WORLDTWITCH.com Home Page - Finding Rare Birds Around the World [Logo by Michael O'Clery] Americas | Asia | Australasia & Pacific | Africa & Middle East | Optics | Books

Site Map

Links

Sounds

New

Brazil

Thailand

Malaysia

Belize

Costa Rica

Galápagos

Vietnam

Trip Advice

Books World

Books Americas

Books Asia

Books Aus/NZ

Books Africa

Books Europe & Middle East

Feeders

Yahoo! Groups & Mailing Lists

FAQs

About

Contact

Kabuli-Natal & Transvaal, South Africa

8–21 October 2000

by Mike Hunter

Brief Account of a Two-Week Birding Trip

Aim of report – The aim of this write-up is not to produce a comprehensive report, but merely to record our sightings, provide a brief site update and on-the-ground contacts to facilitate future trips for visiting birders.

Aim of trip – So see the Natal and Transvaal specialties following previous trips to Africa including Kenya and west South Africa and Namibia. The main focus of the trip was Natal with any time remaining spent in Transvaal.

Flights – We booked with Sabena from Manchester at a cost of £460 inc. taxes. Due to technical difficulties the plane never made it into Britain and was ultimately cancelled. After a sixteen-hour delay we eventually flew with South African airlines via London who are recommended. We would not recommend using Sabena as they seem to be developing a reputation for short-notice delays and cancellations. There are frequently good deals to Cape Town and Jo'burg with return airfares as low as £300. We were not particularly flexible on dates and took what we could.

Car Hire – We hired a class 'A' vehicle from Budget (tel: 0800 181181) arranged in advance from the UK at a cost of £270 inclusive of insurance, CDW and unlimited mileage for the two weeks. We picked the car up from Jo'burg airport without hassle. We could have secured a better deal by negotiating with the various car-hire companies on arrival but with a two-week trip we couldn't be bothered. The only minor drawback was the vehicle's low clearance. We covered c.4,500 kilometers in the two weeks.

Exchange Rate – The Rand continues to weaken against stronger currencies and reached an all time low against Sterling during our trip of R11 to £1. On arrival, we were able to obtain just over R10 for every £.

Hassles – None, and after the cancelled flight the trip went smoothly. The highways are superb and the South Africans 'C' class roads put our motorways to shame! The roads are all well sign-posted and, except for around Jo'burg, are relatively traffic free. We did not feel intimidated or threatened at all though things within the country are far from harmonious.

Weather & Climate – Apart from unseasonably cold weather at Wakkerstroom on our first day there, the weather was warm to hot. We timed the trip to coincide with the Austral Spring though several birds had only just returned or had started singing. We were perhaps fortunate to see Rudd's Lark as they normally vocalize from early November onwards. Many of the weavers and bishops were either in winter plumage or moulting into summer plumage.

Guides – We used the following guides:

1. Patrick Benson for the Wakkerstroom area arranged through John and Elize McAllister. John is the well-known guide for the area but was recovering from illness during our trip. Patrick knows the birds of the area and is highly recommended. I don't have Patrick's e-mail but John and Elize can be contacted on mcallister@vlr.dorea.co.za. With Patrick we cleared up in a single day, in my view virtually impossible without detailed local knowledge. Patrick charged us R70 per hour for a minimum of 4 hours; over two days the total cost was R900. I think John's charges are a little higher – perhaps R85 per hour.

2. Robin Guy for Sani Pass, Hella-Hella and Xumeni Forest. Robin is superb and knows the Underberg area well. Two wheel drive vehicles are not allowed beyond the border-post into Lesotho (Sani Pass) so it is best to use Robin for this birding feast. A marsh en route to Sani Pass holds Wattled Crane. Robin charges R1,200 per day (from 1/11/2000 the cost will rise to R1,500 per day). Robin charges R600 for half a day which includes Xumeni Forest and Hella-Hella. Xumeni Forest is easy to get to in a two wheel drive vehicle though a long walk would be needed to get to the Blue Swallow fields at Hella-Hella without Robin's four wheel jeep. Contact Robin on his e-mail rguysani@hotmail.com or check out his web site www.robguysani.co.za. If possible, provide a fax number for Robin to reply to. His e-mail account is with the post office in town. Replying by fax is more convenient and cheaper for him.

3. Hamish McLaggan for the Eshowe area. Like other guides, Hamish knows the birds and the area well and is very hospitable. During the heat of one day he insisted that we take a midday nap in his house following an excellent lunch. The two main forests of Dlinza and Entumeni are easily accessible to a two-wheel vehicle. Umgoye Forest is only accessible in a four-wheel drive car following rain. There is nothing that occurs at Umgoye that can't be seen elsewhere, with the possible exception of a barbet, which is beginning to gain acceptance as being Green Barbet rather than the ropey split of Woodward's Barbet. Hamish can arrange transport to Umgoye if needed but this may be restricted to weekends only. Hamish can be contacted through Pat Brenchley who is Secretary of the Zululand Birding Route. E-mail is zbr@mweb.co.za and the web site www.birding.co.za/zulubird/. Hamish charges R250 per day irrespective of group size.

Accommodation – Thanks to the weak Rand, most accommodation was reasonably priced:

1. Weaver's Nest, Wakkerstroom – we paid R80 per person per night. The normal cost is R270 for a room. Weaver's Nest is currently not on e-mail and their telephone number is 017 730 0115 and fax number 017 730 0280. Mandy is very helpful there

2. Robin Guy's Cottage, Underberg – R80 per person per night in a very comfortable and well kitted-out cottage. Meals extra (evening meal R70 and breakfast R50)

3. Eshowe – We stayed at the campsite in Eshowe as it is conveniently located close to Dlinza Forest and a good pub with bar meals! The cost was around R27 for two people over three nights!

4. St. Lucia – We camped here with the cost R50 per person per night

5. Bonamanzi – We stayed in a fully equipped tree hut for R85 per person per night. I believe Bonamanzi has e-mail facilities though I don't know what the e-mail address is. The telephone number is 035 562 0181 and fax number 035 562 0143.

6. Mkuzi Game Reserve – We spent one night on a campsite with bath and shower facilities! The cost was R35 per person per night but additional community levies, park entrance and vehicle fees and other strange costs produced a total for two days and one night of R130 for both of us

7. Oribi Gorge – We stayed on the excellent campsite but details of insignificant costs escape me

8. Pretoria – We stayed one night just outside Pretoria before visiting Pienaarsrivier the following morning. Although we never felt threatened at all we wanted to be safe rather than sorry

9. Strijdom Tunnel – We stayed in one of the chalets which cost R80 for two per night

Reports and references – We used the following reports / information:

Clements, James F. Birds of the World – A Checklist (2000)

Gibbon, Guy. Southern Africa Bird Sounds (1991)

Brown, Urban, Newman, Keith & Fry. The Birds of Africa – Volumes 1 to 6 (1982 – 2000)

Chittenden, Hugh (compiled by). Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa (1992)

Hornbuckle, Jon. Eastern South Africa and Zimbabwe: 3rd Feb – 5th March 1997.

Hoya del, et al. Handbook of the Birds of the World – Volumes 1 to 5 (1992 – 1999)

Newman, Kenneth. Birds of Southern Africa (2000)

Sinclair, Ian et al. Illustrated Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa (1993)

Sykes, Chris. South Africa and Namibia: 28/06/95 to 30/08/95

Tarboton, Warwick & Michelle. Wakkerstroom Bird and Nature Guide (1995)

Acknowledgments – Grateful thanks is due to the three guides detailed above. For trip planning, we would particularly like to thank Glen Holland who suggested the original itinerary upon which this trip was strongly based. Many other people helped in various ways including Etienne Marais (site info on several birds), Dorothy Hall, Callen Cohen (for information on Taita Falcon), Christan Hinzen, Pat Brenchley of the Zululand Birding Route, Donella Young, William Collingwood, Tony Archer, Stephan Terblanche (Sharp-billed Honeyguide site), Andrew Sutherland, Reinderd Visser, Keith Barnes, Elize McAllister, Gillian Leisegang, Eric Shaw, Barry Porter, Barry Hawthorne, André Botha, Allan Richards, Jon Hornbuckle and Chris Sykes. All are warmly thanked.

Further Information – Please contact Mike Hunter, 45 Brinkburn Avenue, Darlington, Co Durham, DL3 0JN. Tel 01325 251223 and e-mail mhunter.mike@ntlworld.com

ITINERARY AND BRIEF DAILY ACCOUNT

Sunday 8th October 2000 : Wakkerstroom

Thanks to a cancelled flight, arrive at Jo'burg airport some thirteen hours later than should have. No problems with customs or car hire and drive straight to Wakkerstroom. Meet up with Patrick Benson at 1300 but windy and squally weather resulted in us seeing only Southern Bald-ibis from our target list.

Monday 9th October 2000 : Wakkerstroom and late afternoon drive to Underberg

A bright start to the day so expectations high following yesterday's disappointment. Thanks to Patrick's intimate knowledge of the area, see Blue Korhaan followed by Botha's and Rudd's Larks on the famous 'lark fields'. Eastern Long-billed Lark was easy at the famous 'Yellow-breasted Pipit site' though the pipits themselves were nowhere to be seen. By chance meet up with David, part of a team studying the pipits, who kindly shows us a pipit moulting into summer plumage that he had seen earlier that day. Search for Red-throated Wryneck in the town without success before starting the five-hour journey to Underberg.

Tuesday 10th October 2000 – Xumeni Forest (am), 'The Swamp' and the Guy's garden, Underberg (pm)

A morning visit to Xumeni Forest was rewarded with Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler, Knysna Lourie, Barratt's Warbler, Red-necked Spurfowl and Bush Blackcap. Tried hard for Orange Thrush but nothing. Deteriorating 'British-like' weather affecting our chances of seeing Red-chested Flufftail at 'The Swamp' though we hear at least two different birds. Pale-crowned Cisticola could not be found either and our best bird is Ethiopian Snipe. Two immature Black Sparrowhawks in the Guy's garden towards dusk followed by a wonderful meal with Robin and Bella.

Wednesday 11th October 2000 – the Guy's garden, Underberg and Sani Pass, evening drive to Eshowe

Red-throated Wryneck at last seen near the garden along with Drakensburg Prinia to start off a fine day. Three Wattled Cranes on a marsh en route to Sani Pass with birds below and through the pass exceeding all expectations. With Robin, and a French couple, see Gurney's Sugarbird, Sickle-winged Chat, Mountain and African Rock Pipit, Drakensburg Siskin and Orange-breasted Rockjumper to name but a few. The French couple are birding with Robin tomorrow for Orange Thrush and Blue Swallow. Having tried hard for the thrush yesterday and with Robin saying the swallows had only just returned and were by no means guaranteed, we elected to leave and follow the original itinerary. Five hour drive to Eshowe (at times crawling along because of thick fog) where briefly meet Hamish before retiring to the campsite.

Thursday 12th October 2000 – Dlinza & Entumeni Forests (am), Nkwaleni Valley (pm)

With Hamish, work both forests seeing Chorister Robin, Green Coucal, Cinnamon Dove and the fabulous Spotted Thrush at Dlinza Forest. With winds picking up, the two target birds of Brown Robin and Delegorgue's Pigeon at Entumeni Forest proved elusive. Rudd's Apalis took some finding in Nkwaleni Valley but we were eventually rewarded with good views. Another night at the campsite.

Friday 13th October 2000 – Dlinza & Entumeni Forests (am) and Nkwaleni Valley (pm)

Close views of Green Twinspot from the hide in Dlinza Forest early morning and again mid afternoon. With the wind picking up again we were possibly a little fortunate to see two Delegorgue's Pigeons at Entumeni Forest; one flew low overhead and the other was seen perched with just its head showing. A showy Brown Robin was a much better bird than expected. No sign of Yellow-streaked Bulbul. Mkwaleni Valley did not produce any new birds. Back to the campsite and the nearby pub for another great meal.

Saturday 14th October 2000 – Richard's Bay (am), St Lucia (pm)

Up early to drive the short distance to Richard's Bay from Eshowe. The pan took a little bit of finding but once there we made a beeline for what was left of the hide. Intensive searching with two telescopes could not locate any Lesser Jacanas amongst the many African Jananas. With heat haze intensifying give up for St Lucia. Within 30 minutes of arrival, see Natal Robin, Livingstone's Lourie and Woodward's Batis in the forest opposite the baithouse. Croaking Cisticola also shows well near the old airfield. Night at the campsite where we were able to ring Robin Guy who tells us that he saw both the Orange Thrush and Blue Swallow with the French couple!

Sunday 15th October 2000 – St Lucia, Cape Vidal Road, Cape Vidal, near Bonamanzi and Bonamanzi Game Ranch

Look around the campsite for Grey Sunbird but no luck. Green Coucal and Brown and Natal Robins all easy. Hard search for Southern Banded Snake-eagle on the road to Cape Vidal produced only Black-breasted Snake-eagle, Gymnogene and African Fish-eagle. A singing Grey Sunbird at Cape Vidal proved to be the only one of the trip. A search for Lemon-breasted Canary near Bonamanzi was rewarded with the first, and rather smart, African White-throated Robins of the trip. Having dipped on the canaries and with the first real change to the itinerary, decide to stay at Bonamazi Game Ranch. Late afternoon birding with no sign of the canary or Grey Waxbill.

Monday 16th October 2000 - Bonamanzi Game Ranch (am) Mkuzi Game Reserve (pm)

A wise decision to stay as three pairs of Yellow-breasted Canaries are grilled. Other notable birds include Gorgeous Bushshrike, Eastern Bearded Robin, African Broadbill and flock of around forty Orange-breasted Waxbills. Mkuzi Game Reserve held a pair of Neergaard's Sunbird in a flowering tree by one of the main hides anda pair of Pink-throated Twinspots along the River Trail. Stayed at the excellent campsite.

Tuesday 17th October 2000 – Mkuzi Game Reserve (am) and long drive to Underberg

Work hard for the two remaining ticks of Grey Waxbill and Southern Banded Snake-eagle but our luck was not in. By lunchtime we admit defeat and begin the long drive to Underberg where we have arranged for Robin to take us for Orange Thrush and Blue Swallow the following morning. Eight hour drive but comfortable lodgings in Robin and Bella's cottage.

Wednesday 18th October 2000 – Xumeni Forest and Hella-Hella (am), Vernon Crookes and Oribi Gorge (pm)

Richard and I set off to be at the forest for dawn to maximise our chances of the thrush. After an hour we give up wondering what we have to do to see it! Fortunately, the cavalry arrives in the form of Robin and after what seemed an age, we are rewarded with good views of the stunning Orange Thrush. At Hella-Hella we endure a nervous thirty-minute wait before a pair of superb Blue Swallows is under the belt. Still needing Striped Pipit, detour into Vernon Crookes and realise that we have no chance without better gen so head for Oribi Gorge arriving just before dusk.

Thursday 19th October 2000 – Oribi Gorge and long long drive to Pretoria

No Striped Pipit or Knysna Woodpecker with the best bird being African Broadbill along the River Trail. Stay at a Pretoria campsite and able to make contact with Etienne who suggests Pienaarsrivier as a site for Southern Pied-babbler.

Friday 20th October 2000 – Pienaarsrivier and Pietersburg (am), Strijdom Tunnel (late afternoon)

Four Southern Pied-babblers found easily along the dirt road together with Burchell's Starling, Crimson-breasted Shrike and Marico Flycatcher. At Pietersburg we follow Etienne's directions for Short-clawed Lark seeing only Northern Black Korhaan, Desert Cisticola and Kalahari Robin. Retracing our steps to the Shell petrol station was rewarded with a confiding pair of Short-clawed Larks, a much better bird that expected. Longish drive to Strijdom Tunnel where the superb Taita Falcon was waiting, complete with Alpine Swift. African Wood-owl in the grounds of the campsite near the tunnel to end a superb day.

Saturday 21st October 2000 – Strijdom Tunnel and Klein Fonterhout (am) and Pretoria Botanical Gardens (pm)

A pair of Striped Pipits seen well thanks to Etienne and the Taita Falcon again putting on a show. Klein Fonterhout produced Melodious Lark and a chance meeting with Stephan Terblanche revealed the possibility of Sharp-billed Honeyguide at Pretoria Botanical Gardens. Sure enough, one honeyguide was found and seen well. Tried to find Stephan's site for Bushveld Pipit but our recent run of good fortune evaporated. With no working phones and a complete inability to buy phone-cards we gave up and headed for the airport for an uneventful journey home.

THE SITES IN BRIEF

WAKKERSTROOM

This area is now very well documented but in a short trip we elected to use a guide to ensure we maximised our chances of seeing all the specialities. Rudd's and Botha's Larks along with Yellow-breasted Pipit are the hardest endemics to connect with but thanks to Patrick Benson we saw all three. We would recommend using a guide for at least one day if at all possible and split four ways the cost isn't bad. We also saw Blue Korhaan, Southern Bald-ibis, Orange-throated Longclaw, Buff-streaked Chat and Eastern Long-billed Lark.

Local guides are getting trained up and if you can't get hold of either John McCallister or Patrick Benson, then give them a try – Norman Mncube (017) 730 0023 or mobile (082) 810 4014 and Themba Thusi (017) 730 0659 or mobile (082) 810 4014.

UNDERBERG

Sani Pass – One of the birding highlights of my life! Essential to use a four-wheel drive vehicle otherwise you will be turned away at the Lesotho border. Robin knows where everything is so enjoy the ride! We saw Gurney's Sugarbird, Ground Woodpecker, Cape and Sentinel Rock-thrushes, Sickle-winged Chat, Bearded and Cape Vultures, White-necked Raven, Drakensburg Siskin, Orange-breasted Rockjumper, Mountain Pipit, Fairy Flycatcher, Layard's Tit-babbler and African Rock Pipit. The endangered-to-South Africa Wattled Crane breeds on a marsh en route to Sani Pass.

Xumeni Forest – Easily reached in a two wheel drive vehicle with good directions from Robin or from the Chittenden book. Two visits produced Red-necked Spurfowl, Bush Blackcap, Knysna Lourie, Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler, Barratt's Warbler and the mega Orange Thrush. Cape (Brown-necked) Parrot breeds in the forest but is normally only active until 1000.

'The Swamp' – Directions available from Robin. The swamp holds Red-chested Flufftail and African Snipe. We only heard the former and flushed three of the latter. Pale-crowned Cisticola is also regularly seen along with Broad-tailed Warbler later in the season. From about Christmas onwards, Orange-breasted Waxbills frequent the marsh. Striped Flufftail occurs on the slopes above the vlei.

Hella-Hella – A good site for Blue Swallow which Robin sees from mid October onwards. They become easier when breeding as stick to an area. We had a pair plus a nesting Blue Crane.

Robin's House – Holds breeding Black Sparrowhawk and Red-necked Wryneck which we saw easily.

ESHOWE

Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve – Situated within the town of Eshowe very close to the campsite. Several visits to this forest with Hamish were rewarded with three Spotted Thrushes, Chorister Robin, Green Coucal, Cinnamon Dove and Green Twinspot.

Entumeni Forest Nature Reserve – The better forest for Delegorgue's Pigeon with two seen. We also saw our first Brown Robin's here which, except for vagrants, do not occur at Dlinza. We couldn't locate any Yellow-streaked Bulbuls.

Nkwaleni Valley – We tried here with Hamish for Natal Francolin, which we heard, and Rudd's Apalis which we saw. Initially confused as these birds lacked the white supercilium which the field guides show so prominently.

RICHARD'S BAY

This site is well documented in Chittenden and is the well-known stakeout for Lesser Jacana. The hide is almost destroyed and despite perching precariously on the top, we couldn't locate any Lesser Jacanas amongst the many African Jacanas. Juvenile African Jacanas can look very similar so beware!

ST LUCIA

St Lucia - We saw Natal Robin and Livingstone's Lourie easily from the trails in the forest from nearly opposite the Baithouse. Along the roadside opposite the Baithouse we had Woodward's Batis. The campsite held Green Coucal, more Livingstone's Louries and tame Brown and Natal Robins. This town is easily found and well sign-posted.

Cape Vidal Road – One of the best areas for Southern Banded Snake-eagle which often perch on roadside telegraph poles – but not the day we went up and down the road! There is a small charge levied for driving up the road and a limit of 120 cars per day though we encountered very little traffic.

YELLOW-BREASTED CANARY SITE, NEAR BONAMANZI – c. 5 kms south of the Bonamanzi Game Ranch turnoff and 1 km north of Bushlands Store is an area of hedges and grasses opposite the D123 junction reputedly good for Lemon-breasted Canary. We dipped but did get the first African White-throated Robins of the trip. The canaries are definitely easier at Bonamanzi, but if time is limited, an hour or so at this site could reap rewards.

BONAMANZI GAME RANCH – Well signposted off the main road and is noted for being the most reliable site for Lemon-breasted Canary. We eventually scored seeing a pair near the main unmanned entrance gate and two more pairs along 'drive A'. We also saw Brown and Eastern Bearded Robins, Gorgeous Bushshrike, African Broadbill and a surprise find of c.40 Orange-breasted Waxbills along 'Route B'.

MKUZI GAME RESERVE – With very little needed, we tried to eek out those last few ticks. Jammed Neergaard's Sunbird from one of the hides which also held a White Rhino for 10 minutes down to 15 feet! Pink-throated Twinspot was easier than expected along the River Trail. Couldn't find Bushveld Pipit along the Loop Drive and still not a sniff of Southern Banded Snake-eagle.

VERNON CROOKES – A big mistake coming here. We had little specific gen on where to go and there were no useful wardens on duty. We got out within the hour and headed for Oribi Gorge!

ORIBI GORGE – We came here for the chance of Striped Pipit and Knysna Woodpecker and saw neither. Our best bird was African Broadbill along the River Trail. A local we met there had found a male African Finfoot along the river last week but having seen this bird in Kenya and with time pressing, we let this one go.

PIENNARSRIVIER – We came here principally for Southern Pied-babbler – inexplicably dipped from the western South Africa and Namibia trip. We followed Etienne's directions which were to head northeast from Pretoria on the Pietersburg road turning left to Pienaarsrivier. Turn right at the 'T' junction onto the R101, over the railway bridge and turn left onto the dirt road to Zaagkuildrift. We had only driven c.4 kilometres down this road before finding a party of Southern Pied-babblers. We also saw Burchell's Starling, Long-tailed Shrike, Marico Flycatcher, Sabota Lark, Grey Go-away-bird and Secretary-bird.

PIETERSBURG – We had a pair of Short-clawed Lark in the fields just below the shell garage on the right hand side of the road when coming north into Pietersburg before the R71 bypass. Five to seven kilometres along the R71 we had Northern Black Korhaan, Desert Cisticola and Kalahari Robin.

STRIJDOM TUNNEL – The fabulous Taita Falcon seen at 1730 the first evening and 0630 the following morning, c. 1.3 kilometres uphill from the upper entrance to the tunnel frequenting the large west-facing rock-face. We saw one each visit though a second bird was calling so presumably a pair. A good source of food is close by – Alpine Swifts – one of which was being plucked on a rock to give superb views through a telescope. We also had a pair of Striped Pipits c.2.5 kilometres downhill from the entrance to the tunnel.

KLEIN FONTERHOUT – The current Pretoria stakeout for Melodious Lark. We took the N4 east to Pretoria from the Strijdom Tunnel and then the A515 to Rayton / Bapsfontein - take the Bapsfontein direction (left). Follow this road for 9.7 kilometres passing a railway line converging to the road from the right. Look out for a dirt road off to the left signposted Klein Fonterhout. We had a pair of larks c.150m along this dirt road along with Capped Wheatear and Cloud and Ayre's Cisticolas.

PRETORIA BOTANICAL GARDENS – One of the best Pretoria sites for Sharp-billed Honeyguide. We eventually found one in the drier habitat towards the back of the gardens. Entrance fee of R7 per person. From the N4 heading west, look out for a road called Lynburn Road after the junction to Rossouw Street. Turn right over the N4 and then left following signs to the gardens.

SYSTEMATIC LIST OF THE 327 SPECIES SEEN OR HEARD

1. Dabchick (Little Grebe) (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Noted in small numbers throughout

2. Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

Noted only near Wakkerstroom

3. Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

Noted at Richard's Bay, St. Lucia and Wakkerstroom

4. Reed (Long-tailed) Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fricanus)

Small numbers throughout

5. White-breasted (Great) Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus)

Only noted at Richard's Bay, Wakkerstroom and St Lucia.

6. Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)

Just a single noted at Richard's Bay

7. Eastern (Great) White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

Noted at Richard's Bay, St Lucia and along the Cape Vidal Road - the latter site had 100+ migrating birds.

8. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Only noted at Mkuzi Game Reserve and 'The Swamp', Underberg

9. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Just one single noted at Richard's Bay

10. Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)

The commonest heron noted throughout in small numbers

11. Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

A few at Richard's Bay

12. Great White Egret (Egretta alba)

Two or three at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and a single at Mkuzi Game Reserve

13. Yellow-billed (Intermediate) Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia)

Noted along the Cape Vidal Road, at Richard's Bay and near Underberg

14. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Noted throughout, usually in small numbers.

15. Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

c.12 at Richard's Bay

16. Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)

Singles along the Cape Vidal Road, Wakkerstroom, Richard's Bay and other singles from the car between sites.

17. Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis)

Three at Mkuzi Game Reserve

18. African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)

A few at Mkuzi Game Reserve

19. Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

A few at Mkuzi Game Reserve and Richard's Bay

20. Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)

Seen at virtually every site visited. Common and noisy!

21. Southern Bald-ibis (Geronticus calvus)

A single on the main highway between Johannesburg and Wakkerstroom, c.15 in the Wakkerstroom area, 1 in Eshowe and c.8 at Sani Pass

22. Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)

A few throughout

23. African Spoonbill (Platalea alba)

A single at 'The Swamp', Underberg

24. Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)

Four from the main highway between Johannesburg and Wakkerstroom

25. Fulvous Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)

Four at Richard's Bay

26. White-faced Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna viduata)

Noted at Richard's Bay and at various other roadside stops

27. White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus)

Three at Richard's Bay and two at Wakkerstroom

28. Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

Small numbers throughout

29. Spur-winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis)

Small numbers throughout; most common between Jo'burg and Wakkerstroom and around Wakkerstroom

30. African Pygmy-goose (Nettapus auritus)

Two pairs at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

31. Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata)

Small numbers at most water sites visited

32. Red-billed Duck (Anas erythrorhyncha)

Noted at Mkuzi Game Reserve, Richard's Bay and between Underberg and Sani Pass

33. Cape Shoveler (Anas smithii)

Noted at 'The Swamp', Underberg, near Underberg and Wakkerstroom

34. Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma)

A single at Richard's Bay and two at Wakkerstroom

35. Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus)

Small numbers throughout; especially in open country

36. Yellow-billed (Black) Kite (Milvus migrans parasitus)

Widespread in small numbers.

37. African Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)

Three singles at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Cape Vidal Road and Pienaarsrivier

38. Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier) (Gypaetus barbatus)

Three at Sani Pass

39. African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

At least eight at Mkuzi Game Reserve

40. Cape Griffon-vulture (Gyps coprotheres)

Just a distant single at Sani Pass

41. Black-chested Snake-eagle (Circaetus pectoralis)

Two singles along the Cape Vidal Road and at Mkuzi Game Reserve

42. Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)

A single adult at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

43. African Marsh-harrier (Circus ranivorus)

A single at Wakkerstroom

44. Gymnogene (African Harrier-hawk) (Polyboroides typus)

Two along the Cape Vidal Road

45. Lizard Buzzard (Kaupifalco monogrammicus)

A single at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

46. African Goshawk (Accipiter tachiro)

Two at Dlinza Forest and a single at Xumeni Forest

47. Black (Great) Sparrowhawk (Goshawk) (Accipiter melanoleucus)

An adult over Dlinza Forest and an adult and two juveniles at Underberg (Robin's garden)

48. Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus)

Singles at both Xumeni Forest and between Donnybrook and Hella-Hella

49. Jackal Buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus)

Two at Hella-Hella, three at Sani Pass and singles at Wakkerstroom and Xumeni Forest

50. Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)

Two at Mkuzi Game Reserve

51. Wahlberg's Eagle (Aquila wahlbergi)

Two at Nkwaleni Valley

52. Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

A single immature bird over Xumeni Forest

53. Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)

Singles along the Cape Vidal Road and over Xumeni Forest

54. Crowned Eagle (Hawk-eagle) (Stephanoaetus oronatus)

A single adult at Cape Vidal

55. Secretary-bird (Sagittarius serpentarius)

Two singles at Pienaarsrivier and over Xumeni Forest

56. Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)

A single at Pietersburg

57. Greater (White-eyed) Kestrel (Falco rupicoloides)

Two at Wakkerstroom

58. Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)

A single at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

59. Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)

A single at Sani Pass

60. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

A single at Vernon Crookes Reserve

61. Taita Falcon (Falco fasciinucha)

One of the pair seen on two days at Strijdom Tunnel plucking an Alpine Swift!

62. [Grey-winged Francolin (Francolinus africanus)]

A single heard at Sani Pass

63. Crested Francolin (Francolinus sephaena)

Four confiding birds seen at Mkuzi Game Reserve

64. [Natal Francolin (Francolinus natalensis)]

Only heard in the Nkwaleni Valley

65. Red-necked Spurfowl (Francolin) (Francolinus afer)

A single at Xumeni Forest (MH)

66. Swainson's Spurfowl (Francolinus swainsonii)

Two at Pienaarsrivier and Pietersburg and seven at Wakkerstroom

67. Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)

Noted throughout with the biggest numbers in the Wakkerstroom area

68. Crested Guineafowl (Guttera pucherani)

What bizarre birds! Four at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, two at Mkuzi Game Reserve and ten at St Lucia

69. [Red-chested Flufftail (Sarothrura rufa)]

Two calling at 'The Swamp', Underberg

70. Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra)

Two seen well at Richard's Bay

71. Purple (African) Swamphen (Gallinule) (Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis)

One or two at Richard's Bay

72. Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Noted between Underberg and Sani Pass, near St. Lucia and at Richard's Bay

73. Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata)

On most fresh waters in varying numbers.

74. Southern (Grey) Crowned-crane (Balearica regulorum)

Seven on 'The Swamp', Underberg, a single at Vernon Crookes Reserve and three at Wakkerstroom

75. Blue Crane (Grus paradisea)

A single nesting at Hella-Hella and two at Wakkerstroom

76. Wattled Crane (Grus carunculatus)

A pair with a juvenile between Underberg and Sani Pass

77. Northern Black Korhaan (White-quilled Bustard) (Eupodotis afraoides)

Four at Pietersburg

78. Blue Korhaan (Bustard) (Eupodotis caerulescens)

Six at Wakkerstroom

79. Black-bellied Bustard (Eupodotis melanogaster)

Two at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and a single male at Mkuzi Game Reserve

80. African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)

Noted throughout on suitable fresh waters. Commonest at Richard's Bay

81. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

A single at Mkuzi Game Reserve and fifteen or so at St Lucia

82. Water Dikkop (Thick-knee) (Burhinus vermiculatus)

Singles at Mkuzi Game Reserve and St Lucia

83. Spotted Dikkop (Thick-knee) (Burhinus capensis)

A single at Nkwaleni Valley

84. Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris)

Two at Nkwaleni Valley and a single at St Lucia

85. Blacksmith Lapwing (Vanellus armatus)

Small numbers throughout

86. Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus)

Singles at 'The Swamp' and from the road between Oribi Gorge and Johannesburg

87. Crowned Lapwing (Vanellus coronatus)

A few throughout

88. Ethiopian (African) Snipe (Gallinago nigripennis)

Three flushed at 'The Swamp', Underberg

89. Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)

Singles at Richard's Bay and St Lucia

90. Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

A single at St Lucia

91. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

Three at St Lucia

92. Common Sandpipier (Tringa hypoleucos)

Noted at St Lucia

93. Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

At least fifty at Mkuzi Game Reserve

94. Grey-headed Gull (Larus cirrocephalus)

Noted in flight at various sites though better seen at St Lucia where over 100 were present

95. Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)

Ten plus at St Lucia

96. Swift Tern (Great Crested-tern) (Sterna bergii)

Two at St Lucia

97. Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus)

Small numbers at Richard's Bay, 'The Swamp', Underberg and at Wakkerstroom

98. Speckled (Rock) Pigeon (Columba guinea)

Noted in a town between Johannesburg and Wakkerstroom and also at Sani Pass and Underberg

99. Rameron Pigeon (African Olive-pigeon) (Columba arquatrix)

Nine plus at Xumeni Forest

100. Feral Pigeon (Columbia livia)

Common in towns and cities

101. Delegorgue's (Eastern Bronze-naped) Pigeon (Columba delegorguei)

Two at Entumeni Forest

102. Cinnamon (Lemon) Dove (Columba larvata)

Three at Dlinza Forest

103. Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)

Common in small numbers throughout

104. Cape Turtle (Ring-necked) Dove (Streptopelia capicola)

Small numbers throughout

105. Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata)

Doubtless overlooked. Six at Mkuzi Game Reserve and two each at Nkwaleni Valley and Underberg

106. Green-spotted (Emerald-spotted) Wood-dove (Turtur chalcospilos)

Six at Mkuzi Game Reserve, and two at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, near Bonamanzi and at Nkwaleni Valley

107. Tambourine Dove (Turtur tympanistria)

Two at Mkuzi Game Reserve

108. Livingstone's Lourie (Turaco) (Tauraco livingstonii)

After seeing three at St Lucia we made no effort to see others. Heard at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and near Bonamanzi

109. Knysna Lourie (Turaco) (Tauraco corythaix)

A single seen on two dates at Xumeni Forest and several heard at Oribi Gorge

110. Purple-crested Lourie (Turaco) (Musophaga porphyreolopha)

Four at Entumeni Forest, a single at Dlinza Forest and three at Mkuzi Game Reserve

111. Grey Go-away-bird (Lourie) (Corythaixoides concolor)

Two at Pienaarsrivier and a single at Pretoria Botanical Gardens

112. Red-chested Cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius)

Heard everwhere with three singles seen near Donnybrook, Xumeni Forest and Pretoria Botanical Gardens

113. Black Cuckoo (Cuculus clamosus)

Just one at Bonamanzi Game Ranch noted

114. Klaas' Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx klaas)

Two at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

115. African Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus)

Heard at most forest sites though only one was seen at Xumeni Forest

116. [Didric Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx caprius)]

Several heard at widely scattered sites

117. Green Coucal (Yellowbill) (Ceuthmochares aereus)

Singles at Dlinza Forest and St Lucia

118. Burchell's Coucal (Centropus superciliosus burchelli)

Heard mainly in the east with two singles seen at Richard's Bay and near Eshowe

119. [Barn Owl (Tyto alba)]

One heard at Mkuzi Game Reserve

120. African Wood-owl (Strix woodfordii)

One in the grounds of the campsite near Strijdom Tunnel

121. [Fiery-necked Nightjar (Caprimulgus pectoralis)]

One heard at Oribi Gorge

122. African Palm-swift (Cypsiurus parvus)

Noted at Eshowe, Pretoria and the Botanical Gardens and at St Lucia. Probably overlooked as were other species of swift

123. Alpine Swift (Tachymarptis melba)

Noted at Hella-Hella, Oribi Gorge, Strijdom Tunnel and over Xumeni Forest

124. African Black Swift (Apus barbatus)

Noted at Oribi Gorge and over Xumeni Forest

125. Little Swift (Apus affinis)

Common and widespread

126. Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus)

Noted along the Cape Vidal Road, at Nkwaleni Valley, Wakkerstroom and Xumeni Forest

127. Red-faced Mousebird (Urocolius indicus)

Eight at Mkuzi Game Reserve

128. Narina Trogon (Apaloderma narina)

Frequently heard in forests at Dlinza, Entumeni, Oribi Gorge, Vernon Crookes and Xumeni. A single was seen briefly at the latter.

129. Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedo cristata)

Noted at Mkuzi Game Reserve, near Bonamanzi, Nkwaleni Valley, Richard's Bay, 'The Swamp' and at Vernon Crookes

130. Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris)

Widespread in small numbers in the east

131. Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima)

A single at Nkwaleni Valley

132. Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)

Singles at Nkwaleni Valley and at St Lucia

133. Little Bee-eater (Merops pusillus)

Five along the Cape Vidal Road and two at Mkuzi Game Reserve

134. Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudata)

Five at Mkuzi Game Reserve

135. Eurasian (African) Hoopoe (Upupa epops africana)

A single at Mkuzi Game Reserve and three at Underberg

136. Red-billed (Green) Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus)

A few at Mkuzi Game Reserve and at Pienaarsrivier

137. Greater (Common) Scimitar-bill (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas)

Two at Mkuzi Game Reserve

138. Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas)

Five at Mkuzi Game Reserve and four at Pienaarsrivier

139. Crowned Hornbill (Tockus alboterminatus)

Four at Oribi Gorge and two at St Lucia

140. Trumpeter Hornbill (Ceratogymna bucinator)

Four along the Cape Vidal Road and at St Lucia, a single at Eshowe and two at Oribi Gorge

141. White-eared Barbet (Stactolaema leucotis)

Noted at Dlinza Forest, Entumeni Forest, Nkwaleni Valley and at St Lucia

142. Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus bilineatus)

Noted at Dlinza Forest, Eshowe camp site, St Lucia and Bonamanzi Game Ranch

143. Red-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus pusillus)

Singles at Entumeni Forest and Nkwaleni Valley

144. Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus)

Noted along the Cape Vidal Road, Entumeni Forest, near Eshowe, Nkwaleni Valley and at Wakkerstroom

145. Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii)

Singles at Mkuzi Game Reserve and at Nkwaleni Valley

146. Lesser Honeyguide (Indicator minor)

Two at Nkwaleni Valley

147. Sharp-billed (Wahlberg's) Honeyguide (Prodotiscus regulus)

A single at Pretoria Botanical Gardens

148. Red-throated (Rufous-necked) Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis)

A single singing just outside the Guy's garden, Underberg

149. Ground Woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus)

At least twelve at Sani Pass

150. Olive Woodpecker (Dendropicos griseocephalus)

A pair at Xumeni Forest, a male at Wakkerstroom and a bird in flight over Eshowe campsite

151. African Broadbill (Smithornis capensis)

Singles at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and at Oribi Gorge. Another heard at the Lemon-breasted Canary site south of Bonamanzi

152. Melodious (Lakatoo) Lark (Mirafra cheniana)

A pair at Klein Fonterhout

153. Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)

Singles at Nkwaleni Valley and Richard's Bay

154. Sabota Lark (Mirafra sabota)

Three at Mkuzi Game Reserve and two at Pienaarsrivier

155. Rudd's Lark (Heteromirafra ruddi)

Two at Wakkerstroom

156. Eastern Long-billed Lark (Certhilauda semitorquata)

A pair at Wakkerstroom

157. Short-clawed Lark (Certhilauda chuana)

A pair at Pietersburg

158. Spike-heeled Lark (Chersomanes albofasciata)

Five at Wakkerstroom

159. Red-capped Lark (Calandrella cinerea)

Seven at Wakkerstroom and singles at Sani Pass and Klein Sonderhout

160. Botha's Lark (Spizocorys fringillaris)

Two at Wakkerstroom

161. Large-billed (Thick-billed) Lark (Galerida magnirostris)

Five at Sani Pass

162. Plain (Brown-throated) Martin (Riparia paludicola)

Noted at Richard's Bay and at 'The Swamp', Underberg

163. Rock Martin (Hirundo fuligula)

Twenty at Sani Pass

164. European (Barn) Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and Mkuzi Game Reserve

165. White-throated Swallow (Hirundo albigularis)

Noted between Johannesburg and Wakkerstroom, around Wakkerstroom and at Underberg

166. Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea)

A pair at Hella-Hella

167. Greater Striped-swallow (Hirundo cucullata)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Eshowe, 'The Swamp' as well as Underberg and Wakkerstroom

168. Lesser Striped-swallow (Hirundo abyssinica)

Noted at Eshowe, Klein Fonterhout, Mkuzi Game Reserve, near Bonamanzi, Nkwaleni Valley, Oribi Gorge and St Lucia

169. Red-breasted (Rufous-chested) Swallow (Hirundo semirufa)

Singles at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and at Nkwaleni Valley

170. South African Cliff Swallow (Hirundo spilodera)

Noted between Johannesburg and Wakkerstroom and at Underberg

171. Black Sawwing (Psalidoprocne holomelas)

Noted at Hella-Hella, Richard's Bay, St Lucia and over Xumeni Forest

172. Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus)

A few at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Cape Vidal Road, Mkuzi Game Reserve, Near Bonamanzi and St Lucia

173. Orange-throated (Cape) Longclaw (Macronyx capensis)

Twenty plus in the Wakkerstroom area plus four at 'The Swamp, Underberg

174. Yellow-breasted Pipit (Anthus chloris)

A single at Wakkerstroom

175. Striped Pipit (Anthus lineiventris)

A pair at Strijdom Tunnel

176. African Rock (Yellow-tufted) Pipit (Anthus crenatus)

One seen and another heard at Sani Pass

177. Grassveld (African) Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus)

Commonest in the Wakkerstroom area with as many as thirty plus seen. Also seen in ones and twos at Hella-Hella, Klein Fonterhout and Pietersburg

178. Mountain Pipit (Anthus hoeschi)

Two birds seen well at Sani Pass

179. African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp)

Noted at Mkuzi Game Reserve, Nkwaleni Valley and at St Lucia

180. Cape Wagtail (Motacilla capensis)

Widespread in small numbers

181. Grey Cuckooshrike (Coracina caesia)

Four at Xumeni Forest, two at Dlinza Forest and a single at Entumeni Forest

182. Black Cuckooshrike (Campephaga flava)

A single male at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

183. Black-eyed (Common) Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)

Common everywhere

184. Bush Blackcap (Lioptilus nigricapillus)

A single at Xumeni Forest.

185. Sombre Greenbul (Andropadus importunus)

Four at Xumeni Forest and a single at St Lucia

186. Yellow-bellied Greenbul (Chlorocichla flaviventris)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Dlinza Forest, Mkuzi Game Reserve and at St Lucia

187. Terrestrial Brownbul (Phyllastrephus terrestris)

Two at Dlinza Forest

188. Eastern Bearded Robin (Bearded Scrub-robin) (Cercotrichas quadrivirgata)

Four of these stunning birds were seen at Mkuzi Game Reserve and a single at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

189. Brown Robin (Brown Scrub-robin) (Cercotrichas signata)

Another smart robin with singles at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and Entumeni Forest, three at St Lucia and two at Oribi Gorge

190. White-browed Robin (Red-backed Scrub-robin) (Cercotrichas leucophrys)

Two at Nkwaleni Valley and a single at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

191. Kalahari Scrub-robin (Erythropygia paena)

A single at Pietersburg (RR)

192. Starred (White-starred) Robin (Pogonocichla stellata)

A single at Xumeni Forest

193. Cape Robin (Cape Robin-chat) (Cossypha caffra)

Noted at Pretoria Botanical Gardens, Sani Pass, 'The Swamp' as well as Underberg and at Wakkerstroom

194. African White-throated Robin (Robin-chat) (Cossypha humeralis)

Two at the Lemon-breasted Canary site south of Bonamanzi and singles at Strijdom Tunnel and Mkuzi Game Reserve

195. Natal Robin (Red-capped Robin-chat) (Cossypha natalensis)

Four at St Lucia, two at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and singles at both Cape Vidal and Oribi Gorge

196. Chorister Robin (Robin-chat) (Cossypha dichroa)

Three at Dlinza Forest and a single at Entumeni Forest

197. Sicklewing Chat (Cercomela sinuata)

Four at Sani Pass

198. Familiar Chat (Cercomela familiaris)

Two at Sani Pass

199. African Stonechat (Saxicola axillaris)

Widespread in small numbers

200. Buff-streaked Chat (Saxicola bifasciata)

A single at Wakkerstroom

201. Southern Anteater-chat (Myrmecocichla formicivora)

A single between Johannesburg and Wakkerstroom and five at Wakkerstroom

202. Mountain Chat (Wheatear) (Oenanthe monticola)

Two at Sani Pass and three at Wakkerstroom

203. Capped Wheatear (Oenanthe pileata)

Two at Klein Fonterhout

204. Mocking Cliff-chat (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris)

Two at Strijdom Tunnel

205. Cape Rock-thrush (Monticola rupestris)

A single female at Sani Pass and three males at Strijdom Tunnel

206. Sentinel Rock-thrush (Monticola explorator)

Three at Sani Pass

207. Orange Ground-thrush (Zoothera gurneyi)

A single bird seen well at Xumeni Forest

208. Spotted Ground-thrush (Zoothera guttata)

Three at Dlinza Forest

209. Olive Thrush (Turdus olivaceus)

Noted at Dlinza Forest, Pretoria Botanical Gardens, Underberg and at Xumeni Forest

210. Barratt's Warbler (African Scrub-warbler) (Bradypterus barratti)

A single seen well at Xumeni Forest and another heard at the bottom of Sani Pass

211. Lazy (Rock-loving) Cisticola (Cisticola aberrans)

Two at the border of Xumeni Forest

212. Rattling Cisticola (Cisticola chinianus)

Common in drier habitats

213. Wailing Cisticola (Cisticola lais)

Three at Sani Pass

214. Black-backed (Winding) Cisticola (Cisticola galactotes)

Four at Richard's Bay

215. Levaillant's (Tinkling) Cisticola (Cisticola tinniens)

Noted at Hella-Hella, 'The Swamp', Underberg and between Underberg and Sani Pass

216. Croaking Cisticola (Cisticola natalensis)

Three at St. Lucia, two along the Cape Vidal Road and a single at Vernon Crookes Reserve

217. Neddicky (Piping Cisticola) (Cisticola fulvicapillus)

Two at Pietersburg

218. Fan-tailed (Zitting) Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)

A single at St. Lucia and another heard at Klein Fonterhout

219. Desert Cisticola (Cisticola aridulus)

Four at Pietersburg

220. Cloud Cisticola (Cisticola textrix)

Three at Klein Fonterhout

221. Ayre's (Wing-snapping) Cisticola (Cisticola ayresii)

At least four seen in the Wakkerstroom area with more heard. Also heard at Klein Fonterhout

222. Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava)

Noted at Nkwaleni Valley, St Lucia and at Vernon Crookes

223. Drakensburg Prinia (Prinia hypoxantha)

Two in Robin's garden, a single between Underberg and Sani Pass and a single at Sani Pass where only Spotted Prinia (P. maculosa) is reputed to occur

224. Bar-throated Apalis (Apalis thoracica)

Three at Xumeni Forest and two at Oribi Gorge

225. Yellow-breasted Apalis (Apalis flavida)

Two at both Nkwaleni Valley and St Lucia

226. Rudd's Apalis (Apalis ruddi)

Two at Nkwaleni Valley and a single at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

227. Green-backed Camaroptera (Camaroptera brachyura)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Dlinza Forest and at St Lucia. Clements re-lumps with Grey-backed Camaroptera (C. brevicaudata)

228. Great Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)

A single at Richard's Bay

229. Cape Reed-warbler (Lesser Swamp-warbler) (Acrocephalus gracilirostris)

A single at Richard's Bay

230. Yellow Warbler (Yellow Flycatcher-warbler) (Chloropeta natalensis)

A single between Underberg and Sani Pass

231. Fairy Flycatcher (Warbler) (Stenostira scita)

Four at Sani Pass

232. Layard's Tit-babbler (Warbler) (Sylvia layardi)

Four at Sani Pass

233. Long-billed (Cape) Crombec (Sylvietta rufescens)

A single at Mkuzi Game Reserve

234. Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus ruficapillus)

Three at Xumeni Forest

235. Pale (Mouse-coloured) Flycatcher (Bradornis pallidus)

Two at Mkuzi Game Reserve

236. Marico (Mariqua) Flycatcher (Bradornis mariquensis)

Three at Pienaarsrivier.

237. Southern Black-flycatcher (Melaenornis pammelaina)

Three at Nkwaleni Valley

238. Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens)

Three at Wakkerstroom

239. African Dusky Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta)

Three at Xumeni Forest, four at Sani Pass and two at Eshowe campsite

240. African Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis)

Noted at Dlinza Forest, Underberg and at Xumeni Forest

241. Southern Pied-babbler (Turdoides bicolor)

Four at Pienaarsrivier

242. Arrow-marked Babbler (Turdoides jardineii)

Two at Pretoria Botanical Gardens

243. Orange-breasted Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius)

Three of these stunning birds at Sani Pass

244. Southern Black Tit (Parus niger)

Four at Mkuzi Game Reserve and a single at Nkwaleni Valley

245. Southern Grey Tit (Parus afer)

Seven at Sani Pass

246. Collared Sunbird (Anthreptes collaris)

The commonest sunbird seen at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Cape Vidal, Dlinza Forest, Entumeni Forest, Mkuzi Game Reserve, St Lucia and at Xumeni Forest

247. Olive Sunbird (Nectarinia olivacea)

A single at Cape Vidal and six at St Lucia

248. Mouse-coloured (Grey) Sunbird (Nectarinia veroxii)

A single at Cape Vidal

249. Black (Amethyst) Sunbird (Nectarinia amethystina)

Singles at Eshowe and Underberg

250. Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Nectarinia senegalensis)

A single at St Lucia

251. White-bellied (-breasted) Sunbird (Nectarinia talatala)

Singles at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and at Mkuzi Game Reserve and five at Nkwaleni Valley

252. Lesser (Southern) Double-collared Sunbird (Nectarinia chalybea)

Two at Xumeni Forest

253. Greater Double-collared Sunbird (Nectarinia afra)

Noted at Oribi Gorge, Underberg and at Xumeni Forest

254. Neergaard's Sunbird (Nectarinia neergaardi)

A pair at Mkuzi Game Reserve

255. Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa)

Two at Sani Pass and a single at Wakkerstroom

256. Purple-banded Sunbird (Nectarinia bifasciata)

A pair at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and a single at St Lucia

257. Gurney's Sugarbird (Promerops gurneyi)

A single at Sani Pass

258. Cape (Pale) White-eye (Zosterops pallidus capensis)

Fairly common at the forest sites visited

259. African Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus)

Two at both Eshowe campsite and Oribi Gorge

260. Black-backed Puffback (Dryoscopus cubla)

Widespread in forest in small numbers

261. Three-streaked (Brown-crowned) Tchagra (Tchagra australis)

A single at Pretoria Botanical Gardens

262. Southern Boubou (Laniarius ferrugineus)

Noted at Dlinza Forest, Pretoria Botanical Gardens, St Lucia, Wakkerstroom and Xumeni Forest

263. Crimson-breasted Shrike (Gonolek) (Laniarius atrococcineus)

Three at Pienaarsrivier

264. Bokmakierie (Telophorus zeylonus)

Two at Sani Pass and singles at Underberg and Wakkerstroom

265. Olive Bushshrike (Telophorus olivaceus)

Two at Wakkerstroom and heard at Entumeni Forest

266. Gorgeous (Four-coloured) Bushshrike (Telophorus quadricolor)

Two of these stunning birds seen easily at Bonamanzi Game Ranch with others heard at Mkuzi Game Reserve and Nkwaleni Valley

267. Cape Batis (Batis capensis)

Six at Xumeni Forest and two at Dlinza Forest

268. Woodward's (Zululand) Batis (Batis fratrum)

A single at St Lucia with others heard at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and Mkuzi Game Reserve

269. Chinspot Batis (Batis molitor)

Singles at Mkuzi Game Reserve, Nkwaleni Valley and Pienaarsrivier

270. Common Fiscal (Lanius collaris)

A widespread bird often seen on roadside wires

271. Long-tailed (Magpie) Shrike (Corvinella melanoleuca)

Six at Pienaarsrivier

272. Square-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus ludwigii)

Three singles along the Cape Vidal Road, Dlinza Forest and at Entumeni Forest

273. Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis)

Fairly common, mostly in open areas

274. Cape Crow (Corvus capensis)

Noted near Donnybrook, Underberg and Wakkerstroom

275. Pied Crow (Corvus albus)

Widespread in small numbers.

276. White-necked Raven (Corvus albicollis)

Three at Sani Pass

277. Red-winged Starling (Onychognathus morio)

Fairly common and widespread

278. Black-bellied Glossy-starling (Lamprotornis corruscus)

Noted in forest at Cape Vidal, Dlinza and Entumeni Forests and at St Lucia

279. Cape (Red-shouldered) Glossy-starling (Lamprotornis nitens)

Noted at Mkuzi Game Reserve, Nkwaleni Valley, Oribi Gorge, Pienaarsrivier, Pretoria Botanical Gardens and at Wakkerstroom

280. Burchell's Glossy-starling (Lamprotornis australis)

Two at Pienaarsrivier

281. Plum-coloured (Violet-backed) Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster)

Three at Mkuzi Game Reserve

282. African Pied Starling (Spreo bicolor)

Noted at 'The Swamp', Underberg, Wakkerstroom and twice from the road

283. Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

A single at 'The Swamp', Underberg

284. Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

Common, especially in urban areas

285. Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus)

Twelve or so at Mkuzi Game Reserve

286. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

A few in some towns and cities

287. Great (Rufous) Sparrow (Passer motitensis)

A single at Pienaarsrivier

288. Cape Sparrow (Mossie) (Passer melanurus)

Noted at Pietersburg, Pretoria, Sani Pass, 'The Swamp', Underberg and Wakkerstroom

289. Southern Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer diffusus)

Five at Underberg and four at Pienaarsrivier

290. Yellow-throated Petronia (Petronia superciliaris)

Three at Mkuzi Game Reserve and a single at Nkwaleni Valley

291. Scaly-feathered Finch (Scaly Weaver) (Sporopipes squamifrons)

Eight at Pienaarsrivier and two at Pietersburg

292. White-browed Sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser mahali)

Four at Pienaarsrivier

293. Lesser Masked Weaver (Ploceus intermedius)

A small colony nest-building on a hide, Mkuzi Game Reserve

294. Cape Weaver (Ploceus capensis)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Underberg and at Wakkerstroom

295. Yellow Weaver (African Golden-weaver) (Ploceus subaureus)

Four at St Lucia

296. Southern Brown-throated Weaver (Ploceus xanthopterus)

Eight plus at Richard's Bay

297. Southern (Vitelline) Masked-weaver (Ploceus velatus)

Two males at Pretoria Botanical Gardens but probably overlooked

298. Spotted-backed (Village) Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Mkuzi Game Reserve and Nkwaleni Valley

299. Forest (Dark-backed) Weaver (Ploceus bicolor)

Three at St Lucia, two at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and singles at Dlinza and Entumeni Forests

300. Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea)

c.120 near 'The Swamp', Underberg

301. Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)

A single male from the road between Strijdom and Klein Sonderhout and a pair at Kameldrift, near Pretoria. Doubtless overlooked

302. Yellow-rumped Widow (Yellow Bishop) (Euplectes capensis)

Just a single male at Sani Pass

303. Fan-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes axillaris)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, near Bonamanzi, near Eshowe, Richard's Bay and Vernon Crookes

304. White-winged Widowbird (Euplectes albonotatus)

Just a single noted from the road when driving between Strijdom and Klein Fonterhout. We are almost certain that we saw others from the car but having seen all widowbirds elsewhere, we really gave this group scant attention.

305. Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens)

Noted at Pietersburg, Underberg & Wakkerstroom

306. Long-tailed Widow (Euplectes progne)

Fairly common especially from the road.

307. Thick-billed (Grosbeak) Weaver (Amblyospiza lbifrons)

Two at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and singles at Nkwaleni Valley and at Xumeni Forest

308. Melba Finch (Green-winged Pytilia) (Pytilia melba)

A single at Pienaarsrivier

309. Green-backed Twinspot (Mandingoa nitidula)

A pair from the hide, Dlinza Forest

310. Pink-throated Twinspot (Hypargos margaritatus)

A pair along the River Trail, Mkuzi Game Reserve

311. Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch and at Mkuzi Game Reserve

312. Blue-billed (African) Firefinch (Lagonosticta rubricata)

Three from the hide, Dlinza Forest and three also at Nkwaleni Valley

313. Blue Waxbill (Blue-breasted Cordonbleu) (Uraeginthus angolensis)

Noted at Mkuzi Game Reserve, Nkwaleni Valley and at Pienaarsrivier

314. Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, Richard's Bay, 'The Swamp' and at Xumeni Forest

315. Black-cheeked Waxbill (Estrilda erythronotos)

A single at Pienaarsrivier

316. Orange-breasted (Zebra) Waxbill (Amandava subflava)

c.40 along 'Route B', Bonamanzi Game Ranch

317. Bronze Mannikin (Lonchura cucullata)

Singles near Bonamanzi and at Pretoria Botanical Gardens

318. Brown-backed Mannikin (Lonchura nigriceps)

Four from the hide, Dlinza Forest

319. Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)

Single males at Eshowe and at Underberg and two near Bonamanzi

320. Cape Canary (Serinus canicollis)

Six at Wakkerstroom

321. Forest Canary (Serinus scotops)

Three at Xumeni Forest

322. Lemon-breasted Canary (Serinus citrinipectus)

Three pairs at Bonamanzi Game Ranch

323. Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus)

Noted at Bonamanzi Game Ranch, near Bonamanzi, Nkwaleni Valley, Oribi Gorge and at Richard's Bay

324. Yellow Canary (Serinus flaviventris)

Eight plus at Sani Pass

325. Drakensberg Siskin (Serinus symonsi)

Not uncommon at Sani Pass

326. Cape Bunting (Emberiza capensis)

A few at Sani Pass

327. Golden-breasted Bunting (Emberiza flaviventris)

Two at Mkuzi Game Reserve and a single at Nkwaleni Valley


Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall