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 Post subject: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:51 am 
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Location: Heart, Soul and Mind in the Bush. Body, sadly, in Fourways
Hi there fellow 'necks.

I plan an annual "Dads 'n Boys" trip to the Kruger. This is a pretty special time because the three generations of males in our family spend a happy 5 or 6 days together without the usual :eviltreath: rules and niceties of female company :eviltreath: :dance: . Brushing of hair and washing of faces is not considered a priority and, while we don't quite go to "Lord of the Flies" extremes, the main focus is on birding and shooting the breeze :great:

The trip this year is from 14 - 18 December. I'm a staunch Northerner, never really venturing much south of Letaba/Olifants, but I'm giving Lower Sabie a go this year. This is not an area with which I am familiar (apart from occasionally driving through it on the way to "oop North") I have already had some invaluable advice from Salamander in another thread, and would greatly appreciate it if any of my fellow 'necks would be able to offer further advice on good spots to "park-and-view" in the area.


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:29 am 
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May you have an awesome trip :clap: :clap: :clap:

Can't share anything as I am a Northener myself, but enjoy. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Thanks!

I can thoroughly recommend a Dads 'n Boys trip if you caan organise one. I take my SO and my daughter at least twice every year to the Kruger (allways North :D ), but the D&B trip is the one trip I look forward to because of the "relaxed" feel to it......


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Sunset dam 500 metres along Eloff St from LS is the obvious choice.

If you can get down to the Biyamiti river, there are often birds along the various crossing sites, and it is good predator country.

The hide (forgotten the name) on the S28.

And of course the camp itself, and the low water bridge to the H10.

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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:24 pm 
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BB has mentioned Sunset Dam and the low level bridge at L Sabie which are two excellent spots . The area around Muntshe hill and Mlondozi dam is also good . I have seen yellow throated longclaw there quite often , Shelley's Francolin , rock bunting and lesser kestrel .


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:38 pm 
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The parking lot for Lower Sabie reception and shop was alive with DIEDERICKS cuckoos calling and not afraid to show themselves this past December ! (same dates as you are going)
The skies overhead were alive with raptors for quite a few kilometers on way to Croc Bridge and near Mlondozi picnic spot. Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:35 am 
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Thanks guys. All info copy-and-pasted into my iPad for reference when we're there :think:


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:39 am 
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A friend of mine suggested the Nwatimhiri Causeway dirt road if there is good water. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:26 am 
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Your first and foremost stop will be Sunset dam. It is perhaps the best locality in Kruger for waterbird photography as you can get up real close to the water's edge. Kruger needs a lot more of these dams.

African Openbill, Black Stork, Wooly-necked Stork, Yellow-billed Stork are usually present in summer.

African Openbill
Image

Waders such as Common Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper are also present most of the time. Look out for more interesting things though.

The much sought after White-crowned Lapwing has also become a permanent feature here.

Image

The view from the restaurant usually produces herons, more storks, Three-banded Plover and Water Thick-knees. If you have a scope you might want to take it with you to sift through some of the waders.

At night I have seen Fiery-necked Nightjar from the deck.

The car park in Lower Sabie has produced a pair of Thrush Nightingale a couple of seasons ago. So scan the trees thoroughly. Plenty of sunbirds can be seen in camp and at the reception building there is a nice water feature which attracts all sorts of birds, ranging from Blue Waxbill to the attractive White-browed Robin-Chat.

Image

The bridge over the river is always a productive vantage point for birders. Look below for various Herons, Egrets, Hamerkop, African Pied Wagtail and on nightdrives the big prize, White-backed Night-Heron! Wire-tailed Swallows and Pied Kingfisher are also present most of the time. Various other swifts and swallows can also be seen.

The junction here at the bridge seems good for Common Scimitarbill.

The H10 towards Nkumbe and beyond is great for general grassland birding. Keep your eyes peeled for Bronze-winged Courser (especially at night), Common Quail, Harlequin Quail, Common Ostrich, various Cisticolas, Rufous-naped Lark etc.

Raptors are aplenty in this area with Martial Eagle, African Harrier-Hawk, Amur Falcon, Tawny and Wahlberg's Eagles all on your wait to be seen list. Make sure you look out for Pallid and Montagu's Harriers over the vast grassland. Reedbuck is also common in the area.

As you get closer to Nkumbe be on the lookout for the resident Croaking Cisticola.

Croaking Cisticola
Image

Just past Nkumbe we have recorded Shelly's Francolin and Flappet Lark.

Shelly's Francolin
Image

Flappet Lark
Image

Check out breeding colonies of Red-billed Quelea for Lesser Spotted- and Wahlberg's Eagles feeding on these birds.

From Lower Sabie to Croc Bridge you should be on the lookout for African Barred-Owlet.
Image

This is also one of only 4 locations in the Park where I have laid eyes on African Goshawk.
Image

At times this area also plays host to vast numbers of Wattled Starlings when they breed here.

Up towards Skukuza you should encounter Southern Carmine Bee-eaters and White-fronted Bee-eaters (lookout for nesting activity at the Lubyelubye creek just past Sunset dam). Southern Ground Hornbill also roams the area up towards the high water bridge. Look in the more dense tree areas for Narina Trogon and Trumpeter Hornbill.

Southern Carmine Bee-eaters
Image

White-fronted Bee-eaters
Image

Nkulu picnic spot is a birder's paradise if you can arrive there before the crowds. Look out for Gabar Goshawk early in the morning as it hunts. African Green Pigeon and Brown-headed Parrot are both common here.

Image

Scan the river here as well as from the high water bridge for the elusive African Finfoot and Half-collared Kingfisher. We have also recorded immature African Crowned Eagle from the high water bridge 2 Decembers ago!

Further north closer to Skukuza we have even seen Broad-Rollers during the same December.

Image

Nightdrives from Lower Sabie usually produces Squared-tailed Nightjar and Southern White-faced Scops-Owl.

Molondozi dam is always a good place to park off. Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike for some reason seems common here. Black Saw-wing have also been recorded here.

Lower Sabie is a brilliant birding area and I am sure you will have an excellent time. :thumbs_up:

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Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

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Last edited by wildtuinman on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:34 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:00 am 
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A full list of birds you can expect to see in the immediate area of Lower Sabie:

Apalis, Bar-throated
Apalis, Yellow-breasted
Avocet, Pied
Babbler, Arrow-marked
Barbet, Acacia Pied
Barbet, Black-collared
Barbet, Crested
Bateleur, Bateleur
Batis, Chinspot
Bee-eater, European
Bee-eater, Little
Bee-eater, Southern Carmine
Bee-eater, White-fronted
Bishop, Southern Red
Bittern, Dwarf
Bittern, Little
Boubou, Southern
Brownbul, Terrestrial
Brubru, Brubru
Buffalo-Weaver, Red-billed
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Bunting, Cinnamon-breasted
Bunting, Golden-breasted
Bush-Shrike, Gorgeous
Bush-Shrike, Grey-headed
Bush-Shrike, Orange-breasted
Bustard, Black-bellied
Bustard, Kori
Buttonquail, Kurrichane
Buzzard, Lizard
Buzzard, Steppe
Camaroptera, Green-backed
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Chat, Familiar
Cisticola, Croaking
Cisticola, Lazy
Cisticola, Rattling
Cisticola, Red-faced
Cisticola, Zitting
Cliff-Chat, Mocking
Cormorant, Reed
Cormorant, White-breasted
Coucal, Burchell's
Courser, Bronze-winged
Crake, African
Crake, Black
Crake, Corn
Crombec, Long-billed
Cuckoo, African
Cuckoo, Black
Cuckoo, Common
Cuckoo, Diderick
Cuckoo, Great Spotted
Cuckoo, Jacobin
Cuckoo, Klaas's
Cuckoo, Levaillant's
Cuckoo, Red-chested
Cuckooshrike, Black
Darter, African
Dove, African Mourning
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Namaqua
Dove, Red-eyed
Dove, Rock
Dove, Tambourine
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Duck, African Black
Duck, Comb
Duck, White-faced
Duck, Yellow-billed
Eagle, Booted
Eagle, Lesser Spotted
Eagle, Long-crested
Eagle, Martial
Eagle, Steppe
Eagle, Tawny
Eagle, Wahlberg's
Eagle-Owl, Spotted
Eagle-Owl, Verreaux's
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Great
Egret, Little
Egret, Yellow-billed
Eremomela, Burnt-necked
Eremomela, Green-capped
Eremomela, Yellow-bellied
Falcon, Amur
Falcon, Peregrine
Finch, Cut-throat
Finch, Red-headed
Firefinch, African
Firefinch, Jameson's
Firefinch, Red-billed
Fiscal, Common
Fish-Eagle, African
Flamingo, Greater
Flycatcher, African Dusky
Flycatcher, Ashy
Flycatcher, Fiscal
Flycatcher, Pale
Flycatcher, Southern Black
Flycatcher, Spotted
Francolin, Coqui
Francolin, Crested
Francolin, Shelley's
Go-away-bird, Grey
Goose, Egyptian
Goose, Spur-winged
Goshawk, African
Goshawk, Dark Chanting
Goshawk, Gabar
Grebe, Little
Greenbul, Sombre
Greenbul, Yellow-bellied
Green-Pigeon, African
Greenshank, Common
Ground-Hornbill, Southern
Guineafowl, Helmeted
Hamerkop, Hamerkop
Harrier, Pallid
Harrier-Hawk, African
Hawk-Eagle, African
Helmet-Shrike, Retz's
Helmet-Shrike, White-crested
Heron, Black-headed
Heron, Goliath
Heron, Green-backed
Heron, Grey
Heron, Purple
Heron, Squacco
Hobby, Eurasian
Honeyguide, Greater
Honeyguide, Lesser
Hoopoe, African
Hornbill, African Grey
Hornbill, Red-billed
Hornbill, Southern Yellow-billed
Hornbill, Trumpeter
House-Martin, Common
Ibis, African Sacred
Ibis, Glossy
Ibis, Hadeda
Indigobird, Dusky
Indigobird, Purple
Indigobird, Village
Jacana, African
Kestrel, Dickinson's
Kestrel, Lesser
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Kingfisher, Giant
Kingfisher, Malachite
Kingfisher, Pied
Kingfisher, Striped
Kingfisher, Woodland
Kite, Black
Kite, Black & Yellowbilled
Kite, Black-shouldered
Kite, Yellow-billed
Korhaan, Red-crested
Lapwing, African Wattled
Lapwing, Blacksmith
Lapwing, Crowned
Lapwing, Senegal
Lapwing, White-crowned
Lark, Dusky
Lark, Flappet
Lark, Rufous-naped
Lark, Sabota
Longclaw, Yellow-throated
Mannikin, Bronze
Martin, Brown-throated
Martin, Sand
Masked-Weaver, Lesser
Masked-Weaver, Southern
Moorhen, Common
Moorhen, Lesser
Mousebird, Red-faced
Mousebird, Speckled
Myna, Common
Neddicky, Neddicky
Nicator, Eastern
Night-Heron, Black-crowned
Night-Heron, White-backed
Nightingale, Thrush
Nightjar, European
Nightjar, Fiery-necked
Nightjar, Freckled
Nightjar, Rufous-cheeked
Nightjar, Square-tailed
Openbill, African
Oriole, Black-headed
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Osprey, Osprey
Ostrich, Common
Owl, Barn
Owl, Marsh
Owlet, Pearl-spotted
Oxpecker, Red-billed
Painted-snipe, Greater
Palm-Swift, African
Paradise-Flycatcher, African
Paradise-Whydah, Long-tailed
Parrot, Brown-headed
Penduline-Tit, Grey
Petronia, Yellow-throated
Pipit, African
Pipit, Bushveld
Plover, Kittlitz's
Plover, Three-banded
Plover, White-fronted
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Puffback, Black-backed
Pygmy-Kingfisher, African
Pytilia, Green-winged
Quail, Harlequin
Quailfinch, African
Quelea, Red-billed
Reed-Warbler, African
Reed-Warbler, Great
Robin-Chat, Red-capped
Robin-Chat, White-browed
Robin-Chat, White-throated
Roller, European
Roller, Lilac-breasted
Roller, Purple
Ruff, Ruff
Rush-Warbler, Little
Sandgrouse, Double-banded
Sandpiper, Common
Sandpiper, Curlew
Sandpiper, Marsh
Sandpiper, Wood
Scimitarbill, Common
Scops-Owl, African
Scops-Owl, Southern White-faced
Scrub-Robin, Bearded
Scrub-Robin, White-browed
Secretarybird, Secretarybird
Seedeater, Streaky-headed
Shikra, Shikra
Shrike, Lesser Grey
Shrike, Magpie
Shrike, Red-backed
Shrike, Southern White-crowned
Snake-Eagle, Black-chested
Snake-Eagle, Brown
Snipe, African
Sparrow, House
Sparrow, Southern Grey-headed
Sparrowhawk, Little
Sparrowlark, Chestnut-backed
Spoonbill, African
Spurfowl, Natal
Spurfowl, Swainson's
Starling, Burchell's
Starling, Cape Glossy
Starling, Greater Blue-eared
Starling, Red-winged
Starling, Violet-backed
Starling, Wattled
Stilt, Black-winged
Stint, Little
Stonechat, African
Stork, Black
Stork, Marabou
Stork, Saddle-billed
Stork, White
Stork, Woolly-necked
Stork, Yellow-billed
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Collared
Sunbird, Marico
Sunbird, Purple-banded
Sunbird, Scarlet-chested
Sunbird, White-bellied
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Grey-rumped
Swallow, Lesser Striped
Swallow, Mosque
Swallow, Red-breasted
Swallow, White-throated
Swallow, Wire-tailed
Swamp-Warbler, Lesser
Swift, African Black
Swift, Alpine
Swift, Common
Swift, Horus
Swift, Little
Swift, White-rumped
Tchagra, Black-crowned
Tchagra, Brown-crowned
Teal, Red-billed
Tern, White-winged
Thick-knee, Spotted
Thick-knee, Water
Thrush, Groundscraper
Thrush, Kurrichane
Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted
Tit, Southern Black
Tit-Flycatcher, Grey
Turaco, Purple-crested
Turtle-Dove, Cape
Vulture, Cape
Vulture, Hooded
Vulture, Lappet-faced
Vulture, White-backed
Vulture, White-headed
Wagtail, African Pied
Wagtail, Cape
Warbler, Garden
Warbler, Icterine
Warbler, Marsh
Warbler, Olive-tree
Warbler, Willow
Waxbill, Blue
Waxbill, Common
Waxbill, Orange-breasted
Waxbill, Violet-eared
Weaver, Red-headed
Weaver, Spectacled
Weaver, Thick-billed
Weaver, Village
White-eye, Cape
Whydah, Pin-tailed
Widowbird, Fan-tailed
Widowbird, Red-collared
Widowbird, White-winged
Wood-Dove, Emerald-spotted
Wood-Hoopoe, Green
Woodpecker, Bearded
Woodpecker, Bennett's
Woodpecker, Cardinal
Woodpecker, Golden-tailed
Wren-Warbler, Stierling's

_________________
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Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Wildtuinman! Truly one of the most helpful and comprehensive answers I have seen on this or any other forum.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:49 pm 
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You can also see lion at Lower Sabie. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:01 pm 
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SAGecko wrote:
Wildtuinman! Truly one of the most helpful and comprehensive answers I have seen on this or any other forum.


That's cos he's bored at work and his mind is on the H10. :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:32 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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It's always a pleasure SAGecko, shout if you need any further help. :D

As a side note, there used to be a Resident Pel's Fishing-Owl which could be seen from the high water bridge (What's the road? H12?) before the floods destroyed some of those big trees there. But one never knows and it is always worthwhile to scan those big trees whilst you wait for the Finfoot to arrive. :wink:


How did you guess, BB? :tongue:

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Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Birding Spots?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:13 am 
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Oh, for goodness sake WTM..... Are you trying to turn me into a southerner?

Pels AND Finfoot. Two lifers that I might sell my kids for :twisted:


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