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Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:04 am Unread post
Hi all,

We will be doing an 8 night Kruger trip in a month's time (Mopani, Shingwedzi, Pafuri, Letaba, Lower Sabie and Tambotie).

I am after the following tricky Kruger species. Any help in order to where to try and find them and recent sightings of it will be very much appreciated.

I've been searching high and low for these things in Pafuri, but no luck:

Mottled and Bohm's Spinetails.

I also have rotten luck with White-breasted Cuckoo-Shrike and Dickinson's Kestrel around Punda and up to Pafuri. Ayre's Hawk-Eagle, Racket-tailed Roller and Miombo Blue-eared Starling would also be nice.

Stierling's Wren-Warbler I only seem to hear. I probably have a better chance of seeing Haley's comet again than seeing this one. Are there any recent localities where I could go and have a shot at it?

For my Kruger list, I require Temminck's Courser and African Yellow White-eye.

Has anyone seen Collared Palm-Thrush in Kruger lately?

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by wildtuinman on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:33 am Unread post
As for the Mottled and Bohm's Spinetails I"ve seen them while standing on the bridge across the Levubu river.
Ayer's Hawk-Eagle Ive seen on the H1-8 at the Boabab hills.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:40 am Unread post
I think Temminck's are really difficult to pin point to a specific place. I have seen then along the S41 near Gudzani dam, and never seen them there again.

You know what habitat they like, so just scan the right patches. Especially when you are at Tamboti.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:58 am Unread post
Thanks Ladybirder, may I ask, how long ago were the sightings of the Spinetails and during which period of the year?

Daan, It would seem that something like Middelvlei is quite reliable for them. I searched myself stupid in February after a nice tip off from Cois, but still couldn't find it. I am sure winter should give me a better chance.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:41 am Unread post
Wildtuinman - I have seen Temminck's Courser at Tihongonyeni on virtually every occasion I have been there in the last 2 years ( about10 times) . Mooiplaas is another likely place , ut in my experience not as good as Tihongonyeni . The last time I was at Tihongonyeni - about 3 weeks ago - I saw Temminck's on each of the 3 days , and also Kittlitz's Plover and Red capped lark . Tihongonyeni is in my opinion also the best place in the park for Kittlitz .


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:02 am Unread post
Highbury, you made a massive impact with your 1st post! Welcome and thanks for the great tip! :thumbs_up:

Kittlitz's Plover is by no means a common bird in Kruger. Super sighting there.

Tihongonyeni it is going to be then. :D :D


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:27 am Unread post
Tihongonyeni looks like a nice little loop, that is a great tip Highbury.

Now don't you have a nice little tip about a Barred Owlet roost? :D


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:43 am Unread post
Afraid not Dot Dan . I have seen Barred Owl inside Satara , but have not had many sightings over the years . On a recent trip , I spent a lot of time birding in the walkway of the Lake Panic hide which I found to be productive - Bearded Robin nesting in the tree that overhangs the walkway , Terrestrial and Sombre Bulbuls , Red capped and White Throated Robin-chat and Olive Tree Warbler . In Skukuza camp , the area near the Avis car hire is very good for robins and sunbirds . While I was there , someone told me they had seen Crowned Eagle near Skukuza , which has eluded me in Kruger . If anyone has any tips on where to find them or Retz Helmet Shrike which is another bogey species for me , would appreciate .


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:53 am Unread post
African Crowned Eagle we got on the Bushman's trail in the winter of 2005. And then again an immature from the H12 bridge over the Sabie river 2 or 3 years ago.

Retz's Helmet-Shrike I must say have been very kind to me. From my records I have seen them in Biyamithi camp (winter 2006) and also near the Pafuri police station during BBW last year.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:14 pm Unread post
For anyone who needs Brown Throated Martin for their KNP list - they are nesting in the sandbanks on the dirt loop about 2km north of the 4 way crossing at Letaba . If you are travelling north and take the dirt loop , check the right hand sides of the road about 200-300m into the loop .


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:24 pm Unread post
Highbury wrote
If anyone has any tips on where to find them or Retz Helmet Shrike which is another bogey species for me , would appreciate .


Also a good spot to lookout for them is on the S25 about 10Km's from Croc bridge. The habitat there is excellent for them, and I found them there last year June and in November 2010.

Both times there was a party of about 5-6 birds that I could count.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:05 pm Unread post
Wildtuinman ,the first time I saw the spinetail I saw them in Sept, The last time was in March a year ago, saw them also on the Njala walk.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:16 pm Unread post
I'll be in the Kruger in 20 days time (Letaba, Satara, Lower Sabie) and I still need a lot of these birds for my Kruger list and some even for my life list, so I'll definitely try out a few of those spots.

I got Mottled Spinetail on the bridge over the Levhuvu river in April quite a few years ago though, I think 2007.

Retz's Helmetshrike Ive also been quite lucky with. Seen them a few times around Pafuri picnic spot and last year even saw some just south of Lower Sabie.

Crowned Eagle I've only seen in the fever tree forest close to Crook's Corner.

As for Barred Owlett, one year I was in the Kruger in July, I think it was 2005, and there seemed to be an influx of them in the area around Croc Bridge and Lower Sabie. I must have had about 6 different sightings on that trip, but haven't seen one since.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:52 pm Unread post
The S3 (Sabie River road between Paul Kruger and Phabeni) is pretty good for crowned eagles - I'd say you have a 1 in 4 chance of seeing them.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:48 pm Unread post
Hi WTM. I've seen Bohm's spinetail at Pafuri picnic spot every day I was there during November 2011. Mottled spinetail was seen from the bridge crossing the Levhuvhu river.
We spotted Dickensons' Kestrel on the S61 on the way to Klopperfontein.
Racket tailed Roller was seen on theH13-1 towards Punda.
Good luck
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