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26 february 2011 - merweville

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With news breaking earlier in the week of a Lilac-breasted Roller, a new bird for the Western Cape, being discovered just south of Merweville in the Karoo, we were very keen to chase after it for our provincial lists. We drove up to Laingsburg on Friday night and overnighted there before heading out to the site early this morning. Arriving at the spot, we were faced with a fairly large patch of suitable habitat and were a little nervous about actually finding the bird but, within 15 minutes, we had located it. It was a little skittish and we could never get close enough for decent photos, but nevertheless, it was a great bird to get for our provincial lists with the previous nearest record to this being at least 600km to the north-east. After spending a bit of time with the bird, we eventually had to start the long drive back to Cape Town to get back for a commitment in the evening, but it was all worth it in the end.

Lilac-breasted Roller
Full list of species recorded in and around Merweville
Links to pages with additional photos highlighted in red
Common Name Scientific Name
Birds - 59 species  
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca
South African Shelduck Tadorna cana
Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudatus
Red-faced Mousebird Urocolius indicus
Diderick Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius
Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba
Little Swift Apus affinis
White-rumped Swift Apus caffer
Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Karoo Korhaan Eupodotis vigorsii
Namaqua Sandgrouse Pterocles namaqua
Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
Blacksmith Lapwing Vanellus armatus
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
Pale Chanting Goshawk Melierax canorus
Jackal Buzzard Buteo rufofuscus
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus
Rock Kestrel Falco rupicolis
African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
African Spoonbill Platalea alba
Bokmakierie Telophorus zeylonus
Pririt Batis Batis pririt
Pied Crow Corvus albus
White-necked Raven Corvus albicollis
Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
Cape Penduline Tit Anthoscopus minutus
Grey Tit Parus afer
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Greater Striped Swallow Hirundo cucullata
Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula
Cape Bulbul Pycnonotus capensis
Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum
Cape White-eye Zosterops capensis
Karoo Prinia Prinia maculosa
Sabota Lark Calendulauda sabota
Karoo Lark Calendulauda albescens
Spike-heeled Lark Chersomanes albofasciata
Karoo Long-billed Lark Certhilauda subcoronata
Grey-backed Sparrowlark Eremopterix verticalis
Chat Flycatcher Bradornis infuscatus
Cape Robin-Chat Cossypha caffra
African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus
Mountain Wheatear Oenanthe monticola
Karoo Chat Cercomela schlegelii
Familiar Chat Cercomela familiaris
Pale-winged Starling Onychognathus nabouroup
Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Southern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris chalybeus
Southern Masked Weaver Ploceus velatus
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Cape Sparrow Passer melanurus
Cape Wagtail Motacilla capensis
Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
Lark-like Bunting Emberiza impetuani
Cape Bunting Emberiza capensis
Mammals - 5 species  
Small Grey Mongoose Galerella pulverulenta
Yellow Mongoose Cynictis penicillata
Rock Hyrax Procavia capensis
Common Eland Taurotragus oryx
Steenbok Raphicerus campestris