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Birding: Marakele

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JenB
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Birding: Marakele

Unread post by JenB » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:38 pm

Beginnings of a bird hide at Marakele National Park
For quite a long time the Marakele Honorary Rangers (HRs) have envisaged a bird hide at a watering point where they had previously – in anticipation of the bird hide being erected - planted reeds and water lilies in order to attract birds, insects, mammals and reptiles. The ‘planned bird hide’ has been featuring on the Marakele map for some time, but approval of proper building plans and the raising of funds have unfortunately curtailed the proceedings until now. Recently, permission was granted to erect a temporary hide until plans for a permanent hide are approved and the necessary funds are forthcoming.

On Saturday 31 January 2009 preparations started for the erection of the temporary bird hide in Marakele National Park. Under the able leadership and enthusiasm of the Chairperson, Ampie Venter who handled the planning, while preparations were made by Jaap Haakman, five HRs gathered at the site that morning. The HRs began clearing bush and undergrowth – which proved to be hard going. Secateurs, axes, gwalas, a chain saw, pickaxes, hammers & claws, and gardening gloves - and frequent rest periods - were required.

Around lunch time, more HRs members and even ex-members began to assist. While the ladies prepared lunch, the men dug holes for the poles, which had been delivered earlier. After the rains the soil was not too hard, but getting rid of Grewia and Acacia root systems really taxed the strength of the workers. While eating lunch, the rain started pouring down again and work had to be abandoned for the day.

Work on the hide will continue on 21 February, but the HRs have now realised that a bird hide – like Rome - cannot be built in a day! They do, however, plan to have the (temporary) bird hide ready within two to three months.

There is hope to obtain permission for the development of a birding trail (consisting of a sleep-over night) in a section of Marakele National Park, not usually available to tourists. Information about this birding route will be forthcoming.
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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bentley
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Re: Beginnings of a bird hide at Marakele National Park

Unread post by bentley » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:33 am

As an outsider I thaught it was a matter of 1,2,3 and it would be set up..I take my hat off to all of them for being persistant and dedicated.
Is there any news from the past 2 weeks ?
Life is what we make of it..we can not control what happens in our life but how we handle it.

The Kruger Park..a place that is close at heart

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JenB
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Re: Beginnings of a bird hide at Marakele National Park

Unread post by JenB » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:30 pm

Hi Bentley,

I've asked the mods to make some inquiries, will post here as soon as we have more news. :thumbs_up:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Re: Beginnings of a bird hide at Marakele National Park

Unread post by Cassius » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:18 pm

The Honorary Rangers are currently developing a bird hide in the Kwaggasvlakte portion of the Park with our approval as per the plan and we are closely monitoring the project and working with them, although we envisaged to have an overnight bird hide on site which will be considered at a later stage when funding is available.
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JenB
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Re: Beginnings of a bird hide at Marakele National Park

Unread post by JenB » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:30 pm

Thank you, Cassius! :D
Do you have any idea when it is due for completion? Not the "overnight" one, just the "sit out there for an hour or three and absorb the wonderful Marakele atmosphere" one. :wink:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Re: Beginnings of a bird hide at Marakele National Park

Unread post by Cassius » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:02 am

At the moment i have no time frames with me yet, as soon as i know the date i will communicate that with you guys :whistle:
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JenB
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Re: Beginnings of a bird hide at Marakele National Park

Unread post by JenB » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:07 am

Here it is! :D
Well done to the Honorary Rangers. :thumbs_up:

Image

Image

The water level is a bit low at the moment but after good rains it should fill up nicely.
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Re: Birding: Marakele

Unread post by James89 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:03 pm

Hi All,

Heading up this weekend for a night. Excited to see what the birding is like.

Any tips? What are the specials to see at Marakele?

James

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Re: Birding: Marakele

Unread post by isinkwe » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:19 pm

James89 wrote:Hi All,

Heading up this weekend for a night. Excited to see what the birding is like.

Any tips?
James


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Re: Birding: Marakele

Unread post by isinkwe » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:23 pm

Birding in Marakele National Park

Arguably the Park’s biggest birding attraction is the largest colony of Cape Vultures in the world (around 800 breeding pairs). However the park is also appealing to birders as it falls within the transition zone between the dry western regions and the moister eastern regions of the country.

Thus it is possible to see certain closely related species alongside one another. These include (eastern species first) Southern Boubou and Crimson-breasted Shrike, Arrow-marked and Southern Pied Babbler, Tawny-flanked and Black-chested Prinia, Pin-tailed and Shaft-tailed Whydah, Dark-capped (Black-eyed) and Red-eyed Bulbul, Grey and Cape Penduline Tit and White-browed and Kalahari Scrub Rob in .

The park is an excellent place to look for raptors, with many species using the uplift generated off the cliff faces of the Waterberg to ride thermals. Apart from the vultures, visitors should look for African Harrier Hawk (Gymnogene), Jackal Buz za rd and several eagle species, including Verreaux’s (Black), African Hawk, Black-chested (breasted) Snakeand Brown Snake Eagle. In summer Wahlberg’s Eagle becomes prominent. Rock Kestrel are prominent on the mountain plateau, while Peregrine and Lanner Falcons should be watched for.

On areas of high ground Cape Rock Thrush, Buff Streaked Chat, Mocking Cliff-Chat; Mountain Wheatear, Cape Bunting , MalachiteSunbird, Lazy and Wailing Cisticola, Gurney’s Sugarbirdand Swee Waxbill should be searched for.

Other species to look out for in the lower lying bushveld and broadleaf woodland regions include Purple Roller, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Brubru, Southern White-crowned Shrike and White Crested Helmet-shrike and the exquisite Blue, Violet-eared and Black-cheekedWaxbills. Bee-eaters are conspicuous, particularly White-fronted and Little with Swallow-tailed (winter) and Carmine and European (summer) present as well. The Matlabas River (formerly home to the Tented Camp, but now only accessible from the Hoopdal Road ) can be scanned for signs of Half-collared Kingfisher and African Finfoot. From the relocated tented camp, now called Tlopi, water birds have a different profile. Black Crake may be seen in the rushes just in front of the units. A steady stream of woodland species uses the foliage around the safari tents to drink from the water’s edge. At night Freckled and Fiery-necked Nightjars and Spotted Eagle and African Scops Owl compliment the pulse of crickets and cicadas.
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:


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