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Owl: Pel's Fishing

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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DuQues
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby DuQues » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:00 am

Mnr. André Botha, bestuurder van die Trust vir die Bedreigde Natuurlewe se roofvoëlbewaringsprogram, sê die hartseer nuus is dat hulle elke jaar minder en minder voëls langs die rivier aantref – en dit geld nie net die visuile waaroor die sensusse begin is nie.

Vanjaar is die dalende tendens van visuilgetalle voortgesit toe daar langs die hele lengte van die Olifantsrivier in die Krugerwildtuin net drie broeipare gevind is.
Drie jaar gelede was die raming nog dat daar tussen vyf en tien pare visuile langs die rivier was.

{Link to article}

I haven't been able to find it in English, but in (very) short Andre did a census on the Olifants river and only found 3 pairs of nesting Pel's. Three years ago it was still 5~10 pairs.
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:06 am

Ag too hell with the pm. Let me post what I have said about this topic elsewhere:

Note that this is my personal opinion.

wildtuinman wrote:It was always going to happen with the Olifants river damming up. It is not like these birds aren't around. They will simply shift to more suitable habitat. Don't be surprised to start seeing them more, once again, in the Southern Kruger.

The Levubu numbers are also growing. And for the first time in years Pel's were seen outside the Park in Phalaborwa

Again, don't get me wrong. It is no good thing that the river is dammed up. There is now actually more water in the Olifants river than before, thanks to the big Masinger dam in Moz. The worst knock-on effect of that is that, probably the largest Nile Crocodile breeding area, got wiped out! Crocodile gorge is flooded!!

Pel's Fishing-Owl were previously recorded and still are present on the Sabie river and Crocodile rivers. Shimuwini camp also produces records of them and they were even seen at places like Kannidood dam, near Shingwedzi and Lake Panic, near Skukuza.

As I said earlier, Pel's Fishing-Owl are seen quite regularly again along the Luvuvhu river in the Pafuri area, which to me indicates an influx of birds to that specific area. All of these locations inside Kruger are excellent for them as it keeps human influence to a minimum and that is probably why these birds only occur inside Kruger, Ndumo, Mkuze and Mapungubwe. The fact that it is now found outside Kruger such as in Pahalaborwa is excellent news in my opinion.

In the Prime Origins guide to best birding in Kruger it is listed on page 214 that there are around 30-40 breeding pairs in Kruger. 8 pairs along the 18km stretch of the Luvuvhu river and ONLY 2 on the Olifants river!! 2 more on the Sabie River. The 2 known pairs along the Olifants river is an indication that these birds never saw the Olifants river as a favorite haunt in the first place anyways! So currently the Olifants river is one pair stronger at 3!

The unnatural damming up of the river to the west of Kruger (inside South Africa) most probably caused a suitable habitat for these birds there, causing them to move in to the area which further proves my theory that they are well capable of moving around in search of suitable habitat. I remember an article in the African Birds and Birding or some similar source about this moving in search of suitable habitat behavior of them, further proving this theory of mine. I will find the article and post it as soon as I do.
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby G@mespotter » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:33 pm

AWESOME picture JoelR!!!! Hope to see my first in december at Pafuri..
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:18 pm

G@mespotter - saw this one at Crooks Corner in April - speak to Frank at Pafuri.

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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:44 am

August is probably the best time to see Pel's in Kruger.

The trees are not as leavy and more importantly, the rivers are low and normally forms nice fishing pools at this time of the year. So find a suitable pool on one of the preferred rivers such as the Levuvu and who knows, you might be in for business if you spend some time there scanning the larger trees on the bank.
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby LEIGHVLASSO » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:53 pm

We huge Balule fans and spend many of the days there looking for the once resident Pels. i believe from above posts they may be gone - has anyone seen them around that area recently?
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Fishing Owl Habitat at Timfenheni

Unread postby gmlsmit » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:28 pm

I have come across the following while doing research regarding the Malelane Hotel in KNP. It is also part of my submission to ILA.

31 January 2011

I have done further research about some vulnerable species in the area.

1.0 The African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer frequent the Crocodile River, their call can often be heard.

2.0 During their recent survey by the EWT (Endangered Wildlife Trust) it was found that the Pels Fishing Owl (Scatopelia peli) numbers are declining in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

2.1 The only area where they are still to be found in reasonable numbers are the Levhuvu River surrounds.

2.2 Only two pairs of these birds were found along the total length of the Olifants River within the borders of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, many more were found during earlier surveys.

2.3 Very few Pels Fishing Owls are still left in the Crocodile River surrounds; there is a known pair to breed on the island at the confluence of the Crocodile River and the Timfenheni close by to where the planned hotel is to be erected.

3.0 The construction of a hotel at the Timfenheni site will have an impact on the Fish Eagles visiting the area. It will also most definitely have a negative impact on the pair of the already uncommon Pels Fishing Owls on the island, not only during the site preparation and construction period but also as long as the hotel is in operation, no matter how many “no go areas” are decreed – human habitation in the area will negatively impact on their habitat. No matter how much of afterwards corrective/punitive action will rectify the situation once the damage had been done.

I now request all the nature lovers including our keen birders to express views on this matter.

Are you in support of the hotel and sacrifice our Pels, I am not.
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Re: Fishing Owl Habitat at Timfenheni

Unread postby gmlsmit » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:38 am

It then appears to be quite OK.
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Re: Fishing Owl Habitat at Timfenheni

Unread postby DotDan » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:58 am

No, I wouldn't say people think it is OK, but the data and information on Pels Fishing Owl's are so limited that most people, including myself, just don't have the knowledge to give you an answer.

Firstly the decline of Pels is well known already, and the surveys being done by EWT recently shows a huge decline in the last 20 years. The biggest decline is along the Olifants river, where they used to do very well, .. the experts have no idea really why the decline, whether it is because of loss of habitat, due to flooding, loss of suitable prey, the water pollution etc etc

That being said, I really didn't think that the Croc river is at all favourable for Pels any more, due to the huge human developments on the banks all the way between Croc Bridge to Malelane and more west etc. The fact that a breeding pair was recorded here is quite remarkable I would say, as the furthest south I have heard them being recorded of late was on the Sabie River.. but their numbers here is probably VERY small due to the loss of habitat after the Floods of 2000.

I am indeed not happy about the ongoing developments that is happening in the South..and neither is a lot of the people I know.

African Fish-Eagle's on the other hand I would say is a more hardened and adaptable raptor in the sense that they probably won't be affected as badly as the Pel's.. Here in Gauteng and the areas I have birded I see them quite often near human establishments and suburbs.. For instance I have seen them at places like Marievale, Rietvlei dam, Kgomo-Kgomo, Roodeplaat dam, Wilge River Valley to name a few and these places are smack bang in the middle of suburbs, villages, and towns.

Once again, I don't agree with all the developments taking place, and I fear that more species than just the Pel's will be affected due to the increase of human developments etc, but unless you have the money or authority to stop this then I fear the south is in the hands of Sanparks and ultimately they will have to held accountable if animal and birdlife species are affected by all the developments..

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Re: Fishing Owl Habitat at Timfenheni

Unread postby gmlsmit » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:23 am

Thanks DD.

My wifes husband cares with you. :)
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby craignattrass » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:29 am

Hi,

Got this on the guided walk about 1 km from Balule 2 weeks ago :D
The ranger said they had recently found egg shells so they suspected the pair had a chick.

Image

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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby LEIGHVLASSO » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:32 am

ah wow awesome Craig thanx
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby Riaanf31 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:01 am

Time for a bump.

As a budding birder this awesome bird is one I would love to see. It is interesting to read the history of this thread and also to note the changes in the ecosytsem due the damn as mentioned earlier. What stuck me when reading about the birds in my Roberts is the large range they are thought to have.

In Nov the Binocs will be scanning the trees along the rivers as we go in search of all things wonderfull.

Have we have any sightings of Pels of late?
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby Scorpy » Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:02 pm

Hi All
SO & I were privileged to have a fantastic sighting of a juvenile Pels during late November somewhere along the Olifants River. Being a beginner-birder, i was unprepared for the adrenalin rush i experienced during & after the sighting. Here are a couple of the pics i took .....enjoy !!!

Image

Image
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Re: Owl: Pel's Fishing

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:56 am

Oh WOW Scorpy :D brilliant.

They are lovely, clear pictures.
Thank you for sharing. :thumbs_up:
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