Western South Africa Endemics, November 2019, Lawson's Birding.

Published by Lawson's Birding (leon AT lawsons-africa.co.za)

Participants: Matt Prophet (guide), and 4 tour participants from the UK

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Tour Summary

Tour Participants: Lynne Millard, Tim Harris, Geoffrey MacMullan, Neil Bowman

Tour leader: Matt Prophet

Temperature Range: 10C to 38C

Total bird species seen: 251, including 20 South African Endemics (including Swaziland and Lesotho); 44 Southern African Endemics; 20 Southern African Near-Endemics; and 3 Southern African Breeding Endemics. Note that the IOC bird list does not consider essentially South African birds that also occur in Swaziland and Lesotho to be South African Endemics.

Total mammals species seen: 20

Birds of the Trip: Damara Tern, Red Lark, Black Harrier, Knysna Woodpecker, Ground Woodpecker, Cape Vulture, Knysna Turaco, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Blue Crane, Denham’s Bustard, Victorin’s Warbler, Cape Rockjumper, Knysna Warbler, African Penguin, Bank Cormorant

Trip Report Compiled By: Matt Prophet & Leon Marais.

Notes: This very successful tour achieved a high species count considering that it focused on the arid western parts of South Africa. The trip was fast paced, catering for the serious birder with days often exceeding 12 hours in length. The first few days of the tour the group experienced hot weather in the high thirties, moderating as the trip progressed to the mid-twenties. The most productive birding hours where predominantly between 7am to roughly midday, where after there was a lull in activity, until late afternoon. The group consisted both of photographers and birders who were able to achieve their respective objectives due to the small group size. Meals consisted of in-house and packed breakfasts. Lunches where taken when the opportunity presented itself and dinners where at our accommodation or a nearby local restaurant. Most days involved travelling long distances on good road surfaces. There were dozens of the great birding moments, providing good views of most of the target birds. See details for the 2020 trip here: Western SA Endemics 2020

Trip Breakdown

Day 1: Friday, 8th November 2019 ~ Augrabies Falls National Park


Our clients arrived at Upington Airport in the northwest province of South Africa at approximately midday. From here we collected our hire VW Kombi and set of on the three-hour road trip to Augrabies Falls National Park, which would be our base for the evening. Our plan was to travel straight to the arid park, situated on along the Orange River, which would enable us to do some birding around the impressive falls and campground during the late afternoon. On-route we saw our first Sociable Weavers, which utilize the roadside telegraph poles in this treeless environment to build their massive nests on. Arriving at Augrabies Falls Rest Camp we checked into our chalets where after we explored the area on foot. We quickly encountered species such as Orange River White-eye, African Red-eyed Bulbul, Pale-winged Starling and Black-chested Prinia. A walk down to the falls produced the endemic Greater Striped and White-throated Swallows, and displaying colourful Broadley’s Flat Lizards was a nice surprise at the edge of the gorge. Birding the campsite produced species like Cape Robin Chat, African Pied Wagtail, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Karoo Scrub Robin, Fiscal Flycatcher, Pririt Batis and Golden-tailed Woodpecker.

Route: Johannesburg to Upington Aiport by air, on to Augrabies Falls National Park by road.

Weather: Fine and very hot.
Bird species seen: 45.
Bird of the day: Golden-tailed Woodpecker.

Day 2: Saturday, 9th November 2019 ~ Okiep / Springbok

An early morning pre-breakfast birding/game drive proved productive where we visited an impressive gorge lookout point overlooking the Orange River, which produced Verreauxs’ Eagle and Mountain Wheatear. Karoo Long-billed and Spike-heeled Larks were recorded on the drive in the stark rocky clearings and plains. Other species included Karoo Thrush, Chat Flycatcher and Red-billed Quelea. Southern Oryx, Red Hartebeest, Southern Giraffe, Southern Ground Squirrel and Yellow Mongoose were also seen before breakfast, after which we began our journey west to a birding location where we hoped to find Red Lark during the afternoon. Road-side birding produced a number of arid zone species, with a lovely male Northern Black Korhaan being a stand-out species. A sub-adult Martial Eagle was also seen along with Karoo, Ant-eating and Sickle-winged Chats. Stopping in the stark and remote town of Poffadder we had lunch and later visited a nearby water trough to try and catch any watering birds. We managed to get some views of White-throated Canaries and Lark-like Buntings coming to drink, but views of the highly sought-after Sclater’s Lark (an early morning species) where not obtained. Other birds seen included Yellow Canary, White-backed Mousebird and good numbers of Fawn-coloured Larks. Making our way to the Aggenys, we birded an area comprising red dune country with Red Lark being our main target. Hot conditions were making things difficult for us, with the birds remaining inactive. Birding along the roadside and after considerable effort, we managed to locate a Red Lark feeding between the bushes. Very good views of this highly localized and sought-after bird where obtain leaving us pleased with the day’s results. From here we made our way to the town of Okiep in Namaqualand where from we would launch our search for Barlow’s Lark, another very localized species the following morning.

Route: Augrabies National Park to Okiep via Poffadder and Aggenys.

Weather: Very hot.
Bird species seen: 58.
Bird of the day: Red Lark.

Day 3: Sunday, 10th November 2019 ~ Springbok

An early morning start with packed breakfasts saw us on-route to the Atlantic Ocean seaboard to the town of Port Nolloth where we would attempt to see Barlow’s Lark. This species is confined to a narrow strip of coastline between here and Luderitz in southern Namibia. We also expected a number of other endemic larks and passerines. The two hour drive takes one from the Kamiesberg Mountains in Namaqualand where Okiep is situated, down to sea-level through some diverse arid landscapes. Birding as we went we recorded species such as the endemic Jackal Buzzard and Pale Chanting Goshawk from the vehicle. Arriving in our birding area during the cool morning we birded a road along which the larks can be found which involved stopping listening and looking for larks and then trying to obtain views. Endemic and very similar Karoo Larks are common in this area and we looked at a good number of them before managing to lock down a Barlow’s Lark, which the former can be confused with. Satisfied with our main target under the belt, we searched for other west coast specials with the morning producing Tractrac Chat, Spike-heeled Lark and Karoo Prinia. Returning to the town of Port Nolloth we checked out the sea shore where we found a number of different seabirds and waders which included: Hartlaub’s and Kelp Gulls, South African Shelduck, Crowned Cormorant, Cape Cormorant, Spotted Thick-knee, African Oystercatcher, White-fronted Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Sanderling and White-fronted Plover. The ultimate challenge of the day involved finding a Cape Long-billed Lark, the most impressive of this species complex, which manage to avoid detection until the very end of day.

Route: Day trip to Port Nolloth.

Weather: Significantly cooler on the Atlantic coast where the temperature is regulated by the cold Benguela current.
Bird species seen: 43.
Bird of the day: Barlow’s Lark.

Day 4: Monday, 11th November 2019 ~ Calvinia

After an early morning in-house breakfast at Okiep Country House, we departed for the nearby Goegap Nature reserve where we would search for various Namaqualand and Karoo specials, before making our way to Calvinia in vast Karoo biome. Our main target in Geogap was Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, which proved tricky at first. This species stays low down, moving between the boulders and low bushes and recognizing its jizz and call is critical to pinning down this difficult bird. Luckily after hearing an individual call high-up on the slopes we were able to track its sound and after a short while were observing the bird moving across the slopes, eventually coming with thirty metres or so of us. During the morning we also obtained good views of Dusky Sunbird, the beautiful little Fairy Flycatcher, obliging Pririt Batis, Layard’s Warbler, Karoo Prinia, Malachite Sunbird and Namaqua Sandgrouse. We then began the long drive for Calvinia, birding as we drove and stopping in the little town of Bitterfontein for lunch on-route. A fantastic flight view of a Black-chested Snake Eagle was obtained and scope view of the uncommon Ludwig’s Bustard. South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane was also found during the late afternoon not far from our overnight stop in a fallow croplands. We would see many more of these spectacular birds later on in the trip in the Overberg Region.

Route: Okiep to Calvinia via Gariep Nature Reserve.

Weather: hot with clear skies.
Bird species seen: 60.
Bird of the day: Cinnamon-breasted Warbler.

Day 5: Tuesday, 12th November 2019 ~ Calvinia

An early morning start with packed breakfast saw us travel back north into the heart of a region called Bushmanland, home to various larks and other arid land species. The main focus today would be to try for the difficult Sclater’s Lark. We birded the area around the one-horse town of Brandvlei where we obtained prior permission from a farmer to sit at stock watering trough to stakeout birds coming into drink. We position ourselves about 40m away from the trough and over the next hour saw a good number of birds. Hundreds of Namaqua Sandgrouse visited the water and this was one of the highlights of the day. Large-billed Larks were seen, along with White-throated Canary, Grey-back Sparrowlark, White-backed Mousebird and Namaqua Dove. On one occasion we obtained a brief view of a lark that fitted the criteria of Sclater’s Lark through the binoculars. Unfortunately we had not heard its characteristic flight call, due to the sounds of the Sandgrouse and other species coming in to land. Just as we were attempting to take a photo of it, the bird disappeared around a bush near the trough, not to be seen again. Leaving the water we birded a familiar dirt road where we had amazing views of a very confiding Red Lark in good light. Excellent view of Rufous–eared Warbler where also obtained, along with the impressive Karoo Long-billed Lark. A stop at a dry riverbed produced Black-chested Prinia, Namaqua Warbler and African Reed Warbler. A flock of sought-after Black-headed Canaries where also found, but would not allow us close enough to get god views. A Chestnut-vented Warbler proved a challenge to photograph, and we also encountered Yellow-bellied Eremomela. Raptors for the day included Booted and Verreaux’s Eagle, Common and Jackal Buzzard, Pale Chanting Goshawk and Rock and Greater Kestrel. One of the moments of the trip was seeing three species of bustard within five minutes of one another; at first we stopped for a two roadside Karoo Korhaans, followed a couple of minutes later by Northern Black Korhaan and then amazingly a Ludwig’s Bustard.

Route: Day trip into the Calvinia area.

Weather: Hot and clear skies.
Bird species seen: 59.
Bird of the day: Ludwig’s Bustard.

Day 6: Wednesday, 13th November 2019 ~ Langebaan and West Coast NP

Today we traversed a wide range of vegetation types from Karoo scrub and Mountain Fynbos to coastal Strandveld. An early morning stint before breakfast turned up Karoo Eremomela, Black-headed Canary and Cape Spurfowl. Heading south we made our way in the direction of the town of Langebaan, about an hour north of Cape Town. On-route we had a surprise fly-by from a Secretarybird which some were lucky enough to see. We made good headway and deviated onto a gravel road, which lead through a dramatic steep sided gorge. It was here that Protea Canary, a tricky fynbos biome endemic was found flitting around the dense vegetation. Moving along a second stop produced Grey Tit and Grey-backed Cisticola. Heading towards Lambert’s Bay we stopped in at Bird Island where we spent a wonderful hour admiring some 30 000 Cape Gannets! Our first sightings of the charismatic African Penguin where also had, along with Cape Cormorant, Common, Sandwich and Crested Terns. Heading due south along the coast, past Eland’s Bay and onto Langebaan, the highlight must have been two sightings of the endemic Black Harrier flying low over the Strandveld, offering all exhilarating views. We reached our guesthouse at sunset and had dinner at a local restaurant in Langebaan after a diverse and exciting day of birding. The following day would involve a morning birding session in the wonderful West Coast National Park, followed by travelling to Cape Town where we would be based in Simonstown on the Cape Peninsula.

Route: Calvinia to Langebaan.

Weather: High twenties, clear skies.
Bird species seen: 98.
Bird of the day: Black Harrier.

Day 7: Thursday, 14th November 2019 ~ Cape Peninsula

Crystal Lagoon Lodge where we stayed overnight is situated adjacent to Langebaan Lagoon and afforded our clients the opportunity to take a stroll down to the beach before breakfast. Species such as the charismatic African Oystercatcher were seen in great morning light, and Cape and White-breasted Cormorants flew over the lagoon just offshore. Entering West Coast National Perk we conducted a successful search in strong winds for the diminutive Cape Penduline Tit, a special in this park. Visiting some of the shore-side bird hides produced some good wader sightings which included Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, a single Red Knot, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Great White Pelican, Lesser and Greater Flamingos. African Marsh Harrier and the highly sought-after Black Harrier were seen drifting over the Strandveld. Visiting a permanent waterhole we had lovely views of African Spoonbill, African Swamphen, Cape Shoveller and Cape Teal. Other birds to note included the fabulous Bokmakierie (a large Bushshrike), Cape Bulbul, Karoo Lark and Grey-winged Francolin. At midday we made the drive to Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula, via Cape Town and Chapman’s Peak, stopping on-route to admire the wonderful coastal scenery. The day ended with Cape Sugarbirds feeding on a flowering Protea at the guesthouse front door, which ended a rather productive day.

Route: Langebaan to Simon’s Town via West Coast National Park and Chapman’s Peak Drive.

Weather: mild, partly cloudy with strong wind.
Bird species seen: 88.
Bird of the day: Cape Sugarbird.

Day 8: Friday, 15th November 2019 ~ Simon’s Town Guest House

Today’s main challenge was to find the bird that all those visiting “The Cape” want to see: the Cape Rockjumper a true fynbos biome endemic. After an early breakfast we took a drive to the far side of False Bay, hugging the majestic Hottentot’s Holland Mountains to the small town of Rooi Els, which lies opposite Cape of Good Hope across False Bay. With lovely views of the bay and mountains we started what would be a very productive walk delivering four of the six fynbos endemics. These included wonderful views of Cape Siskin, Cape Sugarbird and the striking Orange-breasted Sunbird, a gob-smackingly beautiful little bird. Luckily the Cape Rockjumpers where actively and vocalizing before long we managed to obtain views of a pair going about their business along the slopes between the massive sandstone boulders. Calling Ground Woodpeckers on the higher slopes got us very excited too, and with some sharp scanning one of our clients (who collects world woodpeckers for his personal list) was able to pick out the birds which we then trained the scope onto. These very same woodpeckers then started making their way down the slope, alerting us to their location as they descended, until we were enjoyed close range views of these interesting bank nesters. Very satisfied with our views we made our way to Stony Point Penguin Colony where we enjoyed hundreds of endangered African Penguins, along with Bank, Crowned, Cape and White-breasted Cormorants! A late afternoon stop in at the brilliant Strandfrontein Water Treatment works, one of South Africa’s best birding wetlands, produced a diverse array of water birds. Maccoa Duck and Hottentot Teal, both blue-billed, were the pick of our finds, and other species which our group enjoyed included Yellow-billed Duck, Cape and Red-billed Teal, South African Shelduck, Grey-headed Gull, Greater-crested, Caspian and Sandwich Tern.

Route: Simon’s Town to Rooi Els and back via Strandfontein.

Weather: Clear skies, mild with strong wind.
Bird species seen: 77.
Bird of the day: Cape Rockjumper.

Day 9: Saturday, 16th November 2019 ~ Struisbaai

Departing Simon’S Town after breakfast we made our way to the magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens where we would spend the morning. The 528ha gardens support a fantastic array of African flora and birds. As we walked the upper slopes of the gardens, which form the lower slopes of the eastern side of Table Mountain, we had views of Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cape Sugarbird, Brimstone, Cape and Forest Canaries, Southern Boubou, Olive Woodpecker, Cape Robin Chat. A couple of our keen-eyed clients saw African Paradise Flycatcher and flight views of the scarce Rufous-chested and Black Sparrowhawks were enjoyed. Making our way towards Cape Agulhas, the true southern tip of the African continent in the beautiful Overberg Region, we would focus on a new suite of endemics. On-route we encountered a number of Blue Cranes, many Jackal and Common Buzzards, as well as Yellow-billed Kite. We were met with rainy weather in the Overberg, but nearing our destination, a three-hour drive from Cape Town, managed to get great views of a Denham’s Bustard in a cropland. Other birds included hundreds of breeding plumage Southern Red Bishops, Large-billed and Red-capped Lark. Checking-in at our overnight in the seaside town of Struisbaai, we proceeded to bird the area around the quaint fishing harbor for Damara Tern. We managed views of a Cape Gannet offshore, along with various tern species which were too far off to identify correctly.

We changed our strategy and made our way to a different site, where we had views of a White-chinned Petrel gliding behind the waves. No Damara Tern appeared however so we decided to take a short drive to a different part of the beach, which the Damaras frequent. Shortly after arriving, we heard their distinctive call and observed two Damara Terns flying along the beach, one with a fish in its bill. They quickly disappeared from view but careful scanning soon revealed an individual sitting in the stony slacks between the sand dunes. Terrific views of the very scarce and charismatic little tern were obtained and we left what appeared to be an incubating bird in peace

Route: Simon’s Town to Struisbaai via Kirestenbosch.

Weather: Cloudy, cool with some rain.
Birds seen: 83.
Bird of the day: Damara Tern.

Day 10: Sunday, 17th November 2019 ~ Swellendam Lodge

Today we had a diverse day of birding, which provided some excellent local endemics and other specials. Along the roadside to De Hoop Nature Reserve, we managed to get good views of the sought-after Agulhas Long-billed Lark which has the smallest distribution range out of the other species which make up the long-billed lark complex in Southern Africa. There were also many Large-billed and Red-capped Larks in the harvested croplands and Blue Cranes where plentiful along the way. A flock of low cruising Cape Vultures landed in a field not far away, granting us very good flight views, and prolonged observation through the scope. This was the last vulture one of our clients needed for his world list. Birding inside De Hoop Nature Reserve yielded excellent views of Knysna Woodpecker, a tricky South African endemic, along with Southern Tchagra, displaying Bokmakieries, Pearl-breasted, Greater Striped and Barn Swallows and Black Saw-wing. Along the De Hoop Vlei (lake) we saw Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Whiskered Tern and Water Thick-knee. The thickets along the shoreline produced Bar-throated Apalis, Fiscal Flycatcher, Southern Boubou, Cape Robin Chat, Cape Weaver and Namaqua Sandgrouse in clearing where many Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra grazed, the latter mammals both being endemic to the fynbos biome. Other birds included Red-faced Mousebird, Cape Wagtail, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cape Sparrow, Cape and Yellow Canaries, Karoo Scrub robin, as well as Cape Bunting. Leaving the reserve after lunch, we made our way along the gravel roads to the inland town of Swellendam, some 70km away. Capped Wheatear were common, along with Cape Crow, Hadeda Ibis and Black-headed Heron. A Karoo Korhaan and its chick surprised us, and a second individual followed this a little later on. This sought-after bustard is best searched for in this area, being somewhat trickier to locate in the Karoo biome, which forms most of its natural range. Another good find for us included displaying Cape Clapper Larks at close range and in good light. Its distinctive wing-clapping sound made during the ascent flight alerted us to their presence. The wind was strong and they would only fly to about five metres or so above the ground before landing on nearby fence posts and hay bales. Agulhas Long-billed Lark was also briefly seen again at this spot. We then made our way to the guesthouse in Swellendam for the evening. The following day we would bird two local sites before heading east towards the Garden Route Region for our final night of the tour.

Route: Struisbaai to Swellendam via De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Weather: Partly cloudy and mild.
Bird species seen: 106.
Bird of the day: Cape Vulture.

Day 11: Monday, 18th November 2019 ~ Kingfisher Country House

Before breakfast we made our way a short distance to Marloth Nature Reserve situated adjacent to the town of Swellendam in the foothills of the impressive Langeberg Mountains. Birding on-foot we picked some good species like Orange-breasted and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds. The find of the morning was pinning down a calling Victorin’s Warbler, a highly sought-after fynbos endemic which can prove very difficult to see. Lying down on the hiking trail and lowering our profile we were able to obtain views of this beautiful fynbos endemic, with its orange yellow eye and orange brown under parts showing nicely, contrasting with a greyish head and brown back. Elated we made our way to back to the guesthouse, on-route picking-up a calling Cape Grassbird. A visit to Bontebok National Park produced some special birds, which included amazing views of Knysna Woodpecker and Olive Bushshrike in the thickets adjacent to the Breede River. Cloud Cisticola was seen well in the more open fynbos on the hilltops. Birding the river produced a Water Thick-knee on a sand island and a group of wary Terrestrial Brownbul, as well Cape Batis. The drive to the town of Wilderness took approximately three hours, where after we checked in to Kingfisher Guesthouse, situated adjacent to the Wilderness National Park. Some late afternoon birding around the lush garden comprising leafy shrubbery and big trees produced Forest Canary, Fork-tailed Drongo, Amethyst Sunbird, Swee Waxbill and our first Knysna Turacos, a really stunning bird and a classic species of the Garden Route. The Knysna Warbler is the trickiest resident warbler to see in Southern Africa and we heard a bird singing in the garden. We positioned ourselves opposite to where the bird was calling from, a tangled thicket, and sat quietly watching for its movement in the shadows. To our surprise, the little dark brown warbler showed, coming out to inspect us on several occasions. Knowing just how tough this species can be to get views of left us all very happy!

Route: Swellendam to Wilderness via Marloth Nature Reserve and Bontebok National Park.

Weather: Sunny and mild.
Birds species seen: 85.
Bird of the day: Victorin’s Warbler.

Day 12: Tuesday, 19th November 2019 ~ Departure

A pre-breakfast walk in a nearby forest patch along the Touw’s River within the National Park produced a number of new species for us. Walking quietly along the trail we recorded the beautiful Chorister Robin Chat, Olive Woodpecker, African Dusky and African Paradise Flycatchers, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Black-backed Puffback, Bar-throated Apalis, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, and Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler. We almost trod on an unobtrusive Lemon Dove feeding on the forest trail, which showed absolutely no concern for us. Brief views of a soaring sub-adult Crowned Eagle over the forest were a bonus. We tried for Narina Trogon, but unfortunately they could not be located on this occasion. Back at the breakfast table we were bombarded by Knysna Turaco coming to the feeder, an amazing looking bird. Other goodies included a Grey Sunbird, Cape Weaver, Cape Bulbul, Forest Canary, Streaky-headed Seed-eater, Swee Waxbill, Fiscal Flycatcher, Cape White-eye and Terrestrial Brownbul. This concluded a very productive birding tour with most of the target species, including some incredibly tough species being seen. A short drive to George Airport saw our clients take their connecting flights to Johannesburg to head back to the United Kingdom.

Route: Wilderness to George Airport.

Weather: Sunny, windy, mid-twenties.
Birds seen: 36.
Bird of the day: Knysna Turaco.

Species Lists

Ostrich Struthionidae

Common Ostrich, Struthio camelus

Ducks, Geese & Swans Anatidae

Spur-winged Goose, Plectropterus gambensis
Egyptian Goose (M), Alopochen aegyptiaca
South African Shelduck (M), Tadorna cana
Hottentot Teal (M), Spatula hottentota
Cape Shoveler (M), Spatula smithii
Yellow-billed Duck, Anas undulata
Cape Teal (M), Anas capensis
Red-billed Teal (M), Anas erythrorhyncha
Southern Pochard, Netta erythrophthalma
Maccoa Duck (M), Oxyura maccoa

Guineafowl Numididae

Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris

Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies Phasianidae

Grey-winged Francolin (M), Scleroptila afra
Cape Spurfowl (M), Pternistis capensis

Penguins Spheniscidae

African Penguin (M), Spheniscus demersus

Petrels, Shearwaters & Diving Petrels Procellariidae

White-chinned Petrel (M), Procellaria aequinoctialis

Grebes Podicipedidae

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe, Podiceps cristatus
Black-necked Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis

Flamingos Phoenicopteridae

Greater Flamingo (M), Phoenicopterus roseus
Lesser Flamingo (M), Phoeniconaias minor

Ibises, Spoonbills Threskiornithidae

African Sacred Ibis (M), Threskiornis aethiopicus
Hadada Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash
Glossy Ibis (M), Plegadis falcinellus
African Spoonbill (M), Platalea alba

Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns Ardeidae

Little Bittern, Ixobrychus minutus
Western Cattle Egret (M), Bubulcus ibis
Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea
Black-headed Heron (M), Ardea melanocephala
Goliath Heron (M), Ardea goliath
Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea
Little Egret, Egretta garzetta

Pelicans Pelecanidae

Great White Pelican (M), Pelecanus onocrotalus

Gannets, Boobies Sulidae

Cape Gannet (M), Morus capensis

Cormorants and Shags Phalacrocoracidae

Reed Cormorant, Microcarbo africanus
Crowned Cormorant (M), Microcarbo coronatus
Bank Cormorant (M), Phalacrocorax neglectus
White-breasted Cormorant (M), Phalacrocorax lucidus
Cape Cormorant (M), Phalacrocorax capensis

Anhingas Anhingidae

African Darter, Anhinga rufa

Secretary-bird Sagittariidae

Secretarybird (M), Sagittarius serpentarius

Kites, Hawks & Eagles Accipitridae

Black-winged Kite, Elanus caeruleus
Cape Vulture (M), Gyps coprotheres
Long-crested Eagle (M), Lophaetus occipitalis
Verreaux's Eagle (M), Aquila verreauxii
Pale Chanting Goshawk, Melierax canorus
Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Accipiter rufiventris
Black Sparrowhawk, Accipiter melanoleucus
African Marsh Harrier (M), Circus ranivorus
Black Harrier (M), Circus maurus
Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius
African Fish Eagle (M), Haliaeetus vocifer
Common Buzzard, Buteo buteo
Jackal Buzzard (M), Buteo rufofuscus

Bustards Otididae

Ludwig's Bustard (M), Neotis ludwigii
Denham's Bustard, Neotis denhami
Karoo Korhaan, Eupodotis vigorsii
Southern Black Korhaan (M), Afrotis afra
Northern Black Korhaan, Afrotis afraoides

Rails, Crakes & Coots Rallidae

African Swamphen (M), Porphyrio madagascariensis
Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
Red-knobbed Coot (M), Fulica cristata

Cranes Gruidae

Blue Crane (M), Grus paradisea

Thick-knees Burhinidae

Water Thick-knee, Burhinus vermiculatus
Spotted Thick-knee, Burhinus capensis

Oystercatchers Haematopodidae

African Oystercatcher (M), Haematopus moquini

Stilts and Avocets Recurvirostridae

Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus
Pied Avocet (M), Recurvirostra avosetta

Plovers and Lapwings Charadriidae

Blacksmith Lapwing (M), Vanellus armatus
Crowned Lapwing, Vanellus coronatus
Grey Plover, Pluvialis squatarola
Common Ringed Plover, Charadrius hiaticula
Kittlitz's Plover (M), Charadrius pecuarius
White-fronted Plover, Charadrius marginatus

Sandpipers and Allies Scolopacidae

Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica
Ruddy Turnstone, Arenaria interpres
Red Knot, Calidris canutus
Curlew Sandpiper (M), Calidris ferruginea
Sanderling, Calidris alba
Little Stint (M), Calidris minuta
Marsh Sandpiper (M), Tringa stagnatilis
Common Greenshank (M), Tringa nebularia

Gulls, Terns & Skimmers Laridae

Grey-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus
Hartlaub's Gull (M), Chroicocephalus hartlaubii
Kelp Gull, Larus dominicanus
Caspian Tern (M), Hydroprogne caspia
Greater Crested Tern, Thalasseus bergii
Sandwich Tern (M), Thalasseus sandvicensis
Damara Tern (M), Sternula balaenarum
Common Tern, Sterna hirundo
Whiskered Tern, Chlidonias hybrida

Sandgrouse Pteroclidae

Namaqua Sandgrouse (M), Pterocles namaqua

Pigeons and Doves Columbidae

Rock Dove, Columba livia
Speckled Pigeon, Columba guinea
Lemon Dove, Columba larvata
Red-eyed Dove (M), Streptopelia semitorquata
Ring-necked Dove, Streptopelia capicola
Laughing Dove, Spilopelia senegalensis
Namaqua Dove, Oena capensis

Turacos Musophagidae

Knysna Turaco, Tauraco corythaix

Barn-Owls Tytonidae

Western Barn Owl, Tyto alba

Swifts Apodidae

African Palm Swift, Cypsiurus parvus
Alpine Swift, Tachymarptis melba
Common Swift, Apus apus
African Black Swift, Apus barbatus
Little Swift, Apus affinis
White-rumped Swift (M), Apus caffer

Mousebirds Coliidae

Speckled Mousebird, Colius striatus
White-backed Mousebird, Colius colius
Red-faced Mousebird, Urocolius indicus

Kingfishers Alcedinidae

Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

Bee-eaters Meropidae

European Bee-eater (M), Merops apiaster

Hoopoes Upupidae

African Hoopoe (M), Upupa africana

African Barbets Lybiidae

Acacia Pied Barbet, Tricholaema leucomelas

Woodpeckers Picidae

Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Campethera abingoni
Knysna Woodpecker (M), Campethera notata
Ground Woodpecker (M), Geocolaptes olivaceus
Olive Woodpecker, Dendropicos griseocephalus

Falcons and Caracaras Falconidae

Pygmy Falcon, Polihierax semitorquatus
Rock Kestrel (M), Falco rupicolus
Greater Kestrel, Falco rupicoloides
Lanner Falcon, Falco biarmicus
Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus

Wattle-eyes, Batises Platysteiridae

Cape Batis, Batis capensis
Pririt Batis, Batis pririt

Bushshrikes and Allies Malaconotidae

Olive Bushshrike, Chlorophoneus olivaceus
Bokmakierie, Telophorus zeylonus
Southern Tchagra, Tchagra tchagra
Black-backed Puffback, Dryoscopus cubla
Southern Boubou, Laniarius ferrugineus
Brubru, Nilaus afer

Shrikes Laniidae

Southern Fiscal, Lanius collaris

Drongos Dicruridae

Fork-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis

Monarchs Monarchidae

Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Trochocercus cyanomelas
African Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis

Crows, Jays, and Magpies Corvidae

Cape Crow, Corvus capensis
Pied Crow (M), Corvus albus
White-necked Raven (M), Corvus albicollis

Rockjumpers Chaetopidae

Cape Rockjumper (M), Chaetops frenatus

Fairy Flycatchers Stenostiridae

Fairy Flycatcher, Stenostira scita

Tits, Chickadees Paridae

Ashy Tit, Melaniparus cinerascens
Grey Tit, Melaniparus afer

Penduline-Tits Remizidae

Cape Penduline Tit, Anthoscopus minutus

Larks Alaudidae

Spike-heeled Lark, Chersomanes albofasciata
Karoo Long-billed Lark, Certhilauda subcoronata
Cape Long-billed Lark, Certhilauda curvirostris
Agulhas Long-billed Lark (M), Certhilauda brevirostris
Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark, Eremopterix verticalis
Fawn-colored Lark, Calendulauda africanoides
Karoo Lark, Calendulauda albescens
Red Lark (M), Calendulauda burra
Barlow's Lark, Calendulauda barlowi
Cape Clapper Lark, Mirafra apiata
Sclater's Lark (M), Spizocorys sclateri
Large-billed Lark, Galerida magnirostris
Red-capped Lark, Calandrella cinerea

Bulbuls Pycnonotidae

African Red-eyed Bulbul, Pycnonotus nigricans
Cape Bulbul (M), Pycnonotus capensis
Sombre Greenbul, Andropadus importunus
Terrestrial Brownbul, Phyllastrephus terrestris

Swallows Hirundinidae

Black Saw-wing, Psalidoprocne pristoptera
Brown-throated Martin, Riparia paludicola
Banded Martin, Riparia cincta
Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica
White-throated Swallow, Hirundo albigularis
Pearl-breasted Swallow, Hirundo dimidiata
Rock Martin, Ptyonoprogne fuligula
Greater Striped Swallow (M), Cecropis cucullata

Crombecs, African warblers Macrosphenidae

Cape Grassbird, Sphenoeacus afer
Long-billed Crombec, Sylvietta rufescens
Victorin's Warbler (M), Cryptillas victorini

Leaf warblers and allies Phylloscopidae

Willow Warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus
Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Phylloscopus ruficapilla

Reed warblers and allies Acrocephalidae

Lesser Swamp Warbler, Acrocephalus gracilirostris
African Reed Warbler, Acrocephalus baeticatus

Grassbirds and allies Locustellidae

Knysna Warbler, Bradypterus sylvaticus

Cisticolas and allies Cisticolidae

Grey-backed Cisticola, Cisticola subruficapilla
Levaillant's Cisticola, Cisticola tinniens
Neddicky, Cisticola fulvicapilla
Cloud Cisticola, Cisticola tetrix
Black-chested Prinia, Prinia flavicans
Karoo Prinia, Prinia maculosa
Namaqua Warbler, Phragmacia substriata
Bar-throated Apalis, Apalis thoracica
Rufous-eared Warbler, Malcorus pectoralis
Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Euryptila subcinnamomea
Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Eremomela icteropygialis
Karoo Eremomela, Eremomela gregalis

Sylviid Babblers Sylviidae

Chestnut-vented Warbler, Sylvia subcoerulea
Layard's Warbler, Sylvia layardi

White-eyes Zosteropidae

Orange River White-eye, Zosterops pallidus
Cape White-eye, Zosterops virens

Sugarbirds Promeropidae

Cape Sugarbird (M), Promerops cafer

Starlings Sturnidae

Common Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
Black-bellied Starling, Notopholia corusca
Pied Starling (M), Lamprotornis bicolor
Red-winged Starling, Onychognathus morio
Pale-winged Starling (M), Onychognathus nabouroup

Thrushes and Allies Turdidae

Olive Thrush, Turdus olivaceus
Karoo Thrush (M), Turdus smithi

Chats, Old World Flycatchers Muscicapidae

Karoo Scrub Robin, Cercotrichas coryphoeus
Chat Flycatcher, Melaenornis infuscatus
Fiscal Flycatcher, Melaenornis silens
African Dusky Flycatcher, Muscicapa adusta
Cape Robin-Chat, Cossypha caffra
Chorister Robin-Chat, Cossypha dichroa
Cape Rock Thrush (M), Monticola rupestris
African Stonechat, Saxicola torquatus
Sickle-winged Chat, Emarginata sinuata
Karoo Chat, Emarginata schlegelii
Tractrac Chat, Emarginata tractrac
Ant-eating Chat (M), Myrmecocichla formicivora
Mountain Wheatear, Myrmecocichla monticola
Capped Wheatear, Oenanthe pileata
Familiar Chat, Oenanthe familiaris

Sunbirds and Spiderhunters Nectariniidae

Orange-breasted Sunbird (M), Anthobaphes violacea
Grey Sunbird, Cyanomitra veroxii
Amethyst Sunbird, Chalcomitra amethystina
Malachite Sunbird, Nectarinia famosa
Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cinnyris chalybeus
Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Cinnyris afer
Dusky Sunbird, Cinnyris fuscus

Old World Sparrows Passeridae

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
Cape Sparrow, Passer melanurus
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Passer diffusus

Weavers, Widowbirds Ploceidae

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Plocepasser mahali
Sociable Weaver, Philetairus socius
Scaly-feathered Weaver, Sporopipes squamifrons
Cape Weaver, Ploceus capensis
Southern Masked Weaver, Ploceus velatus
Red-billed Quelea, Quelea quelea
Southern Red Bishop, Euplectes orix
Yellow Bishop, Euplectes capensis

Waxbills, Munias and allies Estrildidae

Swee Waxbill (M), Coccopygia melanotis
Common Waxbill, Estrilda astrild

Wagtails, Pipits Motacillidae

Cape Wagtail, Motacilla capensis
African Pied Wagtail, Motacilla aguimp
Cape Longclaw, Macronyx capensis
African Pipit, Anthus cinnamomeus

Finches Fringillidae

Common Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs
Forest Canary, Crithagra scotops
Cape Siskin (M), Crithagra totta
Yellow Canary, Crithagra flaviventris
Brimstone Canary, Crithagra sulphurata
Streaky-headed Seedeater, Crithagra gularis
White-throated Canary, Crithagra albogularis
Protea Canary (M), Crithagra leucoptera
Cape Canary, Serinus canicollis
Black-headed Canary, Serinus alario

Old World Buntings Emberizidae

Lark-like Bunting, Emberiza impetuani
Cape Bunting, Emberiza capensis