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 Post subject: First time summer visit to Kruger - Birding advice needed
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:11 am 
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Location: Truro, Cornwall, UK
My learned birding brethren

I am an enthusiastic & keen birder/twitcher currently living in the UK, visiting Kruger for 6 days camping in Croc Bridge, Satara & Letaba from 11-18March. Hoping to see some lifers & interesting migrants. Any advice for good locations in & around these areas? Been to Kruger 7 times before, always in winter. Have about 480 Southern African birds on my life list and hoping to expand a bit :)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:10 am 
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Boomslang,

I think best is you do a lil homework and tell us what you would like to see. It will then be easier for us to direct you. :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:46 am 
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Hi Boomslang

A good place to start would be the camps you are staying in - Croc Bridge, Satara and Letaba have prolific birdlife. I do not know what month of the year you are coming to KNP but if it is very hot you will be well served in doing an early morning drive and then spending a couple of hours in the afternoon in camp birding before doing an afternoon drive (4 or 5 p.m.). We have just returned from Kruger and were astounded at the birldife in all three of these camps. Satara in particular at the cottage we stayed at was a never ending visitation of birds in the private garden and small pond therein. Enjoy anyway!

Yours in Parking
Penny

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:43 am 
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Hi Boomslang,

Middle March many of the summer visitors might still be around.

As Penny mentioned all 3 camps you are visiting has some good birding to be had in the camps. Take some time in Letaba and walk around the areas between the shop-reception-restuarant where the large trees area and also in the camping area especially. Had some good views of Cut-throat Finch in the camping area before as well as numerous other birds. At night look out for owls in the camping area in Letaba.

At Letaba also visit the Matambeni bird hide which looks over Engelhard dam. Not always good birding there but other times it is cooking. You are also supposed to be able to find Collard (Redwinged) Pranticole there although I've never been succesfull before.

The whole area around Satara, as well as, the camp itself is good for birding. I have not stayed in Crocodile Bridge but during stop overs there had good birding in the camp and the surrounding areas.

As Wildtuinman mention it might be a good idea to maybe make a list of birds you would like to see, even if they seem to be common birds for the area and post it. With a list of 480 already there might be a lot of "usual" stuff we might mention which you’ve already see. It might also be easier to suggest more specific spots in the areas you are visiting.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:47 am 
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Yes, Penny and francoisd's advise is great. Letaba is especally blocked up with birds. When I was there recently there was a kill right outside the camp at the lookout from camp. We got there just as the vultures arrived and the animal was gone. We saw some stunning vultures and there were PLENTY.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:01 am 
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Thanks so much for the replies guys. I will put together a wishlist for Wildtuinman to peruse. Appreciate the tips FrancoisD & Penny. I realise that it must have been a vague request, my bird books are in SA, but will be able to put a list together.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:21 am 
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Great stuff! :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:09 am 
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This page could be of assistance also.

http://www.sanparks.org/groups/birders/accounts/php


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:22 pm 
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You will get very blase about hearing the woodland kingfisher call.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:05 am 
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Thanks for the advice so far. Wildtuinman, a couple of birds I would rather like to see would include:

Whitebacked Night-Heron; Whitebacked&Fulvous Ducks; Crake species; Greater Painted-Snipe; African Snipe; Temminck's&Bronzewinged Coursers; Bluespotted Wood-Dove; Cuckoo species; Owls; Greyheaded&Striped Kingfishers; Rackettailed&Broadbilled Rollers; Lark species; Cuckooshrikes; LBJ's; Eremomela's; Ashy, Grey-Tit, Marico&Pale Flycatchers; Lesser Grey, Brubru, Gorgeous Bush, Orangebreasted Bush, Whitecrested Helmet and Retz's Helmet Shrikes; Purplebanded&Plainbacked Sunbirds; Violeteared&Orangebreasted Waxbills.

Just general tried and trusted hotspots would be great! I realise that one can't order a bird to just appear where and when you would like, but would be chuffed just adding 10-15 lifers to the list.

Thanks again.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:21 am 
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Good luck Boomslang! :thumbs_up:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:03 am 
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Boomslang,

Temminck's Courser can sometime be seen in the flat scrub alongside the gravel road down to the Nthandanyathi bird hide (nr Croc Bridge).

Lesser Grey Shrikes are fairly common on the plains north of Lower Sabie (H10 and S29).

I have seen African and Red-chested Cuckoos on the Satara-Orpen road at or close to Bobbejaan Krans.

Broad-billed Rollers are most common in the far north of KNP -never seen them south of Bateleur. Helmet-shrikes and Bush Shrikes may be most easily found in the camps, but I am sure you could find them anywhere. There is a thread somewhere on this forum with suggestions for finding Gorgeous Bush-Shrike; they are secretive and I've never been lucky enough to find one.

Good luck.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:57 am 
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nightjar wrote:
Boomslang,

Temminck's Courser can sometime be seen in the flat scrub alongside the gravel road down to the Nthandanyathi bird hide (nr Croc Bridge).


Or on the roads just north of the S100 back to the H1

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:36 pm 
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Thank you very much Nightjar for the tips. Will have my eyes and ears wide open when in the camps and at those particular stretches you mentioned. Bush Baptist, thanks also for advice.

Any other comments regarding my list and where to find some of them would be greatly appreciated.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:13 am 
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Boomslang wrote:
Thanks for the advice so far. Wildtuinman, a couple of birds I would rather like to see would include:

Whitebacked Night-Heron - Your best bet will be Shipandane, they were breeding there a few months ago. Lake panic also had them as well as Sweni hide.
Whitebacked&Fulvous Ducks; - Ducks are seen on most water holes.
Crake species; - Black crake is present @ Lake Panic, the other crakes will take some time/luck finding.
Greater Painted-Snipe; - The Mopani and Punda Maria(Klopperfontein) areas seems to be a place to find these, I myself have never seen them.
African Snipe; - Never seen them in Kruger either, but try aforementioned areas.Temminck's&Bronzewinged Coursers; - Bronze-winged courser is a definite on nightdrives from Croc bridge. Temminck's frequesnt recently burnt areas. Some folks say Shingwedzi's back gate area is a good spot. I've never seen them either.
Bluespotted Wood-Dove; - Pafuri.
Cuckoo species; - Cuckoo's can be found all over the Park in summer time. I suggest you learn their calls and then look for them as soon as you hear one.
Owls; - Owls too can be found all over the Park. Pretoriuskop is a very good spot for spotted-eagle owl and barn owl. Lower Sabie produce sightings of barred owlet and white-faced scops owl. Scops owls can be found @ afsaal picnic spot and satara. Pearl-spotted owlets are regulary seen during the day in the Satara area. Listen for their calls. I suggest you do a nightdrive to find owls.
Greyheaded&Striped Kingfishers; - Berg-en-dal provided me with striped kingfisher once. Grey-headed I yet have to find.
Rackettailed&Broadbilled Rollers; - Pafuri
Lark species; - Any grassy area. Satara seems good habitat for these.
LBJ's; - Can be found anywhere in the Park. Again I suggest you learn their calls. Satara seems good.


Boomslang wrote:
Eremomela's;
Cuckooshrikes;
Ashy, Grey-Tit,
Marico&Pale Flycatchers; Lesser Grey,
Brubru,


The above I have no good exact locations for. But the are to be found in Kruger.

Boomslang wrote:
Gorgeous Bush, - Haven't got a clue, but do let me know if you find any. :lol: Listen for their calls, its one thing hearing them, but another seeing. Berg-en-dal's Matjulu dam have provided me with calls.
Orangebreasted Bush, - Seen in Lower Sabie.
Whitecrested Helmet and Retz's Helmet Shrikes; - Seen in Biyamithi. Purplebanded&Plainbacked Sunbirds;Violeteared&Orangebreasted Waxbills. - Sorry, can't help withe these.



Hope you find what you looking for!
Good luck!
W™


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