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22 april - 02 may 2011 - karoo trip

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We planned a trip to the north-eastern corner of the Western Cape province concentrating mainly on an area between Beaufort West and Murraysburg with the primary focus of targeting a few new species for our provincial lists. Setting off on 22 April, we made our way through to Beaufort West and spent a few hours in the afternoon in the Karoo National Park managing to catch up with our first target bird, Village Indigobird. We also met up with John and Greta Graham here who would spend the first few days of our trip with us. Early the next morning, we were back in the park and spent a few hours working the area connecting with a number of the other more regular species one might expect (this also helped our challenge list which has now been increased to include the whole Western Cape province...).

 
Rock Kestrel
 
female Pririt Batis
 
male Rufous-eared Warbler
 
Karoo Girdled Lizard
 

By lunch time, we were on the road heading further north-east towards Murraysburg. We eventually arrived at our first destination, Misthoek Guest Farm, where we would be spending the next four nights. We also met up with a local birder here, Stefan Theron, who would be taking us around to some of his local hotspots. This turned out to be an absolute coup as Stefan really knew the area well and turned up some fantastic birds for us! Over the next few days in this area, we connected with a number of new Western Cape birds like Northern Black Korhaan, Pink-billed Lark and mega Kurrichane Button-quail whilst we also had some other great birding as well as good mammals, reptiles and frogs.

 
Acacia Pied Barbet
 
Spotted Eagle Owl
 
Pink-billed Lark
 
male Northern Black Korhaan
 
Leopard Tortoise
 
Southern Pygmy Toad
 

Our next 2 nights were spent at the farm Doornbos where we continued to target some other good birds and came up trumps with one of our biggest "wants" for the trip, Drakensberg Rockjumper which meant that we now had both Rockjumpers in our home province. We also turned up a cracking Verreaux's Eagle Owl here as well as other good things like Karoo Flat Gecko and Tandy's Sand Frog, both new species for us.

 
African Rock Pipit
 
male Sentinel Rock Thrush
 
male Drakensberg Rockjumper
 
Karoo Flat Gecko
 
Tandy's Sand Frog
 

Our last 2 nights in the Murraysburg area were based at Bloupoort and local birding added Yellow-throated Petronia and Golden-breasted Bunting to our provincial lists whilst Margaret also got African Firefinch for her list. As with the rest of the trip, we also did a few nightdrives and highlights included Cape Porcupine, Aardwolf, Black-backed Jackal and Pygmy Hairy-footed Gerbil.

 
Ludwig's Bustard
 
African Firefinch
 
Black-throated Canary
 
Aardwolf
 

From here, we eventually made our way back to Cape Town, being very lucky along the way in that we received a call about 2 White-fronted Bee-eaters near Prince Albert which we were able to divert and go and see, another new bird for our Western Cape lists.

 
Full list of species recorded on the trip
   
Links to pages with additional photos highlighted in red
   
Common Name Scientific Name
   
Birds - 159 species  
   
Common Ostrich Struthio camelus
Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
Grey-winged Francolin Scleroptila africanus
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca
South African Shelduck Tadorna cana
African Black Duck Anas sparsa
Yellow-billed Duck Anas undulata
Red-billed Teal Anas erythrorhyncha
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
Hadeda Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
African Spoonbill Platalea alba
Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
Reed Cormorant Microcarbo africanus
White-breasted Cormorant Phalacrocorax lucidus
African Darter Anhinga rufa
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
Black Harrier Circus maurus
Pale Chanting Goshawk Melierax canorus
Gabar Goshawk Melierax gabar
Jackal Buzzard Buteo rufofuscus
Verreaux's Eagle Aquila verreauxii
Rock Kestrel Falco rupicolis
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
Ludwig's Bustard Neotis ludwigii
Southern Black Korhaan Eupodotis afra
Northern Black Korhaan Eupodotis afraoides
Karoo Korhaan Eupodotis vigorsii
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus
Kurrichane Buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus
Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis
Blacksmith Lapwing Vanellus armatus
Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
Namaqua Sandgrouse Pterocles namaqua
Rock Dove Columba livia
Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata
Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Diderick Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius
Spotted Eagle Owl Bubo africanus
Verreaux's Eagle Owl Bubo lacteus
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar Caprimulgus rufigena
Little Swift Apus affinis
White-rumped Swift Apus caffer
Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
White-backed Mousebird Colius colius
Red-faced Mousebird Urocolius indicus
Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris
Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maximus
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
White-fronted Bee-eater Merops bullockoides
African Hoopoe Upupa africana
Acacia Pied Barbet Tricholaema leucomelas
Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus
Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
Cape Batis Batis capensis
Pririt Batis Batis pririt
Bokmakierie Telophorus zeylonus
Southern Tchagra Tchagra tchagra
Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis
Cape Crow Corvus capensis
Pied Crow Corvus albus
White-necked Raven Corvus albicollis
Drakensberg Rockjumper Chaetops aurantius
Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita
Grey Tit Parus afer
Cape Penduline-Tit Anthoscopus minutus
Eastern Clapper Lark Mirafra fasciolata
Sabota Lark Calendulauda sabota
Karoo Long-billed Lark Certhilauda subcoronata
Spike-heeled Lark Chersomanes albofasciata
Pink-billed Lark Spizocorys conirostris
Large-billed Lark Galerida magnirostris
Grey-backed Sparrowlark Eremopterix verticalis
African Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
Cape Bulbul Pycnonotus capensis
Sombre Greenbul Andropadus importunus
Brown-throated Martin Riparia paludicola
Pearl-breasted Swallow Hirundo dimidiata
Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula
Greater Striped Swallow Hirundo cucullata
Grey-backed Cisticola Cisticola subruficapilla
Levaillant's Cisticola Cisticola tinniens
Neddicky Cisticola fulvicapilla
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Desert Cisticola Cisticola aridulus
Rufous-eared Warbler Malcorus pectoralis
Karoo Prinia Prinia maculosa
Namaqua Warbler Phragmacia substriata
Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica
Cinnamon-breasted Warbler Euryptila subcinnamomea
Yellow-bellied Eremomela Eremomela icteropygialis
Long-billed Crombec Sylvietta rufescens
Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum
Layard's Tit-Babbler Parisoma layardi
Cape White-eye Zosterops capensis
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
Pied Starling Spreo bicolor
Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio
Pale-winged Starling Onychognathus nabouroup
Karoo Thrush Turdus smithi
Cape Robin-Chat Cossypha caffra
Karoo Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas coryphoeus
African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus
Capped Wheatear Oenanthe pileata
Mountain Wheatear Oenanthe monticola
Sickle-winged Chat Cercomela sinuata
Karoo Chat Cercomela schlegelii
Familiar Chat Cercomela familiaris
Anteating Chat Myrmecocichla formicivora
Sentinel Rock Thrush Monticola explorator
Short-toed Rock Thrush Monticola brevipes
Chat Flycatcher Bradornis infuscatus
Fiscal Flycatcher Sigelus silens
Malachite Sunbird Nectarinia famosa
Southern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris chalybeus
Dusky Sunbird Cinnyris fuscus
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Cape Sparrow Passer melanurus
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow Passer diffusus
Yellow-throated Petronia Gymnoris superciliaris
Scaly-feathered Finch Sporopipes squamifrons
Cape Weaver Ploceus capensis
Southern Masked Weaver Ploceus velatus
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
Yellow-crowned Bishop Euplectes afer
Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
Red-headed Finch Amadina erythrocephala
Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala
African Firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
African Quailfinch Ortygospiza atricollis
Village Indigobird Vidua chalybeata
Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura
Cape Wagtail Motacilla capensis
Cape Longclaw Macronyx capensis
African Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus
Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
African Rock Pipit Anthus crenatus
Cape Canary Serinus canicollis
Black-throated Canary Serinus atrogularis
Yellow Canary Serinus flaviventris
White-throated Canary Serinus albogularis
Black-headed Canary Alario alario
Lark-like Bunting Emberiza impetuani
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi
Cape Bunting Emberiza capensis
Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris
   
   
Mammals - 32 species  
   
Cape Rock Hyrax Procavia capensis
Vervet Monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus
Chacma Baboon Papio ursinus
South African Ground Squirrel Xerus inauris
Pygmy Hairy-footed Gerbil Gerbillurus paeba
Striped Mouse Rhabdomys pumilio
Bush Karoo Rat Myotomys unisulcatus
South African Spring Hare Pedetes capensis
Cape Porcupine Hystrix africaeaustralis
Cape Hare Lepus capensis
Scrub Hare Lepus saxatilis
Hewitt's Red Rock Rabbit Pronolagus saundersiae
Reddish-grey Musk Shrew Crocidura cyanea
Cape Serotine Bat Neoromicia capensis
Small-spotted Genet Genetta genetta
Yellow Mongoose Cynictis penicillata
Small Grey Mongoose Galerella pulverulenta
Suricate Suricata suricatta
Aardwolf Proteles cristatus
Black-backed Jackal Canis mesomelas
Bat-eared Fox Otocyon megalotis
Striped Polecat Ictonyx striatus
Burchell's Zebra Equus burchelli
Cape Mountain Zebra Equus zebra
Red Haartebeest Alcelaphus caama
Springbok Antidorcas marsupialis
Klipspringer Oreotragus oreotragus
Steenbok Raphicerus campestris
Greater Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Common Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia
Gemsbok Oryx gazella
Grey Rhebok Pelea capreolus
Mountain Reedbuck Redunca fulvorufula
   
   
Reptiles - 10 species  
   
Leopard Tortoise Stigmochelys pardalis
Marsh Terrapin Pelomedusa subrufa
Common Ground Agama Agama aculeata
Karoo Flat Gecko Afroedura karroica
Cape Crag Lizard Pseudocordylus microlepidotus
Karoo Girdled Lizard Cordylus polyzonus
Namaqua Sand Lizard Pedioplanis namaquensis
Variegated Skink Trachylepis variegata
Western Rock Skink Trachylepis sulcata
Puffadder Bitis arietans arietans
   
   
Frogs - 5 species  
   
Southern Pygmy Toad Poyntonophrynus vertebralis
Boetger's Caco Cacosternum boetgeri
Cape River Frog Amietia fuscigula
Clicking Stream Frog Strongylopus grayii
Tandy's Sand Frog Tomopterna tandyi