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Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

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Budaja
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Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by Budaja » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:31 pm

Hi everyone

I was hoping some of the regular KNP birders could share some insight about the best places to find my target list of birds for my upcoming KNP trip. I will be in Kruger for the last 2 weeks of December staying in the South West/ South East (Berg n Dal/ Biyamiti.) The target birds I am after are:

1. African Cuckoo
2. Red headed Weaver
3. Retz Helmet Shrike
4. African Pygmy Goose
5. Grey Headed Kingfisher
6. Stierling's Wren Warbler
7. Green Sandpiper
8. Thick billed Cuckoo

There may be a few others that pop to mind, but these are the main ones off the top of my head. Any advice on some of the better spots to look for these in the areas I'm visiting, would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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anne catherine
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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by anne catherine » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:36 pm

Budaja,

I saw the Retz Helmet Shrike in Berg en Dal camp in november 2015,in a tree,not far from my bungalow :D

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:41 am

We saw a group of African Pygmy Goose at Jones's dam one year. It was in May.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

Highbury
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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by Highbury » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:06 am

1. Red headed weaver - Lower Sabie camp and Shingwedzi camp are 2 fairly reliable places.
2. Retz Helmetshrike - Pafuri drive is the only reasonably reliable place I know , but you have some prospect of finding them in the area you are staying.
3. Thick billed cuckoo - very difficult. They parasitise Retz Helmetshrike , so again Pafuri provides best chance.
4. Pygmy Geese - waterlily covered pans provide the only chances of these - usually late summer if conditions are right at Jones dam , Leeupan and Rooibosrant dam near Bateleur.
5. Grey Headed kingfisher - woodland near rivers or dams. I have seen at Kanniedood dam and last summer there were a couple in the tall trees where the H6 and H1-3 intersect.
6. Green Sandpiper - any waterbody , but they are uncommon nomads. I have seen at Shingwedzi causewat and Sweni river crossing on H1-3.
7. African Cuckoo - you have reasonable prospects of seeing them in the area you are visiting.
8. Stierlings Wren Warbler - difficult. Could be seen just about anywhere but Pafuri area provides best chance.

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wildtuinman
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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:31 am

Highbury wrote:1. Red headed weaver - Lower Sabie camp and Shingwedzi camp are 2 fairly reliable places.

They stand out in Summer. Can be found throughout the Park. There is normally a nice breeding male at Numbi gate.
Highbury wrote:2. Retz Helmetshrike - Pafuri drive is the only reasonably reliable place I know , but you have some prospect of finding them in the area you are staying.
Pafuri is good, I agree, but I have also seen them near Lake Panic, Skukuza and in Biyamithi. Thick-billed Cuckoo parasitise on them, so keep a lookout for them at the same time. The cuckoo has been seen in Berg-n-Dal a few times as well. Mapungubwe west section is very good and reliable for the Helmet-Shrikes.
Highbury wrote:3. Thick billed cuckoo - very difficult. They parasitise Retz Helmetshrike , so again Pafuri provides best chance.
See above point. Outside the Park, Hans MErensky Nature Reserve is a very reliable spot as well.
Highbury wrote:4. Pygmy Geese - waterlily covered pans provide the only chances of these - usually late summer if conditions are right at Jones dam , Leeupan and Rooibosrant dam near Bateleur.
I agree with Leeupan, but I doubt that near enough rain has fallen to create the right conditions to attract them. Outside the Park they occur presently at a couple of reliable spots, pm me if you require more details.
Highbury wrote:5. Grey Headed kingfisher - woodland near rivers or dams. I have seen at Kanniedood dam and last summer there were a couple in the tall trees where the H6 and H1-3 intersect.
Nwanetsi bird hide is a spot where I have seen it before. Also the Nyala drive in Pafuri and just south of Punda too.
Highbury wrote:6. Green Sandpiper - any waterbody , but they are uncommon nomads. I have seen at Shingwedzi causewat and Sweni river crossing on H1-3.
The bridge crossing just north of Satara enroute to Olifants is a very reliable spot! Also just inside Phabeni gate is a good spot where it has been seen before.
Highbury wrote:7. African Cuckoo - you have reasonable prospects of seeing them in the area you are visiting.
Agree. Biyamithi weir in general is an excellent spot to pick them up, so too Pafuri and Punda.
Highbury wrote:8. Stierlings Wren Warbler - difficult. Could be seen just about anywhere but Pafuri area provides best chance.
I have found the sand loops around Punda to be the best. But the area around Sevenson Hamilton memorial south of Skukuza and just north of Malelane gate are very good spots where I have seen it before. Just east of Pretoriouskop is another such spot.
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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by wingman » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:32 pm

Hi
I saw Retz helmut shrike in the river bed trees on the H4-2 just south of the S130 in late September this year
happy birding

regards

Budaja
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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by Budaja » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:59 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Seems like most of these birds will pose quite a challenge. It promises to be lots of fun trying to find them, and I'm sure there will be many other surprises along the way. I haven't visited KNP in a few years, so am really looking forward to being back and seeing what we can find. A nice sighting of a calling African Cuckoo out in the open would be a great way to start the trip :D One can hope !

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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by Yoda » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:19 pm

Budaja wrote:4. African Pygmy Goose


The only one I can help you with.
As has been said above, they are seen at Leeupan occasionally. I have seen them there.
But I believe they only turn up if there has been heavy rainfall in the area, and the pan floods.
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Re: Best spots in KNP to find this target list of birds

Unread post by Pumbaa » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:24 am

Hi Budaja,

I can only help with the Grey headed kingfisher we have seen this little one so far three times always in February.

On the S52 close to Bateleur camp, on the S100 in one of the loops and on the S50 Close to Shingwedzi camp so maybe far to North for your planing :?

African cuckoo we so far only saw ones on the H4-2 Close to Crocodile Bridge camp.


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