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A Report from

South African Endemics, October 23 – November 5, 2011,

Gary and Marlene Babic


We saw 302 species, including 102 endemics or near-endemics, on this private tour focusing on birds we had not seen on prior trips. We visited several sites in both eastern and western South Africa.


This was a 15-day private trip arranged through Rockjumper Birding Tours to specifically look for endemic and near-endemic birds that we had not seen on prior trips. We had made several visits to South Africa previously but never specifically for birding, usually adding a few days of birding onto other plans. Consequently, we had not visited several key endemic regions, such as the Karoo. Also, our visits often were in non-prime birding times; for example, we visited Wakkerstroom outside of breeding season, when it is difficult to find larks and other grassbirds as they are not singing.

We gave Rockjumper a list of the South African birds we had not seen, and they set up an itinerary to focus on those birds. There are several distinct birding habitats or areas in South Africa, and many of the endemic bird species are restricted only to one of these areas. On this trip we visited “grassland”, “montane forest”, and “moist savanna” habitats in the eastern part of South Africa, and then flew west and visited “succulent Karoo”, “Nama-Karoo” and “fynbos” habitats in western South Africa, as well as marshes, shores, and rivers. This meant we spent a fair amount of time travelling, but we also visited only those places that held birds we had not yet seen. We concentrated specifically on seeing “new” birds for us, and did not spend extra time looking for birds we had already seen on previous visits, or for the more common local or regional birds.

In the itinerary, only endemics, near-endemics and rarities are mentioned. A full list of birds seen is given at the end. We saw a total of 302 species, but could have easily seen many more if our goal was simply to maximize the number of species seen. The Clements bird list for South Africa is 814, and of these we had seen all but 121 before this trip, either in South Africa or elsewhere. Of these, about 40 are either migrants, or birds seen more easily elsewhere, or vagrants. That left about 80 target birds for us to reasonably look for, and of these we saw 62 new species on this trip, which we considered a great success. The remaining species we have not seen are either very localized endemics at sites that require a special visit to see that one species (e.g., Knysna Woodpecker) or rare endemics that even locals have difficulty finding (e.g., Rudd’s Lark).

Our Rockjumper guide for the trip was Jan Pienaar, who stayed with us for both the east and west portions of our trip. We used a standard SUV for our travels, except for the one special trip to Sani Pass where we went with a local guide in a 4WD. We had good weather throughout, except for a couple of days with windy conditions. It is difficult to say when the optimum time for birding is in South Africa, since a lot depends on the weather in the preceding wet season. That affects the timing of the onset of breeding season and therefore when birds are most easily seen while singing and establishing / on territory. It also affects migration of some of the regional migrants that can arrive anytime between mid-October and December. Our trip was in late October, partly determined by another trip we had to nearby Madagascar in early November. But we were also considering visiting South Africa after Madagascar, in late November. I think we made the right decision based on our success, but if we had been rained out a lot, or the breeding season had been delayed, it could have been a different story. 

Because this was a private trip, we had several advantages that helped us see so many new birds. First of all, it was OK for us to schedule a lot of time travelling between sites where our target birds were located – a normal tour cannot have 3 or 4 travel days in a two-week trip or no one would go on it. Second, our guide knew exactly what we were looking for, and could ignore other species or sites and focus on these. Third, a normal tour has a published itinerary and needs to stick to it. We were able to make some ongoing changes to the itinerary based on what we had seen or not seen. Because of this we saw at least 10 species we would have missed if we had not been able to either spend extra time at a site or visit an unscheduled site.  

For an English-speaker, it is quite easy to bird extensively throughout South Africa on your own, and we had done this in the past. Many car rental agencies are available at the major airports. Although roads are typically in very good condition and signs are in English, a detailed road atlas is necessary because some of the important side roads are not well-marked. Although we did not have any issues on this trip, perhaps because we were with a guide who knew the area, on a previous trip we did find a “speed trap” where the speed limit dropped quickly and the local policeman was waiting. In our case, we pleaded ignorance and I think the last thing the policeman wanted was to deal with a foreigner, so the issue was settled on the spot with a fine.

Many of the birding areas are quite popular, and it might be important to reserve lodging and/or local guides well in advance because many tours go to the same places at the same time. For example, a 4WD vehicle with an experienced guide/driver is required to go to Sani Pass and deal with border formalities, and there are not too many in Unterberg who do that. 

Although we have never had any problems when birding, trespassing is a definite “no-no” and we never crossed a fence or entered anything other than clearly-marked public property without permission. As when travelling anywhere, be aware of your surroundings and use common sense with valuables.

Overview of itinerary    

23th October: Wakkerstroom
24th October: Wakkerstroom to Mkuze
25th October: Mkuze area
26th October: Mkuze to Hilton via St Lucia
27th October: Hilton to Underberg via Karkloof Forests
28th October: Day trip Unterberg to Sani Pass
29th October: Underberg to Durban, flight to Cape Town and on to Ceres
30th October: Day Ceres trip to Tanqua Karoo
31st October: Ceres to Calvinia
1st November: Day trip Calvinia to Brandvlei
2nd November: Calvinia to Kenhardt to Pofadder to Springbok
3rd November: Day trip Springbok to Port Nolloth
4th November: Springbok to Cape Town
5th November: Cape Peninsula
6th November: Cape Town to Johannesburg and onward flight

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, October 22. Our original plan had been to arrive in Johannesburg the morning of the previous day. However, due to a lengthy flight delay, we only arrived after midnight on October 23. Our guide, Jan, fortunately was wide awake and drove us the three hours to Wakkerstroom. The innkeeper there was aware of our delay and everything was ready for us upon arrival. We slept in until about 8AM and then began our trip, after losing what was most of a day. Wakkerstroom is the key lark and grassbird region, so we probably lost three or four of our target species because of this unfortunate delay.

Day 2, October 23. We spent the morning driving through the grasslands, accompanied by our local guide. It was very windy, and the birds that ordinarily would have been expected to be singing from the tops of bushes were nowhere to be found. Nonetheless, there were plenty of birds to be seen with effort, including Swainson’s Spurfowl, Jackal Buzzard, Blue Korhaan (Bustard), Blue Crane, Botha’s Lark, Eastern Clapper Lark, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Pied Starling, Southern Anteating Chat, Cape (Orange-throated) Longclaw, Levaillant’s Cisticola, and the spectacular Long-tailed Widowbird. We spent a lot of time trying for Rudd’s Lark, but the fields where they are normally found have been disturbed and the local guides have not been able to find a new location. An amusing sidelight was watching a large group of meerkats that were watching us! 

In the late afternoon we went to the nearby Wakkerstroom Marsh, where we saw a wide variety of waterbirds including South African Shelduck, Cape Shoveler, and Purple Swamphen. South African Cliff Swallow and Cape Weaver were nesting there, and several times we heard African Rail. However, conditions were not optimal with continuing wind moving all of the reeds and the sun setting in our eyes.

In the evening we drove along the road in search of African Grass Owl, which we heard several times but could never see.

Day 3, October 24. We headed out at first light to the marsh, this time with perfect light behind us and calm conditions. African Snipe were surprisingly easy to see, and eventually Jan’s sharp eyes spotted the bright red bill of an African Rail just in time for us to see it before it disappeared into the reeds (it had been calling regularly for over an hour but had never showed). This was the first time we really took advantage of being on a private trip – another guided tour had also stopped at the marsh in the morning, but could not stay too long and did not see much. We stayed until we had our birds!

Then then drove to Mkuze, an area in northern Kwazulu-Natal that is home to a host of exciting specials and a handful of endemics because of its wide variety of savanna, forest and wetland habitats. We spent the afternoon here and stayed at the nearby Umkhumbi Lodge for two nights.

Day 4, October 25, another full day at Mkuze.

Day 5, October 26. We spent the morning at Mkuze. During our time here, we saw a wide range of animals including eland, nyala, blue wildebeest, giraffe, impala, hippopotamus, and wart hogs, many at close quarters from hides. Among the special birds seen either at the park or the lodge were Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Crested Guineafowl, Martial Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Southern Boubou, Four-colored Bushshrike, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Rudd’s Apalis, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Neergaard’s Sunbird, Lemon-breasted Canary and Pink-throated Twinspot. Even this is just a small portion of the birds we saw as we went among the various habitats. 

At mid-morning of Day 5 we made our way to the coastal village of St. Lucia via the Marutska Forest, where we saw Cape (Brown-necked) Parrot. After lunch at the St Lucia Yacht Club, we went to a small patch of nearby forest for Woodward’s Batis, Grey Black-tailed) Waxbill, and Grey (Mouse-colored) Sunbird. We ended up at the small town of Hilton for one night, spending a bit of time to view the waterfalls that are the main attraction here.

Day 6, October 27, travel day - Hilton to Underberg via the Karkloof Forests. We left early for the Karkloof Forests, a range of forested hills not far from the town of Hilton. Here we saw Knysna Turaco, Bush Blackcap, Chorister Robin-Chat, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Swee Waxbill, Forest Canary, Orange Ground Thrush, Olive Bushshrike, and Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler. Driving through the fields beyond Karkloof we saw a pair of Wattled Cranes at a distance, but still unmistakable. Farther along we stopped at Impendle National Reserve, where we eventually spotted some Blue Swallows darting around in the valleys below. Our destination was the small town of Underberg, nestled in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain range.

Day 7, October 28. This morning we met our local guide and transferred to his 4WD vehicle for a drive into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho across Sani Pass. The latter part of the road up to Sani Pass is so difficult that the South African border post is about 15 miles from the actual border. Along the way, we saw several distinct groups of birds. Lower down, in some grassy slopes and rocky outcrops, were Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rock-Thrush, Streaky-headed Seedeater, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Greater Double-collared Sunbird and Malachite Sunbird. Farther along, near the crest of the pass, we saw other birds such as Drakensberg (Orange-breasted) Rockjumper, Sentinel Rock Thrush and Drakensberg Siskin. Atop the plateau, we saw Sickle-winged Chat, Mountain Pipit, Grey Tit, Large-billed Lark, Layard’s Tit-babbler (Warbler), Yellow Canary and Cape Bunting in the meadows. Among raptors we saw Cape Vulture (Griffon) and Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier).

Day 8, October 29, travel day - Underberg to Durban, flight to Cape Town and drive to Ceres for a two-night stay. Ceres is about 3 hours northeast of Cape Town, in the heart of the wine-growing region, so it has a variety of lodging available. For our purposes, it was the closest town for access to the Karoo region. But the wine was very good, too.

Day 9, October 30: Tanqua Karoo N.P. Day Trip. The “Karoo” area holds a number of specialized species, though not all are found throughout the area. The species that prefer (relatively) wetter areas are found in the “succulent Karoo”, while another group of species is found in the more northern “Nama-Karoo”. The two areas are defined mostly by when their rain falls, rather than how much. On this day our trip was from Ceres through a mountainous area and into the succulent Karoo and the Tanqua Karoo National Park. Among new birds seen during the day were Booted Eagle, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Rock Kestrel, Greater Kestrel, Pritit Batis, Bokmakerie, Fairy Flycatcher, Cape Clapper Lark, Karoo Lark, Cape Bulbul, Gray-backed (Red-headed) Cisticola, Rufous-eared Warbler, Chestnut-vented Warbler, Karoo Prinia, Cinnamon-breasted (Kopje) Warbler, Karoo (Yellow-breasted) Eremomela, Cape Sugarbird, Pale-winged Starling, Karoo Scrub-Robin, White-backed Mousebird, Mountain Wheatear, Chat Flycatcher, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Dusky Sunbird, and White-throated Canary.

Day 10, October 31: Today we left Ceres and drove north to Calvinia and the Nama-Karoo and entered Namaqualand. In this different habitat, we also saw some new birds: Namaqua Sandgrouse, Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark, Black-eared Sparrow-Lark, Burchell’s Courser, Namaqua Prinia (Warbler), Karoo Thrush and Tractrac Chat. We spent two nights in Calvinia, a town with a very Afrikaans feel, including the architecture which was very Dutch / German. The food here was hearty and in plentiful portions!     

Day 11, November 1: Day trip to Brandvlei area. This trip into the grasslands, about 250 miles north of Calvinia, gave us several new species, including Black-chested(breasted) Snake-Eagle, Double-banded Courser, Sabota Lark, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Red (Ferruginous) Lark, and Social Weaver as well as second looks at many of the Karoo birds seen around Calvinia.  

Day 12, November 2: Calvinia to Kenhardt to Pofadder to Springbok. Today we had planned to drive directly from Calvinia to Springbok, but decided on a much longer route well north via Kenhardt and Pofadder, through an area referred to as Bushmanland. This paid off well as we eventually got good looks at Ludwig’s Bustard, as well as Red-billed Quelea, Orange River White-eye and African (Red-eyed) Bulbul. We arrived in Springbok in the late afternoon, and settled in for two nights here. A quick trip to some watering holes gave us Bradfield’s Swift and Little Swift. After supper we took a drive into nearby mountains looking for resident nightjars but no luck. We did, however, see Verreaux’s Eagle and a fantastic Cape Eagle-Owl perched atop a telephone pole.

Day 13, November 3: Day trip from Springbok to Port Nolloth. We left early to head west to the port and diamond-mining town of Port Nolloth, nestled near the Namibian border on South Africa’s west coast. The dunes of this area held a lark found only here and in the extreme south of Namibia: Barlow’s Lark. Another lark that is found in this low coastal scrub was the Cape Long-billed Lark, with the longest bill of any Southern African lark. The road along the coastline is a restricted diamond area, so our birding was limited to a few miles around Port Nolloth. In this area we saw Cape Cormorant, African Oystercatcher, Gray-headed Gull and Hartlaub’s Gull along with a wide range of waders. We spent a lot of time checking for Damara Tern, even though Jan thought it was a long shot as it may have been a bit too early (we never did see any here or later around Cape Town). Back in Springbok we monitored several watering troughs before finding Stark’s Lark and Sclater’s Lark as well as Black-throated Canary.

Day 14, November 4: Springbok to Cape Town via the West Coast National Park. This was a long travel day down the west coast of South Africa with only a few stops en route. A key pick-up today was Cloud Cisticola. We arrived late in the afternoon to a drizzly Cape Town where we made a quick (and unsuccessful) stop for Knysna Scrub-Warbler. We stayed in Cape Town for two nights.

Day 15, November 5: We awoke to more drizzle and wind. Our first stop this morning was a return to the Knysna Scrub-Warbler site where, frustratingly, we did not even hear a single bird! We then explored other parts of the region, along the coast past False Bay to almost Cape Agulhas before returning to Cape Town. It was very windy along the coast and birding was not too productive, but we did see Cape Rockjumper, Cape Siskin, a very skulking Victorin’s Warbler, Southern Tchagra, and Agulhas Lark (a lifer for our guide, too!).

Day 16, November 6: our trip ended with a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg and onward flight to Antananarivo for a birding trip to Madgascar.

Accommodations and travel

We stayed in small lodges or small hotels, and they all were nice. Some small towns, such as Wakkerstroom, are popular with birders, and many lodging options are available. In towns or cities, we stayed at places familiar with the peculiarities of birders, where we could get very early breakfasts, pack lunches, and relatively early suppers. This is a list of where we stayed:

Wetlands Country House and Sheds, Wakkerstroom. Don’t let the “sheds” in the name fool you into thinking this is a second-rate place - this lodge has great rooms in several buildings, nice dining, and good birding on the property. The “sheds” have been converted into luxury rooms with full bath, king bed, and a small kitchenette. In addition, the managers went out of their way to accommodate us when we arrived late. Where else would you find a manager waiting for you when you arrive at 4AM? I expect there are other nice places in Wakkerstroom, but any would be hard-pressed to match this one.  Tel: 27-17-730-0101

Umkhumbi Lodge, near Mkuze National Park. This lodge is made up of individual cottages, set far enough apart for privacy. Very nice, with air-conditioning, etc. The delicious meals are in a large common room, complete with friendly bats and a lot of cold beer. Tel: 27-35-590-1233.

Cool Winds B&B, Hilton. We were just passing through Hilton, so this B&B was completely acceptable. Rooms were nice and clean, food was good. Tel: 27-33-343-5410.

Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort, Unterberg. This is a large resort hotel with pool, restaurant, and an adjacent golf course. This is because the area is a short trip from Durban and in the beautiful Drakensburg Mountains. The rooms here were average, furnishing not so great, and the food was average in a buffet-style restaurant. It has seen better days. But, for our purposes, the location right on the road to Sani Pass could not be beat. Tel: 27-33-702-1320. I could not locate a web page and it appears all on-line reservations are made through an agency.

Village Guest House, Ceres. This guest house is more of what an American would call a small motel, with 20 or so average yet pleasant rooms and a small central dining room with excellent food. A nice feature was a central courtyard that was filled with birds in the morning. The key here is location, close to the entrance of the Karoo region. Tel: 27-23-316-2035.

Hantam Huis, Calvinia. This is a business that manages several different buildings in Calvinia, with a central restaurant in town for all guests (the building in which the restaurant, as well as a gift shop and small museum, is located is the actual Hantam Huis). We stayed in one fully-furnished two-story house with four or five bedrooms and used only two. The floor above us was completely separate and could have been used by other guests. I am not sure if or how you reserve a particular place, but it does look like they are the only game in town as we did not see any independent lodging. So I guess you contact them and they make the arrangements based on your requirements. The food in the restaurant was traditional Dutch-German typical of this Afrikaans area with huge portions – having soup, sharing a main meal, and then having an individual dessert is plenty to fill you up. Only the heartiest of appetites, with a taste for very traditional food (especially liver), could ever eat a full meal. Tel: 27-27-341-1606.    

Mountain View Guest House, Springbok. This is a nice B&B with five or six rooms, a small breakfast area, and – no surprise - a great view of the mountains. The rooms were small but comfortable. Tel: 27-27-712-1438.

Afton Grove Country Retreat, Cape Town. I am not sure who dreamed up the same of this place, but it is not really in the “country” at all; it is a very nice guest house on the outskirts of Cape Town. And, as it is in the Cape Town area, factors such as cost and security become more of an issue. I am not sure of the cost here, but security was very good with a security gate and a 24-hour guard. Better safe than sorry! Nice rooms too, and accommodating with a pack breakfast and lunch for our very early start. Certainly merits consideration if passing through for a night or two. Tel: 27-21-785-2992.

Lastly, because of our early morning departing flight, we spent our final night at an airport hotel chain named Road Lodge at the Cape Town airport. Nothing special but it was adjacent to the airport with a free shuttle so it was exactly what we needed. No restaurant on site but the pizza we ordered for delivery was very good! If for some reason you prefer airport food, that is always an option only a few minutes’ walk away. Their web page says: “We are a one star establishment who pride ourselves on our hospitality & friendly service” and we agree. Tel: 27-21-934-7302.   

Other references:

Rockjumper Birding Tours,

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, by Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton, The Struik New Holland Publishing Company, Cape Town, South Africa. 

Bird List:

Does not include birds heard only, or those seen only by guide.

Key to locations:

S=St Lucia;
P=Sani Pass and Hineville;
B=Brandvlei and en route to Springbok;
SP= Springbok;
PN=Port Nolloth;
CP=Cape Town.

Details of key sightings are given in the text. Bold indicates endemics, regional endemics, or regional near-endemics. Nomenclature according to Clements.

White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) - M
Comb Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos melanotos) - W, M
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) - W,H, P, K, B
South African Shelduck (Tadorna cana) - W,K
Spur-winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis niger) - W, M
African Black Duck (Anas sparsa sparsa) - P
Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata undulata) - W
Cape Shoveler (Anas smithii) - W
Hottentot Teal (Anas hottentota) - W
Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma) - W
Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) - common
Crested Guineafowl (Guttera pucherani) - M, A
Natal Francolin (Francolinus natalensis) - H
Swainson's Francolin (Francolinus swainsonii) - W
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis) - W
Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) - W
Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) - M
Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis) - PN, CP
Long-tailed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax africanus) - W
Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) - W
Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) - M,H
Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala) - W,P
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) - W
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) - W,M
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) - W
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) - W
(Southern) Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus) - W
Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) - W,P
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash) - common
African Spoonbill (Platalea alba) - CP
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) - W,M
Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus) - U
Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis) - H
Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) - W
Black Kite (Milvus migrans migrans) - common
Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus) - P
White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) - M
Cape Griffon (Gyps coprotheres) - P
Black-breasted Snake-Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis) - B
Fasciated Snake-Eagle (Circaetus fasciolatus) - M
African Marsh-Harrier (Circus ranivorus) - W
African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus) - P
Lizard Buzzard (Kaupifalco monogrammicus) - M
Pale Chanting-Goshawk (Melierax canorus) - K, B, SP
African Goshawk (Accipiter tachiro tachiro) - M
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) - W, M, H
Jackal Buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus) - W, H, P, K
Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) - M
Verreaux's Eagle (Aquila verreauxii) - SP, CP
Wahlberg's Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) - M
Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) - K
Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) - M, B, SP
Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) - M, H, P
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) - K, B
Greater Kestrel (Falco rupicoloides) - K, SP
Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) - K
African Rail (Rallus caerulescens) - W
Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra) - W
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) - W
Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata) - W, K
Ludwig's Bustard (Neotis ludwigii) - B
Blue Bustard (Eupodotis caerulescens) - W
Gray Crowned-Crane (Balearica regulorum) - W, H
Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradiseus) - W, H, K, CP
Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) - H
Blacksmith Plover (Vanellus armatus) - H, P, S
Crowned Lapwing (Vanellus coronatus) - W
Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus) - W
White-fronted Plover (Charadrius marginatus) - PN
African Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini) - PN
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) - M
African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus) - M
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) - PN
Sanderling (Calidris alba) - PN
African Snipe (Gallinago nigripennis) - W
Burchell's Courser (Cursorius rufus) - K
Double-banded Courser (Smutsornis africanus) - B
Gray-hooded Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) - PN
Hartlaub's Gull (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii) - PN, CP
Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) - PN, CP
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) - W
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - PN
Namaqua Sandgrouse (Pterocles namaqua) - K, B, SP
Speckled Pigeon (Columba guinea) - common
Rameron Pigeon (Columba arquatrix) - M, H, P
Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata) - H,P
Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola) - P. K. B
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) - K, B
Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove (Turtur chalcospilos) - U
Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis) - K, B, SP
Cape (Brown-necked) Parrot (Poicephalus robustus) - near Marutska (see text, Day 5)
African Green-Pigeon (Treron calvus) - U
Knysna Turaco (Tauraco corythaix) - H
Red-chested Cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius) - M
Yellowbill (Ceuthmochares aereus) - U
Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis) - SP
African Swift (Apus barbatus) - H, K
Bradfield's Swift (Apus bradfieldi) - SP
Little Swift (Apus affinis) - SP
Horus Swift (Apus horus) - K
White-rumped Swift (Apus caffer) - W, U
Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus) - U, H, P
White-backed Mousebird (Colius colius) - K, SP
Red-faced Mousebird (Urocolius indicus) - M
Narina Trogon (Apaloderma narina) - H
Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris) - M
Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maximus) - SP
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) - W
European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) - M, K, B
Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) - M
Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus glaucurus) - M
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) - M, P
Common Scimitar-bill (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) - M
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas) - M
Trumpeter Hornbill (Ceratogymna bucinator) - M
Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii) - M
White-eared Barbet (Stactolaema leucotis) - M
Red-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus pusillus) - M
Pied Barbet (Tricholaema leucomelas) - U
Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus) - W
Rufous-necked Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis) - P
Ground Woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus) - P
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens) - M, P
Olive Woodpecker (Dendropicos griseocephalus) - W, H
Cape Batis (Batis capensis) - CP
Woodward's Batis (Batis fratrum) - S
Chinspot Batis (Batis molitor) - U
Pririt Batis (Batis pririt) - K
Black-backed Puffback (Dryoscopus cubla) - H
Brown-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra australis) - W
Southern Tchagra (Tchagra tchagra) - CP
Southern Boubou (Laniarius ferrugineus) - U, W, G, K
Bokmakierie (Telophorus zeylonus) - K, B
Olive Bushshrike (Telophorus olivaceus) - H
Four-colored Bushshrike (Telophorus viridis) - W
Common Fiscal (Lanius collaris) - W, U, P, K
African Golden Oriole (Oriolus auratus) - H
African Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus)
Square-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus ludwigii) - U, M
Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) - U, M, H, P
African Crested-Flycatcher (Trochocercus cyanomelas) - U
African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) - W
House Crow (Corvus splendens) - common
Cape Crow (Corvus capensis) - W, P
Pied Crow (Corvus albus) - everywhere
White-necked Raven (Corvus albicollis) - P, K
Orange-breasted Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius) - P
Cape Clapper Lark (Mirafra apiata) - K
Eastern Clapper Lark (Mirafra fasciolata) - W
Sabota Lark (Calendulauda sabota) - B
Ferruginous Lark (Calendulauda burra) - B
Karoo Lark (Calendulauda albescens) - K
Barlow's Lark (Calendulauda barlowi) - PN
Spike-heeled Lark (Chersomanes albofasciata) - W, B
Cape Lark (Certhilauda curvirostris) - PN
Agulhas Lark (Certhilauda brevirostris) - CP
Eastern Long-billed Lark (Certhilauda semitorquata) - W
Karoo Long-billed Lark (Certhilauda subcoronata) - B, SP
Black-eared Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix australis) - K, B
Gray-backed Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix verticalis) - K, SP
Red-capped Lark (Calandrella cinerea) - W, K, SP
Stark's Lark (Spizocorys starki) - SP
Botha's Lark (Spizocorys fringillaris) - W
Sclater's Lark (Spizocorys sclateri) - SP
Large-billed Lark (Galerida magnirostris) - P, K
Plain Martin (Riparia paludicola) - W
Banded Martin (Riparia cincta) - W
Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) - P, K
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) - W, M
White-throated Swallow (Hirundo albigularis) - W, K
Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea) - H
Greater Striped-Swallow (Cecropis cucullata) - W, P, K, B
Lesser Striped-Swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) - U, M
South African Swallow (Petrochelidon spilodera) - W, B
Common House-Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Black Sawwing (Psalidoprocne pristoptera) - P
Fairy Flycatcher (Stenostira scita) - K
Southern Black-Tit (Melaniparus niger) - M
Gray Tit (Melaniparus afer) - P
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus) -commo
Black-fronted Bulbul (Pycnonotus nigricans) - SP
Cape Bulbul (Pycnonotus capensis) - K
Sombre Greenbul (Andropadus importunus) - M, H
Yellow-bellied Greenbul (Chlorocichla flaviventris) - U, H
Terrestrial Brownbul (Phyllastrephus terrestris) - S
Yellow-throated Wood-Warbler (Phylloscopus ruficapilla) - H
African Scrub-Warbler (Bradypterus barratti) - P
Victorin's Scrub-Warbler (Bradypterus victorini) - CP
Bar-throated Apalis (Apalis thoracica) - H
Rudd's Apalis (Apalis ruddi fumosa) - U
Green-backed Camaroptera (Camaroptera brachyura) - M
Kopje Warbler / Cinnamon-breasted Warbler (Euryptila subcinnamomea) - K
Rattling Cisticola (Cisticola chiniana) - U, M
Red-headed/Grey-backed Cisticola (Cisticola subruficapilla) - K
Wailing Cisticola (Cisticola lais) - H, D
Winding / Rufous-winged Cisticola  (Cisticola galactotes) - S
Tinkling / Levaillant's Cisticola (Cisticola tinniens) - W, M
Rufous-eared Warbler (Malcorus pectoralis) - K, B
Black-chested Prinia (Prinia flavicans) - B
Cloud Cisticola (Cisticola textrix) - near CP
Karoo Prinia (Prinia maculosa) - K
Namaqua Prinia (Prinia substriata) - K
Cinnamon-breastedWarbler(Euryptila subcinnamomea) - K
Bush Blackcap (Lioptilus nigricapillus) - G, P
Yellow-rumped Eremomela (Eremomela gregalis) - K
Layard's Warbler (Parisoma layardi) - P, K
Cape Grassbird (Sphenoeacus afer) - CP
Cape White-eye (Zosterops capensis) - H, P, K Orange River White-eye (Zosterops pallidus) - B
African Yellow White-eye (Zosterops senegalensis) - H, SF
Cape Crombec (Sylvietta rufescens) - CP
Gurney's Sugarbird (Promerops gurneyi) - D
Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) -K, CP
Chat Flycatcher (Bradornis infuscatus) - K, B, SP
African Dusky Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta) - G
Cape Robin-Chat (Cossypha caffra) - P, K
Red-capped Robin-Chat (Cossypha natalensis) - S
Chorister Robin-Chat (Cossypha dichroa) - G
Red-backed Scrub-Robin (Cercotrichas leucophrys) - M
Karoo Scrub-Robin (Cercotrichas coryphaeus) - K, B
Mountain Wheatear (Oenanthe monticola) - K
Capped Wheatear (Oenanthe pileata) - K
Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) - H, P
Sicklewing Chat (Cercomela sinuata) - P, K
Karoo Chat (Cercomela schlegelii) - K, B
Tractrac Chat (Cercomela tractrac) - K, B
Southern Anteater-Chat (Myrmecocichla formicivora) - W, P, B, SP
Cape Rock-Thrush (Monticola rupestris) - P
Sentinel Rock-Thrush (Monticola explorator) - P
Orange Ground-Thrush (Zoothera gurneyi) - G
Olive Thrush (Turdus olivaceus) - G, P, CP
Karoo Thrush (Turdus smithii) - K, SP
Kurrichane Thrush (Turdus libonyanus) - M
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) - W
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - P
Cape Glossy-Starling (Lamprotornis nitens) - U
Black-bellied Glossy-Starling (Lamprotornis corruscus) - M
Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) - M
African Pied Starling (Spreo bicolor) - W, K, B
Red-winged Starling (Onychognathus morio) - W, G, P, K, CP
Pale-winged Starling (Onychognathus nabouroup) - K, SP
Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) - M
Collared Sunbird (Hedydipna collaris) - H
Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea) - CP
Mouse-colored / Grey Sunbird (Cyanomitra veroxii) - S
Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) - P. K
Southern Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus) - K
Neergaard's Sunbird (Cinnyris neergaardi) - M
Greater Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris afer) - G, P
Purple-banded Sunbird (Cinnyris bifasciatus) - H
White-breasted / White-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris talatala) - M
Dusky Sunbird (Cinnyris fuscus) - K, B, SP
Cape Wagtail (Motacilla capensis) - W, P K, CP
African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp) - S
African Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus) - W
Mountain Pipit (Anthus hoeschi) - P
Orange-throated Longclaw (Macronyx capensis) - W, H, CP
Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus) - U
Lark-like Bunting (Emberiza impetuani) - K, B, SP
Cape Bunting (Emberiza capensis) - K, P, CP
Golden-breasted Bunting (Emberiza flaviventris) - M
Cape Siskin (Pseudochloroptila totta) - CP
Drakensberg Siskin (Pseudochloroptila symonsi) - P
Black-headed Canary (Alario alario) - K
Cape Canary (Serinus canicollis) - H, P, K
Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus) - U, M
Forest Canary (Serinus scotops) - G, P
Black-throated Canary (Serinus atrogularis) - SP
Lemon-breasted Seedeater (Serinus citrinipectus) - M
Yellow Canary (Serinus flaviventris) - P, K, B, SP
White-throated Canary (Serinus albogularis) - K, B
Streaky-headed Seedeater (Serinus gularis) - P
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) -U, D, SP
Cape Sparrow (Passer melanurus) - P, K, B, SP
Southern Gray-headed Sparrow (Passer diffusus) - W, M
Yellow-throated Petronia (Petronia superciliaris) - M
Social Weaver (Philetairus socius) - SP
Cape Weaver (Ploceus capensis) - W, H, P, K
Southern Masked-Weaver (Ploceus velatus) - W, P, K, B, SP
Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus) - H
Forest /  Dark-backed Weaver (Ploceus bicolor) - G
Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) - B
Red Bishop (Euplectes orix) - W, K, B, SP
Yellow Bishop (Euplectes capensis) - H, P
White-winged Widowbird (Euplectes albonotatus) - U, M
Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens) - U, P
Fan-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes axillaris) - H
Long-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes progne) - W, U, H
Grosbeak Weaver (Amblyospiza albifrons) - M
Swee Waxbill (Coccopygia melanotis) - G
Black-tailed Waxbill aka Grey (Estrilda perreini) - M
Red-billed Firefinch (Laganosticta senegalensis) - M
Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild) - W, U, K
Pink-throated Twinspot (Hypargos margaritatus) - U
African Quailfinch (Ortygospiza fuscocrissa) - W
Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullatus) - U


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