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Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:42 pm
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Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:20 am Unread post
Was in Kruger July 2009 , saw some 200 birds in 9 days.
Saw at least 30 Temminck's Courser at Mooiplaas waterhole, some vey close up. Just saw a web feature from Weg saying the same thing. Ayre's we got on our way back from Sable hide close to Masorini.
Böhm's Spinetail we got at Pafuri bridge but only the last 5 m of our 20m stop there, so be patient.
I don't think Mottled spinetail is easy in Winter.
Enjoy and please report back on all the successes.
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Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:00 am Unread post
Thanks LadyBirder, Highbury, MattAxel, Malles and Roan! Some really nice tips there. :thumbs_up:


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:05 pm Unread post
I've seen Barred owlet only once, on the Orpen-Satara road, sitting rather low (1 m above the ground) in a shrub next to the road.

Temmincks' courser, also near Satara on the S100.

The rest of the mentioned birdies are all still on my Kruger wishlist :pray: :lol:


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:49 pm Unread post
wildtuinman wrote
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.



Howzit...

Bohm's Spinetail have seen a few times at Pafuri Bridge in summer. Obviously not in KNP but just close to there is the famous Baobab with the colony of Mottled Spinetails which my brother saw.

WBCS...my brother has seen on Mahonie Loop.

Collared palm thrush seen in SHingwedzi but hear they havnt been around for a few years. It was only males there before apparently.

Stierling's Wren-Warbler is my bogey bird in life as well. Without exaggerating have heard them well over 100 times and got close sometimes but still not seen it. Biyamiti camp is a great place for them certainly in early summer. I will probably see my first good sighting there.

Temmincks courser has been a great bird for me and on at least 3 trips have seen them reliably on the patches of gravel next to the road South of Balule down the S90 towards Bangu. Sometimes a couple of sightings in a few minutes. This is usually in November in this area but also seen them in April in this area. As you will know, they can be easily overlooked.
Other place family has seen TC on more than one occassion is the first mini loop to the east of the main road after the bridge when driving up from Shingwedzi north. Seen in early December.

Hope this helps.

Cheers


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:56 pm Unread post
DotDan wrote
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


Best area for me is along Biyamiti and also at Letaba camp hide. Both sightings were active birds in the day with the Letaba one performing for a good 30 mins.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:08 pm Unread post
Highbury wrote
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 .



Great...another excellent place for Kitlitz is Engelhardt Dam near Letaba. Seen them there everytime in summer in the last 10 years which must be 5 summer visits. Also everytime seen Black Egret, RW Pratincole and Squacco Heron.



For those looking for Retz, aslo seen them at Biyamiti as well as the Old Jock camp.


ONly seen crowned eagle at Pafuri and although one post says its great to see them along the Sabi River, having worked 2 years along the Sand and close to Sabi River junction never did myself or anyone else see one. So i'd say concentrate away from Skukuza then. BUt you never know as saw a Broadbilled Roller from Skukuza last time.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:44 pm Unread post
Wow!

Thanks Dabchick and o-dog for some more lovely tips! :thumbs_up:


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:19 pm Unread post
Wildtuinman as per your earlier request here are some tips,

The Mottled Spinetails have disappeared from the Pafuri Bridge and Nyala Drive where in years gone by they were seen quite regularly. I think now you will have to book a spot on the Nyalaland Trail and find them in the camp baobab.

Bohm’s is still a regular from the bridge, south side of the picnic site and on the road between these 2 sites. We saw several on this year’s HR birding wkends.

White-breasted CuckooShrike – you just need to spend time on the Mahonie Loop (both east and west sides), or at the Fig Tree en route to Thulamila near Punda Gate. This year we actually found one feeding on a caterpillar explosion alongside a male and two female black cuckooshrikes (and several other birds) about 100m from Punda Gate.

Dickinson's Kestrel – no stake-out – just random – you could see it anywhere in the far north. Near Klopperfontein, Babalala, the Lemon-breasted Palms at Crooks Corner and near Witsands on Mahonie are some of the places I’ve seen them.

Ayre's Hawk-Eagle – I am aware of recent records on Mahonie Loop and near Crook’s Corner and Pafuri Bridge.

They used to be fairly regular south of the Levuvhu both near Klopperfontein and near the Pafuri border post, but in the last few years they’ve only been seen in the Makuleke Concession, so spend a night at Pafuri Lodge and ask the guides to show you one is perhaps your best bet.

Miombo Blue-eared Starling – don’t have any knowledge of any confirmed records of these birds in the park. Many claims (most recently from near Skukuza) – confirmation needed.

Stierling's Wren-Warbler – some of our vehicle got a nice sighting on our way to the sandveld on the eastern boundary.

Temminck's Courser – agree that Thihongonyeni is the most reliable place for them. We got one on the plain at the Crooks Corner junction in Feb.

African Yellow White-eye – Crook’s Corner, Pafuri Picnic Site, Pafuri Bridge are all possible places, but be very careful to rule out the candida subspecies of the Cape White-eye

>Has anyone seen Collared Palm-Thrush in Kruger lately?
There was a recent reported sighting from near Letaba and another from Tsendze, but I haven’t heard of any at the old haunt at Shingwedzi.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:30 am Unread post
Owl, as always, brilliant feedback.

Thanks a million for always taking the time and having the patience to share your unsurpassed knowledge and experience. :thumbs_up:

Seems like we missed out a bit during this year's Punda BBW's. :wall:
Last year I missed the White-breasted Cuckoo-Shrike that flew over our vehicle on the Mahonie loop. I won't mention any names, but the expert on our vehicle didn't call out the bird early enough for me to look up in the sky to see it.

And why did we not see any Bohm's Spinetails last year? Huh? :hmz: Is this a conspiracy against me, because in 2009 we didn't see any either!!

Next time you chat to mr Sowry, tell him again I say thanks for the Stierling's Wren-Warbler ("tick it off so long", he said to me) he was going to show me along the Sandveld stretch last year. We must have heard about 4 calling all over the show during BBW 2011, but just could not lay eyes on a single one!

Really excited about the recent reports of the Collared Palm-Thrushes. Where there is a report, there is hope.


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:14 am Unread post
You were too busy wiping spiderwebs out of your eyes!!

We all missed the damn Cuckoo-Shrike. :evil:


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:52 pm Unread post
It had a banded rubber frog strapped to its back so having seen your performance in the mud along the power lines I was worried about your personal state of mind and the safetly of the other occupants of the vehicle! :gflower:


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:04 pm Unread post
Well you can't say that I didn't show some fancy footwork there under those power lines on that fateful day. :lol:


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:51 pm Unread post
wildtuinman wrote
We will be doing an 8 night Kruger trip in a month's time (Mopani, Shingwedzi, Pafuri, Letaba, Lower Sabie and Tambotie.
Wildtuinman, by Pafuri do you mean Pafuri Camp or the picnic site? If the former, you could indeed ask the guides to show you Ayres', but it would be a very tough call. Sightings are very sporadic and widespread, I have yet to see one there.

The following comments only pertain to die verre noorde van die wildtuin.

- Mottled spinetail have certainly not disappeared from Luvuvhu Bridge, although their presence may be seasonal. They were there this past summer. It is a matter of spotting them amongst all the other swifts and swallows flying around. In my experience, this is easiest when looking down at birds flying under the bridge.

- Böhm's are not tied to the river, maybe they are often seen there because that's where people spend a lot of time looking at the birds flying around. I see them more often away from the river (I usually don't spend that much time on the bridge). The open area just west of the little ridge you cross before you get to the picnic site turn-off is as good a place as any.

- Dickinson's is widespread but scarce. My most recent sightings were on the access road to Pafuri Camp.

- Stierling's. Widespread but not common, more easily heard than seen.

That road is also great for Olive-tree Warbler. Surprisingly easy if you just listen out for them.

And while we are at it, a few of the scarcer species in the far north that haven't yet been mentioned:

- Bathawk. Occasionally flying low along the Luvuvhu at dawn. Also at Lanner Gorge at dusk.

- Black Sparrowhawk. Once on the edge of the Limpopo floodplain just east of Mapimbi.

- Black Eagle. Hutwini Mountain, Lanner Gorge. Earlier this year I saw one pair in the west and another in the east from Lanner Lookout.

- Crowned Eagle. Not uncommon anywhere along the Luvuvhu.

- Pel's. Occasionally from the bridge, more commonly at what is known as pumphouse lookout (not accessible to the general public), and various roosts along the river that can only be reached on foot.

- Three-banded Courser. Not uncommon in suitable habitat in the MCNP, but nevertheless tricky at times.

- Thick-billed cuckoo. When along the river, listen out for them and search the sky.

- African goshawk. Noisy display flight anywhere along the Luvuvhu or Limpopo early morning.

- Narina. Only one or two sightings a year, usually in riverine forest.

- The rarer water fowl and birds. The floodplain pans + a lot of patience.
Johan


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:43 am Unread post
Thanks Johan, I will certainly keep my ears and eyes wide open.

Who knows, maybe I am fortunate enough to come across a Three-banded Courser!


Re: Help needed with some tricky Kruger species

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Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:58 pm Unread post
Just confirming that you can't miss Temminck's Courser at Tihongonyeni and Mooiplaas. Kittlitz's Plover and Red-capped Lark are also around at the moment and I would not be surprised if Grey-backed Sparrowlark and/or Lark-like Bunting show up this year!

You're more than welcome to come and pick up Stierling's WW in Hoedspruit, but rather in summer because they are chance sightings when they are not calling.
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