Sunday, 5 May 2013

072 | BIRDSCONTOUR REPORT (24.04.'13 - 05.05.'13)

BIRDSCONTOUR REPORT (24.04.'13 – 05.05.’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.


Have a quick look if you, your site or neighborhood is included in this scientific informational work (alphabetically arranged):

A-little-Sossus Lodge
Avis Dam
Das Zeichenbüro (Birgit Leicher)
Etosha Safari Camp (Gondwana)
Ghaub Guestfarm
Hattingh Elvira (Republikein Newspaper)
Ju/Hoansi Living Village, Grashoek
Leicher Birgit (Das Zeichenbüro)
Namib Desert Lodge (Gondwana)
Onjala Lodge
Redecker Irmi
Republikein Newspaper (Elvira Hattingh)
Seidarap Gästehaus
Tamboti Guesthouse
Voigtland Farm (Stefan Voigts)
Voigts Stefan (Farm Voigtland)

BirdsConTour Report (Namibia) Personal Highlights:


Distance traveled: ± 3301 km

24.04.'13  Windhoek  Architecture for a better bird life”  Just in time this project was launched today. More and more concerned people contacted us enquiring why the birds such as the House Sparrows are seen less and lesser. The idea with the project “Arcitecture for a better bird life” is to reach a larger group of people and getting their support to turn the decrease of “city dwelling” birds around and get these populations stable again. We need them as pest controllers and they need us. This project gets BirdsConTour, architectural designers and house owners working together to conserve bird life around human erected infrastructure. For more information, read under article nr. 65.

25.04.'13  Republikein Newspaper, Namibia  Article on Bird & Birder Friendly Award project  A successful article was published in Afrikaans explaining the project Bird & Birder Friendly Award. It had a far-reaching effect because a lot of people, people involved with tourism, farming and house owners, applied for qualification of a Bird & Birder Friendly award. For more information, read under article nr. 61.

25.04.'13  Windhoek, Namibia  “Freelance at BirdsConTour”  This project aims to offer people interested in our magnificent bird life the possibility to get involved with bird life aspects, reaching from conservation to habitat improvement, under guidance of BirdsConTour. Conservation can be far more effective the more people are involved. For more information, read under article nr. 66.

25.04.'13  Avis Dam, Windhoek  Spur-winged Goose (1) Mrs. Irmgard Redecker reported a Spur-winged Goose at the Avis dam on the eastern part of Windhoek. She observed this by far largest waterfowl in southern Africa since a few days. Possibly this individual is in moult (not always clearly visible) because they moult annually in winter. Its habit of avoiding arid areas doesn’t bring this large bird into our fields too often. Although not regarded as threatened, hunting and loss of natural wetlands may lead to a matter of concern.

25.04.'13  Avis Dam, Windhoek  African Sacred Ibis (1) In Namibia this species doesn’t show that high density as in the rest of southern Africa. The oldest bird known was about  21 years old.

27.04.’13  Farm Voigtland  Lappet-faced Vulture (1) The conservation of this species is highly important because population recoveries are slow due to delayed breeding and low fecundity.

27.04.'13  Tamboti Guesthouse, Windhoek  African Palm-Swift (1) Since the 1950’s they expanded their range extensively due to planting of palms in human settlements> Originally they were confined to lowland areas of tropical Africa where fan and lala palms occur.

28.04.'13  A-little-Sossus Lodge  Spotted Eagle-Owl (1) If water is available they bath and drink regularly but can as well survive without water. They are known to often carry ticks.

29.04.'13  Sossusvlei  Ludwigs Bustard (1) The population of this near-endemic bird totals about 56 000 – 81 000 in South Africa and Namibia. Of all birds in the Namib Naukluft Park 65% are found on sandy plains, 20% on rocky plains and 15% on gravel plains. Now during wintertime they are most common in the western parts of the Namib Desert, during summer more on the escarpment.

29.04.'13  Namib Desert Lodge  Dune Lark (1) This is a truly Namibian endemic bird. Never it has been recorded drinking water but derives all its requirements from insects. In summer when it is hotter it gets according moisture from more insects during that season.

30.04.'13  Namib Naukluft Park  Lappet-faced Vulture (1) The conservation of this species is highly important because population recoveries are slow due to delayed breeding and low fecundity.

30.04.'13  Swakopmund  Black Stork (1) There is a suggestion of an influx of this endangered species into Namibia from January till April. The uncommon Black Stork is regarded as resident, but is suspected to have complex seasonal movements.

30.04.'13  Allgemeine Zeitung, Republikein, Namib Sun  Column  In this second column Namibias Wildvögel in the Tourismus Namibia the Grey G-away-bird is discussed. Being published every first Tuesday of each month with a distribution of 50 000 copies, it is a free insert in the Allgemeine Zeitung, Namibian Sun and Republikein. It is available from accommodation establishments and tourism service providers in Namibia, South Africa, London and Frankfurt and is distributed at international tourism fairs.

30.04.’13  BirdsConTour Blogspot  Guidelines for qualification for Bird & Birder Friendly Award  With your qualification of a Bird & Birder Friendly Award from BirdsConTour (Bird Conservation & Tourism) the recipient plays an important role in bird conservation. The criteria to qualify for an award that can be used as tool to market your setup on the international bird tourism market can be viewed under article nr. 67 under You have the choice between one to six birds. Six birds being the top rate possible to achieve.

01.05.’13  Etosha Safari Camp  Damara Hornbill (1) Etosha Safari Camp lies in the hybrid zone with Red-billed Hornbill.

02.05.’13  Etosha N.P.  Martial Eagle (1 Juvenile) Unfortunately this species is endangered in Namibia. Within six years it decreased 3 times due to persecution on farmlands. This species is classified as uncommon in whole southern Africa. Therefore it is a pity to have found this juvenile bird with a hurt right leg on the ground, not being able to take off.

02.05.’13  Etosha N.P., Klein Namutoni  Greater Flamingo (3) Most probably these three birds make use of  Klein Namutoni while dispersing from the drying out of Fishers Pan.

02.05.’13  Etosha N.P.  Fork-tailed Drongo (2) These two birds were associating with one elephant, catching flushed insects.

02.05.’13  Ghaub Guestfarm  White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (3), Red-Billed Buffalo-Weaver (2) and Black-faced Waxbill (5) Two Red-billed Buffalo-Weavers are roosting in two separate nests within a White-browed Sparrow-Weaver colony, although the thorn nest of their own species is only 35 m away. Possibly these two individuals are pushed out of their colony?
Five Black-faced Waxbills also flew altogether into one White-browed Sparrow-Weaver nest for roosting.
Interestingly enough the three White-browed Sparrow-Weavers that were on site did not undertake much effort to avoid the roosting of these two different species in their nests. One individual once tried to chase the Waxbills but then were sitting next to the nine nests without taking any further defense action.
The roosting of the Waxbills in the Sparrow-Weavers nests is mentioned but not the roosting of the Buffalo-Weaver in the Sparrow-Weavers nests.

03.05.’13  Grashoek, Ju/Hoansi Living Village  White-crested Helmet-Shrike (5) Within a group there is a strong dominance hierarchy. This shows by displacing subordinates from food items and fighting for position at roost.

03.05.’13  Seidarap Guesthouse  Little Swift (15) The bird life at Guesthouse Seidarap is more than worth a visit. Not does only the big garden attract a big variety of species, but does the recently together with BirdsConTour established bird friendly wild bird station where food for different species (nectar, seed, fruit) is offered, attract multiple more birds to this guesthouse. Also nest boxes are attached to the infrastructure and in the garden to support the conservation of wild birds.
Little Swifts nest and roost under the rooftop. What is not that well known that this species is used in traditional medicine in Nigeria.

04.05.’13  Onjala Lodge  White-tailed Shrike (1) In three years it has only once been observed that a bird drinks water. The Onjala Lodge is the most eastern distribution range of this near-endemic species.

05.05.’13  Onjala Lodge  Capped Wheatear (1) This 16-18 cm small bird is a real master in mimicry. It mimics calls of African Wattled Lapwing, Crowned Lapwing, Temminck’s Courser, Little Bee-eater, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Groundscraper Thrush, Fork-tailed Drongo and sounds of dog and goat. This species is definitely an indicator of the state of the environment it occurs in, because it benefits from burnt and heavily grazed rangelands.

05.05.’13  Windhoek  Congratulation to all Bird & Birder Friendly Award recipients Just as important as the internal action taken towards bird conservation by BirdsConTour, is the support received by the public.
Similar to the star symbol award, BirdsConTour rewards establishments that are taking care of the local bird life and its habitat and offer adequate services to bird watchers (birding tourism).
See the list of Award recipients (list Nr.71) under

Enjoy Birding, 
Stefan Rust
Please note: Most scientific information has been taken from Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, V11th edition!
(For further reading see
(For more information contact Stefan Rust on +264 (0)81 129 8415 or

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