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Trip Report Enkeldoorn 28 & 29 April 2017

The farm Enkeldoorn is situated approximately 80 km north-east of Pretoria. Myself (Ben Fouche) and John Baker visited Enkeldoorn on Friday 28 April and Saturday 29 April 2016 to gather data for the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2) sabap2.adu.org.za. Another reason for the trip was to establish if it would be viable to take birders to the farm for two or three day nature, fly-fishing and other trips. The trip covered the pentad 2515_2835 and included nocturnal observation.

We arrived late morning and were accompanied by the owner, Oom Abraham Viljoen. We thank him for his hospitality and the opportunity to explore the area.

We started birding the afternoon and were unfortunate to see very little nocturnal birds due to the changing weather.

On Saturday morning we had more luck and submitted a full protocol card to SABAP2 – the South African Bird Atlas Project.

We recorded 58 species such as:

African Grey HornbillHadeda Ibis
Arrow-marked BabblerHelmeted Guineafowl
Black CrakeLilac-breasted Roller
Black-headed OrioleLong-billed Crombec
Black-throated CanaryMagpie Shrike
Blue WaxbillMarico Flycatcher
Brown-crowned TchagraNatal Spurfowl
Brown-hooded KingfisherNeddicky
BrubruOrange-breasted Bushshrike
Burchell’s CoucalPearl-spotted Owlet
Burchell’s StarlingRed-eyed Dove
Burnt-necked EremomelaRed-faced Mousebird
Cape Glossy StarlingReed Cormorant
Cape SparrowSabota Lark
Cape Turtle DoveSouthern Black Flycatcher
Cape White-eyeSouthern Black Tit
Chestnut-vented Tit-BabblerSouthern Masked Weaver
Chinspot BatisSouthern Red-billed Hornbill
Common ScimitarbillSouthern White-crowned Shrike
Crested BarbetSouthern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Crested FrancolinSpeckled Mousebird
Crowned LapwingSpeckled Pigeon
Dark-capped BulbulSpotted Flycatcher
Emerald-spotted Wood DoveSwainson’s Spurfowl
Fork-tailed DrongoTawny-flanked Prinia
Golden-tailed WoodpeckerWhite-bellied Sunbird
Green Wood HoopoeWhite-browed Scrub Robin
Grey Go-away-birdWhite-crested Helmetshrike
Grey-headed BushshrikeYellow-fronted Tinkerbird
Pale Flycatcher

John pointed out many interesting plants and other nature facts. John is a Master Story Teller and we spent hours around the campfire listening to his amazing knowledge of the area, stories about poachers, nature and other interesting tales.

This was an amazing trip for me as my grandfather was once the owner of this beautiful farm which I visited many times as a child. The last time I briefly visited the farm was in 1974. The kilometers of river and cliffs as well as the interesting mix of Seringveld, Tambotie, Maroela trees and Acasia bushveld makes this one of the most interesting and beautiful habitats.

I was fortunate to video a butterfly, Melanitis leda Helena. “evening brown”; “skemerbruintjie”,  and took photos of other butterflies like Phalanta phalanta aethiopica; “poplar leopard” or “african leopard”.

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