Thursday 25 August 2016

South Africa - August 2016 : Part 6

12th August - day 9

As this was our only morning to bird at Blyde River Canyon, we wanted to make the best out of it. This will also be our last morning of proper birding before heading back to Johannesburg. There are in fact quite a lot of good birding sites around Blyde River Canyon, however we didn't have enough time to explore them all, so places like Mount Sheeba and the lower parts of the canyon will have to wait till next time!

We woke up early again to bird around the gardens next to our lodge. One of the first birds we saw were a few confiding Striped Pipits, a very distinctive Pipit species and easily recognizable by their striped underparts and olive coloured primaries. Nearby, a male Mocking Cliff Chat foraged nearby, a species often associated with cliffs as it is with houses, this one however looks to have some kind of infection on it's feet, although it didn't seems to be affecting it too much.

Striped Pipit

Mocking Cliff Chat - male

Captain's foot hadn't improved much over night, he still found it painful to walk, so we didn't walk too far. We walked up a small footpath which led towards the staff quarters, a few Cape White-eyes went past us as we walked up the stone stairs. A fruiting tree at the top of the stairs provided good views of a Black-headed Oriole, having that classic black and yellow "Oriole look". A few Sombre Greenbuls were also present.

Cape White-eye

Black-headed Oriole

Sombre Greenbul

A pair of Black-collared Barbets perched on a flowering coral tree, their red heads really blended into it's surroundings nicely. We noticed a very small bird no bigger then a White-eye, a better look through my binoculars confirmed it to be a Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird. Tinkerbirds or Tinker Barbets as they were called are actually part of the Barbet family only much smaller.

Black-collared Barbet

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird

We walked back down to our lodge where we found a smart looking bird foraging in the bush nearby in form of a White-throated Robin-Chat! Their greyish cap and back with white wing-bars makes them instantly recognisable. An endemic species to southern Africa, with a distribution range from north eastern South Africa, south east Botswana, south Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

White-throated Robin-Chat

We decided to head out with in the car to a few view points around the resort, Captain suggested that the other guys should come along too. We first visited the lower view point, the view looking towards the Three Rondavels was stunning. On our way back we went past the restaurant and saw a large coral tree outside, a few endemic Greater Double-collared Sunbirds were feeding in the tree, they look similar to the Southern Double-collared Sunbirds but larger and has a broader red breast band.

Lower View Point

Flowering Coral Tree

Greater Double-collared Sunbird

We then headed up towards the upper viewpoint, at the car park we encountered a few Familiar Chats, again very confiding and friendly. Our car arrived first and we noticed Yuen's car didn't follow us up to the car park, when we saw him he showed us a photo of a Trumpeter Hornbill! We have somehow missed the pair of huge hornbills down the road, so we all hurried back to the spot he last saw them, unfortunately we were too late, they had already gone. I played their wailing calls for a few minutes but got no reply. A pair of Cape Rock-Thrush made an appearance back at the view point's car park.

Familiar Chat

Cape Rock-Thrush - male

Cape Rock-Thrush - female

If the view at lower view point was stunning then the upper view point's view of the Three Rondavels was spectacular, easily one of the best views I've ever seen. You get to walk right to the canyon's edge, the sheer cliffs drops off into the deep canyon below really left me speechless and completely in awe. Everyone enjoyed the view immensely and what a perfect location for a proper group photo on our last day!

Upper View Point - over looking the Three Rondavels

Back at the lodge for breakfast, me and Yuen noticed a male Cape Batis nearby at eye-levels, good thing we had our cameras ready. Batises had became one of my trip's favourite, they are not only good looking but also very charismatic little birds. We stopped at the reception to drop off our keys, a Peregrine Falcon decided to drop by before we head out, a very familiar species, Peregrines are no doubt one of the most widespread species of birds in the world, there are 19 accepted subspecies of Peregrines, and those seen in Africa are minor.

Cape Batis - male with the black breast band

Peregrine Falcon - race minor

We headed south towards Lydenburg and stopped at the small town of Dullstroom for lunch. Dullstroom was a pretty little town and is a popular flyfishing destination in South Africa, and indeed the restaurant we went to served some very tasty fresh trouts!

The Rose Cottage at Dullstroom, serves very good food, Fresh Trout recommended!

The rest of our journey back to Johannesburg was pretty smooth, our last stop before heading into Johannesburg was the Alzu Petroport on the N4. This stop-over is famous for having a restroom that overlooks a large game enclosure, so you can enjoy a bit of "nature" when nature calls. The animals however wasn't that appealing to me, having seen all of them at Kruger, these kept in enclosures just wasn't the same. There were how ever a few birds around which did interested me, the commoner birds like Pied Crows and Speckled Pigeons were very conspicuous. A Grey-headed Gull perched on the water's edge at the artificial waterhole inside the enclosure. A few Southern Masked Weavers occasionally perched on the fence, including a transitional male. A single female Southern Red Bishop could've been easily overlooked, as it's presence was completely overwhelmed by the large flocks of Red-billed Queleas that congregated along the water and the feeding station within the enclosure. This species is known to be one of the most numerous birds on earth, with an estimated of over 10 billion individuals, making them one of the main staples for a lot of other birds.

Pied Crow

Speckled Pigeon

Grey-headed Gull

Southern Masked Weaver - a transitional male

Southern Masked Weaver - female

Southern Red Bishop - female

Red-billed Qualea

A few Ostriches got me very excited at first, but only to realised they were all captive individuals within the enclosure. It was quite unfortunate that we did not encounter any wild Ostriches on this trip, only Yuen encountered a female at Kruger (yes he got all the large target birds which got me very jealous), so I guess these are consolation for one of the many dips of our trip! We arrived at the hotel near the airport safely, the hotel room overlooking the hotel's car park gave me a feeling of being back in civilisation, and that was a little saddening.

As the other guys had booked through Ethiopian Air (much cheaper then our tickets), my parents and I departed earlier then they did, we said good-bye to them the next morning and headed to the airport where we took the mid-noon flight back to Hong Kong.

Ostriches...a big dip of the trip

Hotel room at the Peermont D'Oreale Grande

More then a week after the trip and it still feels amazing thinking back all the incredible animals and birds we saw, there was always something new around the corner during our visit. South Africa had exceeded every expectations we had, there are all the right elements in South Africa which makes it a must go destination; the views, the people, the fauna, the flora and the food (best barbecued pork chops I've ever had!). We have only sampled some very small parts of what this vast country has to offer, and it's hard not to fall in love with such a beautiful country. We had a few unfortunate moments during our trip, but I think all of those made the experience all that memorable. A big thanks for Captain for initiating this trip and for making it happen, and to everyone else for the great company and making this trip all that more enjoyable despite the many hiccups we encountered. Being the scatterbrain that I am, I left my tripod at Crocodile Bridge Safari Lodge...So, all the more reason to return as soon as possible to retrieve it!

Despite missing on a few key species at Kruger, we did quite alright overall, connecting with 33 regional endemics and 15 near endemics, with a total of 240 species combined! I personally have 235 for this trip and 209 lifers! You can find our complete trip list below.

1African PenguinStony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTEBreeding colony with chicks and juveniles11
2Shy AlbatrossRooi-Els / Stony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTA few observed from shore11
3Sooty ShearwaterRooi-ElsCPTDark Shearwater species with pale underwing seen from afar, likely to be this species.11
4Cape GannetRooi-Els / Stony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTObserved from afar11
5Great White PelicanRietvleiCPTA pair observed from afar11
6Greater FlamingoCape Town / JohannesburgCPT / JBGFairly common in larger water bodies11
7White-breasted CormorantCape TownCPTCommon11
8Bank CormorantStony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTECommon at breeding colony11
9Cape CormorantStony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTNEMost common of the 3 endemic Cormorants11
10Crowned CormorantStony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTELeast common of the 3 endemic Cormorants11
11Reed CormorantKruger National ParkKNPA few observed from afar11
12African DarterRietvleiCPTOne drying wings11
13African SpoonbillKruger National ParkKNPFairly common along large rivers11
14African Sacred IbisCape Town / JohannesburgCPT / JBGFairly common1
15Southern Bald IbisR532 near Moremela, Blyde River CanyonBRCEOne bird observed flying, landed on a small patch of grazing land11
16Hadeda IbisCape Town / Johannesburg / Kruger National ParkCPT / JBG / KNPAbundant11
17Glossy IbisLower SabieKNPOne observed from afar1
18Goliath HeronLower Sabie / OlifantsKNPA few seen near larger rivers11
19Grey HeronCape Town / Johannesburg / Kruger National ParkCPT / JBG / KNPCommon1
20Purle HeronCrocodile Bridge Safari LodgeKNPOne observed from afar1
21Black-headed HeronCape Town / JohannesburgCPT / JBGFairly common11
22Great EgretKruger National ParkKNPA few observed at water bodies1
23Little EgretCape Town / Kruger National ParkCPT / JBGFairly common1
24Western Cattle EgretCape Town / Kruger National ParkCPT / JBGFairly common1
25Squacco HeronLetabaKNPOne observed from afar11
26Striated HeronLower SabieKNPOne observed by Captain
27Black StorkEngelharddamKNPA few observed1
28Woolly-necked StorkLower SabieKNPA few observed11
29Yellow-billed StorkLower Sabie / SataraKNPCommon near large rivers or water bodies11
30Saddle-billed StorkSatara / Olifants / LetabaKNPA few observed near large rivers11
31Marabou StorkLower Sabie / LetabaKNPNumerous near large rivers, especially Letaba11
32African OpenbillLower SabieKNPA few observed near large rivers11
33HamerkopCape TownCPTOne flying bird observed11
34Little GrebeRietvleiCPTA few observed in larger ponds1
35Spur-winged GooseCape TownCPTFew pairs seen flying11
36Egyptian GooseCape Town / Johannesburg / Kruger National ParkCPT / JBG / KNPAbundant1
37Yellow-billed DuckRietvleiCPTA few seen11
38Cape ShovelerRietvleiCPTNEA few seen11
39Southern PochardRietvleiCPTSmall flock observed11
40Cape VultureJ G StrijdomtunnelBRCEOne observed soaring11
41White-backed VultureLower Sabie / SataraKNPMost numerous Vulture species11
42Hooded VultureLower SabieKNPA flock observed11
43Lappet-faced VultureLower Sabie / SataraKNPFairly common11
44African Fish EagleLower Sabie / OlifantsKNPCommon near large rivers11
45BateleurKruger National ParkKNPCommon throughout Kruger11
46Verreaux's EagleJ G StrijdomtunnelBRCA pair observed soaring11
47Martial EagleLetabaKNPOne being chased by a Lapwing and another spotted during night safari11
48Tawny EagleCrocodile Brideg / Lower Sabie / Letaba / PhalaborwaKNPMost common Eagle species11
49African Hawk EagleR532, Blyde River CanyonBRCTwo individuals observed11
50Yellow-billed KiteWonder View, Blyde River CanyonBRCOne observed (Yuen & TH)
51Jackal BuzzardEnrouteCPT / JBG / BRCFairly common roadside raptor11
52Black-shouldered KiteEnrouteCPT / JBGFairly common roadside raptor11
53Black GoshawkCape TownCPTOne observed11
54African GoshawkKirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTOne observed11
55African Harrier-HawkKirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTOne observed11
56Peregrine FalconBlyde River Canyon Forever ResortBRCOne observed1
57Rock KestrelCape TownCPTA few observed on roadside11
58Common OstrichLower SabieKNPOne female observed by Yuen
59Helmeted GuineafowlCape Town / Kruger National Park / Blyde River CanyonCPT / KNP / BRCVery common11
60Cape SpurfowlCape TownCPTEVery common11
61Natal SpurfowlLower Sabie / LetabaKNPNEFairly common, especially near Letaba11
62Swainson's SpurfowlLower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPFairly common throughout11
63Crested FrancolinLower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPFairly common throughout11
64Red-knobbed CootCape Town / JohannesburgCPT / JBGFairly common near water bodies11
65Common MoorhenBlaauwberg Nature ReserveCPTOne observed1
66Black CrakeOlifantsKNPOne observed11
67Blue CraneCape TownCPTETotal three observed in agricultural land north of Cape Town11
68Kori BustardSatara > LetabaKNPThree birds observed feeding together11
69Red-crested KorhaanLower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPNEThree birds observed at various locations11
70Black-winged StiltCape TownCPTFairly common1
71African JacanaCrocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Lower Sabie / LetabaKNPCommon near water bodies11
72African OystercatcherStony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTNEA few observed11
73Water Thick-kneeRietvlei / Lower Sabie / LetabaCPT / KNP / BRCCommon near water bodies11
74Collared PratincoleLetabaKNPA flock observed flying near Letaba11
75Blacksmith LapwingCape Town / Kruger National ParkCPT / KNPVery common11
76White-crowned LapwingLower SabieKNPA few observed11
77Crowned LapwingSatara / LetabaKNPA few observed11
78Senagal LapwingSataraKNPA flock observed on roadside11
79White-fronted PloverDolphin beachCPTA pair observed on a pebble beach11
80Three-banded PloverLagoon Beach / Lower Sabie / LetabaCPT / KNPFairly common11
81Common GreenshankKruger National ParkKNPFairly common1
82Wood SandpiperKruger National ParkKNPFairly common1
83Subantarctic SkuaStony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTA few observed11
84Kelp GullCape TownCPTCommon11
85Hartlaub's GullCape TownCPTVery common11
86Grey-headed GullJohannesburgJBGVery common11
87Swift Tern (Lesser Crested Tern)Lagoon Beach / Stony's Point Penguin Nature ReserveCPTFairly common1
88Common TernDolphin beachCPTOne observed1
89Whiskered TernLower SabieKNPOne observed on the Sabie1
90Speckled PigeonCape Town / JohannesburgCPT / KNPVery common11
91African Olive (Rameron) PigeonKirstenbosch Botanical Garden / Aero Guest Lodge JohannesburgCPT / JBGA few observed at Kirstenbosch, one at Aero Guest Lodge early morning11
92Rock DoveCape Town / JohannesburgCPT / JBGVery common1
93Lemon (Cinnamon) DoveLower View Point, Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonBRCSingle bird observed in the undergrowth beside trail11
94African Mourning DoveTshokwane Picnic SiteKNPLocally common11
95Red-eyed DoveCape TownCPTVery common11
96Cape Turtle DoveCape Town / Johannesburg / Kruger National ParkCPT / JBG / KNPAbundant11
97Laughing DoveCape Town / Johannesburg / Kruger National ParkCPT / JBG / KNPVery common11
98African Green PigeonCrocodile Bridge Gate / LetabaKNPLocally common11
99Emerald-spotted Wood DoveLower Sabite / SataraKNPA few observed11
100Brown-headed ParrotCrocodile Bridge GateKNPOne observed near Crocodile Bridge Gate11
101Grey Go-away-birdJohannesburg / Kruger National ParkJBG / KNPVery common11
102Burchell's CoucalLetabaKNPNEOne observed11
103African Scops OwlSatara / LetabaKNPFairly common within Satara Rest Camp, one seen well11
104Verreaux's (Giant) Eagle OwlSataraKNPOne observed roosting on roadside tree11
105Spotted Eagle OwlKirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTResident pair observed11
106Fiery-necked NightjarLetabaKNPHeard and later seen on night safari11
107Little SwiftKruger National ParkKNPFairly common11
108African Palm SwiftKruger National ParkKNPVery common11
109Speckled MousebirdRooi-Els / Aero Guest Lodge / LetabaCPT / JBG / KNPVery common11
110White-backed MousebirdBlaauwberg Nature ReserveCPTEA flock observed11
111Red-faced MousebirdBlaauwberg Nature ReserveCPTA flock observed11
112Pied KingfisherLagoon Beach / Letaba / OlifantsCPT / KNPA few observed1
113Brown-hooded KingfisherCrocodile Bridge Gate / Letaba / PhalaborwaKNPFairly common forest Kingfisher11
114White-fronted Bee-eaterOlifantsKNPA few observed near large rivers11
115Little Bee-eaterCrocodile Bridge Gate / LetabaKNPSingles observed11
116Lilac-breasted RollerKruger National ParkKNPCommon throughout Kruger11
117Purple RollerSatara / LetabaKNPFairly common11
118Southern Ground HornbillSataraKNPFlock of 6 seen by Captain and Yuen
119Trumpeter HornbillBlyde River Canyon Forever ResortBRCOne seen by Yuen near upper viewpoint
120African Grey HornbillSataraKNPA few observed at Satara early morning11
121Southern Yellow-billed HornbillKruger National ParkKNPNECommon throughout Kruger11
122Southern Red-billed HornbillKruger National ParkKNPCommon throughout Kruger11
123Green (Red-billed) Wood-HoopoeSataraKNPA flock at Satara11
124Common ScimitarbillCrocodile Bridge GateKNPSingle bird observed at Crocodile Bridge feeding on aloe flowers11
125African HoopoeAero Guest Lodge / Satara / LetabaJBG / KNPSingles observed at various locations11
126Black-collared BarbetCrocodile Bridge Gate / Lower Sabie / Forever Resort Blyde CanyonKNP / BRCSingles or pairs observed at various locations11
127Crested BarbetAero Guest Lodge / Satara / LetabaJBG / KNPMost common Barbet species11
128Yellow-fronted TinkerbirdForever Resort Blyde CanyonBRCSingle bird observed11
129Golden-tailed WoodpeckerSataraKNPPair observed at camp site early morning11
130Bearded WoodpeckerSataraKNPPair observed at camp site early morning11
131Cardinal WoodpeckerSatara / PhalaborwaKNPPair observed at camp site early morning, a single female observed near Phalaborwa11
132Red-capped LarkCape TownCPTNear Blue Crane site11
133Large-billed LarkCape TownCPTENear Blue Crane site11
134Sabota LarkSatara / LetabaKNPNEFairly common within Kruger11
135Wire-tailed SwallowLetabaKNPA few observed11
136Lesser Striped SwallowLetabaKNPA few observed11
137Greater Striped SwallowCrocodile Bridge GateKNPA few observed11
138Red-breasted SwallowLower SabieKNPA pair observed on road side11
139Brown-throated MartinBlaauwberg Nature ReserveCPTA few observed11
140Rock MartinOR Tambo Airport / Satara / Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonJBG / KNP / BRCFairly common11
141Fork-tailed DrongoR44 / Crocodile Bridge Gate / Satara / LetabaCPT / KNPVery common11
142Black-headed OrioleCrocodile Bridge Gate / Letaba / Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonKNP / BRCSingles observed at various locations11
143White-necked RavenR44 / God's Window / Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonCPT / BRCFairly common near rocky cliffs11
144Pied CrowCape Town / JohannesburgCPT / BRCMost common crow11
145Southern Black TitLower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPFairly common amongst mixed feeding flocks11
146Arrow-marked BabblerLower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPFairly common throughout Kruger11
147Cape BulbulCape TownCPTECommon garden bird in Cape Town11
148Dark-capped BulbulAero Guest Lodge / Kruger / Blyde River CanyonJBG / KNP / BRCCommon garden bird11
149Sombre GreenbulHarold Porter National Botanical Garden / Crocodile Bridge Gate / Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonCPT / KNP / BRCFairly common in well wooded areas11
150Olive ThrushHarold Porter National Botanical Garden / Kirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTA few observed11
151Karoo ThrushAero Guest LodgeJBGEVery common at the lodge11
152Kurrichane ThrushLetaba / Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonKNP / BRCFairly common11
153Groundscraper ThrushLetabaKNPSingle bird observed singing late afternoon11
154Cape Rock ThrushRooi-Els / Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonCPT / BRCEFairly common11
155Cape RockjumperRooi-ElsCPTEThree birds observed, nesting confirmed with a young male helping with rearing chicks11
156Mocking Cliff ChatForever Resort Blyde CanyonBRCA few observed around the resort11
157Familiar ChatHarold Porter National Botanical Garden / Forever Resort Blyde River CanyonCPT / BRCFairly common in suitable habitat11
158Capped WheatearCape Town / Satara / Azlu PetroportCPT / KNP / JBGA few observed11
159African StonechatR532 / R36BRCFairly common on roadside11
160Karoo Scrub RobinLagoon Beach / Blaauwberg Nature ReserveCPTEA few observed at coastal fynbos11
161Red-capped Robin-ChatLower Sabie / LetabaKNPSingles observed11
162Cape Robin-ChatBlauuwberg Nature Reserve / Harold Porter National Botanical Garden / Aero Guest Lodge / God's WindowCPT / JBG / BRCFairly common11
163White-throated Robin-ChatLower Sabie / OlifantsKNPESingles observed11
164White-browed Robin-ChatBlyde River Canyon Forever ResortBRCA pair outside lodge garden11
165Cape GrassbirdRooi-ElsCPTESingle bird observed11
166Victorin's WarblerHarold Porter National Botanical GardenCPTEA few heard and one seen well11
167Long-billed CrombecSatara / Letaba / Blyde River Canyon Forever ResortKNP / BRCCommon in mixed feeding flocks11
168Green-capped EremomelaBlyde River Canyon Forever ResortBRCA single bird observed1
169Chestnit-vented Tit-BabblerBlauwwberg Nature ReserveCPTNEA single bird observed11
170Rattling CisticolaLower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPFairly common within Kruger11
171Levaillant's CisticolaRietvlei / Blauwwberg Nature ReserveCPTFairly common at Cape11
172Grey-backed CisticolaBlauwwberg Nature ReserveCPTNEA single bird observed11
173Tawny-flanked PriniaLower Sabie / Letaba / PhalaborwaKNPFairly common within Kurger11
174Karoo PriniaBlauwwberg Nature Reserve / Harold Porter National Botanical Garden / Kirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTECommon in gardens and fynbos11
175Bar-throated ApalisHarold Porter National Botanical Garden / God's WindowCPT / BRCPale morph at Harold Porter11
176Yellow-breasted ApalisCrocodile Bridge Gate / LetabaKNPA few observed11
177Fiscal FlycatcherRooi-Els / Harold Porter National Botanical GardenCPTESingles observed11
178Southern Black FlycatcherCrocodile Bridge GateKNPA few observed11
179African Dusky FlycatcherKirstenbosch Botanical Garden / Lower Sabie / Blyde River Canyon Forever ResortCPT / KNP / BRCMost common Flycatcher speices11
180Ashy FlycatcherBlyde River Canyon Forever ResortBRCSingle bird observed outside lodge11
181Grey Tit-FlycatcherSataraKNPA few in mixed feeding flocks11
182Cape BatisHarold Porter National Botanical Garden / Kirtenbosch Botanical Garden / Blyde River Canyon Forever ResortCPT / BRCEFairly common in wooded areas11
183Chinspot BatisCrocodile Bridge Gate / Satara / LetabaKNPFairly common in mixed feeding flocks11
184Cape White-eyeHarold Porter National Botanical Garden / Aero Guest Lodge / Crocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Blyde River Canyon Forever ResortCPT / JBG / KNP / BRC ECape subspecies capensis and virens for eastern form11
185Cape WagtailO R Tambo Airport / Cape Town / Blyde River Canyon Forever ResortJBG / CPT / BRCCommon throughout11
186African Pied WagtailCrocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Satara / LetabaKNPCommon throughout Kruger11
187Cape LongclawRietvleiCPTEA few observed11
188African PipitCape Town / Kruger National ParkCPT / KNPMost common Pipit species11
189Plain-backed PipitCape Town International AirportCPTSingle bird observed11
190Striped PipitBlyde River Canyon Forever ResortBRCA few observed near lodge11
191Magpie ShrikeCrocodile Bridge Gate / Satara / LetabaKNPCommon throughout Kruger11
192Southern White-crowned ShirkeCrocodile Bridge Gate / Lower Sabie KNPNEFairly common to Lower Sabie11
193Common FiscalCape Town / N12 / N4CPT / JBGVery common roadside bird11
194White-crested HelmetshrikeLetaba > PhalaborwaKNPA flock observed enroute to Phalaborwa11
195Black-backed PuffbackCrocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Satara / LetabaKNPCommon in mixed feeding flocks11
196Southern BoubouKirstenbosch Botanical Garden / Olifants / Blyde River CanyonCPT / KNP / BRCEFairly common in well wooded areas11
197Brown-crowned TchagraCrocodile Bridge Gate / LetabaKNPOne observed at Crocodile Bridge and another at Letaba11
198Black-cronwed TchagraCrocodile Bridge GateKNPOne observed near Crocodile Bridge Gate11
199Orange-breasted BushshrikeCrocodile Bridge Gate / Lower Sabie / SataraKNPA few observed, mainly within mixed feeding flocks11
200Grey-headed BushshrikeLower Sabie / LetabaKNPOne at Lower Sabie and another at Letaba11
201Olive BushshrikeLower SabieKNPNEOne female at Lower Sabie11
202Cape Glossy StarlingSatara / Tshokwane Picnic SiteKNPNot as common as Greater Blue-eared Starling11
203Greater Blue-eared StarlingLower Sabie / Letaba / Satara / Tshokwane Picnic SiteKNPVery common throughout Kruger11
204Burchell's StarlingLower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPNECommon throughout Kurger11
205Pied StarlingN12JBGEA few seen at a petrol station on N1211
206Red-winged StarlingBetty's Bay / Olifants / Blyde River CanyonCPT / KNP / BRCCommon in suitable habitat11
207Common MynaAero Guest Lodge / PhalaborwaJBG / KNPCommon in more urban areas or settlements1
208Common StarlingCape TownCPTVery common in Cape Town1
209Red-billed OxpeckerKruger National ParkKNPCommon throughout Kruger11
210Cape SugarbirdRooi-Els / Harold Porter National Botanical GardenCPTECommon in gardens with proteas11
211Malachite SunbidKirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTA few observed at Kirstenbosch11
212Orange-breasted SunbirdRooi-Els / Harold Porter National Botanical GardenCPTEFairly common in coastal fynbos and gardens11
213Scarlet-chested SunbirdCrocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Crocodile Bridge GateKNPFairly common at flowering aloes11
214Amethyst (Black) SunbirdKirstenbosch Botanical Garden / Crocodile Bridge Safari LodgeCPT / KNPSingles observed at both locations11
215Greater Double-collared SunbirdForever Resort Blyde CanyonBRCECommon in resort gardens, visiting flowering coral trees11
216Southern Doubel-collared SunbirdRooi-Els / Harold Porter National Botanical Garden / Kirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTEVery common in coastal fynbos and gardens11
217Collared SunbirdOlifantsKNPA few seen at flowering aloes11
218White-bellied SunbirdCrocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Satara / LetabaKNPFairly common throughout Kruger11
219Cape SparrowLagoon Beach / Aero Guest LodgeCPT / JBGNEFairly common in gardens11
220House SparrowUrban areasCPT / JBG / KNP / BRC Very common in urban areas including gardens1
221Southern Grey-headed SparrowCrocodile Bridge Gate / Satara / LetabaKNPCommon at rest camps11
222Red-billed Buffalo WeaverSataraKNPA few observed at Satara11
223Thick-billed WeaverAero Guest LodgeJBGSingle female observed at lodge garden11
224Cape WeaverCape Town / Crocodile Bridge Gate / Forever Resort Blyde CanyonCPT / KNP / BRCEFairly common11
225Southern Masked WeaverBlauwwberg Nature Reserve / Aero Guest Lodge / Azlu Petroport / SataraCPT / JBG / KNPVery common11
226Spectacled WeaverCrocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Lower Sabie / LetabaKNPFairly common11
227Red-billed QueleaAzlu PetroportJBGA flock seen there11
228Southern Red BishopCape Town / Azlu PetroportCPT / JBGCommon at Cape Town and a single female seen at Azlu Petroport11
229Yellow BishopCape TownCPTA few seen around Cape Town, a single male assuming breeding plumage11
230Bronze MannikinPhalaborwaKNPA flock seen outside of Kruger at Phalaborwa gate11
231Blue WaxbillCrocodile Bridge GateKNPA flock seen feeding next to roads near Crocodile Bridge Gate11
232Red-billed FirefinchLetabaKNPA few seen at Letaba11
233Swee WaxbillHarold Porter National Botanical GardenCPTEA small flock outside the botanical garden11
234Brimstone CanaryRooi-Els / Kirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTA few singles around Cape Town11
235Yellow-fronted CanaryCrocodile Bridge Safari Lodge / Lower Sabie / Satara / LetabaKNPCommon around rest camps1
236Cape CanaryBlauwwberg Nature Reserve / Kirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTEPairs observed11
237Yellow CanaryBlauwwberg Nature ReserveCPTNEA single bird flew over11
238Forest CanaryKirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTEheard only11
239Cape SiskinRooi-ElsCPTEA pair observed at Rooi-Els11
240Common ChaffinchKirstenbosch Botanical GardenCPTA few heard and one seen1
MK Total: MK Lifers: Endemics:Near Endemics:

Useful information:

Cape Town Accommodation -

Cape Town Birding -
- Brians Birding Tours :

Johannesburg Accommodation - 
- Aero Guest Lodge :

Kruger National Park Accommodation -
- Crocodile Bridge Safari Lodge :
- For Rest Camps booking, please refer to the Kruger official website :

Blyde River Canyon Accommodation -
- Blyde Canyon, a Forever Resort :

Car Rental - Hertz South Africa (NOT RECOMMENDED, overbooking of vehicles is unacceptable in any circumstances!)

Field Guides -
- Sasol eBirds of South Africa : available on Appstore