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A Report from

South Africa - 13 Feb - 25 Feb 2002. Kruger National Park,

Dianne and David Lucas

It was raining when we landed, but the grey clouds couldn't hide the hundreds of turquoise swimming pools we have become familiar with on approach to Johannesburg International. We collected our hire car - a very comfortable Toyota Condor which is higher than a normal car, seats about 8, costs a whole £22 per day. At the time of writing, the value of the SA Rand is approx. 16 = £1, which spells cheap to us. We left the airport 11.30 hrs and drove straight up the N1 towards Pietersburg. We did not spare the horses, and made it in 3 hours, so decided to go on to Louis Trichardt which was another 1.5 hours. We pulled into the Adams Apple Guest House. £20 per night, B & B (full English). David had driven far enough, and after some quick research into cold beers, the pool was next. Birds around the place were Greater Striped Swallow, Collared Barbet, Kurrichane Thrush, Bronze Mannekin etc. The guest house specialised in prawns, the huge ones were very good value, and delicious. Night at Adams Apple, Louis Trichardt.

Day 2 - Drove the rest of the way into the park, stopping only for supplies - cool-bag, beer, biltong (jerky), potatoes (not always available in the park - goodness known why !), tabasco, coffee etc.

We were bubbling with excitement. This was our 5th trip to Kruger, and we've seen it in all of it's extremes. The first time they'd had a lot of rain, the second time, severe drought. Our third visit followed serious widespread fires and our last visit was in Feb 2000 when the park was totally flooded, and hit by the worst cyclone for 100 years - Kruger borders Mozambique whose floods made the headlines worldwide. The park had had to close, since most of the roads and every bridge except one was washed away, and the army were called in to air-rescue stranded visitors and staff. An experience we'll never forget, and we were eager to see how the park now looked.

Anyway, en route we stopped to watch a splendid Long-crested Eagle perched on a telegraph pole - only 20 yards away. Arrived in the park at 11.00 and headed straight to Punda Maria camp. Best birds on the way were Crowned & Ground Hornbill, Purple Roller, and one of David's favourites - Red-billed Wood Hoopoes. They always seem happy and noisy. At the camp we booked a bush walk for 5am the next morning. The guide promised us Crowned Eagle, Shaft-tailed Wydah, and possibly Finfoot. Couldn't wait. Also booked our (Valentine's Day) food for the evening. (Should have waited). Later birds that day included Martial Eagle, Cape Parrot and Bearded Robin. The food you're curious about - advertised as 'Spare Ribs' - was unidentifiable. Tasted like rough beef, but too small. When asked, were assured pork. When persisted, mutton ! Barely fit for Hyena. Night at Punda Maria.

Day 3 - Bush walk, and we were the only ones going ! We soon found an African Goshawk sat up a tree, new for our park list. It was a bit quiet, but exciting. (Walking through the bush with 2 armed rangers, you can't help feeling invincible.) We trundled on for about an hour through chest-high grass full of mambas and rabid buffalo, when suddenly the front ranger yelled and ran back towards us. His pal turned to run, so of course, we fled, causing something of a small, confusing pile-up in the tall grass. What on earth could scare an experienced ranger carrying an elephant gun ?? It turned out to be a wasps nest - and Moses had been stung. He lived to tell the tale, but it took 10 years at least off our lives. On we went, flushing 3 Harlequin Quail and on leaving the long grass spotted a White-breasted Cuckoo Shrike - quite rare in the park, and new to us. We met with our vehicle again, and moved on to a spot overlooking the Luvuvhu River, where we had great views of African Hawkeagle and a Saddlebilled Stork, but we didn't find what we were looking for. We arrived back at the camp at noon, bought some supplies, and drove straight up to the very north of the park to a picnic site which overlooks another stretch of the Luvuvhu. It was extremely hot. We lit our braai (barbecue), and went for a wander, and picked up Trumpeting Hornbill, Bar-throated Apalis and Wattle-eyed Flycatcher. After filling ourselves with cholesterol, we began our slow drive back, the best birds being Common Moorhen (our first in 5 visits to Kruger !), and Carmine Bee-eater. Night at Punda Maria.

Day 4 -  Left camp and drove south towards Shingwedzi Camp. Saw our first buffalo, but it had no tick birds. The best birds we did pick up were Black Stork, Dickinson Kestrel and Lappet-faced Vulture. The water level in the Shingwedzi River was just about right, and we saw various storks, egrets, plovers etc. and huge crocodiles. Shingwedzi is one of the best camps for birds, and half a loaf of bread thrown in front of our hut immediately attracted Red- and Yellow-billed Hornbill, Grey-headed Sparrow, Lesser-masked Weaver, Brown-headed Parrot, Crested Barbet, 2 species of starling, 3 species of dove, Grey Lourie - plus many others in the trees. In the afternoon, we had a lovely swim in the pool. In the evening, after a short drive out, we had a braai, and our Africaans camp neighbours very kindly made us a 'Springbok' cocktail (mint liquer topped with Amarula) - a delicious but mind-altering, fight-inducing blend which eventually helped us sleep. Crashed at Shingwedzi.

Day 5 - Headed down towards Letaba, which has to be one of the best camps of all. Along the way we saw Goliath Heron (which stands as tall as Dianne), Openbill and Maribou Storks, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Bearded Woodpecker, Bateleur, White-headed Vulture, Black Crake, Brown Snake Eagle and Red-crested Korhaan, plus many others. We stopped off at Mopani Camp which sadly is a white elephant - a huge, modern camp built in the wrong area (no mammals) and which is eerily void of human residents. We, however, have always managed to spot a Mocking Chat here - and nowhere else, and we did so now. Just south of Mopani, we lunched at a picnic site, hiring a gas braai for 50p, and literally throwing on a couple of enormous steaks, garnished with the best fried eggs in the world. Our neighbours on the next table, who had already started to prepare their feast when we arrived, were still faffing about cooking as we left !! We arrived at Letaba camp, and spent ages milling around here - the place is stiff with birds. We could hear the magnificent Purple-crested Lourie calling everywhere, but just couldn't see him ! We did see African Golden Oriole, Paradise Flycatcher, Orange-breasted Bush Shrike, Chinspot Batis and Cardinal Woodpecker in the camp, also some friendly bushbuck - a beautiful antelope who ate from our hands, and our early evening drive gave us Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Yellow-breasted Sunbird and Red-billed Oxpecker. That night we coaxed a 5-course dinner down our gizzards, swilled a mean and very cheeky Paarl Late-harvest whilst watching bats acrobat around the faltering fan-blades in the Letaba restaurant. Night at Letaba.

Day 6 - Today we had arranged a Bush & Breakfast Safari, and again, we were the only ones to go ! We explained that we were more interested in the birds than the mammals, and the ranger immediately relaxed, because the demand for the big 5 was huge, and the mammals were playing hard to get, due to the recent amount of rainfall in the lowveldt. We were probably the first visitors she had taken out without stopping for an elephant ! She found us a Giant Eagle Owl, and a Jacobin Cuckoo. We also saw Giant Kingfisher, White-throated Robin and White-crowned Shrike. This was the only day we had rain in the park, and we get well soaked in the back of the truck, so we skipped the 'bush' breakfast and instead opted for a 'restaurant' breakfast in the dry. We spent the rest of the day mincing around  the Letaba area, getting good views of Double-banded Sandgrouse and White-browed Scrub Robin. Also began to find good numbers of mammals. Elephant, Waterbuck, Hippos etc. every river and waterhole being a home to crocs. We had a braai at our hut, but were slightly distracted by the amount of food our camp neighbours were consuming. Where did they put it all ? Where had they bought it all ? Night at Letaba.

Day 7 - First birds of the day were Water Dikkop around our rondavel (hut) at first light, followed by Natal Francolin dropping down from their roosts. Our hut overlooked the river and we could see elephant and waterbuck coming down to drink. Birds on the river included 4 Saddlebilled Storks, Fish Eagles and a Kori Bustard which flew over. Our fat neighbours were very busy preparing for their (huge) breakfast as we left and headed off towards Olifants for our (meagre) breakfast, taking the dirt roads and searching for Klipspringer on the boulders along the way, but without luck. We did see Ostrich, Red Headed Weaver and thousands of Quela. Arriving at Olifants - one of the oldest camps - we headed to the cliff-high view point which offers probably the most scenic view in Kruger, overlooking the huge Olifants River to the Lebombo Hills and Mozambique opposite. Usually, in the morning, raptors use the thermals and pass just a few yards away. Unfortunately, due to the lack of game, it was quiet - just 2 Yellow-billed Kites. Previously we have seen 4 species of vulture, and many raptors, swifts and swallows flying. But today we did see many storks and herons on the river. We continued on towards Satara camp. Bateleurs were common - in fact, they seemed to be common throughout the trip. We had stopped by a small waterhole when 4 Ground Hornbills came walking towards us. They appeared hungry, and seemed to prefer 'Pringles' crisps more than the bread we offered them, just like the last visit !! At the camp (Satara) the large, grassy areas held the usual Hoopoes and Groundscraper Thrush, but our Black Crake was not lurking around his favourite pond. There are a lot of mammals in this area - very open, with good visibality, and we had our best bird day with a total of 105. Night at Satara.

Day 8 - We reluctantly left Satara - wishing we could have had another day there. It is one of the best areas for Abdims Stork, which is a bird we have always dipped on. Driving south, we stopped at a waterhole which had one muddy buffalo standing in it. While she was looking closely at the reeds, Dianne spotted a Dwarf Bittern, doing what bitterns do best - pretending to be a reed. After a while it relaxed and started looking more like a bird. It thought we were looking at the buffalo ! Just down the road from here is the Tshokwane tea rooms - world famous for their greasy, flat toasted cheese sandwiches which David suspects acquire their flatness by being sat on. We always stop here - it is the only place we have found Hueglin's Robin and we weren't disappointed. Also we found Terrestrial Bulbul - a first for our park list. On our way our, full of flat cheese sarnies, we saw a pair of Tawny Eagles take off across the road. We went on to Orpen Dam - the only birds of note were Openbill Stork, plus David's beloved Woodhoopoes. Then our next stop was to be a viewpoint called Nkumbe. This is the best roadside viewpoint in the whole of the park, as you can see for miles over lightly wooded plains. It's wonderful for either bins or scope viewing, but there was the usual bunch of spoonheads with neither. We soon saw Ostrich, plus giraffe, Impala, Waterbuck and elephant scattered about. We could have stayed there for hours, but had to move on towards Lower Sabie. Over the hilly grassland we saw our only Yellow-throated Longclaw, plus more elephant and giraffe, complete with Red-billed Oxpecker. Just outside Lower Sabie camp is the wonderful Sunset Dam, which is always full of waterdirds and mammals coming and going. Our best bird there was the rare Black Egret which didn't want to show itself for about half an hour ! Also we saw Wattled Plover, and the mammals present were hyena, waterbuck, giraffe, hippo and crocodile. We decided to have a braai that evening, since our snoopy shed had such a lovely setting. While David was attending to the cooking, our neighbour said hello. He was an ex-ranger, taking a few clients around privately for a mammal hunt. Rather him than us, as we've had to work hard for the mammals this time. Anyway, a hyena was prowling the fence, and shortly after, a large-spotted genet appeared and climbed a tree quite close to us. Splendid stuff. Night at Lower Sabie.

Day 9 - Began rather amusingly, with David organising the ranger and his entourage. David had spotted several buffalo, and matey hadn't seen them yet. Off we went straight back to Sunset Dam. No Black Egrets this time, but we did see Giant, Pied and Malachite Kingfishers, Jacana, Knob-billed and White-faced Duck and Palid Harrier to name but a few. We drove on, heading down to Crocodile Bridge right at the south of the park. We turned up a road where we could see a large elephant motionless on the horizon, standing side on as if he had been crossing and had been interupted. We approached slowly, telling ourselves that he would move on, but he stayed exactly where he was. We waited for about 5 minutes discussing the situation. It would be foolish to take a risk - there probably was no danger if we carefully approached, but if he did become awkward, the consequences could be fatal, literally. Then the elephant decided to move, but instead of continuing on his route, he turned and very slowly began walking towards us. We reversed for about 3 minutes, but the situation wasn't looking good. So - we hurried a little, turned rather quickly and drove off, leaving him to his 'very own road'. We had to take a different route to Crocodile Bridge, and on the way, we spotted a lion slowly walking down a dusty track. He came towards us and passed our vehicle, nonchalently looked around then turned and returned up his track. This was to be the only lion we would see on this trip. A little further on after Mr Lion, we came to a very open area where we saw 4 Crowned Plovers, 6 African Cuckoos chasing each other, plus Babbler, White-crowned Shrike and Diederik Cuckoo in the background. Looking back, we were grateful to the encounter with the elephant earlier.At Crocodile Bridge we had a healthy fry-up with greasy bacon and bird's bread plus our eggs which we'd bought way back at Louis Trichardt. Surprised they hadn't hatched. We kept hearing Golden-rumped Tinker Barbet but couldn't see it. The gardener walked over and turned on the sprinklers, and almost immediately the birds came down to bathe and drink, including the barbet, and Black-bellied Glossy Starling - both of which only live in this area. We also saw Paradise Flycatcher and Simitar-billed Woodhoopoe. We now were to drive up towards Skukuza, along the way we saw many rhino dung piles. (Rhinos mark their territories by pooing in the same place every day and kicking their dung around. You do not need a degree in Zoology to spot one of these). Near Skukuza we stopped by a waterhole and had superb views of Black Stork and Brown-hooded Kingfisher. We also encountered more pringle-eating Ground Hornbills. That evening we had a good meal in the restaurant. (That evening Dianne had some fine wine in the restaurant.) Night at Skukuza, during which David had difficulty sleeping due to a bat which was tearing round the room.

Day 10 - Dianne not feeling her best, but left camp for an earlyish rhino hunt on yesterday's road. We could smell 'em. After about an hour we had a friendly black-backed jackal running alongside the car for a good 5 minutes. He stopped for photos once or twice, then got bored with us. A little further on, we disturbed a cheetah which had been lying quietly on the road. He rose as if he came out of the ground, and very slowly crossed the road, then came back again. We couldn't have had better views - or photos - if we'd wanted to. But - still, no rhinos. The best birds were Dark Chanting Goshawk and Martial Eagle. We came across a lake called Mpondo, and it was swarming with impala, giraffe, hippos, crocs, waterbuck etc. The birds were not bad, Paradise Wydah, Bluegrey Flycatcher, Carmine BeeEater. But, the best of all - the elephants. There were so many, playing in the water - tiny babies next to the huge bulls. We have never seen them playing like this before, trumpeting and spraying water from their trunks. We counted 19 at once, but as some of them left the water, some would return and new ones would arrive from behind the trees. Sometimes just the tips of their trunks would show on the water's surface. We claimed 50 elephant that day, but it could easily have been double. We stayed for about 2 hours. Now, as lovely as this was, Dianne was feeling progressively worse, (too much wine and biltong), and shortly after we left Mpondo, and just as we levelled with a magnificent bull elephant, she suddenly had to throw up out of the window, somewhat spoiling the creature's day. Not the usual response from an overseas visitor, and we quickly moved on. Dianne immediately felt better. Later on we had good views of Common Duiker and Bushbuck. This evening we had a braai and an early night. Night at Skukuza.

Day 11 - Another early start at 0530 hrs. We headed off once more on the 'rhino road' but today it was strangely quiet, apart from the ever present Rattling Cisticolas, so we changed direction and found ouselves a magnificent kudu bull, and the usual waterbuck. Around the next bend we found a whole family of Dwarf Mongooses - about 15 altogether, all different sizes. They were very inquisitive and were soon running around and under the car, even the tiny babies. We left them in peace, hoping the pictures come out. We headed towards Afsaal picnic spot and just before it turned off up to a waterhole. As we drove downhill round a bend, we met 2 very large white rhino right on the side of the road. We skidded to a clumsy halt on the gravel quite close to them, and they snorted and grunted and shook their heads with their massive horns. David then wondered at the wisdom of stopping so close, but they backed away from us about 20 yards and stopped their snorting, so we relaxed. (Yes, he did want to see rhino, but didn't want them to be the last thing he saw.) There was just one giraffe at the waterhole, and an Amethyst Starling, so we drove on to Afsaal. We found White-crowned Shrike and the usual babblers, hornbills, starlings, waxbills. We had a beer and a buttie, and drove on to Pretoriuskop. En route, we met with a huge herd of buffalo, complete with oxpeckers. Just before the camp we came upon a sizeable flock of Helmeted Guineafowl. At the camp we finally got a good view of the Purple-crested Lourie (which was absolutely stunning and well worth the wait) and also Black-headed Oriole. On our way to the swimming pool we got a superb view of a Long-crested Eagle - a first for the park list - a most impressive bird. While we were having a swim, Brown-headed parrots flew around the trees with Grey Louries, Crested Barbets scrounged tit-bits and David's Collared Barbets swarmed. Later, we drove out and found Golden-breasted Bunting and some warthogs. We had a braai, and were given a running commentary of everything from spotting game to beer swilling to braai-ing squashes and onions in foil under the star-studded skies above Kruger National Park by our Afrikaans neighbour who was another tour leader trying to impress his German clients. Night at Pretoriuskop.

Day 12 - The day got off to a good start - 6 Purple-crested Louries in one tree ! Around the camp we picked up Collared Barbets, Red-billed Woodhoopoes and eventually the Yellow-fronted Tinkerbarbet, for which we had to work. Driving out of the camp we saw a Common Reedbuck - not easy to see - and then what is possibly the best bird of the trip - a Cuckoo Hawk perched up a dead tree. We thought it was another Steppe Buzzard at first ! Soon after, we got a Bushveld Pipit and a swarm of Quela. Then we saw a Dark Chanting Goshawk, and a little later, a small group of buffalo appeared from nowhere. As we watched them, we started seeing more and more, they were in front of and behind us, on both sides of the road - from small, thin calves to huge bulls - this was a herd of 100+, and we'd just driven right into the middle of it without realising ! We then spotted a Lanner Falcon perched on a tree, then through the trees David spotted some large grey rocks which seemed to have ears and horns. Through the bins we counted 8 white rhino feeding, they were about 150 yards away. This was the way we had expected to find them, rather than our closer encounter yesterday ! We drove to Skukuza camp for lunch, and watched roosting fruit-bats (and a very large water moniter which walked through the outdoor cafe like it owned the place) as we ate our butties. Just outside the shop there was a beetle which must have been 4 inches long on a wall, and nearby a stick insect which was at least a foot long. Dianne was admiring this from a safe distance, when suddenly the thing flew straight at her, making her squeal like a teenager !! We didn't know that stick insects even had wings !! We bought some more biltong and drove off. We passed a giraffe carrying 14 oxpeckers. It must have been totally infested with ticks ! We arrived back at the camp and Dianne went to do a little souvenir shopping while David went for a dip. The parrots were there again, and circling overhead were Bateleur, and Lappet-faced, White-backed and Hooded Vultures. Perhaps they were hoping for David to have a cardiac arrest after all the meat, beer and biltong over the past 2 weeks. A little later we drove out, then that evening had a huge braai with lots of beer and wine. This was our last braai. Night at Pretoriuskop.

Day 13 - Our last day - tonight we fly over the swimming pools again, so we had to pack. But not yet !! No point in missing the best part of the day by packing, so literally threw everything into the car. The last day in the park has always proved special, so we were hoping for something good today. The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbarbet gave itself up easily, for a change, and 7 Purple-crested Louries in one tree before we left camp for the last time. Just south of Afsaal picnic spot we came upon the biggest herd of buffalo we had ever seen - there were over 200 of them - and once again, we'd driven right into the herd without realising. We were heading towards Berg-en-dal camp, the area being well known for rhinos, although little else. At the camp we looked for Sombre Bulbul, but dipped. We looked in the lake for hippos, but couldn't see any - just one croc and a few brave terrapins. Also, one very fat Malachite Kingfisher which David tried to turn into something rare, but couldn't. We had some eggs and bacon at the camp cafe, then began the awful task of packing in the car park. Back in our civvies, we headed towards Malelane gate, just 10 clicks away. It was lunchtime, extremely hot with nothing moving. Just a couple of hundred yards before the gate, Dianne recognised the area as where we'd previously seen Bronze-winged Coursers (our 3rd visit last day special) so we had a look around. And there, in the clearing, snoozing under a bush, covered in red sand was a white rhino, with another one lying behind him - this one grey in colour. We enjoyed them for a while, and as we left them, still in first gear, spotted a herd of 20 elephant behind the next bushes. What a finish to our trip ! We sadly went to the gate, checked out, and drove across the bridge over the Crocodile River which is the park's southern border, and as we did so, a Reed Cormorant flew overhead - our last bird of the park.

David's footnote: It seems a terrible thing to say now, but sitting here at home, wishing I was back in Kruger, talking about 'all the usual mammals' - the sort of thing you could see out of your window - elephant, waterbuck, impala, mongoose, zebra, wildebeest etc. the usual birds - Ground, Red and Yellow-billed and Trumpeting Hornbills, Purple-crested and Grey Lourie to mention but a few. Sometimes holidays are not fully appreciated until one gets home and reflects.

Dianne's footnote: Those of you reading this who know us, know that we have been extremely lucky in our travels around the world birdwatching in some wonderful places, and I could recommend everywhere to everyone ! But birdwatching in Kruger has to be the easiest and most relaxing birding of all. We've been 5 times, and I know we'll always return, but I always cry when we leave - South Africa is my favourite.

Incidentally, the water level in the park was just about perfect - for once !!

Birds - 221
Mammals - 31
Reptiles - 11

Previous visits:

Jan 1996 - 5 nights in park - Pretoriuskop, Skukuza, Olifants, Satara, Lower Sabia.
Nov 1996 - 8 nights - Punda Maria, 2 z Shingwedzi, 2 x Letaba, 2 x Skukuza, Pretoriuskop.
Feb 1998 - 11 nights - Punda Maria, 2 x Shingwedzi, 2 z Letaba, Satara, 2 x Lower Sabie, Skukuza, Pretoriuskop, Berg-en-dal.
Feb 1998 - 5 nights - 2 x Letaba, Olifants, 2 x Satara.

Bird Species seen in Kruger Park

*    = Not seen on latest visit, but has been seen previously.
(1)  = Number of visits on which species has been previously seen.
#   =  New species for us in Kruger Park
+   =  New species for us.

1)  Ostrich - uncommon (3)
2)  Reed Cormorant - common and widespread - Lower Sabie (4)
3)  Whitebreasted Cormorant - uncommon (3)*
4)  Darter - fairly common and widespread (4)
5)  Dwarf Bittern - rare - 1 at Nkaya pond +
6)  Greenbacked Heron - fairly common (4)
7)  Squacco Heron - fairly common (3)*
8)  Black Egret - rare - 1 at Sunset Dam. #
9)  Cattle Egret - widespread (3)
10) Little Egret - widespread (4)
11) Great White Egret - common and widespread (2)
12) Grey Heron - common (4)
13) Purple Heron - uncommon (2)*
14) Goliath Heron - fairly common except SW of park. (3)
15) Blackheaded Heron - fairly common (3)*
16) Saddlebilled Stork - fairly common except SW of park. (2)
17) Maribou Stork - common (3)
18) White Stork - common in N. (3)
19) Black Stork - uncommon #
20) Yellowbilled Stork - common in N. (3)
21) Woollynecked Stork - widespread (2)
22) Openbilled Stork - uncommon (1)
23) Hamerkop - common (3)
24) Hadeda Ibis - common (4)
25) Glossy Ibis - uncommon (1)*
26) African Spoonbill - uncommon (2)
27) Whitefaced Duck - common (4)
28) Fulvous Duck - uncommon (1)*
29) Egyptian Goose - common / border pest ! - (4)
30) Spurwinged Goose - uncommon (2)*
31) Southern Pochard - rare (1)*
32) African Black Duck - uncommon - Skukuza Camp on river (1)*
33) Knobbilled Duck - common (3)
34) Dabchick - common (3)
35) Lesser Moorhen - V. uncommon (1)*
36) Moorhen - uncommon #
37) Black Crake - F. common (4)
38) African Jacana - widespread (4)
39) Kittlitz's Plover - uncommon (1)*
40) Threebanded Plover - common (4)
41) Lesser Blackwinged Plover - uncommon (1)*
42) Crowned Plover - common and widespread (3)
43) Blacksmith Plover - common and widespread (4)
44) Wattled Plover - uncommon #
45) Whitecrowned Plover - uncommon - Punda Maria (4)
46) Whitefronted Plover - uncommon (1)*
47) Marsh Sandpiper - uncommon - Shingdedzi (2)
48) Greenshank - widespread - Shingwedzi - Letaba (4)
49) Ruff - uncommon (1)*
50) Common Sandpiper - common (4)
51) Curlew Sandpiper - rare - Shindwedzi - Letaba (2)*
52) Wood Sandpiper - common (3)
53) Little Stint - uncommon (3)*
54) Water Dikkop - common (4)
55) Spotted Dikkop - uncommon - night-drive Letaba (1)*
56) Redwinged Pratincole - uncommon nomadic - Mopani (1)*
57) Bronzewinged Courser - nocturnal - night-drive Lower Sabi and Crocodile Bridge (1)
58) Temminck's Courser - uncommon (2)*
59) Whitewinged Tern - uncommon (2)*
60) Blackwinged Stilt  - uncommon but widespread (4)
61) Blackbellied Korhaan - fairly common (3)*
62) Redcrested Korhaan - common (3)
63) Kori Bustard - uncommon, only in north - Letaba (3)
64) Doublebanded Sandgrouse - widespread - Letaba bush-breakfast (3)
65) Helmeted Guineafowl - common and widespread (4)
66) Crested Guineafowl - locally common - Pafuri (1)*
67) Harlequin Quail - irregular but common - Letaba and Punda Maria - (1)
68) Crested Francolin - common (4)
69) Natal Francolin - very common (4)
70) Swainson's Francolin - very common (4)
71) Whitebacked Vulture - common (4)
72) Cape Vulture - visitor (1)*
73) Secretary Bird - uncommon (2)*
74) Hooded Vulture - common (4)
75) Whiteheaded Vulture - common (4)
76) Lappetfaced Vulture - common (3)
77) Cuckoo Hawk - rare +
78) Yellowbilled Kite - common (4)
79) Black Kite - uncommon (1)*
80) Bateleur - common and widespread (4)
81) Blackbreasted Snake Eagle - uncommon (3)*
82) Brown Snake Eagle - common (4)
83) Booted Eagle - rare (1)
84) Lesser Spotted Eagle - uncommon (2)
85) Wahlberg's Eagle - common (4)
86) Longcrested Eagle - rare and classic #
87) Steppe Eagle - fairly common locally and seasonally (1)
88) Tawny Eagle - fairly common (4)
89) African Hawk Eagle - fairly common (2)
90) African Fish Eagle - common (4)
91) Martial Eagle - fairly common (4)
92) Steppe Buzzard - uncommon (2)
93) Lizard Buzzard - uncommon (3)
94) Blackshouldered Kite - common (4)
95) Little Sparrowhawk - rare (1)*
96) Little Banded Goshawk (Shikra) - uncommon (3)*
97) Gabar Goshawk - uncommon (2)
98) African Goshawk - rare #
99) Dark Chanting Goshawk - fairly common (3)
100) Palid Harrier - rare #
101) Montagu's Harrier - uncommon (1)*
102) Harrier Hawk - fairly common (2)
103) Peregrine Falcon - rare (1)*
104) Lanner Falcon - rare (2)
105) Hobby Falcon - rare (1)*
106) Dickinson's Kestrel - uncommon +
107) Lesser Kestrel - uncomon (2)*
108) Eastern Redfooted Kestrel - fairly common (3)*
109) Western Redfooted Kestrel - fairly common (2)
110) Mourning Dove - common in north and east (4)
111) Redeyed Dove - fairly common (3)
112) Cape Turtle Dove - very common (4)
113) Laughing Dove - very common (4)
114) Namaqua Dove - fairly common (4)
115) Emeraldspotted Dove - common (4)
116) Green Pigeon - fairly common (4)
117) Brownheaded Parrot - fairly common (4)
118) Cape Parrot - fairly common in north (1)
119) Purplecrested Lourie - fairly common in south (3)
120) Grey Lourie - common (4)
121) Emerald Cuckoo - extremely rare - first record for park ! - (1)*
122) Klaas's Cuckoo - uncommon (2)*
123) Diederik Cuckoo - fairly common (4)
124) Redchested Cuckoo - uncommon (1)*
125) African Cuckoo - fairly common (3)
126) European Cuckoo - uncommon (1)*
127) Striped Cuckoo - fairly common (4)
128) Jacobin Cuckoo - fairly common (4)
129) Great Spotted Cuckoo - rare (2)*
130) Burchell's Coucal - common (3)
131) Marsh Owl - Letaba camp (1)*
132) Scops Owl - Satara camp (1)*
133) Whitefaced Owl - Lower Sabie night drive (1)*
134) Giant Eagle Owl - Letaba bush breakfast
135) European Nightjar - Lower Sabie night drive (1)*
136) Fierynecked Nightjar - Lower Sabie night drive (2)*
137) Mozambique Nightjar - fairly common (3)*
138) Redbreasted Swallow - fairly common (4)
139) Mosque Swallow - uncommon (2)*
140) Lesser Striped Swallow - common and widespread (4)
141) European Swallow - common and widespread (4)
142) Wiretailed Swallow - common (4)
143) Greyrumped Swallow - uncommon
144) House Martin - fairly common (2)
145) Rock Martin - uncommon and localised - Pafuri (1)
146) Palm Swift - fairly common (4)
147) Black Swift - uncommon - Pretoriuskop (1)*
148) European Swift - uncommon (2)*
149) Little Swift - common (4)
150) Whiterumped Swift - fairly common and widespread (1)*
151) Horus Swift - fairly common (3)*
152) Alpine Swift - uncommon (3)*
153) Speckled Mousebird - common (4)
154) Redfaced Mousebird - common (4)
155) Giant Kingfisher - fairly common (1)
156) Pied Kingfisher - common (4)
157) Woodland Kingfisher - common (3)
158) Greyhooded Kingfisher -uncommon (1)
159) Mangrove Kingfisher - uncommon (1)*
160) Brownhooded Kingfisher - fairly common (3)
161) Striped Kingfisher - fairly common - Pafuri - (3)
162) Pygmy Kingfisher - uncommon (2)*
163) Malachite Kingfisher - fairly common (3)
164) Little Bee Eater - fairly common (2)
165) Carmine Bee Eater - common (3)
166) European Bee Eater - common (4)
167) Whitefronted Bee Eater - common (4)
168) Broadbilled Roller - fairly common (2)
169) Lilacbreasted Roller - very common (4)
170) European Roller - common (3)
171) Purple Roller - fairly common (3)
172) Redbilled  Woodhoopoe - common (4)
173) Scimitarbilled Woodhoopoe - fairly common (3)
174) Hoopoe - common (4)
175) Yellowbilled Hornbill - very common (4)
176) Redbilled Hornbill - common (4)
177) Crowned Hornbill - fairly common in north (2)
178) Grey Hornbill - common (4)
179) Trumpeter Hornbill - uncommon (2)
180) Ground Hornbill - fairly common (4)
181) Goldenrumped Tinker Barbet - rare #
182) Yellowfronted Tinker Barbet - uncommon (1)
183) Blackcollared Barbet - common (4)
184) Crested Barbet - common (4)
185) Cardinal Woodpecker - fairly common (3)
186) Goldentailed Woodpecker - fairly common (3)
187) Bennett's Woodpecker - fairly common (3)*
188) Bearded Woodpecker - common (4)
189) Lesser Honeyguide - uncommon (1)*
190) Greater Honeyguide - uncommon (2)*
191) Monotonous Lark - fairly common (3)*
192) Sabota Lark - common (4)
193) Flappet Lark - fairly common (2)*
194) Redcapped Lark - rare (1)*
195) Rufousnaped Lark - fairly common (3)
196) Dusky Lark - uncommon (1)*
197) Chestnutbacked Finchlark - uncommon (2)
198) Richard's Pipit - uncommon (1)
199) Yellowthroated Longclaw - fairly common (2)
200) Bushveld Pipit - uncommon +
201) African Pied Wagtail - fairly common (4)
202) Forktailed Drongo - very common (4)
203) Black Flycatcher - fairly common (4)
204) Black Cuckooshrike - uncommon (2)
205) Whitebreatsted Cuckooshrike - uncommon +
206) European Golden Oriole - uncommon (2)*
207) African Golden Oriole - uncommon (2)
208) Blackheaded Oriole - fairly common (4)
209) Blackeyed Bulbul - common (4)
210) Sombre Bulbul - locally comon (3)*
211) Yellowbilled Bulbul - uncommon (1)*
212) Terrestrial Bulbul - uncommon #
213) Arrowmarked Babbler - common (4)
214) Groundscraper Thrush - fairly common (4)
215) Kurrichane Thrush - fairly common (4)
216) Mocking Chat - fairly common locally (Mopani camp) (2)
217) Southern Black Tit - common (4)
218) Arnot's Chat - fairly common locally (Pafuri) (1)*
219) Whitethroated Robin - uncommon (1)
220) Heuglin's Robin - uncommon locally (Tshokwane picnic site) (4)
221) Whitebrowed Robin - fairly common (2)
222) Bearded Robin - uncommon (1)
223) Willow Warbler - common (4)
224) Icterine Warbler - uncommon +
225) Garden Warbler - uncommon #
226) Burntnecked Eremomela - uncommon (1)*
227) Greencapped Eremomela - fairly common locally (far north) (1)*
228) African Sedge Warbler - uncommon (1)*
229) Barthroated Apalis - uncommon (Pafuri) #
230) Yellowbreasted Apalis - fairly common (3)
231) Longbilled Crombec - fairly common (3)
232) Bleating Warbler - fairly common (3)
234) Fantailed Cisticola - uncommon (1)*
235) Rattling Cisticola - very common (3)
236) Neddicky - uncommon (1)*
237) Redfaced Cisticola - uncommon +
238) Croaking Cisticola - uncommon (south of park) +
239) Tawnyflanked Prinia - common (4)
240) Mousecoloured Flycatcher - uncommon (2)
241) Spotted Flycatcher - very common (4)
242) Dusky Flycatcher - uncommon (2)*
243) Fantailed Flycatcher - uncommon +
244) Bluegrey Flycatcher - uncommon (2)
245) Paradise Flycatcher - common (4)
246) Chinspot Batis - common (4)
247) Wattle-eyed Flycatcher - uncommon locally (Pafuri) #
248) Brubru - uncommon (2)*
249) Puffback - common (4)
250) Southern Boubou - uncommon (2)*
251) Tropical Boubou - uncommon locally (far north) (1)*
252) Longtailed Shrike - common (4)
253) Redbacked Shrike - common (4)
254) Whitecrowned Shrike - uncommon (3)
255) Lesser Grey Shrike - uncommon (3)
256) Orangebreasted Bush Shrike - fairly common ((3)
257) Greyheaded Bush Shrike - fairly common ((2)
258) Threestreaked Tchagra - common (3)
259) Blackcrowned Tchagra - common (4)
260) Redbilled Helmetshrike - uncommon (2)*
261) White Helmetshrike - fairly common (3)
262) Blackbellied Glossy Starling - locally uncommon - Crocodile River #
263) Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling - common (4)
264) Cape Glossy Starling - common (3)
265) Longtailed Glossy Starling - uncommon - only at far north (1)*
266) Burchell's Glossy Starling - fairly common - southern half (4)
267) Redwinged Starling - uncommon (4)
268) Wattled Starling - locally common in summer (4)
269) Plumcoloured Starling - common (4)
270) Yellowbilled Oxpecker - uncommon (1)*
271) Redbilled Oxpecker - common (4)
272) Whitebellied Sunbird - common (4)
273) Collared Sunbird - uncommon (1)
274) Yellowbellied Sunbird - uncommon #
275) Scarletchested Sunbird - fairly common (3)
276) Black Sunbird - uncommon (1)*
277) Marico Sunbird - fairly common (3)
278) Cape White-eye - uncommon (2)
279) Yellowthroated Sparrow - fairly common (3)*
280) Greyheaded Sparrow - common (4)
281) House Sparrow - very common (4)
282) Redbilled Buffalo Weaver - common (4)
283) Redbilled Quela - very common / border pest ! (4)
284) Spectacled Weaver - uncommon (1)
285) Thickbilled Weaver - uncommon (1)*
286) Masked Weaver - common (3)
287) Lesser Masked Weaver - common (4)
288) Spottedbacked Weaver - common (3)*
289) Redheaded Weaver - common (4)
290) Redshouldered Widow - uncommon (1)*
291) Redcollared Widow - uncommon (1)*
292) Whitewinged Widow - fairly common (3)
293) Red Bishop - uncommon (3)
293) Pintailed Whydah - uncommon (2)
294) Paradise Whydah - fairly common (4)
295) Steelblue Widowfinch - uncommon (1)
296) Black Widowfinch - uncommon (1)
297) Bronze Mannikin - uncommon (1)*
298) Melba Finch - uncommon (2)*
299) Blue Waxbill - common (4)
300) Common Waxbill - fairly common (4)
301) Redbilled Firefinch - uncommon (1)*
302) Bluebilled Firefinch - fairly common (1)
303) Jameson's Firefinch - fairly common (2)*
304) Yelloweyed Canary - common (3)
305) Streakyheaded Canary - fairly common (2)
306) Larklike Bunting - rare (1)*
307) Rock Bunting - fairly common (2)
308) Goldenbreasted Bunting - common (4)


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