BIRDSCONTOUR REPORT (31.03.'13 – 13.04.’13)
BIRDSCONTOUR REPORT (31.03.'13 – 13.04.’13)
Text from Stefan Rust
(In terms of the Geneva Convention the copyright of these texts belong to Stefan Rust)
Dear birding friends,
as birdwatching is a relatively new and one of the fastest growing and a most popular pursuit, it attracts people of all ages around the world. There can hardly be a better place than southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa) to nurture an interest in birds as it supports almost 1000 bird species, which is about 10 per cent of the world's entire bird. Taking birding to new heights, Hobby-Ornithologist Stefan Rust together with BirdsConTour represents some of the ontour bird sightings and several other interesting birding aspects to showcase the fun of birding, promote citizen science, highlight conservation, indicate where to view what birds and raise awareness of southern Africa's (sometimes international) birds and their habitats.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS WORK GETS DISTRIBUTED INTERNATIONALLY
Have a quick look if you, your site or neighborhood is included in this scientific informational work (alphabetically arranged):
Allgemeine Zeitung, Namibias Wildvögel
Damara Mopane Lodge
Etosha Safari Lodge
Frans Indongo Lodge
Klein Aus Vista
Rust Daike & Harald
Schmidt Wiebke, Allgemeine Zeitung
Solitaire Guest Farm
Voigts Gaby & Stephan
BirdsConTour Report (Namibia) Personal Highlights:
COMMON OSTRICH, reintroduction
GREAT WHITE PELICAN
NAMIBIAS WILDVÖGEL, Allgemeine Zeitung
Distance traveled: 4 165 km
31.03.'13 Farm Voigtskirch Cape Glossy Starling (1) It is worthwhile observing this clever and handsome little bird more closely. Eating almost anything that comes in its way, it regularly associates with other animals. At the end of last year it was recorded for the first time that it associated with warthogs, feeding on the pigs and foraging on the ploughed ground nearby. This scene happened about 30 km further east from Farm Voigtland and it will be interesting if more of the Cape Glossy Starlings have the association with warthogs.
01.04.'13 Otjiwarongo, 50 km south Lappet-faced Vulture (2) Regarded as uncommon in southern Africa these two and three other birds at Sossusvlei were the only ones observed during a 14 day tour leading through almost whole Namibia.
01.04.'13 Frans Indongo Lodge, Otjiwarongo Cape Penduline-Tit (3) These three birds were found engaged in allopreening. Allopreening is an activity in some bird species, where one individual preens the feathers of another bird. Mostly the focus lies around the head feathers, which a bird cannot reach itself. Additionally, allopreening has an important social function and occurs between mates and close relatives.
01.04.'13 Frans Indongo Lodge, Otjiwarongo Red-backed Shrike (1 Immature) This migrating species depart our grounds within first ten days of April. So this juvenile was one of the last birds of this species to be seen for this season. Interestingly the adult birds depart earlier than the juveniles. The juveniles have to find all the way to Europe and west Asia all on their own.
02.04.’13 Allgemeine Zeitung, Windhoek Column Thanks to the support of Mrs. Wiebke Schmidt, BirdsConTour today started a monthly column on Namibian wild birds (Namibias Wildvögel) in the tourism attachment (Tourismus Beilage) of the German Allgemeine Zeitung. A big THANK YOU goes to Mrs. Wiebke Schmidt and in appreciation a BirdsConTour award was handed to her on the 26th of March 2013.
02.04.'13 Etosha N.P. Kori Bustard (13) For this season having had low rainfall in average throughout most of Namibia, will force these big birds, 1.50 m and 12.4 kg, to move when food gets scarce. Extra care should be taken not to disturb these animals too much because they are sensitive to disturbance.
02.04.'13 Etosha Safari Lodge Wahlberg's Eagle (1) In this species three colour morphs are found. The pale morph as this seen individual, represent only about 8-12 %
of the southern African population.
03.04.'13 Etosha N.P. European Bee-eater (5) Winter records of these bee-eaters are not confirmed, as they are migrating birds. But their presence throughout our winter, April till August, is most probably possible in north central Namibia. Please record winter sightings to BirdsConTour or any other bird related organization.
03.04.'13 Etosha Safari Lodge Double-banded Sandgrouse (3) This near-endemic species is grouped into two subspecies in southern Africa. In Namibia only the Pterocles bicinctus bicinctus is found. Described as ‘secret ceremony’ is their habit of synchronized drinking at dusk together with socialized chattering.
03.04.'13 Etosha Safari Lodge Orange River Francolin (2) This Francolin is severely sensitive to disturbance and unfavorable land management. A few successive years of unnatural land management through unfavorable grazing methods, burning of grasses or disturbance because of too much human activity leads to local extinction of this species. Extra care should be taken to avoid fires and overgrazing in the park of this lodge not to loose the nice early morning call kibitele kibitele of this bird.
04.04.'13 Khorixas, 30 km west Booted Eagle (1 juvenile) This might well be an overwintering individual. Namibia has an average of 2-20 breeding pairs.
04.04.'13 Damara Mopane Lodge Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah (12) Six males are present in the rich in food garden and are in complete breeding plumage, whereas only one that was having its territory in the bush, has lost the extended long tail feathers. The others are visiting the garden. Most probably the ‘garden males’ are still in breeding plumage in comparison to the ‘bush male’ because they have the advantage of the green and food-rich garden.
05.04.'13 Farm Omandumba Common Ostrich (2 juvenile) Family Rust has the intention to reintroduce ostriches onto the farm for the first time since this species' disappearance 40 years ago. They therewith support the BirdsConTour Bird of the Year 2013 Namibia activity
05.04.'13 Hohenstein Lodge, Erongo Monteiro Hornbill (2) Confined to Namibia in southern Africa, this near-endemic bird is of great value to Namibia in the birding industry.
06.04.'13 Namib Desert Namaqua Sandgrouse (150) Artificial waterholes spending reliable water together with 42% of Namibia’s surface being under conservation are of advantage for the population of the Namaqua Sandgrouse.
06.04.'13 Swakopmund Cape Wagtail (2) In towns one often sees Cape Wagtails with missing toes. Because these city dwellers often forage in gardens, the loss of toes or misshapes thereof is most probably caused through insecticides that affects them through their food.
07.04.'13 Walvisbay Lagoon Great White Pelican (1) Breeding opportunities for the Great White Pelican in Namibia are rare. During breeding human disturbance and fires are a threat.
07.04.'13 Walvisbay Lagoon White-winged Tern (5) Although considered as rare on the Namibian coast, Walvis Bay and Sandwich Harbour form an exception. This mainly inland wetland species departs southern Africa in April.
07.04.'13 Walvisbay Lagoon Kelp Gull (1) This Kelp Gull carried a sea snake in flight and dropped it over the paved walkway at the lagoon most probably attempting to kill it. Smashing on the hard surface, the snake was not dead, the gull came down and started swallowing this about 45 cm long and still alive sea snake in one piece.
07.04.'13 Solitaire Guest Farm Cape Bunting (2) Out of 11 subspecies in Africa, southern Africa presents 9 of them. One, the Emberiza capensis bradfieldi, is on southern African grounds only found in Namibia.
08.04.'13 Sossusvlei Lappet-faced Vulture (3) Regarded as uncommon in southern Africa these three and two other birds at Sossusvlei were the only ones observed during a 14 day tour leading through almost whole Namibia. These three where restlessly trying to feed on a springbok roadkill, but were often disturbed by passing vehicles and curious people.
08.04.'13 A-Little-Sossus Lodge Long-legged Buzzard (1) This in our regions very rare Palearctic vagrant breeds in south-eastern Europe, Asia and northern Africa. Since 1923 there exist only 12 sight records. Some are controversial. In Namibia two were seen at Okahandja in 1930 and 46 years later again two at Büllspoort in April 1976. This time it is a single adult of the pale morph. Its large size and the coloring distinguish it from the Steppe and Augur Buzzard.
09.04.'13 Klein Aus Vista Black-headed Canary (2) Two subspecies exist. The breeding range of this northern race Serinus alario alario is unknown. It is possible that the second subspecies, Serinus alario leucolaema, is a distinct species, but still needs further evidence.
10.04.'13 Lüderitzbucht Black-necked Grebe (1) This uncommon to locally common bird regular overwinters inshore on the Namibian coast. Surely this individual felt sheltered in the Lüderitz embayment.
11.04.'13 Cañon Roadhouse Mountain Wheatear (2) The two subspecies, Oenanthe monticola monticola and O. m. atmorii, meet around this area. One couple representing both subspecies live in the Klein Aus Vista garden. Even the two color forms of the males, grey and black, are present.
12.04.'13 Kalahari Farmhouse Shaft-tailed Whydah (1) Assumable the Black-faced Waxbill with its high abundance in Namibia this season was the main host for the Shaft-tailed Whydah.
13.04.'13 Onjala Lodge Orange River Francolin (5) This Francolin is severely sensitive to disturbance and unfavorable land management. A few successive years of unnatural land management because of unfavorable grazing methods, burning of grasses or disturbance because of too much human activity leads to local extinction of this species. Extra care should be taken to avoid fires, overgrazing and unnecessary human disturbance in the park of this lodge not to loose the nice early morning wake-up call kibitele kibitele of this bird.
Please note: Most scientific information has been taken from Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, V11th edition!
(For further reading see www.birdscontour.blog.com)
(For more information contact Stefan Rust on +264 (0)81 129 8415 or firstname.lastname@example.org)