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Falcon: Taita

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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wildtuinman
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Falcon: Taita

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:32 am

Tough as hell to get a good photo of perhaps South Africa's most rarest bird, but for now this will do very nicely.

Image

Image
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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby naomi c » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:40 am

Much more than "quite nicely"! :clap: :clap:

Did you find it on your own? Still on my wishlist!

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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby Rooies » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:52 am

Where spotted WTM? According to my Raptor Guide (Oberprieler and Cillie) the only place where they can be found is close to the Strydom tunnel in Limpopo, where they also breed.
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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:49 am

Naomi, yes and no, this is a well known spot close to the Strijdom tunnel on the Abel Erasmus pass, outside Hoedspruit. But we did manage to spot it ourselves, yes. :lol:

That's correct, Rooies. Although not always guaranteed to see them here and very tough to locate them along the massive cliff face, it still remains the best place to see them.
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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:53 am

Some directions to get to the Taita :wink: or you can take WTM with you :D

From Lydenburg travel on the R36 through Ohrigstad and onto the Abel Erasmus Pass (R 531). A roadside sign board will alert you 1.5km before the Taita Falcon site. If you pass through the Strydom Tunnel, you have travelled too far.

From Hoedspruit travel on the R531 towards Lydenburg. Drive up the pass and through the Strydom Tunnel. Once out the tunnel, look for the waterfall on your right hand side, follow the road as it bends to the right. As the road straightens, be ready to stop at the next lay-by on your left hand side.

Contact birding site guide Michael Kumako on 0792611559 for assistance. Michael is equipped with a Bushnell spotting scope for your convenience.

GPS Coordinates

Taita Falcon site 24°27'35.6" S 30°36'37.5" E

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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby Highbury » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:22 am

Good spot WTM . I drove past that site on route back from Kruger on Wednesday but didn't have time to stop .

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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:28 am

Thanks Highbury, I must say this was the second time we went looking for the bird, the first was in 2007 or so and it was pointed out to us by Michael. We never got a chance to get a proper photo and I wanted to go back to add it to my photo life list which is now currently on 597.

I know DotDaan also stopped there recently and he dipped on it. We had to show some patience during our last visit. The birds also crawl into crevices and then there is no chance to see them. As we were getting ready to leave I spotted this one tearing through the sky and managed to fire off a few shots. Once it landed we had better views of it through the bins and managed another couple of shots.
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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby DuQues » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:40 am

How safe is stopping there? GP always refuses to. :(
I may have caught a glimpse of the bird, but can not be sure.
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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:43 am

We stopped there about 3 years ago and it was fine DuQues - WTM can say about recent stop

We did not see the Taita :(

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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:13 pm

I never felt unsafe stopping there. It is very close to a couple of curio stands. I have however heard of people being robbed but that is definitely the exception on the rule.

Park at the curio stands, ask for Michael, or if he is not there, the ladies there are also very familiar with the bird and then walk a short distance and across the road to a big boulder sporting with the words, "place of the Taita" painted on it.
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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby Rooies » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:20 pm

Thanks for all the info. I have been driving this road twice a year for the last 25 years and didn't know this bird is to be found there. Will stop next time.
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Re: Falcon: Taita

Unread postby normana53 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:06 pm

For our upcoming Kruger holiday we are planning to drive from OR Tambo to Phalaborwa by this route so that we might have a chance to spot the Taita.
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