KwaNdaba, Rust de Winter Birding Trip Report 19 – 21 July 2013

KwaNdaba, Rust de Winter Birding Trip Report 19 – 21 July 2013


Birding weekend - KwaNdaba Rust de Winter 19 to 21 July
Birding weekend – KwaNdaba Rust de Winter 19 to 21 July

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.

IMG_7157 BA8R0361


CANON SA & B&H Photo
CANON SA & B&H Photo


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.

Rihann Geyser
Rihann Geyser


Rihann walking with Andre


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. (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.

IMG_7588-3 ST0A6348

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.




Ref    No

Common    name

Scientific    name

1755Sunbird MaricoCinnyrismariquensis
2442Honeyguide LesserIndicator minor
3581Robin-Chat CapeCossypha caffra
4763Sunbird White-belliedCinnyristalatala
5311Pigeon SpeckledColumba guinea
64142Sparrow Southern Grey-headedPasser diffuses
7734Myna CommonAcridotherestristis
8545Bulbul Dark-cappedPycnonotustricolor
9743Starling Burchell’sLamprotornisaustralis
10316Turtle-Dove CapeStreptopeliacapicola
11859Canary Yellow-frontedCrithagramozambicus
12424Hornbill African GreyTockusnasutus
131172White-eye CapeZosteropsvirens
14678Flycatcher FairyStenostirascita
15839Waxbill BlueUraeginthusangolensis
16533Babbler Arrow-markedTurdoidesjardineii
17745Starling Red-wingedOnychognathusmorio
18661Flycatcher MaricoBradornismariquensis
19711Shrike Crimson-breastedLaniariusatrococcineus
20149Fish-Eagle AfricanHaliaeetusvocifer
21658Tit-Babbler Chestnut-ventedParisomasubcaeruleum
22621Crombec Long-billedSylviettarufescens
23637Neddicky NeddickyCisticola fulvicapilla
24450Woodpecker CardinalDendropicosfuscescens
25439Barbet CrestedTrachyphonusvaillantii
26339Go-away-bird GreyCorythaixoidesconcolor
27521Oriole Black-headedOrioluslarvatus
28673Batis ChinspotBatis molitor
29835Firefinch Jameson’sLagonostictarhodopareia
30793Weaver Red-headedAnaplectesrubriceps
31517Drongo Fork-tailedDicrurusadsimilis
32714Tchagra Brown-crownedTchagraaustralis
33228Jacana AfricanActophilornisafricanus
34803Masked-Weaver SouthernPloceusvelatus
35522Crow PiedCorvusalbus
36437Tinkerbird Yellow-frontedPogoniuluschrysoconus
37642Cisticola RattlingCisticola chiniana
38317Dove LaughingStreptopeliasenegalensis
39814Widowbird White-wingedEuplectesalbonotatus
40185Spurfowl Swainson’sPternistisswainsonii
41314Dove Red-eyedStreptopeliasemitorquata
42192Guineafowl HelmetedNumidameleagris
43748Oxpecker Red-billedBuphaguserythrorhynchus
44174Francolin CrestedDendroperdixsephaena
454129Hornbill Red-billedTockuserythrorhynchus
46649Prinia Tawny-flankedPrinia subflava
47772Sunbird AmethystChalcomitraamethystina
48604Swamp-Warbler LesserAcrocephalusgracilirostris
49224Korhaan Red-crestedLophotisruficrista
50247Lapwing African WattledVanellussenegallus
51737Starling Cape GlossyLamprotornisnitens
52208Swamphen African PurplePorphyriomadagascariensis
5352Darter AfricanAnhinga rufa
54288Gull Grey-headedLaruscirrocephalus
5550Cormorant ReedPhalacrocoraxafricanus
56724Shrike MagpieCorvinellamelanoleuca
57843Waxbill CommonEstrildaastrild
58210Moorhen CommonGallinulachloropus
59582Robin-Chat White-throatedCossyphahumeralis
60130Kite Black-shoulderedElanuscaeruleus
61203Crake BlackAmaurornisflavirostris
62242Lapwing CrownedVanelluscoronatus
63365Owlet Pearl-spottedGlaucidiumperlatum
64183Spurfowl NatalPternistisnatalensis
65212Coot Red-knobbedFulicacristata
664131Coucal Burchell’sCentropusburchellii
67245Lapwing BlacksmithVanellusarmatus
68609Rush-Warbler LittleBradypterusbaboecala
69104Duck White-backedThalassornisleuconotus
70712Puffback Black-backedDryoscopuscubla
716Grebe LittleTachybaptusruficollis
72447Woodpecker Golden-tailedCampetheraabingoni
7389Goose EgyptianAlopochenaegyptiacus
74431Barbet Black-collaredLybiustorquatus
75792Masked-Weaver LesserPloceusintermedius
76321Wood-Dove Emerald-spottedTurturchalcospilos
77100Duck White-facedDendrocygnaviduata
78402Kingfisher Brown-hoodedHalcyon albiventris
79837Firefinch Red-billedLagonostictasenegala
8067Bittern LittleIxobrychusminutus
81709Boubou SouthernLaniariusferrugineus
8284Ibis HadedaBostrychiahagedash
83238Plover Three-bandedCharadriustricollaris
84628Camaroptera Grey-backedCamaroptera brevicaudata
85498Swallow Pearl-breastedHirundodimidiata
86588Scrub-Robin White-browedCercotrichasleucophrys
8761Egret CattleBubulcus ibis
88275Thick-knee SpottedBurhinuscapensis
89373Nightjar Fiery-neckedCaprimulguspectoralis
90419Wood-Hoopoe GreenPhoeniculuspurpureus
91426Hornbill Southern Yellow-billedTockusleucomelas
92874Bunting Golden-breastedEmberizaflaviventris
93536Babbler Southern PiedTurdoidesbicolor
9464Heron BlackEgrettaardesiaca
9596Duck Yellow-billedAnasundulata
9655Heron Black-headedArdeamelanocephala
9754Heron GreyArdeacinerea
98205Flufftail Red-chestedSarothrurarufa
99102Pochard SouthernNettaerythrophthalma
10095Duck African BlackAnassparsa
10147Cormorant White-breastedPhalacrocoraxcarbo
102250Snipe AfricanGallinagonigripennis
10356Heron GoliathArdea goliath
104101Duck FulvousDendrocygnabicolor
105410Bee-eater LittleMeropspusillus
106557Thrush GroundscraperPsophocichlalitsipsirupa
107368Eagle-Owl SpottedBubo africanus
108359Owl BarnTyto alba
109432Barbet Acacia PiedTricholaemaleucomelas



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 SA
BirdLife Northern Gauteng
CCBC (Capital City Business Chamber)
ADSSA Web Solutions
ALWINCO – Security Risk Assessments

Contact details:

Ben Fouche
Rihann Geyser (office) +27(0)825558122


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