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Birding: Letaba or Down South

All topics and discussions with reference to birds in all SANParks
Horrace
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Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by Horrace » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:22 pm

Greetings. My son and I are looking to do a 3 day birding trip in December, and have to choose between Letaba and our regular camps down south.

We have both just started birding an I am sitting on 121 birds all photographed. Would location at that time of year make any difference to us in terms of general sightings and adding to our list. We are not at the level where we seek out specific birds as "lifers" - we are looking for reasonable opportunities to photograph birds and just enjoy as many of them as we can.

Your feedback, suggestions and advise would be greatly appreciated.

Horrace

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barryels
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by barryels » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:43 pm

Horrace,

This is not an easy question to answer, however Birds to be found in Kruger Camps might be of assistance in this instance :thumbs_up: .

We normally just drive slow during our daily trips and enjoy the birds along the way :D .
Always be humble and understanding

Off to Kruger:
17-19/10/2016 Letaba
20-22/10/2016 Punda
23-25/10/2016 Shingwedzi
26-28/10/2016 Mopani

Horrace
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by Horrace » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:54 pm

Thanx barryels. I became concerned as in doing some research on the forum it seemed as if the recent drought created a "drought"'of birds up north..


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barryels
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by barryels » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:10 pm

I do agree that the drought will have an effect on birds as well Horrace :thumbs_up: ..

Seed-eaters, as well as fruit eaters I presume :hmz: .

The migratory birds will also have an influence on your birding during certain times of the year.
Always be humble and understanding

Off to Kruger:
17-19/10/2016 Letaba
20-22/10/2016 Punda
23-25/10/2016 Shingwedzi
26-28/10/2016 Mopani

Horrace
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by Horrace » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:51 pm

Thanx - will probably head up north...


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RobertT
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by RobertT » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:53 pm

In Dec already I was under the impression there were a lot less birds than previous years I had been. That was in Letaba and Lower Sabie. Lot less insects as well which could explain less birds.

Horrace
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by Horrace » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:31 pm

RobT, based on your experience - would you choose one over the other from a birding perspective? Was also at Lower Sabie in December, and found bird life sparse...


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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by RobertT » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:48 pm

Am not big into the birding Horrace, so for me to notice the lack thereof is saying that it was noticeably down if even I picked it up.
I think you would be better getting advise from birders who have recently been. :thumbs_up: I tossed a coin and it said Letaba. :)

Horrace
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by Horrace » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:57 pm

As good a reason as any


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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by RobertT » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:22 pm

Horrace wrote:As good a reason as any


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It does make a lot of my decisions in park for roads to travel etc. I do have a double headed one when it comes to a toss up between missus and myself on who is doing dishes. She thinks she is really having a long streak of bad luck. :lol: :lol:

Horrace
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by Horrace » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:23 pm

Can I borrow it


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wildtuinman
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:53 am

December is smack bang in the middle of the migration season as well as the rainy season.

No matter where you go, you are bound to see some lovely birds at that time of the year! :D
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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: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:59 am

Here is the list of birds I recorded over a long weekend in the Letaba area end of January this year.

Red-faced Cisticola
Garden Warbler
Pied Crow
White-crested Helmetshrike
Greater Blue-eared Starling
Pin-tailed Whydah
Marsh Sandpiper
Collared Pratincole
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Peregrine Falcon
Common House Martin
Collared Sunbird
Southern Black Flycatcher
African Pygmy Kingfisher
Ashy Flycatcher
White-fronted Bee-eater
Black Crake
Klaas's Cuckoo
African Wattled Lapwing
Horus Swift
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
Little Grebe
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Namaqua Dove
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark
Lanner Falcon
Red-backed Shrike
Magpie Shrike
Black-bellied Bustard
Lesser Grey Shrike
Kori Bustard
Flappet Lark
Crowned Lapwing
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Red-eyed Dove
African Cuckoo
Gabar Goshawk
Tawny Eagle
Square-tailed Nightjar
European Nightjar
Western Barn Owl
Black-crowned Night Heron
Brown Snake Eagle
Black Heron
Great White Pelican
Helmeted Guineafowl
Little Stint
Common Ringed Plover
Curlew Sandpiper
Little Bittern
Whiskered Tern
Wire-tailed Swallow
Trumpeter Hornbill
White-browed Robin-Chat
Yellow-breasted Apalis
Cut-throat Finch
Purple-crested Turaco
Martial Eagle
Bateleur
Glossy Ibis
Red-faced Mousebird
Western Cattle Egret
Southern Ground Hornbill
Red-capped Lark
African Pipit
Green Wood-Hoopoe
African Scops Owl
Golden-tailed Woodpecker
Spotted Flycatcher
Kurrichane Thrush
Black-backed Puffback
Willow Warbler
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Brown-crowned Tchagra
Levaillant's Cuckoo
Chinspot Batis
Tawny-flanked Prinia
Reed Cormorant
Greater Painted-snipe
Kittlitz's Plover
Ruff
African Fish Eagle
White-faced Whistling Duck
Black-winged Stilt
European Roller
Burchell's Coucal
Hamerkop
Black-collared Barbet
Natal Spurfowl
Swainson's Spurfowl
Double-banded Sandgrouse
White-browed Scrub Robin
Fiery-necked Nightjar
Hadeda Ibis
African Green Pigeon
Pied Kingfisher
Green-backed Heron
Common Sandpiper
African Pied Wagtail
Saddle-billed Stork
Crested Barbet
Dark-capped Bulbul
Grey-headed Bushshrike
Giant Kingfisher
Squacco Heron
Little Egret
African Darter
Goliath Heron
Red-breasted Swallow
African Jacana
African Openbill
Wattled Starling
African Paradise Flycatcher
Green-backed Camaroptera
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Jacobin Cuckoo
Grey Tit-Flycatcher
Great Egret
Arrow-marked Babbler
Red-winged Starling
Egyptian Goose
Yellow-billed Stork
Woodland Kingfisher
Brown-headed Parrot
Cape Turtle Dove
Common Ostrich
Crested Francolin
Red-billed Quelea
Red-headed Weaver
Black-crowned Tchagra
Rufous-naped Lark
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
Marico Sunbird
Grey Penduline Tit
Black Cuckooshrike
Speckled Mousebird
Southern Black Tit
Diederik Cuckoo
African Palm Swift
Wahlberg's Eagle
European Bee-eater
Lesser Striped Swallow
Violet-backed Starling
Laughing Dove
Barn Swallow
African Hawk-Eagle
Mocking Cliff Chat
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Red-billed Oxpecker
Blue Waxbill
Cape Glossy Starling
Grey Go-away-bird
Common Greenshank
Three-banded Plover
Red-crested Korhaan
Grey Heron
Water Thick-knee
Blacksmith Lapwing
White-headed Vulture
Lappet-faced Vulture
Wood Sandpiper
African Spoonbill
Marabou Stork
White-backed Vulture
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Yellow-billed Kite
Rattling Cisticola
Long-billed Crombec
Lesser Masked Weaver
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Little Swift
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Stierling's Wren-Warbler
Sabota Lark
African Grey Hornbill
Lilac-breasted Roller
Fork-tailed Drongo
African Hoopoe
Black-headed Oriole
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

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

Horrace
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:42 pm

Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by Horrace » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:32 pm

I can only say one thing OMG.

That's probably more than I have on my current life list (121).

Definitely going North, the only fine tuning is that we will probably go to Balule instead .

Thanx Wildtuinman for responding, hope to see the African Pygymy Kingfisher (with most of the others) as it's the only one (I think ) I don't have of the King Fishers...

Horrace


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davidhein
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Re: Birding: Letaba or Down South

Unread post by davidhein » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:02 pm

Both areas are going to give you plenty! A little bit different, but from Letaba you can head south and get the grassland species around satara too - and of course the Letaba river itself is a meca! Olifants river is also not far so it is a truly amazing area to explore. The birding in and around Letaba camp itself is also special.

The south is amazing, but each area varies - that said, every single area has their advantages. Birding in Kruger is always top notch, summer is just so much better with all the summer migrants being around.

Also have a read here - http://birding.krugerpark.co.za/ - will give a little idea on a few routes and so on (but customise them and have fun!!)
2016:
29/03 - 01/04 Pretoriuskop
13/07 - 17/07 Punda Maria
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