Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day 2 Sightings

We've been busy the last couple of days (peak season at the Guest Farm). No time to breathe, no time to blog.

So I started wondering: which African country has the most bird species? I looked it up today: according to Africapedia, the DRC has 1148 bird species, which puts it top of the list. Namibia is at number 26, with 619 species. Not bad considering it's a desert country (thanks to the Caprivi Strip for adding a couple of non arid species!!).

So here is our second day's list. Of note here (meaning they're more unusual sightings for us) are number 21 and number 25: the Long-billed Crombec and Temmink's courser. We were having lunch in Okaukeujo, Etosha, right next to the waterhole when a bunch of Red-eyed Bulbuls showed up. Shortly after that the Crombec appeared, apparently (I assume) attracted by the noise the Bulbuls were making as they were feeding on insects in an Acacia tree.

(For interest's sake the E behind the species stands for Etosha NP, not endangered! )

17 July
1.       Tawny Eagle (E)
2.       Greater Kestrel (E)
3.       Kori Bustard (E)
4.       Fork-tailed Drongo (E)
5.       Marico flycatcher (E)
6.       Crowned Lapwing (E)
7.       African Grey Hornbill (E)
8.       Northern Black Korhaan (E)
9.       Martial Eagle (E)
10.   Red-headed Finch (E)
11.   White-backed Vulture (E)
12.   Bateleur (E)
13.   Egyptian Goose (E)
14.   Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk (E)
15.   Ground-scraper thrush (E)
16.   Sociable Weaver (E)
17.   Pied Crow (E)
18.   Blacksmith Plover (E)
19.   White-browed Sparrow-weaver (E)
20.   Southern masked weaver (E)
21.   Long-billed crombec (E)
22.   White-bellied sunbird (E)
23.   Rock martin (E)
24.   Double-banded courser (E)
25.   Temminks courser (E)
26.   Scaly-feathered finch (E)
27.   Lilac-breasted roller (E)
28.   Purple roller (E)
29.   Common fiscal (E)

Martial Eagle - Etosha NP
                                                                          Northern Black Korhaan - Etosha NP

Anyway, back to the current day! I was sitting at one of our cattle posts today, looking out for new species and taking some photos. There was one bird that drove me absolutely crazy. It kept calling and I kept looking, but I could not for the life of me see it. I had sort of decided on Green-winged Pytilia, but could not be certain. My Sasol app had the call, but it had some minor differences (could be a local dialect?). It didn't help that the windmill was groaning behind me and that about 200 doves were coming in to drink three meters away. Finally I decided to call it a day. Got down from the blind, clambered over the fence...and right in front of me in a thorn bush was a mother Green-winged Pytilia with three juveniles. So that's number 120 on our list!

 Unfortunately, I couldn't take a good photo, but here is one Rachel took a while back in our garden of a male...

And his female...

In addition, in Etosha I had a nice sighting of a group of 15 lions. 7 Females, 7 cubs and this guy. His two brothers were nowhere to be seen.

Well, that's all for now. Will try and post more regularly.



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