass.

Drakensberg Siskin – Serinus symonsi C
We saw 6 at Naudesnek Pass on the 6th.

Lark-like Bunting – Emberiza impetuani C
We saw a pair at a small waterhole between Aberdeen and Graaff Reinet.

Cape Bunting – Emberiza capensis C
Seen on six dates between the 5th and the 18th in good numbers.



 Cape Buntings


Golden-breasted Bunting – Emberiza flaviventris flaviventris C
We saw up to 4 daily from the 16th to the 22nd.

ANIMALS

The following animals were identified during our trip:

Chacma Baboon - Common in various areas especially in the Kruger and Mkuzi N.P.'s

Vervet Monkey - Small numbers seen on a number of days often crossing main roads.

Cape Hare - Just one seen on the 5th on the Langebann Loop.

Scrub Hare - Individuals seen at St. Lucia and in the Kruger.

Natal Red Rock Rabbit - One seen near St. Lucia.

Tree Squirrel - Common at Langjan.

Black Backed Jackal - One seen at Mkuzi and two seen in the Kruger.


 

Wild Dog - A pack of 12 during the early morning on the 19th in the Kruger.




Small Grey Mongoose - Three seen on the Lanfebann Loop on the 5th.

Slender Mongoose - Fairly common in the Game Parks.



Yellow Mongoose - Several seen in the Karoo Desert on the 6th.

Spotted Hyaena - Two seen in the North Kruger on the 22nd.



 

Lion - A party of 5 seen at Mkuzi on the 16th, with two in the Kruger on the 20th and one on the 21st.


 


Leopard - A superb Leopard seen in the late afternoon sitting on a track in the North Kruger on the 21st.


Elephant - Small numbers seen on four dates in the Kruger.


Rock Hyrax - Common at Graff Reinet.

Cape Mountain Zebra - Small numbers seen at De-Hoop .


 

Burchell's Zebra - Common at Mkuzi and the Kruger with odd ones seen elsewhere.



Rhinoceros - Adult with young seen grazing in the early morning at Mkuzi, with two seen in the South Kruger


Black Rhino,


 


White Rhino with young

Warthog - Common in most of the Game Reserves.


Hippopotamus - Good numbers seen at Mkuzio on the 16th and 17th, with odd ones in the Kruger.



Giraffe - Common in Mkuzi and the Kruger.


 


Buffalo - Several herds including one of 80 seen in the Kruger.


Eland - Five seen at De-Hoop on the 7th.

Kudu - Common at both Mkuzi and in the Kruger.




Nyala - Common at Mkuzi with small numbers in the North Kruger.



Bushbuck - Small numbers seen in most of the Game Parks.


Sable Antelop - A fine adult seen during the early morning in South Kruger on the 15th.

Gemsbok - Small numbers seen at Langjan on the 22nd and 23rd.


Waterbuck - Odd singles seen in the reeds at St. Lucia and Mkuzi.



Reedbuck -Seen in the reeds at the East Coast Reserves.


Blue Wildebeest - Common at Mkuzi and the Kruger.


Red Hartebeest - Two seen at Langjan on the 23rd.


Bontebok - Small numbers of this fine antelope were seen at De-Hoop on the 7th.


 

Blesbok - Large herds numbering several hundreds seen near the Moori River on the 12th and good numbers seen at the Ny River on the 23rd.

Impala - Very common at Mkuzi and the Kruger and also seen at other sites. Proved to be the commonest mammal.



Steenbok - Small numbers usually in pairs seen chiefly in the Kruger area.




Common Duiker - Fairly common along the East Coast and in the Kruger area.

Cape Fur Seal - Common along the Cape coast east of Cape Town.




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