Birdingpals Trip Report

South Africa Birds for 1 – 24 May 2006
by Birdingpal Peter T. Johnson

The trip was a specialized itinerary arranged by Rockjumper Birding Tours for four Australian friends; Fraser Gear provided the expert guiding services. The areas covered included the regions around Cape Town, Ceres and the Karoo, West Coast Nacional Park, Paarl; from Durban northward to Krantzkloof, Albert Falls, Hilton, Karkloof, nXumeni Forest, Underberg, Sani Pass and the Kingdom of Lesotho; on the East coast Eschowe, Ongoye Forest Reserve, St. Lucia, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, iPhwa, Mkuzi Game Reserve, Mkuzi pans, Makkerstroom; Kruger National Park’s camps: Skukuza, Satara, Olifant and Letaba; Dullstroom and Zaagkuilsdkift.
434 species of birds were seen and identified. Princeton University Press field guides used: Ian Sinclair,, Birds of Southern Africa and Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan, Birds of Africa South of the Sahara.

Ostriches – Struthionidae
Common ostrich
Penguins – Spheniscidae
African penguin
Grebes – Podicipedidae
Little, great crested, black-necked
Pelicans – Pelecanidae
Great white, pink-backed
Cormorants – Phalacrocoracidae Reed, crowned, bank, white-breasted, Cape
Anhingas & darters – Anhingidae
Herons & egrets – Ardeidae
Egrets: little, intermediate, great
Herons: grey, black-headed, Goliath, purple, cattle, squacco
Black-crowned night-heron
Hamerkop – Scopidae
Storks – Ciconidae
Woolly-necked, yellow-billed, saddle-billed, Marabou, white
Ibises & spoonbills – Threskiornithidae
Ibises: glossy, hadada, sacred, southern bald
Spoonbill: African
Flamingos – Phoenicopteridae
Ducks & geese – Anatidae
Ducks: white-faced whistling, Maccoa, comb, African black, yellow-billed, South African shelduck, Cape shoveler, southern pochard
Teal: red-billed, hottentot
Geese: Egyptian, spur-winged, African pygmy-goose
Secretarybird – Sagittariidae
Osprey – Pandionidae
Hawks, eagles & kites – Accipitridae
Kite: black-shouldered
Eagles: African fish, tawny, Verreaux’s, crowned hawk-eagle, martial, long-crested
Vultures: palmnut, Lammergeier, hooded, white-backed, Cape griffon, lappet-faced, white-headed
Snake-eagles: black-crested, brown, southern banded
Harriers: African marsh-harrier, black, African harrier-hawk
Goshawk: dark chanting, pale chanting, African, shikra, black sparrowhawk
Buzzard: lizard, forest, jackal
Falcons & kestrels – Falconidae
Falcons: Lanner, peregrine, Taita
Rock kestrel
Francolins & quails – Phasianidae
Francolins: crested, red-wing, Natal, Cape, Swainson’s
Common quail
Guineafowl – Numididae
Helmeted, crested
Buttonquail – Turnicidae
Cranes – Gruidae
Wattled, gray-crowned
Rails, gallinules & coots – Rallidae
Crakes: African, black
Purple swamphen
Common moorhen
Red-knobbed coot
Bustards & korhaans – Otididae
Kori, red-crested, southern black, Barrow’s, blue, Karoo, black-bellied
Jacanas – Jacanidae
African, lesser
Oystercatchers – Haematopodidae
Stilts & avocets – Recurvirostridae
Black-winged stilt
Pied avocet
Thick-knees – Burhinidae
Water, spotted
Coursers & pratincoles – Glareolidae
Bronze-winged courser
Plovers & lapwings – Charadriidae
Plovers: black-bellied, common ringed, Kittlitz’s, three-banded, white-fronted, blacksmith
Lapwings: Senegal, black-winged, white-crowned, wattled, crowned
Sandpipers & allies – Scolopacidae
Snipes: African, greater painted
Bar-tailed godwit
Eurasian curlew
Common greenshank
Sandpipers: Terek,curlew
Ruddy turnstone
Little stint
Gulls – Laridae
Cape, grey-headed, Hartlaub’s
Terns – Sternidae
Swift, sandwich, little, whiskered
Sandgrouse – Pteroclidae
Doves & pigeons – Columbidae
Pigeons: rock, speckled, Rameron, African green
Doves: lemon, laughing, African mourning, Cape turtle, red-eyed, emerald-spotted wood, Namaqua
Parrots – Psittacidae
Cape, brown-headed
Turacos – Musophagidae
Knysna, Livingstone’s, purple-crested
gray go-away-bird
Cuckoos & coucals – Cuculidae
Burcell’s coucal
Levaillant’s cuckoo
Owls – Tytonidae and Strigidae
Barn, African Scops, Spotted eagle-, Verreaux’s eagle-, African wood, pearl-spotted owlet, marsh, Pel’s
Nightjars & allies – Caprimulgidae
Fiery-necked, square-tailed, swamp
Swifts – Apodidae
African black, African palm, little, white rumped
Mousebirds – Coliidae
White-backed, speckled, red-faced
Trogons – Trogonidae
Kingfishers – Alcedinidae
Malachite, brown-hooded, striped, giant, pied, woodland
Bee-eaters – Meropidae
White-fronted, little
Rollers – Coraciidae
Lilac-breasted, rufous-crowned Hoopoes – Upupidae
Woodhoopoes – Phoeniculidae
Green wood, common scimitarbil
Hornbills – Bucerotidae
Red-billed, southern yellow-billed, crowned, African grey, trumpeter, southern ground
Barbets – Capitonidae
Tinkerbirds: red-fronted, yellow-rumped
Barbets: green, acacia pied, white-eared, black-collared, crested
Honeyguides – Indicatoridae
Woodpeckers & wrynecks – Picidae
Wryneck: rufous-throated
Woodpeckers: Bennett’s, golden-tailed, ground, cardinal, bearded, olive
Broadbills – eurylaimidae
Larks & sparrowlarks – Alaudidae
Larks: rufous-naped, flappet, eastern clapper, sabota, Karoo, spike-heeled, red-capped, Rudd’s, long-billed, eastern long-billed
Sparrowlarks: chestnut-backed
Swallows & martins – Hirundinidae
Martins: brown-throated, house, rock
Swallows: grey-rumped, wire-tailed, pearl-breasted, greater striped
Black saw-wing
Wagtails, pipits & longclaws – motacillidae
Wagtails: African, Cape
Longclaws: Cape, yellow-throated
Pipits: African, long-billed, yellow-breasted
Cuckoo-shrikes – campephagidae
Grey, black
Bulbuls & greenbuls – Pycnonotidae
Bulbuls: dark-capped, Cape
Greenbuls: somber, yellow-bellied, yellow-streaked
Terrestrial brownbul
Eastern nicator
Thrushes & allies – Turdidae
Rock-jumpers: Cape, orange-breasted
Rock-thrushes: Cape, sentinel
Thrushes: groundscraper, spotted ground, Kurrichane, olive
Cisticolas & allies – Cisticolidae
Cisticolas: rattling, wailing, grey-backed, Levaillant’s, lazy, Zitting, desert, cloud [SW form], rufous-winged
Prinias: tawny-flanked, Karoo, Drakensberg
Warblers: Namaqua, Kopjie, Stierling’s wren
Apalises: bar-throated, yellow-breasted, Rudd’s
Camaropteras: green-backed
Warblers & allies – Sylviidae
Warblers: yellow-throated, dark-capped yellow, Cape reed
Cape grassbird
Eremomela: yellow-bellied, yellow-rumped, burnt-necked
Long-billed crombec
Tit-babbler: Layard’s, chestnut-vented
Flycatchers – Muscicapidae
Flycatchers: pale, Marico, southern black, fiscal, African dusky, ashy, fairy
Grey tit-flycatcher
Robin-chats: Chorister, Cape, red-capped, white-browed, white-throated
Scrub-robins: bearded, brown, red-backed, Karoo
African stonechat
Wheatears: mountain, capped
Mocking cliff-chat
Chats: buff-streaked, sickle-winged, Karoo, familiar, ant-eating
Monarch flycatchers – Monarchidae
African paradise
Wattle-eyes & batises – Platysteiridae
Batises: Cape, chinspot, Woodward’s, pririt
Black-throated wattle-eye
Babblers & allies - Timalidae
Babblers: pied, arrow-marked
Bush blackcap
Tits – Paridae
Southern black, grey
Penduline-tits – Remizidae
Sunbirds – Nectarinidae
Orange-breasted, amethyst, scarlet-chested, malachite, collared, greater double-collared, southern double-collared, white-bellied, eastern olive, grey, purple-banded, Neergaard’s, Marico
White-eyes – Zosteropidae
African yellow, Cape
Sugarbirds – Promeropidae
Cape, Gurney’s
Orioles – Oriolidae
African black-headed
Shrikes – Laniidae
Common fiscal, crimson-breasted, magpie, white-crowned
Bush-shrikes & allies – Malaconotidae
Black-backed puffback
Tchagras: black-crowned, brown-crowned
Southern boubou
Bush-shrike: orange, grey-headed
Helmetshrikes – Prionopidae
Drongos – Dicruridae
Square-tailed, fork-tailed
Crows & ravens – Corvidae
Crows: Cape, pied
White-necked raven
Starlings – Sturnidae
Starlings: red-winged, African pied, wattled, common
Glossy-starlings: black-bellied, Cape, great blue-eared, Burchell’s
Common myna
Red-billed oxpecker
Old world sparrows – Passeridae
Sparrows: house, Cape, southern grey-headed
Yellow-throated petronia
Weavers & allies – Ploceidae
Weavers: red-billed buffalo, yellow, thick-billed, white-browed sparrow-, lesser masked, spectacled, Cape, southern masked, dark-backed, red-headed
Red-billed quelea
Bishops: yellow-crowned, red, yellow
Widowbirds: fan-tailed, white-winged, long-tailed
Waxbills & allies – Estrildidae
Green-winged pytilia
Pink-throated twinspot
Firefinches: African, red-billed, Jameson’s
Waxbills: blue-breasted cordonbleu, swee, common, black-faced
Manikins: bronze, red-backed
Finches: cut-throat, scaly-feathered
African quailfinch
Indigobirds & whydahs – Viduidae
Whydahs: pin-tailed, eastern paradise
Canaries, siskins & allies – Fringillidae
Canaries: Cape, forest, yellow-fronted, yellow, brimstone, white-throated, protea
Streaky-headed seed-eater
Drakensberg siskin
Buntings & allies – Emberizidae
Buntings: cinnamon-breasted, Cape, golden-breasted

Peter T. Johnson
Princeton, NJ

Trip Report Kruger Park, South Africa – 07th April 2005
by Birdingpal Doug Wagner

A fantastic day was spent with Connie and Danna Pula in the Southern Sector of the Kruger Park, South Africa.
Apart from the weather not being favourable (cold and wet), we managed to clock up close on 100 species some of which were lifers for Connie, although she is based in Angola, (citizen of USA). See list below. Danna on the other hand, as a casual birder was treated to a feast of mammals, Lions, Elephant, Buffalo, White Rhinoceros, African Wild Dog, Giraffe, Burchell’s Zebra, Brindled Gnu (Blue Wildebeest), and many more….

Secretary Bird
Southern Yellowbilled Hornbill
Goliath Heron
Woolly-necked Stork
White-backed Vulture
Tawny Eagle
Brown Snake Eagle
European Honey Buzzard
Swainson’s Spurfowl
African Green Pigeon
Brown Headed Parrot
African Scops-Owl
European Bee-eater
Purple Roller
Common Scimitarbill
Black-collard Barbet
Cardinal Woodpecker
Black Cuckooshrike
Black-headed Oriole
Arrow-marked Babbler
White-throated Robin-Chat
Whitebrowed Scrub-Robin
Chinspot Batis
African Paradise-Flycatcher
And many more…..
Once again, big thank you to for bringing together like minded birders and nature lovers who care.

Doug Wagner
Email me at

Last update 31/01/2013