In Association with:
NAMIBIA – Oct / Nov - 2005
297 Bird Species recorded
Leaders Adam Scott Kennedy, Neil MacLeod & Charles Rhyn
DAY 1 – 27th October
The group arrived at London Heathrow for the overnight flight to Johannesburg.
DAY 2 - 28th October
Arriving at Johannesburg Airport early in the morning, the group had several hours to kill before the connecting flight to Windhoek. Birding from the airport produced numbers of Glossy and Sacred Ibis, Black-shouldered Kite and Red-shouldered Widowbirds. Arriving at Windhoek early in the afternoon, we were soon getting to grips with the commoner local Namibian birds including Rock Martin, Red-eyed Bulbul, Groundscraper Thrush, Burchell’s Starling, Fork-tailed Drongo, Lilac-breasted Roller, Familiar Chat, Great Sparrow and Laughing Dove. Driving through the grassveld towards Windhoek, we picked up White-rumped, Little and Palm Swift, White-browed Sparrow Weavers, Yellow-billed Hornbills, Cape Glossy Starling, Short-toed Rock Thrush and Purple Rollers. A brief stop in the Avis Dam area produced Greater Striped Swallow, a fine male Marico Sunbird, Black-shouldered Kite, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and Grey Lourie (aka the Go-Away Bird), while our first mammal species came in the guise of Damara Ground Squirrel. Driving through Windhoek, we saw some stunning Namibian Rock Agama clinging to the walls of a municipal building, plus House Sparrow and Cape Wagtail, while the Hammerkop seen flying over the town was a very good local record, according to Neil. Undoubtedly the highlight of the afternoon was a visit to the Gammas Sewage Works. Just inside the gates, were good numbers of Vitelline (Southern Masked) Weaver, Black-throated Canary, and Little Swift, and short drive took us to some trees that were loaded with Wattled Starling. Here we also found Pearl-breasted and White-throated Swallow, Plain-backed Pipit, Red-faced Mousebird, Common Sandpiper, Blacksmith Plover, Cattle Egret and Pied Crow but the star bird had to be the cracking low-flying Honey Buzzard that flew out from bushes close to us. Zitting Cisticola, Red Bishop and Namaqua Dove were seen from the vans as we drove towards some very lush open pools – just in time for the heavens to open!
Despite the rain, we found a large selection of waterbirds here including Squacco, Purple, Night and Striated Heron, Great White and Cattle Egret, African Jacana, Darter, Red-billed and Hottentot Teal, Cape Shelduck, Black Crake and Red-knobbed Coot. Some Red-billed Francolin scurried on the deck while some Black-cheeked Waxbill were also seen.All in all, a fair start to the trip and just a taster of things to come. Dinner was taken just around the corner from our hotel and gave many their first opportunity to taste African meats and flavours – and, of course, Don Pedro’s!
DAY 3 – 29th October
After a fine breakfast, we loaded the vans as flocks of swifts wheeled overhead, so some searching through revealed Little, White-rumped, Palm, Alpine, Common and Bradfields Swifts to be present. Leaving Windhoek, White-backed Mousebird and Africa Hoopoe were seen from the vans and a stop was made at a road junction to sort through a selection of birds, including Pale-winged Starling, Scaly-feathered Finch, Chestnut-vented Tit Babbler, Black-chested Prinia and Sharp-tailed Whydah – oh, and a Striped Mouse! Down the road, a flock of Red-headed Finch and some fine Greater Striped Swallow were seen before a fortuitous stop at a Police checkpoint, where we watched a fine singing Kalahari Scrub Robin, Short-toed Rock Thrush, Namaqua Dove and Yellow-bellied Eremomola, plus a troop of Chacma Baboon.Derek’s shout for “Kori Bustard” got the group very excited so after some quick reversing we all managed excellent views of these enormous birds. Driving through the grassveld and between the inselbergs, Rock Kestrel, Pale Chanting Goshawk (PCG), Black-shouldered Kite, White-backed Vulture and some more African Hoopoe were seen. After a garage stop for fuel and other fluids at Rehoboth, we left the tarmac and headed West. Stops along the road here produced the splendid Monteiro’s Hornbill, Mountain Wheatear and Bradfield’s and Spike-heeled Lark, while both Chat and Marico Flycatcher and Fiscal Shrike became common roadside birds. An unscheduled stop next to a small farm ended producing lots of birds. Firstly, it was the larger birds that were being picked off; Helmeted Guineafowl, Crowned Plover, Speckled Pigeon. Soon, though, the small stuff began to creep out of the short vegetation, awarding us with views of Rufous-eared Warbler, Desert Cisticola, Lark-like Bunting, and then a Northern Black Korhaan was seen briefly. Heading towards the Spreetshoogte Pass, the rain clouds began to build and soon we were experiencing the desert rains and fabulous rainbows. A Yellow Mongoose was an exciting mammal find, quickly surpassed by the 747-like Kori Bustard taking off next to the passing van. Not as large, but nearly as impressive, a couple of male Northern Black Korhaan were seen flying and we then picked up our first Ostrich and then Springbok for the trip. Several huge Social Weaver nests were seen along the journey although the inhabitants were mostly absent. Passing through rocky valleys, we saw a couple of Long-billed Pipit and plenty of Pale-winged Starling and Tractrac Chat. New mammal sightings here were Rock Hyrax and several Klipsringer.A wet lunch was taken at the top of the stunning Spreetshoogte Pass with fantastic views below. A raptor hanging in the wind was eventually identified as an Augur Buzzard, while nearby several more Long-billed Pipit, Cape Bunting, Bradfield’s Lark and a superb Damara Rock-jumper we’re all seen. The elusive Herero Chat, however, just didn’t want to play ball. Down and out of the valley, we travelled through some extensive arid grassland where we encountered our first Namaqua Sandgrouse, Cape Turtle Dove and Grey-backed Sparrow Lark. Brakes were sharply applied for our first pair of fabulous Ruppell’s Korhaan, although many more were seen later,and we finally caught up with a pair of cracking Herero Chat – well worth the wait!
A couple of Stark’s Lark, plenty of Grey-backed Sparrow Lark, and then three roadside Namaqua Sandgrouse, courtesy of Roger, kept the group ticking over nicely until Tracey and Jean shouted that we’d just passed some large bustards in a field. Reversing back, we we’re thrilled to see four huge male Ludwig’s Bustard strutting their stuff – stunning birds in size, posture and coloration. Driving on, we saw several more Ludwig’s Bustard and Ruppell’s Korhaan, bringing our total to around 22 of the latter. Passing the outpost of Solitaire, we headed to a rocky outcrop in search of Cinnamon-breasted Warbler and along the way encountered a large family party of Meerkat, a fine Oryx and a couple more Klipspringer. Arriving at the outcrop, we soon located a party of three Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, although some found it easier than others to actually see them! As the Sun began to set over the spectacular scenery, we returned to Solitaire for dinner.
DAY 4 – 30th October
The early risers in the group were treated to large numbers of Namaqua Sandgrouse flying to the watering holes of Solitaire. After breakfast, the group gathered at the rear of the hotel to watch a small pool that was regularly visited by small numbers of Rosy-faced Lovebird, plus Cape Sparrow, Social and Vitelline Weaver and Red-headed Finch. The sparse short grasses of the Solitaire area are ideal habitat for Burchell’s Courser so before we started our journey North West towards the coast, we scanned some nearby fields for this species and were soon rewarded with around 15 birds plus a surprise bonus Double-banded Courser. Leaving the town, we saw several Rock Kestrel and then a couple of huge Ludwig’s Bustard buzzed the tops of the vans. Driving through what looked like no-man’s-land, we hit on a good raptor patch and scored with a fine trio. Firstly, a couple of Greater Kestrel, then a superb family group of four Lanner – all of which perched on the roadside telegraph poles. A Black-chested Snake Eagle perched on a lonesome tree in the desert looked an impressive sight and here we also found a Bokmakerie Shrike, more Meerkat and several Ruppell’s Korhaan. Arriving in the Gaub district of the Namib Nauklauft Park, we threw caution to the wind and climbed some impressive sand dunes in search of the Dune Lark. Charles was on form (as ever!) and managed to locate a small party of these highly specialised birds that somehow managed to eke out a living in this most hospitable of environments.
We paused for a photo opportunity at the Tropic of Capricorn before driving through the rocky Kuiseb Pass. Here we found Steenbok, a Stark’s Lark hiding under a rock and a Lappet-faced Vulture circling overhead before stumbling into our target species – Gray’s Lark – once again located by Tracey. At first, it looked like only a couple of birds were present but it soon became clear that in excess of a dozen birds were running out from under the shade of rocks. Lots of Ostrich were seen in the Park, most of which looked totally lost. Two creatures that were certainly on a mission though were the two Mountain Zebra that Derek somehow spotted five miles away from the vehicle through a heavy heat haze! A Burchell’s Courser was spooked from the roadside. Arriving back in civilisation at Walvis Bay, we took a buffet lunch at our hotel before heading out to see what we could find in the bay and saltpans area. Among the many Cape and Hartlaub’s Gull, we managed to see a single Grey-headed Gull too, picked out by its white eye. Along the esplanade, we saw large numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint, plus Common, Caspian, Crested and Sandwich Tern and a single Damara Tern. Along the mudflats, we saw plenty more waders including Greenshank and White-fronted Plover. One small wader caused much excitement however as it appeared to be an American peep and was tentatively identified as a Western Sandpiper! Plenty of images were taken of this particularly dark and long-billed individual but after discussion with both Phil Hockey and Killian Mullarney, it appears that this bird is in fact a Little Stint in heavy moult, although the possibility of the bird being a hybrid cannot be ruled out. The exceedingly long bill can apparently be attributed to the fact that it must be a mature female bird. So this bird was not a 1st for sub-Saharan Africa as originally hoped but a very worthwhile educational exercise nevertheless. Further round the bay, we found lots more waders with Greenshank, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint and White-fronted Plover being most conspicuous. However, most impressive was the flock of Chestnut-banded Plover which must have numbered around 2000! Amazing to think that a week later, the entire population would fly back to the breeding grounds in East Africa. We headed back to into town and towards the local sewerage ponds which held good numbers of Lesser Flamingo, Purple Swamphen and White Pelican. Kittlitz’s Sandplover was seen here and African Reed Warblers were showy, and the reedy margins held Cape and Hottentot Teal.
DAY 5 – 31st October
Walvis Bay is known as one of the best places in the World to encounter Heaviside’s Dolphin and that was our non-avian target of the day. Setting sail from the harbour which held Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-necked Grebe and a Crowned Cormorant among the many Cape Cormorants.
After a lively on-ship encounter with a huge Sea Lion, we headed out of the bay where we saw five very large Atlantic Bottle-nosed Dolphin and then we found the Heaviside’s Dolphin, about 15 in all, and enjoyed them as they performed around our vessel. Out to sea, we saw a few Damara Tern, Sooty Shearwater and White-chinned Petrel were fairly common and way offshore Cape Gannet were plentiful. We saw the first of 15 African Penguin and Wilson’s Storm Petrel became more evident although only a single European Storm Petrel was seen. We stopped by some fishing boats but surprisingly few birds were around. A fine Sabine’s Gull did wonder for our spirits though and we then saw both Arctic and Pomarine Skua. A Sunfish came right by the boat and as we pulled back into the harbour, a Long-tailed Skua was seen all too briefly.
After lunch, we searched again for more interesting waders and struck gold with a smashing Terek Sandpiper, plus 300 Avocet, some Black-winged Stilt and an elegant solitary Marsh Sandpiper. A couple of White-winged Terns hawking around the bunds were also enjoyed before we headed back towards town, where a Peregrine was seen chasing waders over the bay. At the local tern roost, we found two Grey-headed Gull before heading back to base.
DAY 6 – 1st November
Leaving Walvis Bay, we drove through Swamukmund to the Mile 4 Lagoons where we saw a Great crested Grebe, lots of Black-necked Grebe, Cape Teal and lots more flamingos. A couple of Three-banded Plover were seen at close range along the dykes and at the far side of the lagoon we managed to find a single Bank Cormorant and White-breasted Cormorant amongst the 100’s of Cape Cormorants. Five Black Oystercatcher took some finding but we got there eventually. We then began our long drive inland with Greater Kestrel, Pied Crow, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Lesser Grey and Fiscal Shrike to keep our eyes occupied. We stopped briefly to scan the common Tractrac Chats and were rewarded with two of the similar Karoo Chat, separated by the black tail, and then three Rufous-eared Warbler shot through the scene. Very lucky! As the habitats changed, we began to see Acacia Pied Barbet, Marico Flycatcher and Bradfield’s and Stark’s Lark along the track to Spitskoppe. Jean and Ian found our target species of the morning in the shape of Karoo Long-billed Lark and we then tucked into our packed lunches. Around us, we saw Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Cape Turtle Dove, and several Common Scimitarbills. Taking the road to Omaruru, we saw Black-chested Snake Eagle, Short-toed Rock Thrush and Monteiro’s Hornbills from the vans but made a roadside stop to scan through a mixed flock of hirundines finding a House Martin amongst them. The nearby bushes were alive with the sound of birds and scan through revealed Pririt Batis, White-tailed Shrike, Melba Finch, Marico Flycatcher and Dusky Sunbird. At the nearby airfield, Fawn-coloured and Spike-heeled Lark, Rattling Cisticola and Double-banded Courser were all good birds but our first Red-crested Korhaan caused most excitement. An immature Martial Eagle also caused a stir while further down the road, we began to see good numbers of game such as Kudu, Gemsbok and Warthog. Two Lappet-faced Vulture perched in trees were looking especially menacing. At Omaruru we encountered Groundscraper Thrush and Yellow Canary and a drive down a nearby track produced more White-tailed Shrike and Pririt Batis plus Long-billed Crombec, African Grey Hornbill, Marico Sunbird and Damara Red-billed Hornbill.
DAY 7 – 2nd November
An early start was required for our pre-breakfast quest for Hartlaub’s Francolin and our pre-dawn drive to a nearby rocky plateau produced an unidentified nightjar flying from the road. After much scrutinising of the rocky crags we finally bagged the francolin as well as 2 Damara Rock-jumper and a vociferous African Cuckoo. Down the track we got our first views of the magnificently coloured, but strangely elusive, Crimson-breasted Shrike and some very vocal White-browed Scrub Robin. Back at the hotel garden, we got sustained views of Little Sparrowhawk plus Black-backed Puffback and Grey-backed Cameroptera, and upon departure of the gardens we managed good views of Red-billed Buffalo Weaver and Pale-winged Starling from the vans.
Roadside stops produced Violet Woodhoopoe, Cardinal Woodpecker, Tawny Eagle and Kalahari Scrub Robin but best of all were three Barred Wren Warbler that showed surprisingly well. Another stop produced a family of four Burchell’s Sandgrouse and Anteater Chat, and while driving in the same area we saw a couple of Black-backed Jackal. A nice café lunch was taken at Outju before we continued north. A brief roadside stop and Ian pulled off an amazing find with two Cape Penduline Tit, before we headed into the Etosha National Park at the Anderson Gate. Immediately we encountered large numbers of game, particularly Springbok, and Zebra but also Giraffe and Elephant. Some good birds were found pretty quickly too with Pink-billed, Spike-heeled and Red-capped Lark of particular note. We took a brief break at the Okaukuejo Camp and then checked out the nearby waterholes. These were busy places with birds continually coming and going but we did find Black Crow, European Bee-eater, Egyptian Geese, Red-headed Finch, Social Weaver and both Grey-backed and Chestnut-backed Sparrowlarks. Then Charles called us to show off a fine African Pygmy Falcon he’d just found – what a great bird that was! Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Neil had found a pair of roosting Verreaux’s Eagle Owl that we all scoped before boarding the vans once again. Driving towards our camp at Halali, we were fortunate enough to find two Secretary Birds and then two Blue Cranes – fantastic! – along with Northern Black Korhaan, Spotted Thick Knee and Tawny Eagle. At another waterhole, numbers of Namaqua Sandgrouse flew in and we had great views of Kori Bustard, Red-necked Falcon and Abdim’s Stork. An African Harrier Hawk flew around and a Scrub Hare was seen dashing in the long grass. At Halali, a fine male Carp’s Tit scolded those who admired it at close range and in the evening an African Scops Owl was heard then seen by a lucky few We enjoyed some fantastic food prepared by Saar and the boys and later a couple of Ratel, or Honey Badger, enjoyed the scraps.
DAY 8 – 3rd November
Around the campsite, we enjoyed the local White-headed Shrikes and four Violet Woodhoopes, before driving off to our first waterhole of the day. Here we found both Golden-breasted and Cinnamon-breasted Buntings, Great and Grey-headed Sparrows, a couple of Black-cheeked Waxbill and a flock of Red-billed Quelea. A fine Gabar Goshawk perched right in front of the vans for us while on the water’s edge, Common and Wood Sandpiper fed with Kittlitz’s Sandplover and Ruff. There was plenty of game around too with Giraffe, Greater Kudu and Black-faced Impala but it was probably the numbers of Zebra that attracted the young male Lion to the area. He was just fabulous! Later, we drove around the trails where we found Willow Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher as well as two small groups of White Helmet-shrike. Around several more bends we enjoyed Bateleur and a melanistic Gabar Goshawk as well as flocks of European Bee-eater.
We headed back to Halali for brunch but Derek was more interested in finding us owls, producing two cracking Southern White-faced Owl and a Pearl-spotted Owlet Later, we walked the campsite finding an Ovambo Tree Skink, White-bellied Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, several African Cuckoo and Violet Woodhoopoe, Familiar Chat and Groundscraper Thrush. After a break, we came across two roosting African Scops Owl – what amazing camouflage!
Later, we returned to the Goas waterhole where the male Lion was still present. A Bateleur met its match in a White-headed Vulture which comfortably won a territorial squabble. Flocks of Namaqua Sandgrouse came in to drink and later we saw 10 Double-banded Sandgrouse and some fine Double-banded Courser by the side of the road. After another fabulous dinner, we pitched up at the floodlit Maringo waterhole of Halali in the hope of seeing some nocturnal game activity. Sure enough, two Spotted Hyena and plenty of Black-backed Jackal were seen before the big guns arrived. Up to six different Black Rhino, including one calf, were seen and 15 Elephants put on a really excellent show. Some tricky nightjars were seen and subsequently identified as Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, and the silhouette of a huge Verreaux’s Eagle Owl was seen a couple of times too.
DAY 9 - 4th November
An early morning walk was taken around the camp at Halali, producing Willow Warbler, Brown-crowned Tchagra, more Woodhoopoe and another showy Pearl-spotted Owlet. Driving away from the camp, we found two Red-crested Korhaan very close to the track, an African Hoopoe and a fine Shikra perched in a tree along the Rhino trail. Raptors were beginning to soar, with Lappet-faced and White-backed Vulture showing well and the occassional Bateleur. Lower down, a Secretary Bird fed close to an Ostrich in the low acacia scrub, which also held Long-billed Crombec and Yellow-bellied Eremomela. All around, European Bee-eater could be heard and we then found a fine Lesser Grey Shrike and some Red-breasted (aka Rufous-chested) Swallow before heading out onto the plains. The tracks here offered far reaching views across the Etosha Pan and the large herds of Zebra and various antelope species could be seen, together with a family of Ostrich and several Giraffe. Among the short open grasslands, we found a Rufous-naped Lark singing atop a bush and Buffy Pipit and numbers of Banded Martin began to coast overhead too. A fortuitous chat with a passing bus driver meant we got to hear about a big cat at a recent kill just a few minutes away, so we bolted ahead to find a fabulous Cheetah feeding quickly on its lunch of Springbok. Not wanting to move, we stayed for about twenty minutes before making our way further into the bush. Overhead, the vultures began to circle and among the many White-backed, we also found a White-headed and two rarely seen Cape Vulture. Passing lots more game, Ostrich and flocks of European Bee-eater, we made our way to the Koinachas waterhole where we came across a pair of mating Lions, before entering the Namutoni Camp Site. Here there were loads of birds to enjoy in the grounds, such as Emerald Spotted Wood Dove, Marabou Stork, African Cuckoo, Burchell’s Starling, Southern Cordon Bleu and bands of Banded Mongoose. After lunch and a brief siesta, we headed into the park again finding Slender Mongoose and several Red-crested Korhaan very quickly. In the stony open areas, we found a couple of Temminck’s Courser, Capped Wheatear and Lilac-breasted Roller, some Black-cheeked Waxbill and a Shaft-tailed Whydah before heading onto the Dik-Dik Drive. We enjoyed several diminutive Damara Dik-Dik on their eponymous drive and also good views of Crimson-breasted Shrike. The mournful “I’m so sick” call of the Black Cuckoo resonated through the bush and eventually we managed to find the bird perched high in some scrubby bushes. However, Charles distracted us all when he pointed out the loud barking Kudu – “There may be a Leopard on the prowl – let’s go!” We pelted it down the dusty track! Charles’ instincts could not have served him any better for, sure enough, right there in the middle of the track sat a beautiful Leopard! Absolutely amazing! It waited a while before hauling itself up then casually walking through the bushes and slowly out of sight. WOW! Three BIG CATS in a single day! At the Namutoni Waterhole later that evening, two Red-necked Falcon hawked and Spotted Thick-Knee wandered about as flocks of Double-banded Sandgrouse came crashing in. Those on nightwatch also saw African Marsh Owl and Barn Owl and the amazing sight-sound phenomenon of 50 Greater Flamingo migrating across the desert, lit only by the floodlights of the waterhole.
DAY 10 – 5th November
We started the day along the Dik-Dik trail in the hope of finding a Yellow-breasted Apalis but without success. Instead, we found a couple of Brubru, Spotted Flycatcher, Black-cheeked Waxbill and some noisy Grey-backed Cameroptera. Heading back to the campsite, we found a family of Burnt-necked Eremomela and a couple of Eurasian Golden Oriole, together with more
common bits like Red-billed Francolin and Pearl-spotted Owlet. After breakfast and packing, we headed out of the camp and out of Etosha, stumbling across a couple of fine Swainson’s Francolin just inside the gates. We then made a tactical fuel stop at the Mokuti Five Star lodge where Neil assured us we could find Black-faced Babbler. Sure enough, he was right and we saw our only group of the birds of the trip, as well as Red-breasted Swallow, more Swainson’s Francolin, a distant perched Shikra and lots of sunbirds. Out of the lodge gates, we had a distant Martial Eagle and a Dark-chanting Goshawk, on the southern-most limits of its range in western Africa. We made another stop at Lake Otjikoto where we found our first Jacobin Cuckoo, African Paradise Flycatcher and African Green Pigeon, plus Eastern Paradise Whydah and a very elusive Lesser Honeyguide. Good ice-creams too! After another fuel stop at Otjiwarongo, we headed to the sewage farm to the rear of the village where lots of birds were resting and feeding. An imposing Black-chested Snake Eagle kept a watchful eye over proceedings and on the wet marshes, Red-knobbed Coot, African Jacana, Little Grebe and lots of waders including a super Marsh Sandpiper and a couple of Three-banded Plover fed busily. Cattle Egret were everywhere and several Squacco Heron stood along the reedy edges. On some open pools, two Maccoa Duck sat with Egyptian Geese, White-faced Duck and several Red-billed Teal. Overhead, a big swift flock held several Alpine Swift. At the entrance to the nearby Otjibamba Lodge, we found a family group of Southern Pied Babbler, before driving on to the Waterberg Plateau, where we were greeted by two soaring Black Eagle. Also here, we found a group of Ruppell’s Parrot and a Golden-tailed Woodpecker as well as numbers of Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Pale-winged Starling and lots of brazen Red-billed Francolin. A walk was taken towards the red sandstone escarpment late in the afternoon and along the way, Charles picked up the call of a distant African Barred Owlet. In yet another display of his incredible tracking skills, he then walked us straight to the bird that was almost a kilometre away! What a guy! After some initial scrambling, the group enjoyed super views of this super bird before we traversed our way back down the hillside. Also seen along the trail here was a Broad-billed Roller, thought by Neil to be the first record of this species for Waterberg! Back at camp, a fine Bearded Woodpecker was seen very well. A couple of the group managed to see Lesser Bushbaby before dinner and afterwards, our last night was spent chasing around for nightjars and owls although we managed only a glimpse of one Rufous-cheeked Nightjar. However, watching Neil strip and make a mad dash from the bus to catch a Sun Spider was a highlight for some!
DAY 11 – 6th November
A walk around camp was taken before breakfast and high up the escarpment some Bradfield’s Hornbill were scoped. Also around were two Eurasian Golden Oriole, some noisy White-browed Scrub Robin and a couple of Black-backed Puffbacks. After brekkie, two African Hawk Eagle soared around the escarpment and appeared to be nest building. With some of the group staying on for the adjoining Botswana trip and others jetting home, we said our farewells. Those that stayed saw Cardinal Woodpecker, Tinkling Cisticola, and Violet Woodhoopoe on the trail and Lesser Grey Shrike and African Hoopoe back at base, while those that made their way back to Windhoek enjoyed Wahlberg’s and Brown Snake Eagle.