Tuesday, 16 May 2017

219 | BIRDSCONTOUR REPORT 15.02. - 25.02.'14


Art. # 219

(15.02.’14 – 25.02.’14)

Text and photos 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.


Sites and countries visited during this period incl. amount of species per site:
(0-0 - Haven’t been there myself)
(single letter – indicates several sites per day)

15.02: (A) Kempinski Estate (Birgit Leicher) (23 species)
16.02: (A) Garden Olympia (Heidi Rust), Windhoek (13 species)
17.02: (A) Road from Windhoek (33 species) – (B) Farm Gauchas (Argo Rust) (29 species)
18.02: (A) Farm Gauchas (5 species, excluding those from yesterday) – (B) Road from Farm Gauchas to Mount Brukkaros (26 species), (C) Mount Brukkaros (18 species)
19.02: (A) Mount Brukkaros (9 species, excluding those from yesterday), (B) Road from Brukkaros to Farm Gauchas (11 species, excluding yesterday), (C) Farm Gauchas (2 species, excluding those from yesterday) – (D) Road from Farm Gauchas to Windhoek (3 species, excluding those from 17th)
24.02: (A) Garden Pionierspark (Schneider), Windhoek

Total Distance traveled:

1 240 km

Have a quick look if your name is included in this scientific informational work (alphabetically arranged):

Leicher Birgit (Namibia)
Rust Argo (Namibia)
Rust Heidi (Namibia)
Schneider (Namibia)

Personal Highlights:


Index to bird species observed in this period:
(English names and date when seen)
(*  - See text about species on according date beneath species list)
(A or B – Appears when species is recorded at different sites on same day, specifying where on according date beneath species list)

-*Abdim’s Stork   19.2.(B) /
-Acacia Pied Barbet   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(C) /
-African Harrier-Hawk   17.2.(A) /
-African Red-eyed Bulbul   16.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) /
-*African Sacred Ibis   19.2.(B) /
-Barn Swallow   18.2.(B) /
-Black-chested Prinia   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) / 18.2.(B) /
-Black-chested Snake-Eagle   19.2.(B) /
-Black-faced Waxbill   15.2.(A) /
-Black-shouldered Kite   17.2.(A) /
-Black-throated Canary   16.2.(A) /
-Black-winged Stilt   19.2.(B) /
-Blacksmith Lapwing   15.2.(A) / 18.2.(B) /
-Blue Waxbill   16.2.(A) /
-Bokmakierie   18.2.(C) /
-*Booted Eagle   18.2.(C) /
-*Burchell’s Courser   18.2.(A) /
-Cape Bunting   18.2.(C) /
-*Cape Eagle-Owl   19.2.(A) /
-Cape Glossy Starling   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(A)(B) /
-Cape Sparrow   17.2.(A)(B) /
-Cape Teal   19.2.(D) /
-Cape Turtle-Dove   17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B) /
-Cape Wagtail   15.2.(A) /
-Capped Wheatear   17.2.(A) /
-Cardinal Woodpecker   18.2.(A) /
-Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler   18.2.(A) /
-Common Fiscal   17.2,(A) / 18.2.(A) / 19.2.(B) /
-Common House-Martin   19.2.(B) /
-Common Ostrich   18.2.(C) / 19.2.(B) /
-Common Swift   16.2.(A) / 17.2.(A) / 18.2.(B) /
-Diderick Cuckoo   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) /
-Dusky Sunbird   17.2.(B) / 18.2.(B)(C) /
-Egyptian Goose 18.2.(B) /
-European Bee-eater   15.2.(A) /
-Familiar Chat   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) / 18.2.(C) /
-Fork-tailed Drongo   17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B) /
-*Gabar Goshawk   24.2.(A) /
-Great Sparrow   17.2.(A)(B) /
-Greater Striped Swallow   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(A) / 18.2.(B) /
-*Grey-backed Cisticola   18.2.(C) /
-Grey-backed Sparrowlark   17.2.(A) / 18.2.(B) / 19.2.(A) /
-Grey Go-away-bird   15.2.(A) / 16.2.(A) / 17.2.(A) /
-House Sparrow   16.2.(A) / 18.2.(B) /
-Lark-like Bunting   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B)(C) /
-Laughing Dove   15.2.(A) / 16.2.(A) / 17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B)(C) /
-*Lesser Flamingo   19.2.(B) /
-Lesser Grey Shrike   19.2.(D) /
-Lilac-breasted Roller   17.2.(A) /
-Little Swift   15.2.(A) / 16.2.(A) / 17.2.(A) / 18.2.(B) / 19.2.(A) /
-Long-billed Crombec   19.2.(A) /
-*Long-billed Pipit   18.2.(C) /
-Marico Flycatcher   17.2.(A)(B) /
-*Mountain Wheatear   15.2.(A) / *18.2.(C) /
-Namaqua Dove   17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B) /
-Namaqua Sandgrouse   17.2.(A)(B) / 19.2.(A) /
-Northern Black Korhaan   17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B) /
-Orange River Francolin   15.2.(A) /
-Pale-winged Starling   18.2.(C) /
-Pin-tailed Whydah   19.2.(B) /
-Pririt Batis   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) /
-Red-backed Shrike   17.2.(A) /
-Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver   17.2.(A) /
-Red-billed Spurfowl   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(A) /
-Red-crested Korhaan   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) / 19.2.(C) /
-Red-faced Mousebird   18.2.(B) /
-Red-headed Finch   16.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) /
-Rock Kestrel   18.2.(C) /
-Rock Martin   15.2.(A) / 16.2.(A) / 17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B)(C) /
-Sabota Lark   17.2.(B) / 19.2.(A) /
-Scaly-feathered Finch   17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B) / 19.2.(A) /
-*Secretarybird   18.2.(B) /
-Shaft-tailed Whydah   19.2.(C) /
-*Sociable Weaver   17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B)*(C) /
-South African Shelduck   18.2.(B) /
-Southern Grey-headed Sparrow   17.2.(B) /
-Southern Masked-Weaver   16.2.(A) / 17.2.(B) / 18.2.(B) /
-Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk   17.2.(B) / 18.2.(B) / 19.2.(A)(B) /
-Southern Red Bishop   19.2.(D) /
-Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill   17.2.(A) /
-Speckled Pigeon   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(A) / 18.2.(C) /
-Tawny Eagle   18.2.(B) /
-Three-banded Plover   19.2.(B) /
-Verreaux’s Eagle   18.2.(C) /
-Village Indigobird   16.2.(A) /
-Violet-eared Waxbill   18.2.(A) /
-White-backed Mousebird   16.2.(A) / 17.2.(A) /
-White-browed Sparrow-Weaver   15.2.(A) / 17.2.(A)(B) / 18.2.(B) /
-White-rumped Swift   17.2.(A) /
-White-throated Canary   19.2.(A) /
-Yellow Canary   17.2.(B) /
-Yellow-bellied Eremomela   15.2.(A) /

Total number of species identified:


16.02.'14  ”Input gives Wings”, BirdsConTour  Anti-Poaching Crusade project  BirdsConTour gets involved with the Anti-Poaching Crusade project by directly and indirectly addressing the problem with various activities, aiming for the preservation of wildlife. Read more in Birds in Words www.birdscontour.blogspot.com article # 213.

17.02.’14  Farm Gauchas, Schlipp, Namibia  Architecture for a better Bird Life  The project Car Mirror Bird Guard, initiated on the 9th of February, kicks off very well. The first city and farm vehicles are effectively equipped with this helpful product, protecting birds and vehicle side-mirrors. For more information, read Birds in Words www.birdscontour.blogspot.com in articles # 208 and 212.

18.02.'14  Farm Gauchas, Schlipp, Namibia  Burchell’s Courser (1) The rapid decreases and local extinctions of this breeding near-endemic species in Botswana and South Africa are serious cause for concern. It is possible that intensification of agriculture and the use of pesticides may play a role in this decrease.

18.02.'14  ±35 km east of Brukkaros, Namibia  Secretarybird (2) Ever increasing bush encroachment might be of risk to these open grassland dependant birds.

18.02.'14  Brukkaros, Namibia  Booted Eagle (4) Two color forms occur of this smallest brown eagle in southern Africa, a pale and a dark. The pale morph forms ±80% of the population. At Brukkaros one dark form and three pale forms were seen. From the three pale birds one was a juvenile. It is possible that the Brukkaros birds form a breeding population and that they even overwinter here.

18.02.'14  Brukkaros, Namibia  Sociable Weaver (±60) In the central depression with a diameter of about 3 km (47.124 km2) grow about 250 quiver trees. They form the only structures used by the Sociable Weavers to build their large nests. Sociable Weaver nests occupy about 25 of these trees, giving a nest density of 1 nest/1.88 km2. If every nest houses 50 birds (altogether 1 250 individuals), conservatively calculated, it comes down to 26.53 birds/km2, being quite a high population density for an area that receives 50-100mm annual average rainfall. These large nests protect these birds from the extreme temperatures that occur here.

18.02.'14  Brukkaros, Namibia  Mountain Wheatear (2) Although the Brukkaros mountain is situated on the border of the distribution area of the two subspecies occurring in southern Africa, the Oenanthe monticola monticola and Oenanthe monticola atmorii, the observed birds (male and female) belong to the former subspecies.

18.02.'14  Brukkaros, Namibia  Grey-backed Cisticola (2) Seven subspecies occur in southern Africa. Most probably the Brukkaros birds belong to the Cisticola subruficapilla karasensis, the group of subspecies with the smallest distribution area of all seven. These two birds were seen carrying nest material.

18.02.'14  Brukkaros, Namibia  Long-billed Pipit (1) In southern Africa 5 subspecies occur. The Brukkaros lies more or less on the border line of the Anthus similes leucocraspedon (northern subspecies) and the Anthus similes nicholsoni (southern subspecies) distribution area.

19.02.'14  Brukkaros, Namibia  Cape Eagle-Owl (1) Classified as generally uncommon, this species is more numerous in Namibia than expected. The Brukkaros complies absolutely the habitat demands of the Cape Eagle-Owl.

19.02.'14  Mariental, Namibia  Abdim’s Stork (±200) This species is generally absent from wetlands and flocks in semi-desert areas after good rains. They gather in large numbers at insect irruptions and keeps those populations under control.

19.02.'14  Mariental, Namibia  African Sacred Ibis (±80) Surely the benefit from the commercial agriculture and irrigation in this area.

19.02.'14  Sewage work, Kalkrand, Namibia  Lesser Flamingo (13) Most probably these are migrating birds, resting at daytime and traveling during night, in response to the thunderstorms in the south of Namibia during last night.

24.02.’14  Garden Pionierspark, Windhoek, Namibia  Gabar Goshawk, dark morph (1) In Namibia the dark morph makes up about 10% of the entire population and mostly in higher rainfall areas.

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

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