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NAMIBIA - Oct / Nov - 2004

265 Bird Species recorded 

Leaders   Steve Bird , Neil Macleod & Charles (local guide)  

DAY 1  Thursday 28th Oct

We all met at London Heathrow for an overnight flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

DAY 2  Friday 29th Oct

Morning arrival saw us spend several hours enjoying coffee and searching for birds out of the airport windows. Species seen included Black-headed Heron, Little Swifts, Common Myna, Grey-headed Gulls, Sacred Ibis and the inevitable House Sparrow. We were then aboard our next flight to Windhoek in Namibia. On arrival we were met by our guides Neil Macloed and Charles and once we had loaded our luggage onto the minibuses we set of the short distance to our hotel. After sorting out our rooms and a quick wash we went out for a little local birding. The local sewerage works was just twenty minutes away and once here we soon located groups of Wattled Starlings, a Common Sandpiper and a very attractive Three-banded Plover. On the first pond we came to we found lots of Red-billed Teal, several Red-knobbed Coots, a skulky African Jacana and then a very brief Little Bittern that flew behind the reeds. Plenty of Laughing Doves were found and Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters were seen sat on telegraph wires. One of the minibuses spotted a Black-shouldered Kite sat on a tree and further searching revealed White-backed Mousebirds, Namaqua Doves, African Palm Swift, and Great Sparrow. A Crimson-breasted Shrike showed briefly but brightly, and then on two adjoining ponds we got superb views of a White-backed Duck, Southern Pochard, Little Bitterns, Squacco Herons and a group of waders that consisted of Ruff, Three-banded Plover and Wood Sandpiper. Reed Cormorants roosted in a tree while on a distant bank Blacksmith Plovers and Egyptian Geese were spotted. Further onto another pool and we soon found a small group of Cape Teal, one Hottentot Teal, Common Moorhens, and lots of African Palm Swifts, while nearby a Red-billed Spurfowl was seen, and then some Black-crowned Night Herons and glimpses of several other species which we were assured of seeing again later. We then returned to the hotel and later met up for a somewhat lengthy meal at a very quaint local restaurant. Tired we returned and went to bed ready for whatever tomorrow would bring.

DAY 3  Saturday 30th Oct

After a civilised breakfast we left Windhoek and set off towards the Sossusvlei area. As habitat changed from flat to rocky hills and then open Namib Desert we made numerous roadside stops when anything interesting was spotted. Soon after setting off, Chamca Baboons were spotted resting under some trees and then an African Hoopoe was seen well by one of the minibuses. A short break was had near a patch of trees and we soon notched up Black-faced Waxbills, a Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler, Rattling Cisticola, White-rumped Swifts, a very distant Black-chested Snake Eagle, and then a superb spot by Josele was of two Verreaux's Eagles sat on a distant hill. Moving on both Monteiro's and Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills were spotted along with the stunning Crimson-breasted Shrike. Next we found a Tawny Eagle which gave prolonged flight views before disappearing high overhead. In the same spot we came across Mariqua Flycatcher, a pair of Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, a Sabota Lark sat on a fence, Lilac-breasted Roller, a Red-billed Quelea, and better views of Great Sparrow. Continuing on, a close pair of Tawny Eagles sat in a dead tree gave very good views while a short distance further a pair of African Hawk Eagles flew across the road and landed atop some small bushes. As we turned off onto a dusty road another Verreaux's Eagle was seen very well in flight and Chat Flycatchers had now become common place. A small group of Namaqua Sandgrouse sat beside the road unfortunately never stayed long enough, but several White-quilled Bustard's formally called  (Northern Black Korhaan's) gave us fantastic views, with one of the minibuses seeing a bird in full display. Alan then spotted a huge Kori Bustard which we all watched before moving on. A couple of White-tailed Shrikes were also spotted, as were Rock Kestrels, and both Tractrac Chat and Mountain Wheatears as well as a pair of Dusky Sunbirds, Sociable Weavers and White-browed Sparrow Weavers. Moving on towards out lunch stop we got excellent views of a pair of Rufous-eared Warblers and a group of eight Spike-heeled Larks which ran around the road. We then added some excellent views of raptors which included a pair of Wahlberg's Eagles, several Pale-chanting Goshawks and a Brown Snake Eagle. We also had great views of several Suricate's (Meercat) and some Southern African Striped Ground Squirrels. At a small roadside café we had our lunch and also enjoyed seeing a couple of Yellow-bellied Eremomelas, White-throated and Yellow Canaries, Lark-like Bunting, Scaly-feathered Finches, and some Greater Striped Swallows. Some very colourful Namibian Ground Agamas were also seen as well as large unidentified swallowtail butterflies. After lunch and the saving of a Laughing Dove which was tangled up in some string in a tree top we continued our journey. Along the way a Short-toed Rock Thrush was seen, several Common Fiscals, Southern Anteater Chat, and a very hot African Grey Hornbill. As we drove to the edge of the escarpment we were treated to wonderful views of the Namib Desert stretching out before us. Another Short-toed Rock Thrush showed well in much better light, while some Pale-winged Starlings and a fly over Lappet-faced Vulture were added to our list. We then tried to find the uncommon and somewhat specialised Herero Chat. To everyone's surprise it didn't take long and a bird was scoped very well in a small tree. While searching for this bird a few people got to see a Cape Bunting and just about everyone got to see an African Wild Cat. Winding our way down into the valley some more White-throated Canaries were seen but with the mid day temperature approaching 40 degrees very little else was moving. We then sped towards our lodge so as to take a short rest before going out again. Almost there and we came across another group of Namaqua Sandgrouse and then some very close Rueppell's Bustards including some juvenile birds. Once settled into our lodge a few of the group went for a swim in the pool while others relaxed and had a cool drink while watching some attractive looking Cape Sparrows feeding on the lawns. We then went out for a short drive into the foothills. Along the way a couple of Great Kestrels were seen and some more Rueppell's Bustards. Once in the hills we spent our time seeking out and then making sure everyone saw our target species the very localised Cinnamon-breasted Warbler. Rock Hyrax and some Layard's Tit-babblers were also seen and with our task successfully completed we headed back to the lodge seeing a few Cape Crow and Springbok along the way.

DAY 4  Sunday 31st Oct

After breakfast we set off towards the coast which was to take us most of the day. Once again roadside stops produced a selection of species including a superb female Pygmy Falcon sat on a telegraph pole. We had quite a few Greater Kestrels, while Rueppell's Bustards numbered an amazing sixteen throughout the journey. As we made our way across the desert we saw good numbers of handsome looking Oryx and a few Springbok. Once inside the Naukluft National Park we spotted some distant but nevertheless rare and endangered Hartmann's Mountain Zebra. We then made a stop beside a section of sand dunes and with the temperate already high we went in search of one of the days target species. Several endemic Shovel-snouted Lizards were seen and "Dune" Beetles scuttled up the side of the dunes. A shout then went up and we had found what we'd been looking for, three endemic Dune Larks which gave us excellent views.

Dune Lark
Dune Lark

Back to the vehicles we continued our journey. An adult Black-breasted Snake Eagle showed itself well in flight and then we saw two African Hawk Eagles circling around together while a Rock Kestrel flew past. Nearby in a small gorge with a scattering of trees we found African Hoopoe, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters, and a very nice Pririt Batis. Diana then found a Long-billed Crombec which a couple of us saw, and before leaving a Familiar Chat showed briefly. Moving on we drove through seemingly endless desert, the drive was broken at one point when Neil made a superb spot of a pair of African Rockhoppers which are huge, fat, round shaped grasshoppers; they were sat in the road. We then went to see the Welwitschia, a plant that grows low to the ground and can reach 1,500 years old. Next stop along our journey was an amazing moonscape and then our continued search of the desert eventually produced several small groups of Gray's Larks. We continued onto the coast and the town of Swakopmund. Here we drove straight to the sewerage works. An obliging Damara Tern sat on the bank where we then found White-fronted Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stint, Grey Plover, lots of Greater and some Lesser Flamingos. Further searching produced Greater Crested Terns, and Avocet, while a drive to the other side of the pools found many Hartlaub's Gulls, Black-necked Grebes, Black-winged Stilts, Sanderling, and countless Cape Cormorants. Leaving here we drove along the coast to Walvis Bay and our hotel near the coast. After settling in we went for a little more birding on the nearby salt works and bay edge. 

DAY 5  Monday  1st Nov

After breakfast we drove down to the beach where we added Bar-tailed Godwit, to out list. We then boarded our boat and set off across the bay for our pelagic trip. Many Hartlaub's and Kelp Gulls were seen and some very close Cape Cormorants and Great White Pelicans.

A South African Fur Seal surprised us all by jumping up on the back of the boat and sliding all the way along the centre seat right along side us. Our first Sooty Shearwaters and Pomarine Skuas were seen and then as we cruised close to a sand spit we found many Cape Fur Seals, hundreds of Common Terns, Greater Crested and many Black Terns. We then had a pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins right beside the boat. A Giant Petrel flew past but not close enough to be able to specify which one. Continuing out a little more we searched an area for the rare and endemic Heaviside Dolphin and soon we had about three of these delightful little dolphins right under the front of the boat, we all took turns and it was a sheer delight to see them swimming just underneath the surface. Further out we got superb views of a group of White-chinned Petrels, but beside a fishing boat nothing stirred, and further out very little was seen. Unfortunately you have to take your chance with pelagics and sometimes it pays off and other times not. Returning slowly back we had our lunch of champagne, oysters and other nibbles, we saw more Pomarine and at least one dark phase Arctic Skua. On the sand spit a female Elephant Seal dwarfed all around it and a group of Heaviside Dolphins played all around the boat giving us excellent views. As we drifted close to an old fishing trawler we saw a moulting African Penguin, and then a little later we got better views of another smarter looking penguin swimming on the sea. Returning back to the hotel for a short rest we then went to search the lagoon, where thousands of flamingos were seen and wading birds included a Marsh Sandpiper, Greenshanks, lots of White-fronted Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers and eventually our target bird the first of several very attractive Chestnut-banded Plovers. Leaving here we drove to the sewerage pools but not before the first bus got very close views of two Kittlitz's Plovers, and we all saw sixteen huge Caspian Terns sat on a sand bar. At the sewerage pools we were soon watching a dark phase Booted Eagle, plus Purple Gallinules, Cape Shoveler, Hottentot Teal, some initially skulky African Marsh Warblers and a few waders that including Wood Sandpiper and Ruff. Returning back to the hotel we got to see a small group of Orange River White-Eyes, after which some of the group had a last look at the lagoon before ending the day where we visited a nearby seafood restaurant.

DAY 6  Tuesday 2nd Nov

A slight delay this morning as we had to have the rear window on one of the minibuses replaced. Once this was complete we set off towards Swakopmund. Calling in to look at a pier on the beach we immediately found a group of Royal Cormorants amongst the hundreds of Cape Cormorants. A Pomarine Skua flew past and a group of roosting terns included Greater Crested, Sandwich and Common. Moving on we then checked out the guano production platforms and although we searched through thousands of cormorants no Bank Cormorants were found. There were both Greater and Lesser Flamingos, many wading birds already seen previously and literally thousands of terns including the quite a few Black this time. Moving on we then drove to a hilly area of Spitzkoppe. Along the way the scenery slowly changed with open desert turning into dry thorn scrub and then rocky hills. Chat Flycatchers and Tractrac Chats started to appear followed by a Pygmy Falcon sat on a telephone wire. It wasn't before we turned off the main road and onto the dusty old tracks that many more species were found. A couple of Spike-heeled Larks were seen well and then two Gray's Larks, shortly followed by a couple of Double-banded Coursers. We then made a stop in an area of rocky ground and scattered acacias where we got excellent views of two Karoo Long-billed Larks. Further on and we arrived below the huge red mountains which took us up to our picnic stop. Here Rosy-faced Lovebirds were seen as well as some very confiding Monteiro's Hornbills, White-browed Sparrow Weavers, Pale-winged Starlings and then both Layard's and Chestnut-vented Tit-babblers. Before we left we all managed to get excellent views of a pair of Black-chested Prinias. We then checked a small wadi which held Dusky Sunbirds and some ancient cave paintings. It was time to continue our drive towards Omururu. Along the way the rains appeared 'which was a very good thing for all the locals'. After a coffee break in a small town we went and searched the grasses surrounding an airfield, where White-quilled Bustard was seen as well as Desert Cisticola. Other stops along the way included a perched Black-chested Snake Eagle and later a Crowned Lapwing and a Warthog which was stood beside the road. We eventually arrived at our hotel at dusk.                                       

DAY 7  Wednesday 3rd Nov

This morning we went out before breakfast. A short drive took us to an area of large rocky hills and boulders. We arrived just as the sun was rising and our quarry was found straight away with three endemic Hartlaub's Francolins which were seen calling from the top of a rock. Nearby we got to see Grey-backed Camaroptera, Grey Go-away-bird, and some stunning White-tailed Shrikes. Diana then spotted a distant Rockrunner on top of a boulder, which stayed long enough for everyone to see it in a scope. We then got to see a Black Cuckoo and a Groundscraper Thrush which was singing from the top of a tree while some Red-billed Francolins ran across the road. As we returned back to the hotel a Damara Red-billed Hornbill was seen and while scoping this we located several Mariqua Sunbirds, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Pririt Batis and a Mariqua Flycatcher. We then had our breakfast, loaded the trailers with our luggage and set off on our journey to the famed Etosha National Park. Just outside of town our first Purple Roller was seen sat on a telegraph pole beside the road. Our next stop was in a lightly wooded area which soon produced some Green Wood-Hoopoes, White-tailed Shrikes, a Pearl-spotted Owlet, and several Bradfield's Swifts flying around with Alpine Swifts. Each bus saw roughly the same species as we journeyed towards our lunch break. A Marabou Stork flew over and then we got to see a close Tawny Eagle sat on a post, a high flying Secretarybird, as well as a group of White-backed, Lappet-faced and two Cape Vultures. We then found Fawn-coloured Larks and beside a tree two Kalahari Scrub-Robins, and Southern Grey-headed Sparrows. We also got to see several Steenbok and a whole bunch of Grey-backed Sparrow-Larks. Arriving at a lodge for lunch we soon found the gardens held nesting Lesser Masked Weavers, a Black-backed Puffback, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Cardinal Woodpecker, Ashy Tit and a very rare bird here, an Olivaceous Warbler which was seen very well. After lunch we continued our drive to Etosha Park. Once inside the entrance we noticed a single Giraffe, then Wildebeest, and a couple of nice Red-crested Bustards. Continuing into our camp we sorted ourselves into our rooms and then went for a short drive. Good numbers of Double-banded Coursers were seen, Spike-heeled Lark, Namaqua Sandgrouse and two very distant perched Red-necked Falcons. There were about twenty or more White-quilled Bustards strutting around, but a real highlight was the Cape Fox laying in the sun beside the road. Back at the camp we then visited the waterhole and here we waited until dark. Two Black Rhinos came to drink as did Burchell's Zebra, and Springbok and a lone Marabou Stork. We got poor scope views of a Verreaux's Eagle Owl part hidden in a large tree. But superb views were then had of Pearl-spotted Owlet in a tree right above our heads. Three Spotted Thick-knees came in to drink and then lots of Double-banded Sandgrouse, which could be seen well under the waterhole's floodlights. The Verreaux's Eagle Owl then came out and sat in the open before going down to the waters edge to drink.

DAY 8  Thursday 4th Nov

We were up early for a pre breakfast drive. Searching a barren area of the park we noted several White-quilled Bustards, two Tawny Eagles, Spike-heeled Larks, some very flighty Desert Cisticolas, a couple of Spotted Hyena's a dead Zebra and then excellent views of our target species several Pink-billed Larks. Moving on a little we noted lots of Common Swifts flying over and in a small bush, we found Black-chested Prinias and a few Willow Warblers as well as half a dozen Striped Mice and two Tree Agamas. The emense Etosha pan looked like a white lake stretching as far as the eye could see and it also looked totally devoid of all life. The edges held Zebra, Springbok and a male Lion sat on a grassy hill. Two Ludwig's Bustards were then spotted walking around but were a little too far away for good views. We then returned for breakfast seeing a Pygmy Falcon along the way. With breakfast over we had a little look at the waterhole. The Verreaux's Eagle Owl was showing better, while mammals coming in to drink included

Greater Kudu and Red Hartebeest. In the grounds we also noted Meve's Starling and Gabar Goshawk. Moving on from this camp we travelled towards our next. Along the way we spotted lots of Red-capped Larks, Plain-backed Pipit, a Secretarybird, Namaqua Doves and then the amazing sighting of an adult Small Buttonquail crossing the road in front of us with three tiny chicks following behind. A very nice group of Red-headed Finches were seen well sat in a small bush and nearby we enjoyed very close views of a family of Red-necked Falcons. Several Lions were also seen lazing underneath a tree before we drove away and in a short time arrived at our new camp. Once we had settled into our cabins we had lunch and a short siesta before meeting up again later in the afternoon. Within the grounds some of the group had seen Violet Woodhoopoe, while most had seen Southern White-crowned Shrike, Groundscraper Thrush and many Cape Glossy Starlings. After afternoon tea and biscuits we took a short stroll, all had superb views of a roosting African Scops-Owl before we set off on a short game drive. Black-faced Impala were soon found but the highlight of the day was the next hour or so just sat watching over a waterhole. We saw a couple of Kori Bustards come in to drink, as well as a Tawny Eagle, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Black Kite, and sat on a rock was a Lanner Falcon.

Kori Bustard
Kori Bustard

We then had a pride of 19 immaculate looking Lions come down to drink. Two males some females and lots of youngsters made for some very memorable watching. A Wahlberg's Eagle then flew in and perched in a bare tree for all to see and then as we were returning to our camp we came across a very impressive Black Rhino, which stood right out in the open. After our dinner we went to a nearby floodlit waterhole to see what action was going on. Elephants were drinking, and doing other things! While a Spotted Hyena, Black Rhino, Button-scaled Gecko's and at least one Rufous-cheeked Nightjar was seen.

DAY 9  Friday 5th Nov

A short pre-breakfast walk around the grounds and then along the track to the waterhole produced Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver, Red-headed Finches and then a lone Cinnamon-breasted Bunting. Around the waterhole we found up to ten more Cinnamon-breasted Buntings a couple of very attractive Golden-breasted Buntings and then we got wonderful views of up to six Carp's Tits.   A Shikra was then spotted half hidden in a tree. Returning for breakfast we added a Southern Red-billed Hornbill to our list. Once we were packed and onto the buses we set off on the drive to our next camp. Along the way we saw Wahlberg's Eagle, all the regular mammals, and yet another huge Kori Bustard and three Swainson's Francolin's along the edge of the road. Nearing the camp we found a young Temminck's Courser, which unfortunately disappeared quickly into the long grass. Compensation came however in the form of two superb Bateleur's which gave wonderful as they circled around in front of us. On arrival at the camp we found the temperature was decidedly hot. A quick look on the nearby waterhole found us two stunning Blue Cranes, an excellent sighting before lunch. A male Montagu's Harrier was also seen to fly over. Around the camp grounds some of the group found Meyer's Parrot, while others watched birds coming down to drink including Blue-breasted Cordonbleu's, Red-headed Finches, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Grey Go-away-birds, and Black-throated Canary. After afternoon tea we went for a short game drive. Just outside the camp we spotted a Red-crested Bustard as well as several Damaraland Dik-diks. The next area we visited proved very productive with good views of Capped Wheatears and four Temminck's Coursers. Continuing on we drove into an area of scrubby forest, where a session of 'pishing' produced White-browed Robin-Chat, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Common Scimitar-bill, Cardinal Woodpecker, several other commoner species and two very showy Crimson-breasted Shrikes. As we returned to camp an excellent sighting was made of a Leopard stood up in a tree with a Springbok it had killed.


What a fantastic sighting and a perfect end to our afternoon drive. In the camp ground and just before dusk a Jacobin Cuckoo was see going to roost and an African Cuckoo flew past, and a little later while having dinner a Tree Mouse joined us at the table. 

DAY 10  Saturday 6th Nov

At dawn we had tea, coffee and biscuits overlooking the waterhole. A few Zebra were drinking while Black-winged Stilts, Blacksmith Plovers and Ruff fed along the edges. A short walk around to the other side of the reed bed and we were soon watching two Black Crakes which showed on and off over the next ten minutes. Further searching of the gardens produced a Jacobin Cuckoo, Groundscraper Thrush and a posy Red-necked Falcon sat in the top of a palm tree. As we then ate breakfast a Burchell's Glossy Starling was seen while a Brubru sang from a tree right over our heads. Leaving Etosha we then set off on our journey to the Waterberg Plateau. Just after leaving camp we saw a Red-crested Bustard along the roadside and then a fly over Bateleur and several Namaqua Doves. Our first real stop was a sink hole which was a bit of a tourist attraction. Once inside we looked at the pool and soon found a Striated Heron on a floating branch. We then took a slow walk around where we saw a Lanner fly over, then an Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove which a few of the group saw, followed by great views of an African Green Pigeon which blended very well within the green leaves. Just before leaving another Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove was seen well, but this time by just by a few of the group. Moving swiftly on our next stop was at a sewerage works which consisted of half a dozen pools and was teeming with wildlife. This excellent place deserved far more time but we were on a time schedule to get to Waterberg. As we slowly drove around the pools we found over fifty Little Grebes, a couple of Black-headed Herons, a group of White-faced Whistling Ducks and a single Whiskered Tern hawking for insects. A Hammerkop then flew in, we noted Hottentot Teals, three African Jacanas, Red-knobbed Coots, a Marsh Sandpiper, and several Zitting Cisticolas. On one of the larger ponds we noted two Reed Cormorants and amongst some reeds were at least four Squacco Herons. As we were about to depart a group of Wattled Starling were seen bathing in a puddle and then while looking at a couple of African Pipits we found a lone Buffy Pipit. Another hour or so driving and we entered the Waterberg Plateau park and our lodge grounds. Those of the group going on a game drive onto the top of the plateau had a short time for a cold drink before mounting our open top vehicle and setting off. The remainder of the group went to our accommodations with all the luggage and then after settling in they took a leisurely walk into the surrounding bush. Good numbers of birds were found including White-browed Scrub-Robin, Brown-crowned Tchagra, and some Rueppell's Parrots, while a three metre long Black Mamba got Charles a little panicky! The rest of us on the game drive found a few Monteiro's and Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills plus good numbers of Golden-breasted Buntings and Scaly-feathered Finches. Up on top of the Plateau we stopped to admire the view and got excellent views of a Brown Snake Eagle, Scarlet-chested Sunbird and then a stunning male White-bellied Sunbird. Above us huge Alpine Swifts flew around and then as we slowly drove along the sandy tracks we came across a Roan Antelope. A little further on we saw an elegant Sable Antelope and a Common Buzzard of the race vulpinas sometimes considered a separate species Steppe Buzzard. Plenty of Red-billed Francolins were spotted and a lucky few in the vehicle saw a Coqui Francolin. Continuing our drive we came across several tiny Kirk's Dikdiks, then a closer SableAntelope, before taking a look at a man made waterhole. From the hide we got to see a group of Red Hartebeest and after a little wait where we only got to see Spotted Pigeons, a group of five impressive looking Greater Kudu with huge horns made there way out of the scrub. We then drove on to another waterhole where we had a cooling drink and some nibbles while watching a group of Buffalo and some Eland. As the sun started to set we returned from the high plateau passing many Rock Hyrax along the way. As we drove into the camp a nightjar was spotted on the road but it quickly flew off and was not specifically identified, although it was almost certainly a Freckled Nightjar. Eventually we arrived at our lodgings where the evening meal was already cooked and waiting for us. A Barn Owl was heard calling as we ate and afterwards a short drive around in search of more nightjars proved fruitless. 

DAY 11  Sunday 7th Nov

Our last morning saw us firstly walk the road outside our cabins. The distant call of a Hartlaub's Francolin enabled us to spot him sat high on the cliff top. A small flock of birds in the roadside bushes included excellent views of White-browed Robin-Chat, Pririt Batis, Black-backed Puffback, Grey-backed Cameroptera, and Brown-crowned Tchagra. An African Barred Owlet was heard calling so we worked our way into the forest to see if we could locate it. It stopped calling and was never found. As we followed a small trail we saw plenty of Grey Go-away-birds and then some very close and almost tame Red-billed Francolins. Back on the road we found a couple of White-bellied Sunbirds before meeting up with the remainder of our group who had seen Green Woodhoopoe and a family of Slender Mongoose. After breakfast those of us that were leaving packed our luggage onto the minibus and said goodbye to the rest of the group who were continuing on to Botswana. We hadn't driven more than a hundred yards when a parrot was spotted by Charles. We all got out and enjoyed good views of a Rueppell's Parrot, plenty of Pale-winged Starlings and a Rosy-faced Lovebird. The other group arrived and enjoyed the same birds before we departed again and set off on our long journey to Windhoek. Along the way up to four different swift species were seen as well as an immature Black-breasted Snake-Eagle. Several species of note along the way were Lilac-breasted Roller and Lesser Grey Shrike, but the last and final species added to our last was not until we reached the airport where a group of South African Cliff Swallows were easily seen. Here we said our goodbyes to Charles and as he picked up our next group we prepared to depart on our flight to Johannesburg and then on to London.

I would like to thank Neil and Charles for setting up and organising this fabulous tour.

Steve Bird



birdseekers photos