Post subject: What's the status with some rare Kruger 'Special'?
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:07 pm
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:18 pm
One of my favorite things I love doing in Kruger Park especially during summer is birding. Over the last few years I have either not seen or only on a much reduced basis the following birds and I was wondering if this worrying occurance is the experience of other birders
- White-Breasted Cuckooshrike: I used to see at least once a year especially in the Orpen/top end S36 area around Muzandzene Picnic Spot and Mahonie Loop. I havent seen one in about 10 years.
- Thick-Billed Cuckoo: I reported winter sightings of this species on a regular basis from Pafuri to the area just north of Skukuza. Again I havent seen one for about 15 Years but yes they are a very erratic species with movement over a wide area. Here one day gone the next.
- Blue-Spotted Wood-Dove: If you wanted a good chance of seeing this species then it was mandatory to spend at least 4 days staying at Punda Maria and it was fairly frequently found by people in the know. To the best of my knowledge there have been no sightings there recently?
- Racket-Tailed Roller: The late Bruce Bryden when he was ranger at Shingwedzi told me about a sure bet site for this species was on the first 5-6 kms on the S60 out of Punda Maria en route to Klopperfontein. Sure enough there they were every year..about 3 individuals on this stretch perching under the canopy of huge Mopani forest trees and display flying off of these perches. For the last 10 years I havent seen one there at all and only one right at the WNLA house at the Pafuri Border Gate, a possible member of a small group found along the Limpopo in the first section into Mozambique. Lots of Mocambique citizens speed through from Punda gate to Pafuri Border post with shopping and go on the S60 as a dusty short cut..Maybe this has chased this bird from its traditional hangout?
Black Coucal: Normally found in Mocambique but in wet years they are often found on the Eastern Plains from Metsi Metsi right on up to The Shingwedzi River. I have never seen one but I find it strange that in this season of well above average rainfall I cant find 1 record from any source?
Its great to hear that Ground Hornbill is flourishing, Pels Owl is seen but less often.
What are forumites recent experiences with the species I have mentioned above. I am worried myself.
Post subject: Re: What's the status with some rare Kruger 'Special'?
Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:58 am
Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Lanzerac, I was up north by Punda Maria over the December long weekend with a large contingent of the bird club, including Geoff Lockwood. None of the species you mentioned were sighted, to the best of my knowledge.
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis
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