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Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

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Dortmundbirder
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Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Dortmundbirder » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:31 pm

Hello everybody I hope it is okay for my first post to directly ask for Intel for our Kruger Trip from 22nd October till 9th November.
Iam an experienced birder from Germany looking forward for my First SA experience and as usual i start the planning early. As Iam going with a couple of friends which are focussing more on game than on Birds the planning for some Target species sadly is keen for me.
Wenn will be staying in the southern Part of Kruger visiting Berg en Dal skukuza satara lower sabie and crocodile bridge restcamps.

I hopefully pick some realistic target Birds in the area and looking forward for your help. I hope 15 species is Not too much :lol:

1 Yellow rumped Tinkerbird
2 Crowned Hornbill
3 Narina Trogon
4 White faced owl
5 Kori Bustard
6 African Finfoot
7 Bat Hawk
8 Black Sparrowhawk
9 White backed night Heroin
10 Gorgeus Bush shrike
11 White crowned schrie
12 monotonous Lars
13Red headed Weaver
14 Cut throat Finch
15 Violet eared waxbill.

I know some of the birds might be a Bit difficult but I think especially on those I need additional Intel.
Furthermore in which plumage am i going to see weavers widowbird and indigobirds?

Sorry for so many questions and the probably Bad English and thanks in advance for your Help.

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wildtuinman
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by wildtuinman » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:42 pm

A warm welcome!

1 Yellow rumped Tinkerbird - Skukuza is a good spot to see this scarce Kruger bird. Listen out for its call. If you fail to find it in Kruger, Nelspruit is a really good spot to look for it.
2 Crowned Hornbill - Skukuza again, try especially around the nursery.
3 Narina Trogon - Very tough Kruger bird - The Nwatamiri causeway and the H4-1 road between Skukuza have delivered this bird before, but if you really want an excellent chance then I suggest Serenity Forest eco reserve, which is a prolific spot!
4 White faced owl - Could be possible everywhere - a night drive would be good to find this owl.
5 Kori Bustard - Only really possible betweem Satara and Letaba and along the H10 between Satara and Tshokwane.
6 African Finfoot - Sabie river, especially along the Salitje road and from the H12 highwater bridge over the Sabie.
7 Bat Hawk - Tough Kruger bird. The town of White river outside Kruger used to field a breeding pair.
8 Black Sparrowhawk - Albasini ruins and Phabeni gate was a good spot for me.
9 White backed night Heroin - Lower Sabie nightdrive over the bridge south of the camp.
10 Gorgeus Bush shrike - Possible everywhere, easily heard, but very tough to see, Pretoriuskop especially is a good area. Nelspruit's reserves are also very good to find this bird.
11 White crowned schrie - Possible everywhere, mot likely the easiest bird on your list to find.
12 monotonous Lars - If good rain fell, they could be numerous anywhere in Kruger.
13Red headed Weaver - Another common bird in Kruger - Numbi gate is a good breeding spot to look out for them.
14 Cut throat Finch - Not easy in the south - Phalaborwa area is more reliable.
15 Violet eared waxbill - tough one. The Renosterkoppies dam area and Stevenson-Hamilton memorial areas seem to be some of the best spots to find it.

Most weavers and most widowbirds will be in breeding plumage. Unfortunately Indigobirds only obtain breeding plumage from January onwards.
675
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

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Dortmundbirder
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Dortmundbirder » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:18 pm

Thank you very much for the warm welcome and the quick reply wildtuinman.

Nice that at least some of the species seem not to be too difficult to see in the Southern part of the park. Have noted the promising spots for the target species.
Sad that Indigobirds are nor in breeding plumage. Are they reliable to ID by bill and leg colour in this plumage as it is drawn in the Fieldguides or is it more difficult?

What sounds really interesting is the Serenity Forest reserve. Is this a good spot for other difficult Kruger species as well?

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wildtuinman
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by wildtuinman » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:03 am

Hi Dortmundbirder,

it is my pleasure. :)

I have found Indigobirds to be quite secretive and difficult to pick up outside the breeding season as they tend to flock around with other non-breeding widows and whydahs.. If you are lucky to see non-breeding birds, the bill and leg colour could assist you with an id. But it will certainly not be easy.

Serentity Forest Eco Reserve is a great spot. Its bird list does contain certain Kruger specialties such as Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, but the real prize birds here are forest dwellers, which does not occur in Kruger.
675
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

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Highbury
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Highbury » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:17 am

WTM - Interested in your comments on Black Sparrowhawk. Can you elaborate on what you've seen. I've also heard that the S3 along the river is a possibility.

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Dortmundbirder
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Dortmundbirder » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:27 pm

Have to admit Iam quite a lister expecially in holidays so the Forest reserver is pretty much a must go for me now. When I get 178 lifer species (If nothing unexpected is going to happen in Germany) my Life List cracks the 1000 so this is the go to goal for me on the one hand. Should be doable in 2 weeks South Africa without any sub sahara experience I guess?

Any ideas how to convince a group of intrested naturalists but not birders ( 8 People 2 birders) to not watch lions and elepants but better spend a morning in the forest looking for skulkers? :mrgreen: :wall:

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wildtuinman
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by wildtuinman » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:43 pm

Highbury wrote:WTM - Interested in your comments on Black Sparrowhawk. Can you elaborate on what you've seen. I've also heard that the S3 along the river is a possibility.


Hi Highbury,

A few years ago I saw an adult Black Sparrowhawk just outside Numbi gate.
Last year during the Pretoriuskop BBW, we stopped at the Albasini ruins for some coffee and out of that big tree we flushed a young Black Sparrowhawk!
675
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

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wildtuinman
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by wildtuinman » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:45 pm

Dortmundbirder wrote:Have to admit Iam quite a lister expecially in holidays so the Forest reserver is pretty much a must go for me now. When I get 178 lifer species (If nothing unexpected is going to happen in Germany) my Life List cracks the 1000 so this is the go to goal for me on the one hand. Should be doable in 2 weeks South Africa without any sub sahara experience I guess?

Any ideas how to convince a group of intrested naturalists but not birders ( 8 People 2 birders) to not watch lions and elepants but better spend a morning in the forest looking for skulkers? :mrgreen: :wall:


:lol: :lol: no matter what nationality, all birders suffer the same fate.

Have you visited SA before? If you have time, let me know and I can take you around a couple of spots around Johannesburg and Pretoria one day to help you crack that 1000 mark.
675
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

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DotDan
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by DotDan » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:15 pm

Just to add on that list

Kori Bustard is almost a given around Satara especially on the H7 towards Nsemani, but the S28 - S113 (Duke) road is also a good spot for them.

The S28 or S25 early morning is a good place to find those White Faced Scops Owls.

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Dortmundbirder
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Dortmundbirder » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:16 pm

Thank you very much for the offer Wildtuinman. It is my first time in South Africa and I will check if I have some time, but Iam afraid I wont have a chance this trip as we are picking up 1 car in Johannesburg and have to got with the full group to nelspruit first before we split into two cars which might have given me the chance to sneak in some extra time.

Thanks for the additional Kori Bustard info DotDan. Really a "Must See" bird for me :D . We have Great Bustards here in Germany and I want to compare the actual size of who is more impressive now :wink: .

On my usual luck when travelling, i will probably miss some easy but impressive Kruger species but find a rare European LBJ migrant :D (happened already twice, that the locals were excited as hell and I was pretty unimpressed becuase it was an everyday bird)

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Haupie
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Haupie » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:24 pm

Hey Dortmundbirder, I will arrive in Kruger the day after you leave

I like your wishlist

I hope you will be updating us daily while in the park

Leon
Punda birding weekend November 2016 :P :P :P


I say 'no bail to poachers', name and shame them, even at a sniff of suspicion. Lets get rid of them quickly

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Dortmundbirder
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Dortmundbirder » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:51 pm

2 weeks now. The excitement starts to grow immensely. I think Iam well prepared but have to get into some calls and songs when I am in the park. Went for the presumably common birds first and I think I have around 50-80 species "in the ear". Not enough time to learn them all and always easier if you are around and see the bird as well :).

I do not know how the W-LAN Status is in the camps. If I have access to internet I try to keep you updated and will certainly post Ebird lists of the sightings.

Afriphile
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Afriphile » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:00 pm

As a seasoned Africa traveller,but novice birder,I wish you well in your search and can't wait to read your reports.
I know you are not staying this visit but Olifants camp has rewarded me with my only Kruger sightings of Bathawk ( flying along cliff at dusk).It is also reliable for Red winged starling,Mocking cliff chat and Grey headed bush shrike.
Cheers Afriphile .

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Shidzidzii
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by Shidzidzii » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:25 pm

I hate to bear bad news but the current drought is not good for birding at the moment. They are in survival mode IMHO - even birdsong is limited. And migrants will also come later than usual. And many days the weather is harsh too and particularly windy. When it does rain well things will change quickly. But the summer rains will be later rather than early , I predict , unfortunatly. The rains that have fallen so far have been spill over from winter rainfall areas cold fronts. No tropical anti-cyclone rain systems yet I am afraid.

But your companions will be delighted to see more leopards than usual - many days three sightings. Lions also plenty of sightings but very lazy.
Since the begining of August I have spent 18 days in the park and birding has been below par - but predator sightings are the opposite.

What I did see at Lower Sabie, flying up and down over the dam in front of camp, on 13 August, was a single Whiskered Tern. It was a a very windy day but it did settle on sandbars every now and again to make ID positive if very unusual. Temminck's Courser at Orpen exit road on 6 September.
I have had many good sightings here at Swadini (riverine forest) this spring but even here is below par and some birds are seen and then go away again. Food is very limited.

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wildtuinman
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Re: Target Birds Oct-Nov 2016

Unread post by wildtuinman » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:18 am

Yes, the drought will affect bird sightings, but the good news is that it will also bring interesting birds in to camps and some very interesting birds into Kruger such as Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Lark-like bunting etc.

Apart from Monotonous Lark all other birds are still very much possible. I understand that there is a local Bathawk at Pretoriuskop camp.

I suggest that you place a lot of focus on camp birding.

Dortmundbirder, I have a good spot for Southern White-faced Scops-Owl in Sandton. Please contact me for more information.
675
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

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