KwaNdaba, Rust de Winter Birding Trip Report 19 – 21 July 2013
At last it was Friday , the weekend had started and everyone was filled with anticipation. It is with great joy that I thank all the birders, photographers, Willem andTina (Kwandaba Game Lodge), Rihann Geyser (Avifaunal specialist and birding guide), Ian van Niekerk (CANON SA), Rick Nieuwoudt (B&H Photo /Video), Oom Nick ( Owner of the boat) and those who helped us to advertise the weekend, Birdlife SA, CCBC, Adssa Web Solutions , Tessa Venter (Our web designer) and my family for their patience.
Due to the “fact” that most birders hibernate during the month of July, we did not attract as many participants as we would like, but still had a great attendance.
I think the “new” approach, combining the birding, atlas work, photography, boat trip and a lapa fire, contributed to the success of the weekend.
Most birders added a few species to their life lists and most photographers learnt a few good lessons.
CANON SA’s Ian Van Niekerk , spoiled the photographers with the best lenses and cameras on the market. Without Ian and Rick from B&H Photo, the weekend would not be the same.
How privileged can you be to have a birding specialist like Rihann , guiding the weekend and helping the birders to identify “alien” species on their laptops in the lapa after dinner.
Willem added a bit of spice with his BEDFORD, transporting us to and from the boat launching site. I wonder how many of these old faithful workhorses are still around.
A major concern is the increase of the Nile crocodile in the Rust de Winter dam. We saw more crocodiles than ever before and one of the biggest crocodiles I have seen in my life was lying on the shoreline, only a few metres away from us. The increase of crocodiles may cause a safety issue for birders and anglers.
Feedback from everyone who attended was very positive, indicating that they cannot wait for the next trip.
Birdwatcher.co.za (Ben Fouche and Rihann Geyser) organised a birding weekend at KwaNdaba Lodge from 19 – 21 July 2013. The weekend focused on bird photography and gathering data for the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2) for the 2510_2825 pentad situated within the 2528AB quarter degree grid cell.
Birding started at 12:16 on Friday afternoon (19 July 2013) in the area surrounding the lodge. Thirty five species were recorded within the 1ste hour of birding around the lodge which include species such as Fairy Flycatcher, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Marico Flycatcher, Red-winged Starling, Cardinal Woodpecker, Red-headed Weaver, Lesser-Masked Weaver, Marico Sunbird, Lesser Honeyguide, Jameson’s Firefinch, African Grey Hornbill, Yellow-fronted Canary, Arrow-Marked Babbler, Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler, Long-billed Crombeck, Neddicky, Chinspot Batis, Amethyst Sunbird, Cape Robin-chat, White-bellied Sunbird, Pied Crow, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Speckled Pigeon and an African Jacana which was foraging around the pond in the lodge area. African Fish-eagles were calling from a distance.
A drive along the western boundary of the nature reserve added bird species such as Rattling Cisticola, White-winged Widowbirds, still in their non-breeding plumage, Swainson’s Spurfowl, Red-billed Oxpeckers on cattle on a neighbouring farm, Crested Francolin, Red-billed Hornbill and species such as Tawny-flanked Prinia, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Red-crested Korhaan, African Wattled Lapwing, African Purple Swamphen, African Darter, Grey-headed Gull and Reed Cormorant were seen along the south-western shoreline of the dam. A walk along the shoreline of the dam added species such as Magpie Shrike, Common Waxbill, White-throated Robin Chat, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Crake, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Natal Spurfowl, Red-knobbed Coot, Burchell’s Coucal, Blacksmith Lapwing, Little Rush Warbler, White-backed Duck, Black-backed Puffback, Little Grebe, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Egyptian Goose, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, White-faced Duck, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Red-billed Firefinch, Southern Boubou, Three-banded Plover, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Pearl-breasted Swallowand great views of anadult Little Bittern. A bushpig caused some excitement running a few meter past us through the dense bulrush. Several small Nile crocodiles were also seen along the open shorelines of the dam.
During the early morning hours of the next day, 20 July,Pearl-spotted Owlets, Spotted Thick-knees and Fiery-necked Nightjars were calling in a distance close to the lodge. After early morning coffee and rusks we wet of with birders and Rick … and Ian …. from Canon. Birding started around the lodge and Pearl-spotted Owlets offered great photographic opportunities. The morning bird walk produced Green Wood-hoopoe, Golden-breasted Bunting and Southern Pied Babbler around the Lodge and woodland area between the lodge and the dam. The small open water area within the dense stance of bulrush on the edge of the dam produced a single Black Heron as well as Yellow-billed Ducks, Black-headed – and Grey Heron a calling Red-chested Flufftail. The walk along the shoreline of the dam produced a single Southern Pochard, African Black Duck, White-breasted Cormorant and African Snipe. The boat trip on the dam after brunch added Goliath Heron, Fulvous Duck and twoLittle Bee-eaters that were catching insects along the shoreline of the dam. A Barn Owl was heard calling during dinner.
Sunday,s birding only added one species to the list which was an African Pied Barbet and a massive 4 m plus Nile crocodile.
A total of 109 species were seen for the weekend over a period of 12 hours of birding which is not too bad for the winter. The next KwaNdaba bird weekend during summer is sure to produce some more and exiting species. Table 1 gives the list of bird species seen during the weekend or order as recorded. 12 bird species were added during the weekend that was not previously recorded for the 2510_2825 pentad during the SABAP2 period which started on 1 July 2007. These birds are African Black Duck, Fulvous Duck, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Red-chested Flufftail, Black Heron, Black-headed Heron, Goliath Heron, Grey Heron, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Southern Pochard, African Snipe and Red-headed Weaver.
|2||442||Honeyguide Lesser||Indicator minor|
|3||581||Robin-Chat Cape||Cossypha caffra|
|5||311||Pigeon Speckled||Columba guinea|
|6||4142||Sparrow Southern Grey-headed||Passer diffuses|
|12||424||Hornbill African Grey||Tockusnasutus|
|23||637||Neddicky Neddicky||Cisticola fulvicapilla|
|28||673||Batis Chinspot||Batis molitor|
|37||642||Cisticola Rattling||Cisticola chiniana|
|46||649||Prinia Tawny-flanked||Prinia subflava|
|50||247||Lapwing African Wattled||Vanellussenegallus|
|51||737||Starling Cape Glossy||Lamprotornisnitens|
|52||208||Swamphen African Purple||Porphyriomadagascariensis|
|53||52||Darter African||Anhinga rufa|
|78||402||Kingfisher Brown-hooded||Halcyon albiventris|
|84||628||Camaroptera Grey-backed||Camaroptera brevicaudata|
|87||61||Egret Cattle||Bubulcus ibis|
|91||426||Hornbill Southern Yellow-billed||Tockusleucomelas|
|93||536||Babbler Southern Pied||Turdoidesbicolor|
|100||95||Duck African Black||Anassparsa|
|103||56||Heron Goliath||Ardea goliath|
|107||368||Eagle-Owl Spotted||Bubo africanus|
|108||359||Owl Barn||Tyto alba|
|109||432||Barbet Acacia Pied||Tricholaemaleucomelas|
Rihann Geyser (Avifaunal Specialist)
Willem and Tina Basson (KwaNdaba Game Lodge)
Ian van Niekerk(Canon SA)
Rick Nieuwoudt (B&H Photo/Video)
Oom Nick (Boat ownwer)
BirdLife Northern Gauteng
CCBC (Capital City Business Chamber)
ADSSA Web Solutions
ALWINCO – Security Risk Assessments