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 Hornbill Hadeda Ibis
Arrow-marked Babbler Helmeted Guineafowl
Black Crake Lilac-breasted Roller
Black-headed Oriole Long-billed Crombec
Black-throated Canary Magpie Shrike
Blue Waxbill Marico Flycatcher
Brown-crowned Tchagra Natal Spurfowl
Brown-hooded Kingfisher Neddicky
Brubru Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Burchell’s Coucal Pearl-spotted Owlet
Burchell’s Starling Red-eyed Dove
Burnt-necked Eremomela Red-faced Mousebird
Cape Glossy Starling Reed Cormorant
Cape Sparrow Sabota Lark
Cape Turtle Dove Southern Black Flycatcher
Cape White-eye Southern Black Tit
Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler Southern Masked Weaver
Chinspot Batis Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Common Scimitarbill Southern White-crowned Shrike
Crested Barbet Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Crested Francolin Speckled Mousebird
Crowned Lapwing Speckled Pigeon
Dark-capped Bulbul Spotted Flycatcher
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove Swainson’s Spurfowl
Fork-tailed Drongo Tawny-flanked Prinia
Golden-tailed Woodpecker White-bellied Sunbird
Green Wood Hoopoe White-browed Scrub Robin
Grey Go-away-bird White-crested Helmetshrike
Grey-headed Bushshrike Yellow-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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