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.

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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.

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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

1 755 Sunbird Marico Cinnyrismariquensis
2 442 Honeyguide Lesser Indicator minor
3 581 Robin-Chat Cape Cossypha caffra
4 763 Sunbird White-bellied Cinnyristalatala
5 311 Pigeon Speckled Columba guinea
6 4142 Sparrow Southern Grey-headed Passer diffuses
7 734 Myna Common Acridotherestristis
8 545 Bulbul Dark-capped Pycnonotustricolor
9 743 Starling Burchell’s Lamprotornisaustralis
10 316 Turtle-Dove Cape Streptopeliacapicola
11 859 Canary Yellow-fronted Crithagramozambicus
12 424 Hornbill African Grey Tockusnasutus
13 1172 White-eye Cape Zosteropsvirens
14 678 Flycatcher Fairy Stenostirascita
15 839 Waxbill Blue Uraeginthusangolensis
16 533 Babbler Arrow-marked Turdoidesjardineii
17 745 Starling Red-winged Onychognathusmorio
18 661 Flycatcher Marico Bradornismariquensis
19 711 Shrike Crimson-breasted Laniariusatrococcineus
20 149 Fish-Eagle African Haliaeetusvocifer
21 658 Tit-Babbler Chestnut-vented Parisomasubcaeruleum
22 621 Crombec Long-billed Sylviettarufescens
23 637 Neddicky Neddicky Cisticola fulvicapilla
24 450 Woodpecker Cardinal Dendropicosfuscescens
25 439 Barbet Crested Trachyphonusvaillantii
26 339 Go-away-bird Grey Corythaixoidesconcolor
27 521 Oriole Black-headed Orioluslarvatus
28 673 Batis Chinspot Batis molitor
29 835 Firefinch Jameson’s Lagonostictarhodopareia
30 793 Weaver Red-headed Anaplectesrubriceps
31 517 Drongo Fork-tailed Dicrurusadsimilis
32 714 Tchagra Brown-crowned Tchagraaustralis
33 228 Jacana African Actophilornisafricanus
34 803 Masked-Weaver Southern Ploceusvelatus
35 522 Crow Pied Corvusalbus
36 437 Tinkerbird Yellow-fronted Pogoniuluschrysoconus
37 642 Cisticola Rattling Cisticola chiniana
38 317 Dove Laughing Streptopeliasenegalensis
39 814 Widowbird White-winged Euplectesalbonotatus
40 185 Spurfowl Swainson’s Pternistisswainsonii
41 314 Dove Red-eyed Streptopeliasemitorquata
42 192 Guineafowl Helmeted Numidameleagris
43 748 Oxpecker Red-billed Buphaguserythrorhynchus
44 174 Francolin Crested Dendroperdixsephaena
45 4129 Hornbill Red-billed Tockuserythrorhynchus
46 649 Prinia Tawny-flanked Prinia subflava
47 772 Sunbird Amethyst Chalcomitraamethystina
48 604 Swamp-Warbler Lesser Acrocephalusgracilirostris
49 224 Korhaan Red-crested Lophotisruficrista
50 247 Lapwing African Wattled Vanellussenegallus
51 737 Starling Cape Glossy Lamprotornisnitens
52 208 Swamphen African Purple Porphyriomadagascariensis
53 52 Darter African Anhinga rufa
54 288 Gull Grey-headed Laruscirrocephalus
55 50 Cormorant Reed Phalacrocoraxafricanus
56 724 Shrike Magpie Corvinellamelanoleuca
57 843 Waxbill Common Estrildaastrild
58 210 Moorhen Common Gallinulachloropus
59 582 Robin-Chat White-throated Cossyphahumeralis
60 130 Kite Black-shouldered Elanuscaeruleus
61 203 Crake Black Amaurornisflavirostris
62 242 Lapwing Crowned Vanelluscoronatus
63 365 Owlet Pearl-spotted Glaucidiumperlatum
64 183 Spurfowl Natal Pternistisnatalensis
65 212 Coot Red-knobbed Fulicacristata
66 4131 Coucal Burchell’s Centropusburchellii
67 245 Lapwing Blacksmith Vanellusarmatus
68 609 Rush-Warbler Little Bradypterusbaboecala
69 104 Duck White-backed Thalassornisleuconotus
70 712 Puffback Black-backed Dryoscopuscubla
71 6 Grebe Little Tachybaptusruficollis
72 447 Woodpecker Golden-tailed Campetheraabingoni
73 89 Goose Egyptian Alopochenaegyptiacus
74 431 Barbet Black-collared Lybiustorquatus
75 792 Masked-Weaver Lesser Ploceusintermedius
76 321 Wood-Dove Emerald-spotted Turturchalcospilos
77 100 Duck White-faced Dendrocygnaviduata
78 402 Kingfisher Brown-hooded Halcyon albiventris
79 837 Firefinch Red-billed Lagonostictasenegala
80 67 Bittern Little Ixobrychusminutus
81 709 Boubou Southern Laniariusferrugineus
82 84 Ibis Hadeda Bostrychiahagedash
83 238 Plover Three-banded Charadriustricollaris
84 628 Camaroptera Grey-backed Camaroptera brevicaudata
85 498 Swallow Pearl-breasted Hirundodimidiata
86 588 Scrub-Robin White-browed Cercotrichasleucophrys
87 61 Egret Cattle Bubulcus ibis
88 275 Thick-knee Spotted Burhinuscapensis
89 373 Nightjar Fiery-necked Caprimulguspectoralis
90 419 Wood-Hoopoe Green Phoeniculuspurpureus
91 426 Hornbill Southern Yellow-billed Tockusleucomelas
92 874 Bunting Golden-breasted Emberizaflaviventris
93 536 Babbler Southern Pied Turdoidesbicolor
94 64 Heron Black Egrettaardesiaca
95 96 Duck Yellow-billed Anasundulata
96 55 Heron Black-headed Ardeamelanocephala
97 54 Heron Grey Ardeacinerea
98 205 Flufftail Red-chested Sarothrurarufa
99 102 Pochard Southern Nettaerythrophthalma
100 95 Duck African Black Anassparsa
101 47 Cormorant White-breasted Phalacrocoraxcarbo
102 250 Snipe African Gallinagonigripennis
103 56 Heron Goliath Ardea goliath
104 101 Duck Fulvous Dendrocygnabicolor
105 410 Bee-eater Little Meropspusillus
106 557 Thrush Groundscraper Psophocichlalitsipsirupa
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 SA
BirdLife Northern Gauteng
CCBC (Capital City Business Chamber)
ADSSA Web Solutions
ALWINCO – Security Risk Assessments

Contact details:

Ben Fouche
Rihann Geyser (office) 012 547 6893



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