Skip to Content

How many birds on your list

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
User avatar
pantera leo
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 974
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:53 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by pantera leo » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:48 am

Halo again fellow 'mites sorry I'm so quiet but work keeps me busy. Managed to pack in a small birding trip here and there and my new total is now on 533!!! :dance:

User avatar
Ferdelance
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 450
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:44 pm
Location: Pretoria

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Ferdelance » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:12 am

A day outing to the Seringfeld delivered 2 more lifers for me. Takes my total up to 591 with Monotonous Lark.
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Lesser Crested Tern; Rufous Winged Cisticola.

User avatar
Bushbuddies
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1336
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Location: Centurion

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Bushbuddies » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:48 pm

On holiday in Stilbaai delivered 6 new lifers for us:

566 - Kaapse Tiptol (Cape Bulbul)
881 - Streepkopkanarie (Streaky-headed Seed-eater)
415 - Witkruiswindswael (White-rumped Swift)
536 - Swartsaagvlerkswael (Black Saw-wing)
512 - Dikbeklewerik (Large-billed Lark)
533 - Afrikaanse Oewerswael (Brown-throated Martin)

338 + 6 = 344 as a total for the end of 2012. Started the year on 262 so a total of 82 new birds for 2012. Not too shabby... :D
:dance: First South to North KNP trip booked! :dance:
10-11 June 2017 - Lower Sabie
12-14 June 2017 - Talamati
15-17 June 2017 - Olifants
18-20 June 2017 - Mopani
21-22 June 2017 - Punda Maria
22-23 June 2017 - Pafuri Border Camp

User avatar
mel123
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:36 pm
Location: North West

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by mel123 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:27 am

I am currently on 223 birds, following trips to Kraalkop and Pilanesberg. We'll see if I can reach my revised goal of 230 before New years, but its been a lot of fun. :thumbs_up:
Some nice new lifers included Glossy Ibis, Amur falcon (Ventersdorp), Mocking cliffchat, Western barn owl, (all at Pilanesberg or on the way there.
Kraalkop yielded Cape bunting, Mountain wheatear, Red-collared widowbird, Thick-billed weaver, white-rumped swift, Pin-tailed whydah and White-breasted cormorant.

boje1212
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:56 pm

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by boje1212 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:37 pm

I have recently (since the end of Nov 2012), taken up birding after spending many years in the bush and loving the game, I have grown to love the birds and have now decided to pursue it.

my list has got to 81 so far, and climbing each day. This only includes birds since Nov 2012.

:mrgreen: Off for some birding in Krantkloof NR in the morning. :) :D
348
Latest Lifers: African Spoonbill, Black Cuckooshrike, Wire-Tailed Swallow

User avatar
onewithnature
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 12092
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by onewithnature » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:14 am

I'm interested to know what the maximum number of birds that one could chalk up on a list in Southern Africa is. Would it exceed 1000 different species?
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2015)
Posts: 2365
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:09 am

Officially there is around 960 birds lsited as "tickable", OWN. I say "around" because this list goes up and down as we become more species savvy, i.e. getting to grips with what a species is. As the various definitions of a "species" gain or lose favour, populations are either lumped together into one species or else they are split into several species. Also, every now and then a new vagrant, not seen at "our shores" in the recent times since people became "bird aware" (100 years or so) makes an appearance and swells the list of sightings possible in Southern Africa.

Only two birders (Ian Sincliar and Trevor Hardaker) has listed more than 900 birds (936 and 906 respectively).

So your answer is NO, a birder cannot chalk up 1000 birds in the Southern African sub-region, which is taken to be birding south of the Cunene and Zambezi Rivers.
692 Latest lifers: Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross, Eurasian oystercatcher, Gull-billed tern, Black-bellied storm petrel, European storm petrel, Sooty falcon

User avatar
Crested Val
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2015)
Posts: 7018
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Brecon Beacons National Park

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Crested Val » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:21 am

Johan that's very interesting!!!

I am not doing as well as I would have liked this year.

New edition White Stork.

Total - 234 Target - 250!!!

User avatar
onewithnature
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 12092
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by onewithnature » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:34 am

Thank you Johan! And thanks too for explaining in depth. :clap: :clap: It is what I suspected; I asked because someone else (supposedly knowledgeable on such things) suggested the >1000 list was feasible. Amazing that that pair of experts has chalked over 900. :big_eyes: I see, though, that there are indeed several people in the 800-900 range, but obviously to add another lifer to this list requires proportionately much more effort, and possibly luck, as the list grows.
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2015)
Posts: 2365
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:20 pm

onewithnature wrote: I see that there are indeed several people in the 800-900 range, but obviously to add another lifer to this list requires proportionately much more effort, and possibly luck, as the list grows.


Generally it becomes hard work once you get to around 500 ticks as you have then exhausted all the "commoner" and abundant birds. The higher up the list you move, the more carefully you have to plan your trips that are specifically aimed at adding to your life list. "Twitching" also starts to play a major role. "Twitching" refers to the activity of chasing a specific bird (normally a rare one at this stage in his/her birding "career") found somewhere in the region. You are right about the luck part... I have often "dipped" (not managed to see) on a target bird and in some instances it took me up ten attempts before that species stayed put long enough for me to get to see it. The most recent "twitch" where I "dipped" took place only last week when I missed the black-tailed godwit at Marievale by mere minutes! (150 km one-way...)

The part that compels us to keep on trying are those other twitches that are successful. I can write a whole essay about the thrill of those encounters!

An added bonus is normally that those twitches are shared with other birders, some old acquaintances; some new... either way is a great opportunity to make new friends or run into old mates!
692 Latest lifers: Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross, Eurasian oystercatcher, Gull-billed tern, Black-bellied storm petrel, European storm petrel, Sooty falcon

User avatar
onewithnature
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 12092
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by onewithnature » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:43 am

Johan, you speak about your encounters with such enthusiasm and emotion that it is sheer delight reading your input. :clap: :clap: I can only imagine how frustrating it is knowing a bird is there, but unable to see it skulking around. It is just as frustrating identifying a lifer by its call, but then also being unable to find it. :roll: And, sometimes, I hear a bird ringing out loudly and clearly but, no matter how hard I strain my eyes, I just cannot find it. Many of them are masters at camouflage; only once, for example, did we see a Scops Owl lurking against a thick branch while driving past - usually they are almost impossible to find (except those famous ones at Afsaal and Satara). What I find works is not to get my hopes up too much; then every sighting is a bonus. Easier said than done sometimes, though. :doh: I see you're closing in on 650 on your lifer list, Johan. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)

Scipio
Posts: 4080
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 am

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Scipio » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:31 am

Hallo Johan, this is a very interesting question raised. :thumbs_up: Why is the Northern provinces of Cabo Delgado and sofala et. in Moz. excluded from Southern Africa as it is a "Southern African country, and what effect might that have on the numbers. :hmz:

It does span a different area, but is it seen as Central rather. :thumbs_up:

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2015)
Posts: 2365
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:38 am

An interesting question, Scipio, one that is difficult to answer!

I know that an intricate set of rules govern the major birding areas of the world. The American Birding Association keeps the ground rules. However, these do not subdivide the African continent. I have no idea how that division was done, but I think that publishers (or even writers of guides) adhere to specifically the Southern boundaries for the sake of conformity. But there is no reason why one couldn't publish a fieldguide that would deal e.g. with all the birds found in the Southern African Development Community (SADC: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). That would mean a break with tradition and goodness knows who would notice and what the reaction would be.

Currently Africa is divided into the Southern, Eastern, Western, Central and Northern birding regions and, except for the Southern birding region that seems to stick to the rule of the two rivers Cunene and Zambezi as the northern border, the birdguides for the other regions tend to deal with what they find "convenient". I found that as a result, northern Moz does get to be a stepchild...

The second part of your question about the effect the inclusion of N Moz would have on the birding numbers of Southern Africa is another tough one to answer. I am by no means qualified to give that answer as all of my African birding has been done south of the LIMPOPO and ORANGE! :lol:

However, having used Google extensively for this exclusive purpose for the last two hours, I'd guess that it would add maybe another 20 - 40 birds. There is a difference of about 90 birds between northern and southern Moz lists, but many of the birds that are exclusively northern Moz are found in Zimbabwe. However, to get a better feel for this number, I can ask Niall and Lizet to give us their take on your question as both of them frequently visit Moz.
692 Latest lifers: Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross, Eurasian oystercatcher, Gull-billed tern, Black-bellied storm petrel, European storm petrel, Sooty falcon

User avatar
Bush Baptist
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 6778
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:15 am

Johan van Rensburg wrote:The second part of your question about the effect the inclusion of N Moz would have on the birding numbers of Southern Africa is another tough one to answer. I am by no means qualified to give that answer as all of my African birding has been done south of the LIMPOPO and ORANGE! :lol:


It is about time we birded together again Joh, and since you have never been to Kgalagadi......
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2015)
Posts: 2365
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: How many birds on your list

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:22 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:
It is about time we birded together again Joh, and since you have never been to Kgalagadi......


In your dreams, BB!

Kgalagadi is my second most favourite NP! However, I have only been there on three occasions! Can do with many more visits... so take it from there! :lol:
692 Latest lifers: Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross, Eurasian oystercatcher, Gull-billed tern, Black-bellied storm petrel, European storm petrel, Sooty falcon


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Anonymous at 22:44:50
orpen
Submitted by Ton&Herma at 20:36:27
satara
Submitted by Ton&Herma at 20:56:31
nossob
Submitted by Karin Mitton at 20:20:35