BIRDING AROUND THE WORLD

Subtitle

Eastern South Africa & Zimbabwe: 3rd Feb-5th March 1997

INTRODUCTION

I spent a month birding in southern Africa, mainly Natal, Lesotho and Zimbabwe, with Ashley Banwell and Mike Archer. We recorded 524 species during this time, including 3 species of flufftail and twinspot, Corncrake, Blue Bustard, African Broadbill, Blue Swallow, Orange and Spotted Ground-Thrushes, Boulder Chat, all the Drakensberg endemics and 100s of Amur Falcons. I had 96 ticks, having been throughout Namibia and the Cape previously. Notable misses, all difficult, were Slaty Egret, Taita Falcon, Thick-billed and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoos, Grass and Cape Eagle Owls, African Pitta and several birds including Wattled Crane seen later in Malawi.

The dates were chosen partly for convenience and partly with the aim of seeing scarce breeding species such as flufftails, Broadbill and especially African Pitta - the key bird for BirdQuest’s Zimbabwe trip in February. It was too late when we discovered we should have been in Zimbabwe in the second half of December for the Pitta, although that might have been too early for the flufftails. This was a good time for seeing the whydahs and weavers in breeding plumage.

The countries are fairly safe, cheap and hassle-free, and most people speak English. South Africa has good roads, well-stocked shops and wildlife is well-protected in a multitude of reserves and National Parks, the only problems being restrictions on walking and opening hours in some of these. Roads in Zimbabwe are of variable quality, but traffic usually very light, shops carry a good range of basic items, and there are a few major National Parks and reserves. Add to this some spectacular scenery and excellent opportunities for big mammal watching, and the whole area can be thoroughly recommended.

TRANSPORT

We flew to Joburg, with BA or KLM on open-jaw tickets, leaving Africa from Malawi. We took the  overnight Joburg to Harare bus, boarding at Pretoria as we did not fancy driving at night in Joburg. It was operated by Greyhound, booked a few days before at a local travel agency, comfortable, cost 250R (£33) but took 15 hours, including 90 mins at the border. Blue Arrow (tel in Joburg 011 830 1400 or fax Harare 263 4 729572) operate a similar service Flights were c.£180 single and £220 return, the only way to get a discount being to fly from Europe with South African Airlines (or probably Air Zimbabwe), a more expensive option. 

Car hire, essential, was prebooked in the UK with Budget (0800 181181) in S Africa - £377 for a Group A; the car could have been dropped at a different location without charge but not driven into Zimbabwe. Hertz (099 099 6699), with a 20% BA discount, were by far the cheapest option in Zimbabwe - £528 for a Group A (Mazda 323) for 16 days. We were overcharged when the credit card bill came through but a letter of complaint to Hertz UK  resulted in a £104 refund and apology for the “error”. Both cars were trouble-free. 

There are lots of tour companies operating in southern Africa, including Ken Thorne’s birder-orientated, personalised African Odyssey Tours, address as in Contacts section.

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION

Restaurants are available in towns and National Parks but not in reserves, where accommodation is usually self-catering, with decent cooking facilities. We mainly stayed in National Parks and reserves in S Africa, and did not find pre-booking necessary, but it is essential at school holiday times, ie mid April-mid May, mid Aug-mid Sept and mid Dec-mid Jan in Zimbabwe. 

Recommendations:-

Weaver’s Nest, Wakkerstroom, 017 730 319, fax 515 - 217R = £30 per day half board

Chalet at Mkuzi Game Reserve - 80R per person (only allowed to drive in park 05.00-19.00).

Treehouse at Bonamanzi Game Park, 562 0181 or 0516 - 115R per person - beware mosquitos

Log cabin at Umlalazi NR - 100R per person

Rustic cabin at Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve - 65R per person

Robin Guy’s cottage, Underberg - 140R total

Joburg - Ken Thorne has accommodation in Witwatersrand

Pietermaritzburg - Jack Ingham’s b & b, 0331 433237, is good according to Gordon Bennett

Sylvia McCracken’s hostel, 128 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare - Z$35 = £2 per person

Aberfoyle Country Club, 708239 or 428385 - Z$150 per person + 70 for dinner

Seldomseen, 120 81273 (was PO Box 812, Mutare but may not be appropriate now as no longer run by Mrs Manson) - Z$160 for a cottage

Inn on the Vumba, PO Box 524, Mutare, tel/fax 20 60722 - Z$700 for 2, half board

Cloud’s End Hotel, Makuti, 63 526, fax 541 - Z$700 for a double plus a single

Cottage at Hwange NP, Main Camp - Z$410 for 4 beds inc NP fees for 3, Sinamatella Camp  Z$150 for 3 (half price at this time of year)

Cottage at Victoria Falls Rest-camp, by the town centre, 4311 4210 - Z$275 total

Gorges Hotel, Vic Falls, fax Harare 4 735080 or London 0181 9056947 (tel 905 7383) - US$164 -182 b & b for 2, or $198 - 216 with dinner.

Clovelly Lodge, Masvingo (turn left off Bulawayo road coming into Masvingo, just after Brae bed and breakfast) - c.£5 b & b + communal dinner; good for Great Zimbabwe visit.

Kiledo Lodge, Chipinge 4 786 521 / 9 - for Gunarezhou NP region.

REFERENCES

Illustrated Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa by I Sinclair, P Hockey and W Tarboton - known as the SASOL guide (after its sponsor).

Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa by K Newman.

Robert’s Birds of South Africa by GL MacLean.

Top birding spots in Southern Africa by H Chittenden.

Wakkerstroom Bird and Nature Guide by W & M Tarboton (available from Weaver’s Nest).

Birdwatch Zimbabwe by D Solomon and J Williams, available from Jacko Williams, address below.

Trip reports:

02/11/87-13/12/87          South Africa, Namibia & Zimbabwe        A & EA Greensmith      

24/09/90-03/11/90          South Africa & Namibia                         E Molgaard      

29/05/92-31/07/92          South Africa & Namibia                         C Green           

31/05/93-13/06/93          South Africa: Transvaal, Natal                J Vermeulen

03/07/94-17/08/94          Southern Africa                                     H Hendriks                   

19/07/91-29/08/91          Zimbabwe                                             H Hendriks                   

26/08/90-04/09/90          Zimbabwe                                             D Sargeant                  

1991                             Zimbabwe                                             E Emanuelsson            

 

Nigel Wheatley’s Where to watch birds in Africa and Gordon Bennett’s Birding in Natal (Birding 28, 6 490-499) are useful at the planning stage.

Kingdon, J (1997) The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press

The S African and Zimbabwe Tourism Boards (tel 0541 550044 and 0171 240 6169, respectively) are a good source of brochures and most reserves have maps, bird lists, etc.

CONTACTS

Gordon Bennett, PO Box 100502, Scottsville 3209, tel 033 165 555

John McAllister, Wakkerstroom  017 730 502

Robin Guy, PO Box 161, Underberg 3257, 033 701 1020, fax 1220  [email protected]

Ken Thorne, 20 Gibson Road, Hurlyvale,  Edenvale 1609.  011 453 4232, fax 452 4746.

Natal Parks Board, 0331 47 1981, fax 1980 - for bookings,eg at Mkuzi and Umlalazi

Kit Hustler, Wild Horizons Pvt Ltd, PO Box 159, Vic Falls, 13 4219 or 2004, fax 4349

Chris Pollard, Manager of casino in Elephant Hills hotel (on right 2km or so out of Vic Falls on the Zambezi NP road, beyond Zambezi Drive), not Casino Hotel as in earlier gen. Tel 13 4601 work, 4577 home

Jacko Williams 14 Harare Drive, Greystones Park, Harare. Tel 4 882 206

Tiger Safaris, Chirundu (guide Willy Reed)

Run Wild Safaris, 5th Floor, Southampton Life Centre, Jason Mayo Avenue, Harare, 795841 or 6 - for Chizarira Lodge (Steve, 115 266), only certain site for African Pitta (and Livingstone’s flycatcher) - US$180 / day!

Peter Cauldwell-Barr, Tsipingi, 4 272865 - for Horoni Rusitu Valley

MISCELLANEOUS

The weather was generally pleasant, sometimes hot and sunny and with some heavy showers, mainly at night. One day was very windy and partly wet. The rainy season peaks in Jan / Feb and can extend either side for a month or so, but S Africa has had a run of relatively dry summers, except for 1996. There had been exceptionally heavy rain in Zimbabwe in Jan / early Feb.

The only serious health risk is malaria and that only occurs in the lowlands, ie mainly in the coastal belt. We had virtually no health or insect problems. Security is said to be getting worse in S Africa, with driving at night not recommended; the car had a good disabler and alarm but apparently was liable to be stripped if left unattended away from a car park or well-frequented area. This did not appear to be much of a problem in Zimbabwe.

Visas are not required. Currency is easily exchanged and cash cards are taken at bank machines. Phones work well and you can use BT charge cards, eg to ring UK from a call box. The one poor feature of S Africa is the postal system - letters frequently take 3 -5 weeks to arrive, or even longer, unless you pay a large surcharge for express delivery from S Africa. The service appears to be excellent in Zimbabwe, at least to or from Harare where postage takes less than a week.

ITINERARY

Feb      3          Arrive Joburg 10.40, Suikerbosrand NR

            4          Joburg to pick up MGA and AB, Wakkerstroom

            5          Wakkerstroom area

            6-8        Mkuzi NP         

            9          Mkuzi, Bonamanzi NR

            10         Bonamanzi NR

            11         Dukuduku Forest (St Lucia), Mtunzini / Umlalazi

            12         Dhlinza and Ntumeni Forests, Enselini NR, Umlalazi  

            13          Umlalazi, Vernon Crookes NR

            14         Vernon Crookes, Xumeni Forest, Underberg

            15         Sani Pass, Lesotho

            16         Bulwer Forest, Suikerbosrand, Pretoria

            17         Bus to Harare

            18         Mkuvisi, Marlborough and Monavale Vleis, Gosho Park, Christmas Pass, Seldomseen

            19         Seldomseen, Bunga Forest, White Horse Inn, Mutare 

            20         Seldomseen, Honde Valley, Aberfoyle Tea Estate

            21         Gleneagles Reserve, Aberfoyle

            22         Aberfoyle, Katiwa Tea Plantation, Nyanga NP, Gosho Park, Harare

            23         Marlborough and Monavale Vleis, Makuti, Charara Safari Area  

            24         Makuti, Chirundu, Charara SA

            25-26    Hwange NP

            27         Hwange NP, Victoria Falls

            28         Victoria Falls, Imbalala Camp (Katulgula)

March   1          Victoria Falls, Imbalala Camp, Gorges Hotel

            2          Zambia, Tshbalala GR, Masvingo

            3          Great Zimbabwe, Felixburg, Harare

            4          Christon Bank, Marlborough Vlei, Botanical Gardens, Monavale Vlei, Rainham Dam

             5        Gosho Park, fly to Malawi 16.45.

SITES             

Most of the sites are detailed in the guidebooks or trip reports, so I will restrict comments to the aims of our itinerary and a few interesting sites not normally visited by Western birders.

SOUTH AFRICA

Route taken with target species (capitals if dips):-

Wakkerstroom - Bald Ibis, WHITE-WINGED FLUFFTAIL (can be heard at night in marsh W of town), Blue Bustard, GRASS OWL, Rudd’s & Botha’s Larks, Buff-streaked Chat, Yellow-breasted Pipit

Mkuzi - Southern Banded Snake-eagle, BLUE QUAIL, CRESTED GUINEAFOWL, BROWN-HEADED PARROT, Purple-crested Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, MOZAMBIQUE NIGHTJAR, Trumpeter Hornbill, White-eared Barbet, SCALY-THROATED HONEYGUIDE, Southern Tchagra, Gorgeous Bushshrike, Black-bellied Starling, SABOTA LARK, White-throated Robin-Chat, Eastern Nicator, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Rudd's Apalis, Stierling's Barred Warbler, BUSHVELD PIPIT, Green & Pink-throated Twinspots, Neergaard's Sunbird, GREY WAXBILL

Bonamanzi - Southern Banded Snake-eagle, Crested Guineafowl, Lesser Moorhen, African Broadbill, Blue-grey Flycatcher, RUDD’S APALIS, Red-headed Quelea, Grey Sunbird, GREY WAXBILL, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Lemon-breasted Canary

St Lucia - SOUTHERN BANDED SNAKE-EAGLE, RED-CHESTED FLUFFTAIL, LIVINGSTONE'S TURACO,  NATAL NIGHTJAR, Woodward’s Batis, Brown Robin, GREY SUNBIRD, YELLOW WEAVER, GREY WAXBILL, QUAILFINCH

We did not bother to go all the way to St Lucia, just stopping at Dukuduku Forest for the 2 most important species.        

Mtunzini - MANGROVE KINGFISHER, NATAL NIGHTJAR, Blue-grey Flycatcher

Dhlinza (Eshowe) and Ntumeni Forests - Bronze-naped Pigeon, YELLOW-STREAKED GREENBUL (Ntumeni only), Spotted Ground-Thrush, ORANGE GROUND-THRUSH, Chorister Robin, Brown Robin.

The official entrance to Dhlinza Forest at Eshowe is on the main road to Nkandla, a left turn after passing through town, but we took a left turn to George Hotel before town centre, bore left, turned right on Saunders St, parked just inside the forest and walked along a gully to the Nature Trail where soon had Bronze-naped Pigeon, Chorister Robin and Spotted Ground-Thrush. For Ntumeni Forest, go towards Nkandla, turning left 11km after Dhlinza Forest entrance;  the reserve is on the right after 3.5km, and the car park 1km inside the forest.

According to a local, there is very good forest 75km from Eshowe along the Nkandla road.

Enselini NR, north of Empangeni, directly east of N2 highway just south of railway crossing: good mixed habo but only open 07.00 - 18.00: NATAL NIGHTJAR, African Broadbill 

Vernon Crookes (Umzinto) - Knysna Turaco, BROAD-TAILED WARBLER           

Xumeni Forest, Donnybrook - CAPE PARROT, Orange Ground-Thrush, Barratt’s Warbler

Underberg (sites from Robin Guy) - WATTLED and Blue Cranes, CAPE EAGLE-OWL, Broad-tailed Warbler

Sani Pass, Lesotho - Cape Vulture, Ground Woodpecker, Bush Blackcap, Orange-Breasted Rockjumper, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Lazy Cisticola, Drankensberg Prinia, Barratt's Warbler, Mountain & SA Rock Pipit, Gurney's Sugarbird, Drakensberg Siskin

A 4-wheel drive is essential and so it is best to go with Robin Guy.

Bulwer Forest (near Underberg) - CAPE PARROT

Suikerbosrand NR - MELODIOUS, MONOTONOUS and SABOTA LARKS, TRANSVAAL (SHORT-TOED) ROCK-THRUSH, but all unlikely.

In retrospect, I would have substituted:-

1. Ngoye Forest for Ntumeni, where we failed to find Yellow-streaked Greenbul (later seen in Zimbabwe): this holds Woodward’s/ Green Barbet but the road is bad and it is said to be risky to leave the car unattended. It lies 16km W of Empangeni, check directions, but turn off along a dirt road by a small garage, drive until road is impassable - it rises and bends to right before some buildings while logging track goes straight on up valley. A tiny path by new buildings on left goes through scrappy forest to a logging road giving access to the forest.

2. Giants Castle (for Short-tailed Pipit) and 12km S of Moii River for its Wattled Crane roost, in place of Vernon Crookes. Oribi Gorge is another southern site worth visiting, eg for Knysna Woodpecker.

I would also try to finish at Pietersburg, to visit the local Nature reserve for Short-clawed Lark.

ZIMBABWE

Route taken with target species:-

Harare - Mkuvisi Woods - PURPLE-CRESTED TURACO, WHYTE'S BARBET, Spotted Creeper, Wood & STRIPED PIPITS, Stierling's Barred-Warbler, Miombo Tit, VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD       

Marlborough Vlei (2nd Avenue, turn left on to Harare Drive, after 2km turn right on Princess Margaret Road) and Monavale Vlei (Monavale Road, off Princes Road) - RED-CHESTED, STRIPED and Streaky-breasted Flufftails, BLUE QUAIL, African & STRIPED CRAKES, BLACK-RUMPED BUTTONQUAIL, Black Coucal, Broad-tailed Warbler, CUCKOO FINCH [incredibly, BirdQuest had all these species just before our visit!]

Gosho Park, an excellent miombo site 75km from Harare on Mutare road just past Marondera, turn left just after Peterhouse School - Whyte’s Barbet, Boulder Chat (on 3rd visit), Southern Hyliota, Wood Pipit, Black-eared Canary

Christmas Pass, left turn up dirt road just before peak of main road into Mutare - BLUE SWALLOW, Miombo Rock-thrush, Striped Pipit

The Vumbas: Seldomseen - Bunga Forest - White Horse Inn - Mutare -

BAT HAWK, Livingstone's Turaco, EMERALD CUCKOO, WHITE-EARED BARBET, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, GORGEOUS BUSHSHRIKE, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Eastern Sawwing, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Orange Ground-Thrush, Swynnerton's Robin, Chirinda Apalis, Robert's Prinia, CINNAMON-BREASTED TIT, GREEN & RED-THROATED TWINSPOTS, GREY WAXBILL

Honde Valley - Red-chested Flufftail, MARSH TCHAGRA, Grey Waxbill

Aberfoyle Tea Estate - BARRED CUCKOO, EASTERN HONEYGUIDE, Blue Swallow, CHESTNUT-FRONTED HELMETSHRIKE, MARSH TCHAGRA, Peters’ Twinspot, NYASA SEEDCRACKER (at the Pepper Gardens), Black Widowfinch. African Pitta has been seen here sporadically but not this year.              

 Katiwa Tea Plantation - Dickinson’s Kestrel, Mozambique Batis, PIED MANNIKIN           

Nyanga NP - CAPE EAGLE-OWL, STRIPED FLUFFTAIL, Blue Swallow, GOLDEN-BACKED PYTILIA

Chirundu, Charara Safari Area  - WHITE-BACKED NIGHT-HERON, A.SKIMMER, White-Crowned Plover, Lilian’s Lovebird, Mottled and BOEHM’S SPINETAILS, Pennant-winged & Mozambique Nightjars

Hwange NP - Natal Francolin, Freckled Nightjar, Monotonous Lark, Racket-tailed Roller   

Victoria Falls - Bat Hawk (by railway station at dusk), TAITA FALCON (Gorges Hotel or Zambian side), Natal Francolin, White-Crowned Plover, Schalow’s Turaco (forest at Falls), Collared Palm-Thrush, PURPLE-BANDED SUNBIRD, Golden-backed Pytilia, Purple Widowfinch. Be sure to visit Gorges Hotel - 12km along Bulawayo road turn left on Deka Road and left again after 11.2km - hotel is 2.6km along dirt track.

Imbalala Camp, Kazungula - SLATY EGRET, ROCK PRATINCOLE, NATAL NIGHTJAR, CHURRING CISTICOLA, RED-HEADED QUELEA, Brown Firefinch, Violet Widowfinch

Security is tight here and it is necessary to take a boat to see the best birds, so it is best to pay up and book with Wild Horizons.

Tshbalala GR - Sabota Lark

This is 8km from Bulawayo on the road to Rhodes Matopos NP and is an excellent grassland and acacia scrub reserve but with restrictive opening hours.

Felixburg - WATTLED CRANE, Melodious Lark, Quail Finch

32km S of Chivu there is a pan on the W side of the main road to Gutu - the grassland here is good for the above species. We came N up the A4 from Masvingo and cut across to Felixburg on dirt roads; 4.3km before reaching the Chivu-Gutu road, on Shash Fantein Road ?, there was good grassland on both sides, with lots of larks and Quaifinch.

Christon Bank NR, Harare - Mazowe road for 22km, turn right and continue for 8km keeping straight on near end - BOULDER CHAT, CINNAMON-BREASTED TIT

Rainham Dam - Lesser Moorhen, GRASS OWL, QUAIL FINCH, LOCUST FINCH  

Leave Harare on Princes Avenue and contiue straight on - the dam is on the right some 6km after the broad tar changes to narrow tar  - see map for access.

Localities not visited included Lake McIlwaine (Racket-tailed Roller, Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Locustfinch), Rhodes Matopos (Boulder Chat), Gunarezhou NP in the far SE (Lesser Black-winged Plover, Thick-billed Cuckoo) and the Vimbas, Haroni Rusitu, S of the Vumbas where a 4-wheel drive is necessary (Eastern Honeyguide, SLENDER BULBUL, Black-headed Apalis, Vanga Flycatcher, Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike and possibly Pel’s Fishing-Owl). The Bulbul, which should be easy there, is the “best” bird as there is no other accessible site for it.

DAILY LOG

Feb      3          10.30 arrived Joburg from London, picked up car and visited my uncle near Vereeniging - first Amur Falcons en route. 16.00-18.30 Suikerbosrand NR. Dossed at uncle’s.

            4          07.10 - 08.05 drive back to Joburg airport to pick up MGA and AB, delayed an hour. Left at 11.00 for Wakkerstroom, arriving Weaver’s Nest at 15.00. Amersfoort Road and Over Langberg till 19.15: lots of Amur Falcons and Bald Ibis. John McAllister, local ranger, came round after excellent dinner and was very helpful.

            5          06.00 - 09.20 with JMcA in his minibus: Rudd’s and Botha’s Larks on E2-E8. After breakfast, Yellow-breasted Pipit on Zaaihoek Dam road and Buff-streaked Chat on crags nearly opposite hotel. 13.00-15.30 at cottage by the marsh (50R per person, as hotel was full), then I drove to Volksrust to buy Greyhound tickets to Harare. !6.30-18.30 search for Blue Bustard, eventually rewarded by distant view from E2-E8; dusk at N side of marsh - Marsh Owl but no Grass Owl. 20.00-21.30 barbie then back to marsh, but quiet.

            6          04.45 to km21 on Amersfoort Road for Blue Cranes and Blue Bustard/ Korhaan but foggy and only 2 cranes seen. Better view of bustards at yesterday’s site, then to Weaver’s Nest for breakfast. Returned to Pipit field, only seeing 2 pale birds, then left for Mkuzi at 11.00 via Wattled Crane site but dipped. Circuitous drive to Piet Retief where shopped for Mkuzi, then fast run till inside the Park where stopped by 7 White Rhino on the road. Arrived at office at 16.30 as it was shutting. Booked chalet, gave food to cook, then drove to Kubube hide, seeing Pink-throated Twinspot, with Nicator and Bearded Robin behind nearby toilet block. Had to eat at 18.45 as cook left at 19.00 latest

            7          05.05 to Ensumo Pan with good stop in sand forest: Gorgeous Bush-Shrike and White-throated Robin-Chat. Pan full of water and disappointing, so to beautiful Fig Forest where Trumpeter Hornbill and Purple-crested Turaco were numerous and saw White-eared Barbet and Green Twinspot; sunbirds near entrance included Neergaard’s. Back to hides - Southern Banded Snake-Eagle with prey. Good stop in acacia scrub but loop road gave little. Afternoon walk above river near camp unrewarding but day’s list was 96 species.

            8          05.10 to airstrip, only Rufous-naped Lark, then Kubube hide, Ensumo Pan and Fig Forest where Emerald Cuckoo was only highlight. Still no Brown-headed Parrot or Bush Pipit on loop road, lots of game at Kubube hide. Afternoon disappointing until return to hide where 5 White Rhino mud-bathed very close.

            9          05.05 to airstrip, acacias - Stierling's Barred Warbler - Kubube hide (missing Grey Waxbill) then to very nice Safari Camp, overlooking Inhlonhlela Pan, but would have been better to have birded round entrance gate for Bush Pipit. Left at 11.00 for Hluhluwe, where bought food, arriving at Bonamanzi at 12.30 - office shut (Sunday) but eventually found someone for keys to fully-equipped Treehouse. Lots of trails in wet forest, few birds included Crested Guineafowl, Yellowbill and Olive Bush-Shrike. Night drive gave Ratel, Porcupine and White-tailed Mongoose.  

            10         Fine view of displaying Broadbills after last treehouse. Discussion with ranger at 06.15, then Lalapanzi camp where called up Lemon-breasted Canary. 08.15 guided to floodplain, outside reserve, walking last stretch as track flooded - good birding but much rain: Red-headed Quelea, Southern Brown-throated Weavers and Grey Sunbird. Cuckoo Hawk and Blue-grey Flycatcher in afternoon in forest but no Natal Nightjar at Lalapanzi camp in evening.

            11         05.10 towards St Lucia, stopping at Dukuduku Forest 10km after Mtubatuba: elusive Brown Robin and Woodward’s Batis on 2 short trails. 09.00 to Richard’s Bay where unable to find any of sites in guide-book due to major port development. Did find tern roost and Yellow Weaver at pan with dead hide. On to Mtunzini where rented good log cabin at Umlalazi NR. Walk in gallery forest and briefly onto somewhat surreal dune system (MGA), giving a rare view of the Indian Ocean. Then drive to Wilderness Drive for Palmnut Vulture, stopping at prawn farm (where evicted by agressive white). Evening at mangroves gave nothing new. Consumed 2 litres of red wine!  

            12         05.10 to Eshowe on old road, only 30 mins but Dhlinza Forest reserve difficult to find: Bronze-naped Pigeon, Chorister Robin and Spotted Ground-Thrush. After 3 hours drove to Ntumeni Forest where an hour gave good view of Brown Robin but no Yellow-streaked Bulbul. Drove to brow of hill just beyond forest: Drak. Prinia, Lazy Cisticola and Red-backed Mannikin. Returned to Mtunzini at 13.00 - hot and sunny. After lunch took N2 north to Enseleni NR but only had 75 mins before closing time - Broadbill heard. Dash back to Umlalazi to look for Finfoot at S end, but had to make do with Pygmy Kingfisher and 2 Hobbies.

            13         Heavy rain overnight and in morning with strong wind, dune forest walk hopeless. Drive to Vernon Crookes NR near Umzinto S of Durban, arriving 12.30. Discovered I’d left crucial bag behind so drove back 217km (in 105 mins) to retrieve it; arrived back at Vernon Crookes at 17.15. AB & MGA had had Cuckoo Finch and Greater Double-collared Sunbird in my absence. Called in Knysna Turaco from treehouse where we stayed.

            14         05.15-08.00 Vernon Crookes NR, windy - only Peregrine new. Drove to Donnybrook and birded Xumeni Forest from muddy logging road 11.00-13.00 - excellent forest but no trails in: Olive Woodpecker, Orange Ground-Thrush and Barratt’s Warbler. Robin Guy’s at Underberg 14.00 - lovely spot, nice weather, good local birding: Broad-tailed Warbler and Corncrake! Tried for Cape Eagle-Owl at dusk: Jackal Buzzard and brief view of large owl? in flight. Belatedly found it impossible to buy takeaway alcohol after 17.00!

            15         05.10-06.40 local circuit, starting at Himeville for Amur Falcon roost, not found, then Red-winged Francolin fields - heard but only Horus Swift seen - and nearby marsh. 07.30 departed for Sani Pass after good breakfast, birding all way up - border post only open 08.00-16.00: Drakensberg Prinia, Swee Waxbill, Drakensberg Siskin, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Lammergeier, Cape Vulture, Bald Ibis, in order of view up to the pass - spectacular scenery. Grey-winged Francolin, Layard’s Tit-Babbler, Fairy Flycatcher, Grey Tit (unexpected surprise - one of few sp. missed in the Cape), Rockjumper, Mountain Pipit, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Ground Woodpecker and Rock Pipit on the other side. Returned to border at 16.00 and saw Bush Blackcap and Barratt’s Warbler just below, then searched for Wattled Crane, only finding the locally rarer Blue Crane. Good steak at Mike’s restaurant. Best day of the trip, largely thanks to Robin Guy.

            16         05.05 to Cape Eagle Owl site but valley full of low cloud so on to Himeville where at 05.20 Amur Falcons were leaving the tall eucalypt roost to right of main road mid town. A Black Sparrowhawk glided in and grabbed a falcon, causing remaining 250+ to leave en masse, but crows stayed put. 36km to Bulwer Forest: Starred Robin, Olive Bushshrike and Yellow-throated Warbler but no Cape Parrot or Blue-mantled Flycatcher. No luck at Mountain Hotel site for Black Widowfinch. 11.00-16.30 Underberg to Suikerbosrand, with 30R of toll road and a few short stops. In reserve till 18.15 then to uncle’s, leaving for Pretoria at 20.15. Dropped car by 22.45, coach to Zimbabwe left at 23.20.   

            17         Coach comfortable, if cramped - 3 videos, scenery unexciting, 90 mins to cross border, reaching Harare 14.30. Bank (closed at 15.00), Hertz at hotel near coach station; drove to self-catering “hostel” at 128 Samora Machel Avenue - cheap and very friendly, run by Sylvia McCracken. 17.30 Jacko Williams house, Borrowdale for lengthy and useful discussion, followed by good local pizza and icecream.

            18         06.15-08.45 Mkuvisi miombo woodland: Spotted Creeper, Stierling's Barred Warbler feeding young, Miombo Tit and Striped Pipit. Picked up Jacko Williams to show us the vleis - Black-chested Snake-Eagle with snake and Black Coucal but no flufftails. Tea at Jacko’s then checked out from hostel and drove to Gosho Park, Marondera: 14.00-15.30, no Boulder Chat. On to Christmas Pass above Mutare, 17.30, where found Miombo Rock-Thrush at power lines just after cattle grid. Reserved table at Inn on the Vumba and found Twinstreams cottage, Seldomseen, a further 17km on. Enjoyable evening at Inn on the Vumba with good 5 course dinner (£5) and chat with Mark van Beirs.  

            19         Morning at Seldomseen including 3 hours with sharp-eyed Peter (Z$90):  Livingstone's Turaco, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Eastern Sawwing, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Chirinda Apalis, Robert's Prinia and too brief view of Swynnerton's Robin. Tried Bunga Forest for Swynnerton's but dead. Afternoon at Seldomseen gave Swynnerton's Robin for AB and Buff-spotted Flufftail for me. Nothing at White Horse Inn, Inn on the Vumba or Mutare Bat Hawk site, but another pleasant eve at Inn on the Vumba.  

            20         05.30 main trail: Orange Ground-Thrush and Starred Robin, then to the Protea nursery to look for indigobirds, without success, and off to the Honde Valley. Missed Nyanga turn, off main Harare road - it was signed to a university - and had to retrace steps to find it. Eventually turned up honde Valley and after a few km, stopped to wade into the vlei on right and succeeded in flushing a Red-chested Flufftail. Aberfoyle Country Club was c.60km along this road, but took right fork at Club entrance for a km to a lake and marsh. Walked trail on right side - Little Bittern and Grey Waxbill at last. 6km to Club, arriving early afternoon. Drive through forest edge later produced few birds but a rather nice chameleon.

            21         05.30-07.00 around Club but no sign of Barred Cuckoo present 2 weeks earlier. Ahmed Abasi, the good guide, was away with BirdQuest, but his brother Neva escorted us to Gleneagles Reserve. He set off apace, with AB and MGA but I dawdled, seeing Black-fronted Bushshrike, Blue-mantled Flycatcher, Chirinda Apalis, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Red-throated Twinspot, and a party of Helmet-shrikes which may have contained the sought-after Chestnut-fronted but went the wrong way. Returned to the Club, then to the lake where had Red-winged Warbler but no Marsh Tchagra or Pale Batis. AB and MGA had 2 hour walk to hilltop where Blue Swallow was seen after a long wait and an alfresco meal in a local farmer’s compound, with freshly cooked corn on the cob, gallons of tea and chickens feeding at their feet (MGA).   

            22         Early morning at Club in another abortive search for E Honeyguide and Barred Cuckoo - I had Lesser Cuckoo and AB Wattle-eye. 08.00 to Katiwa tea plantation, a left turn onto Katiwa Road c.30km from the Club gates, 1km after the second bridge. Plantation gates are reached after 16km and another 3km brings you to their club; in garden opposite saw Mozambique Batis and Dickinson’s Kestrel nearby, but failed to find Pied Mannikin. 10.15-12.30 to Nyanga NP, eventually locating Mare Dam but no Blue Swallows - 2 flew past at next dam, Purdon, but no other sightings. 14.00-16.15 easy drive to Gosho Park: lots of birds with Whyte’s Barbet, Slender-billed Honeyguide, White-breasted Cuckoo-Shrike, Mashona Hyliota, Wood Pipit, Black-eared Canary and Mocking Chat, but no Boulder Chat. Left at  18.30, dusk, for Harare - got into Sylvia’s only when discovered the intercom at locked gate, hidden by veg. Chicken and chips over the road - MGA eating a whole chicken!

            23         06.40 to Monavale Vlei with Alex Masterson, as prearranged - a single Streaky-breasted Flufftail in 2 hours - then on to Marlborough Vlei - 1 African Crake, an unflushable flufftail, Black Coucal with 7 eggs, Pink-throated Longclaw and Broad-tailed Warbler. Old trousers, sandals and socks may be best for vlei-bashing, although tall rubber boots may be OK. After tea and biscuits at Alex’s, checked out of Sylvia’s, bank, pizza and departed for Makuti at 13.00, reaching Cloud’s End at 15.55 - great view from our chalet. Drive down escarpment only gave Mottled Spinetail, but 2 female-type Pennant-winged Nightjars were seen back at hotel. Bream and apple pie for dinner (£4).

            24         Early morn around hotel: Little Sparrowhawk and Grey-headed Bushshrike. Drove into Charara Safari Area to Chirundu with stops: Cuckoo Hawk, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Lilian’s Lovebird, Meyer’s Parrot and Long-tailed Starling. Arrived 10.00 but difficult to view the Zambezi till took dirt track on right to Tiger Safaris where arranged half day boat hire for Z$475 then walked along river - Steel-blue Indigobird, Thrush Nightingales singing and an Osprey flushed a White-crowned Plover. New chalets overlooking river looked a good place to stay. After omelettes at motel, very hot boat trip 12.20-16.20: Dwarf Bittern but no White-backed Night-Heron, Skimmers or parrots. Forest stop on way back gave Arnot’s Chat and Elephant, and drive up escarpment in dark Mozambique Nightjar, Hyena and a pair of Lions close by the roadside. 

            25         06.00-08.00 to Chinhoyi, 10.30 Kwekwe, then took cross-country route to Lupane, supposedly tarred but actually dirt or sand for 200km, so only reached Hwange at 16.00. Booked in to 4-bed cottage and drove to tower viewpoint: Long-tailed Shrike, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Scaly-feathered Finch. Night drive after dinner to Hwange Lodge gave Barred Owlet, Spring Hare and Elephant but no nightjars.

                26           06.00-08.00 loop drive: Ground Hornbill and Pied Babbler were new but no mammals. Then search for Racket-tailed Roller on road out of NP, eventually finding 6 or 7 500m along track on right, 2.8km N of railway crossing. Celebratory cooked breakfast then drive through NP to Sinamatella Camp 10.30-14.30 - elephants but few birds of note. Chilled out at lodge till 16.15 then drove to salt spring (dry) and Mandavu Dam (too wet): Natal Francolin at last. At night Freckled Nightjar was on roof of restaurant and White-faced Scops Owl at cottage no.17. 

                27           06.30-10.30 drive to Mandavu Dam and back on Riverside Loop - only Harlequin Quail and Monotonous Lark. Left after brunch as it had started raining, reaching Vic Falls at 14.30. Rented cottage and looked for Chris Pollard, finally talking to him on phone - disappointed to find Rock Pratincole and Skimmer had left (mid Feb and early Jan, respectively) and Slaty Egret, Taita Falcon and Natal Nightjar were invisible now. Birded along river edge - Finfoot and Steel-blue Widowfinch - then pizza and to casino to see Chris, who proved to be very knowledgeable. 

                28           06.15-07.00 Big Tree, Zambezi Drive - Palm-Thrush - then to Gorges Hotel, fabulous view and good tea; waiter Morgan took us to Bat Hawk nest (south side of Deka Road 10.1 km from main Bulawayo road). 10.15-12.45 Vic Falls NP, spectacular but not very photogenic because of spray - Trumpeter Hornbills but no Schalow’s Turaco. Chicken curry then to Imbalala Camp 14.45-16.00; after tea, boat trip with Kit Hustler to island in floodplain: Long-toed Plover, Coppery-tailed Coucal, White-rumped Babbler, Black-throated Canary and “Violet” Widowfinch. After dinner with BirdQuest group, drove back to Vic Falls 22.00-23.30, counting 38 eagle-owls on and by the road and a few Bat-eared Foxes.

March    1              06.30 - 08.30 Vic Falls NP but no Turaco. Slow drive to Katulgula where pontoon boat trip 11.00-13.00 was disappointing: Allen’s Gallinule and Brown Firefinch flypast but no Rufous-bellied Heron, Swamp Boubou, Chirping Cisticola or Red-headed Quelea. Slow drive back gave Orange-winged Pytilia and Purple Widowfinch but not Bradfield’s Hornbill. 16.00-18.45 Gorges Hotel: stellar views of Black Eagle and Bat Hawk flypast but no Taita (heard by Morgan at 06.00). Good pizza at Saddles and many beers at upstairs bar.      

                2              Late start after night out, so had to abandon plan to go for Taita  at dawn. 06.30 to Zambian border, supposed to open at 06.00, but keys failed to arrive till 06.45 - doubtless another Saturday night casualty. Walked across into Zambia - £5 or US$10 for day visa: nice view of falls and Golden-backed and Green-winged Pytilias, but insufficient time to try good-looking walk along river. Retraced steps, then drove to Bulawayo, arriving 14.30, and on to Tshbalala GR where soon had Sabota Lark and Kalahari Robin, Buffy Pipit and Sable later. 15.30 to Masvingo where took last beds at friendly Clovelly Lodge - excellent value.

                3              Lazy start with breakfast at 07.00; cloudy with intermittent rain all day. Great Zimbabwe till 11.00 - interesting but not a great spectacle, some good habo: African Hawk-Eagle and Olive Tree Warbler. North from Masvingo to grasslands near Felixburg where larks and Quailfinch were common - Monty Harrier but no Wattled Crane. Sylvia’s at 18.30, then to Sitar Restaurant, on way to Borrowdale, for good Indian.

                4              06.15-06.45 to Christon Bank NR - rather disappointing, with Mocking, not Boulder Chats, Whyte’s Barbet, Hyliota and Penduline-Tit. Left at 11.00 for Marlborough Vlei - 1 African Crake only - and Botanical Gardens - Abdim’s Stork. 15.30-16.15 Monavale Vlei, nothing, then Rainham Dam which was flooded, making access difficult: Lesser Moorhen, Southern Pochard and White-backed Duck but no Locustfinch or Grass Owl. Final pizza and icecream.

                5              05.55-07.00 to Gosho Park for last desperate attempt to see Boulder Chat, regretting not going to Rhodes Matopos where said to be common. At 07.20 saw 2 on lower part of huge twin rocks - quite shy, reminiscent of wood-hoopoes in flight; seen only once more, on rocks 300m away, giving frequent sqeaky-gate call. Few other birds till two big parties found: miombo specialities plus Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, Puffback, Green-capped Eremomela, Black Tit and Striped, Wood and Tree Pipits. 12.00-13.00 to Harare, then to airport for 16.00 flight to Blantyre, Malawi which left at 16.45. Had to give exactly US$20 for departure tax as no change is given. Mozambique looked well-forested from the air.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many thanks to Gordon Bennett, Rhett Butler, Andy Deighton, Brian Foster, Gordon Halthausen, Kit Hustler, Steve James, John McAllister, Pete and Rob Morris, Dave Sargeant, Mark van Beirs, Mark Welfare, and especially Robin Guy, Alex Masterson, Ken Thorne and Jacko Williams, for much help and advice. Ashley and Mike were excellent companions throughout. Mike made some useful additions to the text of this report and Gordon Bennett kindly corrected some errors.

SYSTEMATIC LIST OF BIRDS

Taxonomy, names and sequence based on Birds of the World: A Checklist by JF Clements (1991), with common names used in the region in brackets where they differ substantially frm Clements. Notable records by only one observer are initialled in brackets.

Ostrich,  Struthio camelus                                         

5 Hwange.

Little Grebe,  Tachybaptus ruficolli                             

Small numbers throughout with a max of 20 Underberg.

Long-tailed (Reed) Cormorant, Phalacrocorax africanus          

Sporadic with a max of 20 Mtunzini.

Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo                       

A few scattered sightings.

African Darter, Anhinga rufa                

10 Mtunzini, 5 Underberg, 4 Harare vlies and 1 Hwange.

Great White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus

2 Richard’s Bay.

Pink-backed Pelican, Pelecanus rufescens

2 Mkuzi, 1 Bonamanzi and 5 Richard’s Bay.

White-faced Whistling-Duck, Dendrocygna viduata      

Up to 30 Mkuzi and 10 Hwange and Imbalala Camp.       

Egyptian Goose  Alopochen aegyptiacus                    

Around 10 Mkuzi and several sites in Zimbabwe.

Spur-winged Goose  Plectropterus gambensis

Widespread with a max of 10 at Wakkerstroom.

Comb(Knob-billed) Duck  Sarkidiornis melanotos       

Only in Zimbabwe: 7 Chirundu, 2 singles Hwange and 5 Rainham Dam, Harare. 

African Pygmy-goose  Nettapus auritus                       

2 Inhlonhlela Pan, Mkuzi was the only record.

Cape Teal  Anas capensis                                           

2 near Underberg.

Yellow-billed Duck  Anas undulata                              

50 Wakkerstroom, 10 Vernon Crookes and a few elsewhere in Natal.

Hottentot Teal  Anas hottentota                                   

2 Rainham Dam.

Red-billed Teal  Anas erythrorhyncha              

4 Wakkerstroom and up to 5 Hwange.

Cape Shoveler  Anas smithii                                       

2 Wakkerstroom and near Underberg.

Southern Pochard  Netta erythrophthalma                   

4 Rainham Dam.

White-backed Duck, Thalassornis leuconotus             

6 Rainham Dam.

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta                                        

Surprisingly scarce: 2 Wakkerstroom, a few near Underberg and 1 Hwange.

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea                                          

1-3 Natal coastal strip, 2 Underberg and singles Mutare and Hwange.

Black-headed Heron  Ardea melanocephala                 

Widespread with many singles and a max of 10 at Wakkerstroom.

Goliath Heron  Ardea goliath                                       

Singles Wakkerstroom, Mkuzi, Umlalazi and Hwange.

Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea                         

2 Wakkerstroom and Bonamanzi, singles Honde Valley, Katulgula and Harare.

Great Egret  Casmerodius albus          

3 Wakkerstroom, 1 Mkuzi.

Cattle Egret,  Bubulcus ibis

Fairly common throughout with a a max of 300 en route from Underberg to Suikerbosrand and 150 Chirundu.

Squacco Heron,  Ardeola ralloides

Singles near Joburg and at Wakkerstroom.

Striated (Green-backed) Heron,  Butorides striatus

1 Wakkerstroom, 2 Bonamanzi, 4 Chirundu and 1 Hwange.

Little Bittern,  Ixobrychus minutus

Singles Honde Valley and Katulgula.

Dwarf Bittern, Ixobrychus sturmii

Singles Zambezi River, Chirundu and Hwange.

Hamerkop, Scopus umbretta

5 Wakkerstroom, 2-3 Mkuzi and 1 or 2 almost daily in Zimbabwe.

Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus

100+ near Underberg and 2 Hwange.

Hadada Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash

Fairly common in Natal with a max of 35 at Umlalazi.

Bald Ibis, Geronticus calvus

80 near Wakkerstroom and 20 at Sani Pass.

Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus

20 Wakkerstroom and 10 Underberg.

African Spoonbill, Platalea alba

1 Wakkerstroom, 2 Hwange.

Abdim's Stork, Ciconia abdimii

10 Underberg - Suikerbosrand; common around Harare with a max of 20 on 17th.

Woolly-necked Stork, Ciconia episcopus

A few in Natal, with a max of 20 at Bonamanzi; up to 40 Hwange.

White Stork, Ciconia ciconia

50 near Wakkerstroom, up to 20 near Underberg, 30 S of Harare and a few elsewhere in Zimbabwe.

Saddle-billed Stork, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis

2 singles at Hwange.

Marabou Stork, Leptoptilos crumeniferus

1 at Mkuzi on 9th was the only record.

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus

1 Harare vleis and 2 Hwange.

African Cuckoo-Falcon (Cuckoo Hawk), Aviceda cuculoides

2 soaring at Bonamanzi and 1 Charara SA (Makuti - Chirundu).

Bat Hawk, Macheiramphus alcinus

1 perched by nest near Gorges Hotel, Vic falls and 1 flying over the gorge at dusk

Black-shouldered Kite, Elanus caeruleus

Widely scattered with a max of 5 near Wakkerstroom and Sani Pass and up to 10 around Harare

Black Kite, Milvus migrans

Common with a max of 30 on the Natal coast and on the Zambian side of Vic Falls.

African Fish-Eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer

3 Chirundu, 1 Hwange and heard at Mkuzi.

Palm-nut Vulture, Gypohierax angolensis

A rare bird in S Africa - 2 Mtunzini, the only reliable site.

Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus

3 Sani Pass.

Hooded Vulture, Necrosyrtes monachus

1-2 Hwange.

White-backed Vulture, Gyps africanus

Up to 15 Mkuzi, 1 Honde Valley, 6 Vic Falls - Katulgula, 2 Hwange.

Cape Griffon (Vulture), Gyps coprotheres

20Sani Pass.

Lappet-faced Vulture, Torgos tracheliotus

Singles Mkuzi and Hwange.

White-headed Vulture, Trigonoceps occipitalis

1 Chirindu.

Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Circaetus pectoralis

Singles Bonamanzi, Monavale Vlei (with snake), Honde Valley and Katulgula.

Brown Snake-Eagle, Circaetus cinereus

1 Mkuzi.

Fasciated (Southern Banded) Snake-Eagle, Circaetus fasciolatus

Singles Mkuzi and Umlalazi.

Bateleur, Terathopius ecaudatus

1-2 Mkuzi, 1 Bonamanzi, 3 Chirundu, and 2 Hwange on 26 and 27th.

Western Marsh-Harrier, Circus aeruginosus

1 Harare vleis.

African Marsh-Harrier, Circus ranivorus

1 near Underberg on 14 and 15th.

Montagu's Harrier, Circus pygargus

4 near Felixburg, Zimbabwe.

African Harrier-Hawk, Polyboroides typus

Singles near Underberg on 14 and 16th, and Katulgula.

Lizard Buzzard, Kaupifalco monogrammicus

1 Vic Falls - Katulgula.

Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Melierax metabates

2 Vic Falls - Katulgula.

Gabar Goshawk, Melierax gabar

Singles Mkuzi, Hwange and Christon Bank.

African Goshawk, Accipiter tachiro

Singles Mkuzi, Dukuduku Forest and Christon Bank.

Shikra, Accipiter badius

Singles Mkuzi, Hwange and Vic Falls.

Little Sparrowhawk, Accipiter minullus

Singles Aberfoyle and Makuti.

Black Goshawk, Accipiter melanoleucus

Singles Himeville (taking an Amur Falcon from the roost) and the Vumbas.

Common (Steppe) Buzzard, Buteo buteo

Daily in South Africa with a max of 10 around Wakkerstroom, and a few in Zimbabwe.

Augur Buzzard, Buteo augur

2 singles Honde Valley and 1 near Vic Falls.

Jackal Buzzard, Buteo rufofuscus

5+ Wakkerstroom, 1 Underberg and 2 Sani Pass.

Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina

Singles Suikerbosrand on 3rd

Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax

Singles Chirundu and Hwange.

Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis

Singles Mkuzi and Great Zimbabwe, 2 Chirundu.

Wahlberg's Eagle, Aquila wahlbergi

Singles Gosho Park and Honde Valley, 2 Chirundu.

Verreaux's Eagle, Aquila verreauxii

2 Suikerbosrand and Gorges Hotel, Vic Falls; 1 Aberfoyle.

African Hawk-Eagle, Hieraaetus spilogaster

Singles Mkuzi and Great Zimbabwe.

Ayres' Hawk-Eagle, Hieraaetus ayresii

1 Chirundu.

Long-crested Eagle, Lophaetus occipitalis

Singles Richard’s Bay, Vernon Crookes, Honde Valley and Chirundu, and 2 in the Vumbas.

Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Stephanoaetus coronatus

2 Mkuzi and 1 Seldomseen.

Secretary-bird, Sagittarius serpentarius

2 Wakkerstroom - Piet Retief, 1 Hwange and 4 near Felixburg.

Lesser Kestrel, Falco naumanni

1 near Suikerbosrand, 2 near Wakkerstroom.

Eurasian Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

2 at Wakkerstroom and 1 near Sani Pass were the only ones identified.

Greater Kestrel, Falco rupicoloides

1 near Felixburg.

Dickinson's Kestrel, Falco dickinsoni

Singles Katiwa Tea Plantation, Nyanga NP and near Chirundu.

Amur (Eastern Red-footed) Falcon, Falco amurensis

25 Vereeniging - Suikerbosrand, 200+ Wakkerstroom area, 50+ near Underberg, 250+ Himeville roost, 70+ Greystones, Harare and a few singles elsewhere in Zimbabwe.

Eurasian Hobby, Falco subbuteo

1-2 scattered throughout, with 4 in Hwange on 25th.

Lanner Falcon, Falco biarmicus

2 Sani Pass.

Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus

A male at Vernon Crookes.

Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris

Widespread in small parties.

Crested Guineafowl, Guttera pucherani

Only seen at Bonamanzi, with parties of 10 and 14 on 9th and 20 on 10th.

Grey-winged Francolin, Francolinus africanus

1 below Sani Pass.

Crested Francolin, Francolinus sephaena

4 Mkuzi on 7 and 9th, 4 +3 chicks Bonamanzi and up to 6 daily Hwange.

Natal Francolin, Francolinus natalensis

Failed to find it in Natal but fairly common in Hwange - Vic Falls / Katulgula region.

Red-billed Francolin, Francolinus adspersus

Common Hwange - Vic Falls / Katulgula region.

Swainson's Spurfowl, Francolinus swainsonii

Widespread with a max of 10 at Hwange.

Common Quail, Coturnix coturnix

Heard calling around Wakkerstroom.

Harlequin Quail, Coturnix delegorguei

9 near Sinamatella Camp, Hwange.

Buff-spotted Flufftail, Sarothrura elegans

1 heard by all in the morning at Seldomseen and 1 seen well there early afternoon perched on a low horizontal branch (JH only, unfortunately).

Red-chested Flufftail, Sarothrura rufa

1 flushed and 3 heard at vlei in Honde Valley.

Streaky-breasted Flufftail, Sarothrura boehmi

1 flushed at Monavale Vlei.

African Crake, Crecopsis egregia

1 flushed at Marlborough Vlei on 23rd Feb and 4th March.

Corn Crake, Crex crex

1 flushed at vlei near Underberg (JH).

Black Crake, Amaurornis flavirostra

3 Bonamanzi and 1 Imbalala Camp.

Allen's Gallinule, Porphyrio alleni

4+ Imbalala Camp.

Purple Gallinule, Porphyrio martinicus

3 Wakkerstroom and 1 Bonamanzi.

Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

1-2 Vernon Crookes, Underberg and Gosho Park.

Lesser Moorhen, Gallinula angulata

1 in flight Lalapanzi Camp, Bonamanzi and 1 at Rainham Dam.

Red-knobbed Coot, Fulica cristata

50+ Wakkerstroom and Harare, 2 near Underberg.

African Finfoot, Podica senegalensis

1 by bank of R. Zambezi near Big Tree, Vic Falls.

Blue Crane, Grus paradisea

2 Wakkerstroom and Underberg.

Grey (Southern) Crowned-Crane, Balearica regulorum

4 Wakkerstroom, 2 Vernon Crookes, Underberg vlei and Hwange, singles Tshbalala and Felixburg.

Stanley Bustard, Neotis denhami

4 near Wakkerstroom and 2 near Underberg.

Blue Bustard, Eupodotis caerulescens

2 near Wakkerstroom on 4th and 3 at same site on 5th.

African Jacana, Actophilornis africanus

Widespread with a max of 5 on several waters.

Lesser Jacana, Microparra capensis

Singles Vernon Crookes and Imbalala Camp.

Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis

2 Wakkerstroom and 1 Chirundu.

Common Greenshank, Tringa nebularia

Singles Mkuzi, Bonamanzi, Umlalazi, Hwange and Vic Falls.

Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola

Singles Mkuzi, Bonamanzi and Umlalazi.

Common Sandpiper, Tringa hypoleucos

Widespread in small numbers with a max of 10 at Umlalazi.

Sanderling, Calidris alba

12 Umlalazi beach.

Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea

1 Bonamanzi.

Ruff, Philomachus pugnax

1 Richard’s Bay, 2 Underberg, 10 Chirundu and 20 Hwange.

Water Thick-knee, Burhinus vermiculatus

3-5 Mkuzi, 8 Bonamanzi, 1 Umlalazi, 20 Chirundu, 10 Hwange and 3 Imbalala Camp.

Spotted Thick-knee, Burhinus capensis

2-4 Hwange.

Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus

Singles Mkuzi and Hwange.

Three-banded Courser, Rhinoptilus cinctus

2 Chirundu and 4 Hwange.

Three-banded Plover, Charadrius tricollaris

4 Bonamanzi, 5 Umlalazi, 1 Chirundu and 3 Hwange.

White-fronted Plover, Charadrius marginatus

1 Bonamanzi.

Long-toed Lapwing, Vanellus crassirostris

2 Imbalala Camp.

Blacksmith Plover, Vanellus armatus

Fairly common and widesoread witha max of 30 at Chirundu.

White-headed Lapwing (White-crowned Plover), Vanellus albiceps

2-6 Imbalala Camp.

Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus senegallus

4 Wakkerstroom, 3 Bonamanzi and 10 Imbala Camp and Felixburg.

Crowned Lapwing, Vanellus coronatus

Common in Transvaal, up to 12 Mkuzi and 20 Underberg - Suikerbosrand.

Gray-headed Gull, Larus cirrocephalus

1 Bonamanzi and 20 Richard’s Bay.

Whiskered Tern, Chlidonias hybridus

10+ Richard’s Bay, 2 Underberg and 1 Hwange..

White-winged Tern, Chlidonias leucopterus

1 Mkuzi, 50+ Richard’s Bay and 2 Hwange.

Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia

Flocks of 19 and 10 Richard’s Bay.

Double-banded Sandgrouse, Pterocles bicinctus

2-4 Hwange.

Speckled (Rock) Pigeon, Columba guinea

Only 2 noted Wakkerstroom and 60+ Sani Pass.

African (Rameron) Pigeon, Columba arquatrix

A few around Underberg, singles Mkuvisi and the Vumbas, and 40 Aberfoyle.

Delegorgue's (Bronze-naped) Pigeon, Columba delegorguei

1 perched up at Dhlinza Forest and others singing, 2 Aberfoyle Club.

Lemon (Cinnamon) Dove, Columba larvata

A few singles in the Natal inland forests and the Vumbas.

Laughing Dove, Streptopelia senegalensis

Widespread and fairly common.

Ring-necked (Cape Turtle) Dove, Streptopelia capicola

Common throughout.

Red-eyed Dove, Streptopelia semitorquata

Common in Natal towns and a few in inland forests and at Chirundu and Hwange.

Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove (Green-spotted Dove), Turtur chalcospilos

Fairly common Mkuzi and Hwange, and a few in woodland elsewhere.

Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Turtur afer

1 daily Honde Valley and Chirundu.

Tambourine Dove, Turtur tympanistria

3 Mkuzi, 1-2 Bonamanzi and Natal inland forests, and 2 singles Honde Valley.

Namaqua Dove, Oena capensis

Up to 3 daily Chirundu, Hwange and Vic Falls.

African Green-Pigeon, Treron calva

10 Fig Tree Walk, Mkuzi.

Brown-necked (Cape) Parrot, Poicephalus robustus

2 Vic Falls (MGA).

Meyer's Parrot, Poicephalus meyeri

1 Charara, 2 Hwange and 4 Vic Falls - Katulgula.

Lilian's Lovebird, Agapornis lilianae

50 Chirundu.

Speckled Mousebird, Colius striatus

Up to 5 daily Mkuzi and Bonamanzi, 2 Underberg and 1 Vumbas.

Red-faced Mousebird, Urocolius indicus

7 Mkuzi.

Livingstone's Turaco, Tauraco livingstonii      

Heard Dukuduku Forest, St Lucia, 5 Vumbas and 2 Aberfoyle.

Knysna Turaco, Tauraco corythaix

2-3 Vernon Crookes.

Purple-crested Turaco, Musophaga porphyreolopha

2-4 daily Mkuzi, Bonamanzi and Dhlinza Forest; singles Hwange and Vic Falls and heard Harare.

Grey Go-away-bird, Corythaixoides concolor

Fairly common in Zimbabwe except the eastern highlands, with up to 6 most days.

Pied (Jacobin) Cuckoo, Oxylophus jacobinus

1 Mkuzi, 3 Bonamanzi, singles Harare, Aberfoyle, Chirundu and Vic Falls, and 3 Hwange.

Levaillant's (Striped) Cuckoo, Oxylophus levaillantii

1 Hwange.

Red-chested Cuckoo, Cuculus solitarius

Heard at Bonamanzi but only 1 seen, at Aberfoyle.

Common / African Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus / gularis

Singles Vernon Crookes and Aberfoyle, 2 Mkuvisi Woods.

Lesser Cuckoo, Cuculus poliocephalus

1 Aberfoyle Club.

Klaas' Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx klaas

Singles Bonamanzi and Mkuvisi Woods.

African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus

2 Fig Tree Walk, Mkuzi.

Dideric Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx caprius

1 seen and 2 heard Wakkerstroom, heard Xumeni Forest, 3 gosho Park, heard Imbalala Camp and 2 Tshbalala (Bulawayo).

Yellowbill (Green Coucal), Ceuthmochares aereus

Singles Bonamanzi, Dhlinza and Ntumeni Forests, 2 Umlalazi and 1 Beitbridge.

Black Coucal, Centropus grillii

2 Monavale Vlei on all 3 occasions, including 1 incubating 7 eggs.

Coppery-tailed Coucal, Centropus cupreicaudus

2 Imbalala Camp.

Senegal Coucal, Centropus senegalensis

Singles Mkuvisi, Honde Valley twice, Vic Falls and GreatZimbabwe.

Burchell's Coucal, Centropus burchelli

1-2 Mkuzi and 3+ Bonamanzi.

White-faced Scops-Owl, Otus leucotis

1 Hwange.

African Scops-Owl, Otus senegalensis

2 heard Hwange both nights.

Spotted Eagle-Owl, Bubo africanus

Widespread and fairly common, especially dead on the road in Zimbabwe, eg 6 corpses counted in Hwange. 38 live bubo were seen on driving at night the 60km from Katulgula to Vic Falls!

African Wood-Owl, Strix woodfordii

1 Seldomseen.

African Barred Owlet, Glaucidium capense

Singles near Hwange Lodge, and another heard, and at Sinamatella Camp, Hwange.

Marsh Owl, Asio capensis

7 Wakkerstroom and 2 Monavale Vlei and Tshbalala. 

[Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, Caprimulgus rufigena]

1 dead on the road near Makuti.

Fiery-necked Nightjar, Caprimulgus pectoralis

Heard Bonamanzi, Makuti and Hwange but only 1 probable seen,  near Mutare.

Freckled Nightjar, Caprimulgus tristigma

2 around the restaurant at Sinamatella Camp, Hwange - 1 strongly singing from the roof.

Square-tailed (Mozambique) Nightjar, Caprimulgus fossii

2 on the road near Makuti.

Pennant-winged Nightjar, Macrodipteryx vexillarius

2 at Clouds End, Makuti.

Scarce Swift, Schoutedenapus myioptilus

Honde Valley and 20 thought to be this sp. at Aberfoyle.

Mottled Spinetail, Telacanthura ussheri

2 Charara.

African Palm-Swift, Cypsiurus parvus

Small numbers throughout.

Mottled Swift, Tachymarptis aequatorialis

1 at Aberfoyle.

Common Swift, Apus apus

1 Wakkerstroom, 15 Eshowe, 10 Vernon Crookes and Chirundu.

African (Black) Swift, Apus barbatus

Numerous at Aberfoyle and Vic Falls.

Little Swift, Apus affinis

Widespread and fairly common.

Horus Swift, Apus horus

10 near Underberg.

White-rumped Swift, Apus caffer

Small numbers throughout with a max of 20 at Bonamanzi.

Narina Trogon, Apaloderma narina

2 Vernon Crookes and 1 Charara.

Malachite Kingfisher, Alcedo cristata

Up to 4 Bonamanzi, singles Vernon Crookes, Honde Valley and Vic Falls, 3 Chirundu. 1 with a black bill at Umlalazi was probably an imm. of this sp. rather than semitorquata as thought at the time.

African Pygmy-Kingfisher, Ispidina picta

2 singles Umlalazi.

Grey-headed Kingfisher, Halcyon leucocephala

Singles Bonamanzi and Charara.

Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Halcyon albiventris

Up to 3 most days in Zimbabwe except when in the Vumbas.

Striped Kingfisher, Halcyon chelicuti

Daily in Natal with a max of 5 at Mkuzi but only 1 in Zimbabwe, at Honde Valley.

Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima

1 Umlalazi and 2 flying high, calling over Aberfoyle Club.

Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

Widespread in S Africa with 10 max at Bonamanzi but in Zim only 6 Chirundu and singles Vic Falls and Felixburg.

White-fronted Bee-eater, Merops bullockoides

10 Chirundu.

Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus

2 singles Mkuzi and Honde Valley, up to 10 Hwange and a few daily in Vic Falls region.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Merops persicus

1 Mkuzi, 2 Richard’s Bay, 100 Chirundu and a few Hwange and Vic Falls.

European Bee-eater, Merops apiaster

Up to 10 daily Mkuzi and fairly common in Zimbabwe with a max of 50 around Felixburg and Hararre.

Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Merops nubicoides

5 Beitbridge - Harare and Hwange.

European Roller, Coracias garrulus

Singles Mkuzi, Richard’s Bay and Honde Valley.

Lilac-breasted Roller, Coracias caudata

2 singles Mkuzi and fairly common in Zimbabwe excluding the eastern highlands, with a max of 50 Beitbridge - Harare.

Racket-tailed Roller, Coracias spatulata

6 or 7 near Hwange Lodge.

Broad-billed Roller, Eurystomus glaucurus

2 Honde Valley on 20th and 21st, 1 Katiwa Tea Plantation and 2 Hwange.

African Hoopoe, Upupa africana

1 Mkuzi and up to 4 on 6 dates in Zimbabwe.

Green (Red-billed) Woodhoopoe, Phoeniculus purpureus

Up to 10 Mkuzi and 2-6 most days in Zimbabwe.

Common Scimitar-bill, Rhinopomastus cyanomelas

Up to 4 Mkuzi, 10 Mkuvisi and Gosho Park, 2 Honde Valley and 1 near Felixburg.

Red-billed Hornbill, Tockus erythrorhynchus

Fairly common in western Zimbabwe only.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Tockus leucomelas

2-4 Mkuzi and common Hwange.

Crowned Hornbill, Tockus alboterminatus

2 Mkuzi and Dhlinza Forest, 2-4 Charara.

African Grey Hornbill, Tockus nasutus

1 Hwange, 2 daily Vic Falls - Katulgula and 4 Rainham Dam.

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill,  Ceratogymna brevis

Heard Aberfoyle.

Trumpeter Hornbill, Ceratogymna bucinator

20 Mkuzi, up to 3 daily Bonamanzi - Xumeni Forest and 5-7 daily Vic Falls.

Southern Ground-Hornbill, Bucorvus leadbeateri

3 Hwange.

White-eared Barbet, Stactolaema leucotis

3 Mkuzi, 15 Dukuduku Forest + Umlalazi, 2 Dhlinza and Ntumeni Forests and Mkuvisi, 5 Seldomseen and Honde Valley.

Whyte's Barbet, Stactolaema whytii

2 Aberfoyle and Christon Bank, 1 with 3 juv Gosho Park on 22nd Feb and 6+ there on 5th March.

Yellow (Golden)-rumped Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus bilineatus

2 Mkuzi, 1 Bonamanzi, and 2 Dukuduku Forest and Aberfoyle.

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus chrysoconus

1 Mkuvisi and 1-2 Gosho Park.

 Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus pusillus

1-2 Mkuzi, 2 Bonamanzi and Umlalazi, 1Dhlinza Forest.

Pied Barbet, Tricholaema leucomelas

1 Mkuzi.

Black-collared Barbet, Lybius torquatus

Singles Mkuzi and Bonamanzi, Mkuvisi and Honde Valley, 2-3 Vernon Crookes; fairly common in Zimbabwe excluding the eastern highlands, with a max of 10 in the Vic Falls region.

Crested Barbet, Trachyphonus vaillantii

1 Mkuzi, singles Bonamanzi, Mkuvisi, Zambezi NP and Hwange, 2 Vumbas.

Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Indicator variegatus

1 Seldomseen.

Greater Honeyguide, Indicator indicator

Only 1, at Mkuzi.

Lesser Honeyguide, Indicator minor

An indicator at Christon Bank was thought to be this sp.

Wahlberg's (Sharp-billed) Honeyguide, Prodotiscus regulus

1 Gosho Park on 22nd Feb.

Rufous-necked Wryneck, Jynx ruficollis

2 singles Wakkerstroom, 1 Mkuzi and Bulwer Forest.

Bennett's Woodpecker, Campethera bennettii

1 Mkuvisi Woodland.

Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Campethera abingoni

Singles Mkuzi, Xumeni Forest, Honde Valley, Christon Bank and 3 Dukuduku Forest.

Ground Woodpecker, Geocolaptes olivaceus

1 near Wakkerstroom and 9 Sani Pass.

Cardinal Woodpecker, Dendropicos fuscescens

2-3 Mkuzi / Bonamanzi and small numbers throughout Zimbabwe.

Bearded Woodpecker, Dendropicos namaquus

1 Zambezi NP.

Olive Woodpecker, Dendropicos griseocephalus

2 Xumeni and Bulwer Forests.

African Broadbill, Smithornis capensis

Singles Bonamanzi on 9th and 10th with 3 others heard, and heard at Enselini (MGA).

White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher, Trochocercus albonotatus

Singles Seldomseen and Aberfoyle.

African Crested-(Blue-mantled) Flycatcher, Trochocercus cyanomelas

Singles Aberfoyle and Charara.

African Paradise-Flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis

Singles Wakkerstroom and Vernon Crookes, 2 Mkuzi and 5 Umlalazi; widespread in small numbers throughout Zimbabwe.

Square-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus ludwigii

Up to 4 daily Bonamanzi - Vernon Crookes, 5 Honde Valley.

Fork-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis

Widespread and fairly common throughout Natal and Zimbabwe.

Cape (Black) Crow, Corvus capensis

8 Wakkerstroom area, common Underberg area, a few in the Vumbas and 2 Harare.

White-necked Raven, Corvus albicollis

2 Vumbas, Hwange and Great Zimbabwe, 20 Honde Valley and a few Nyanga NP.

Pied Crow, Corvus albus

1 Richard’s Bay, 30 Mtunzini - Eshowe but common throughout Zimbabwe.

Eurasian Golden-Oriole, Oriolus oriolus

3 Mkuzi.

African Golden-Oriole, Oriolus auratus

2 singles Aberfoyle, 5 Zambezi NP, 2-3 Hwange, 2 Christon bank and 1 Gosho Park.

African Black-headed Oriole, Oriolus larvatus

Singles Bonamanzi, Vernon Crookes, Christmas Pass, Honde Valley, Tshbalala and Christon Bank; 2 Dhlinza Forest and Gosho Park.

White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina pectoralis

1-4 Gosho Park and 1 Vic Falls.

Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina caesia

2 Aberfoyle

Black Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga flava

3 Vernon Crookes and Mkuvisi; 2 Zambezi NP, Christon Bank and Gosho Park, and 1 Vic Falls.

Red-backed Shrike, Lanius collurio

Widespread, common at Mkuzi and S of Harare but mainly singles elsewhere and absent from E of Harare.   

Lesser Grey Shrike, Lanius minor

Singles Wakkerstroom and Tshbalala.

Common Fiscal, Lanius collaris

Widespread and fairly common throughout except Mkuzi and Vic Falls area where absent.

Magpie Shrike, Corvinella melanoleuca

30 Hwange and 5 Tshbalala.

White-crowned Shrike, Eurocephalus anguitimens

6 Hwange, 2 Tshbalala and 20 gosho Park on 5th March.

Brubru, Nilaus afer

1-2 Mkuzi, a few Mkuvisi, Gosho Park and the Vumbas.

Black-backed Puffback, Dryoscopus cubla

Widespread and fairly common with a max of 8 at Gosho Park.

Black-crowned Tchagra, Tchagra senegala

1 Mkuzi and 2 Mkuvisi and Christon Bank.

Brown-crowned (Three-streaked) Tchagra, Tchagra australis

1-2 Mkuzi and singles Tshbalala, Great Zimbabwe and Harare.

Southern Tchagra, Tchagra tchagra

1 at Mkuzi on 7th was the only record of this elusive species.

Tropical Boubou, Laniarius aethiopicus

1-2 Hwange, singles Vic Falls and Christon Bank.

Southern Boubou, Laniarius ferrugineus

Widespread in Natal and the eastern Zimbabwe highlands in singles and 2s.

Crimson-breasted Gonolek, Laniarius atroccoccineus

Up to 5 Hwange.

Bokmakierie, Telophorus zeylonus

3-5 Suikerbosrand, singles Wakkerstroom and Underberg.

Sulphur (Orange)-breasted Bushshrike, Telophorus sulfureopectus

1-2 Mkuzi and 1 Honde Valley.

Olive Bushshrike, Telophorus olivaceus

Singles Bonamanzi, Dhlinza Forest and Bulwer Forest.

Black-fronted Bushshrike, Telophorus nigrifrons

1 Seldomseen and 2 Aberfoyle.

Four-coloured (Gorgeous) Bushshrike, Telophorus quadricolor

Frequently heard at Mkuzi and Bonamanzi but only 1 seen at each locality.

Grey-headed Bushshrike, Malaconotus blanchoti

1 seen and another heard Chirundu, 3 Christon Bank on 5th March.

White Helmetshrike, Prionops plumatus

5 Mkuzi, 10 Nyanga NP and Zambezi NP, 5-15 Hwange and a few Vic Falls - Katulgula.

Retz's Helmetshrike, Prionops retzii

8 Vic Falls - Katulgula.

Cape Batis, Batis capensis

4 Dukuduku Forest, 2 Umlalazi, singles Vernon Crookes and Underberg, 3 Bulwer Forest and 10 the Vumbas.

Zululand (Woodward’s) Batis, Batis fratrum

4 Dukuduku Forest.

Chinspot Batis, Batis molitor

Up to 10 Mkuzi, up to 8 Bonamanzi, 2 Mkuvisi, Christmas Pass and Vic Falls, 4 Honde Valley and Christon Bank, and 10 Gosho Park.

Pale (Mozambique) Batis, Batis soror

1 Katiwa Tea Plantation.

Black-throated Wattle-eye, Platysteira peltata

1 Aberfoyle (AB) and 2 Gosho Park on 5th March..

Cape Rock-Thrush, Monticola rupestris

2 Sani Pass and 1 Bulwer.

Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Monticola explorator

20 Sani Pass.

Miombo Rock-Thrush, Monticola angolensis

3 Christmas Pass and singles Aberfoyle and Christon Bank.

Orange Ground-Thrush, Zoothera gurneyi

Singles Xumeni Forest and Seldomseen (2).

Spotted (Natal) Ground-Thrush, Zoothera guttata

2 Dhlinza Forest.

Olive Thrush, Turdus olivaceus

5 Seldomseen.

Kurrichane Thrush, Turdus libonyanus

2 Bonamanzi, singles Gosho Park and Imbalala Camp, 2 Aberfoyle and 5 harare Bot Gardens.

Orange-breasted Rock-jumper, Chaetops aurantius

5 Sani Pass.

Red-winged Starling, Onychognathus morio

Widespread and fairly common throughout but absent from Mkuzi, the coast and the Vumbas.

Burchell's Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis australis

1 Imbalala Camp.

Black-bellied Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis corruscus

2 daily Mkuzi, 5 Bonamanzi and 3 Vernon Crookes.

Red-shouldered (Cape) Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis nitens

20+ Wakkerstroom, Mkuzi and Vernon Crookes and a few elsewhere in Natal.

Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis chalybaeus

Common Hwange and a few S of Harare.

Meve's (Long-tailed) Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis mevesii

50+ Chirundu and Hwange.

Violet-backed (Plum-coloured) Starling, Cinnyricinclus leucogaster

2-4 Mkuzi, 2 Vernon Crookes, 5+ Charara and 10 Hwange.

African Pied Starling, Spreo bicolor

Common Wakkerstroom, 5 Bonamanzi and 20 Underberg.

Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis

Common Wakkerstroom and Mtunzini, a few locally throughout inland Natal.

Red-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus erythrorhynchus

2 -10 Mkuzi.

Pale (Mouse-coloured) Flycatcher, Bradornis pallidus

3 Mkuzi, singles Bonamanzi and Hwange, 2 Kutulgala and Tshbalala.

Mariqua Flycatcher, Bradornis mariquensis

10 Hwange.

Southern Black-Flycatcher, Melaenornis pammelaina

Up to 6 daily Mkuzi, 4-5 Bonamanzi, and 2 Vernon Crookes, Christon Bank and Gosho Park.

Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata

Up to 10 daily Mkuzi, 4 Bonamanzi, 2 Vernon Crookes, Suikerbosrand and Hwange, 4 singles elsewhere in Zimbabwe.

African Dusky Flycatcher, Muscicapa adusta

1 Mkuzi, 2 Underberg and below Sani Pass, and 1 Aberfoyle.

Ashy (Blue-grey) Flycatcher, Muscicapa caerulescens

1-2 Bonamanzi, 3 Umlalazi and up to 4 daily in the western Zimbabwe highlands.

Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Myioparus plumbeus

1-2 daily Mkuzi and 1 Aberfoyle.

Collared Flycatcher, Ficedula albicollis

Single males Christmas Pass and Gosho Park.

White-starred Robin, Pogonocichla stellata

1 Bulwer Forest and 2 Seldomseen.

Swynnerton's Robin, Swynnertonia swynnertoni

2 singles Seldomseen.

Thrush Nightingale, Luscinia luscinia

10 heard Chirundu.

Cape Robin-Chat, Cossypha caffra

10 Sani Pass, 1 Bulwer Forest, 2-3 Seldomseen and 2 Aberfoyle.

White-throated Robin-Chat, Cossypha humeralis

2 singles Mkuzi and 1 Bonamanzi.

White-browed (Heuglin’s) Robin-Chat, Cossypha heuglini

2 Aberfoyle.

Chorister Robin-Chat, Cossypha dichroa

3 Dhlinza Forest.

Collared Palm-Thrush, Cichladusa arquata

2 Big Tree, Vic Falls

Bearded Scrub-Robin, Cercotrichas quadrivirgata

1 Mkuzi and 2-3 Bonamanzi.

Brown Scrub-Robin, Cercotrichas signata

1 Dukuduku Forest and another heard, and 1 Ntumeni Forest.

Red-backed Scrub- (White-browed) Robin, Cercotrichas leucophrys

Common Suikerbosrand, up to 3 Mkuzi and 1-2 Bonamanzi.

Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Cercotrichas paena

2 Tshbalala.

Common Stonechat, Saxicola torquata

10 Suikerbosrand and Wakkerstroom, 6 Underberg, 2 Harare vleis and Hwange, common Honde Valley and Nyanga NP, and 5 great Zimbabwe - Harare.

Buff-streaked Chat, Saxicola bifasciata

2 Wakkerstroom.

Mountain Wheatear (Chat), Oenanthe monticola

15 Suikerbosrand and 2 Wakkerstroom.

Sicklewing Chat, Cercomela sinuata

20 Sani Pass.

Familiar Chat, Cercomela familiaris

20 Suikerbosrand, 2-3 Gosho Park, 1 Vic Falls and 6 Great Zimbabwe.

Southern Anteater-Chat, Myrmecocichla formicivora

10-15 Suikerbosrand and Wakkerstroom.

White-headed Black-(Arnot’s) Chat, Myrmecocichla arnotti

2 Charara (Makuti - Chirundu).

Mocking Cliff-Chat, Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris

4 Gosho Park and Christon Bank and 1 near Bulawayo.

Boulder Chat, Pinarornis plumosus

1, possibly 2, pair(s) Gosho Park on 5th March only.

Spotted Creeper, Salpornis spilonotus

4 Mkuvisi and Gosho Park.

Sand Martin, Riparia riparia

1 Harare vleis.

Banded Martin, Riparia cincta

20 Wakkerstroom.

Rock Martin, Hirundo fuligula

15 Sani Pass, 4 Nyanga NP and a few at Vic Falls.

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica

Common throughout.

White-throated Swallow, Hirundo albigularis

2 Umlalazi, 1 Vernon Crookes, 4 Beitbridge and 3 Nyanga NP.

Wire-tailed Swallow, Hirundo smithii

10 Bonamanzi, a few Zambezi NP and 4 Katulgula.

Blue Swallow, Hirundo atrocaerulea

6 Aberfoyle (MGA) and 2 Purdon Dam, Nyanga NP

Greater Striped-Swallow, Hirundo cucullata

Common in Transvaal and 25 at Underberg - Sani Pass but only other records were singles at Bonamanzi and Nyanga NP and 2 at Charara.

Lesser Striped-Swallow, Hirundo abyssinica

10 Mkuzi, 2 near St Lucia, 6 Chirundu and common at Hwange.

Rufous-chested Swallow, Hirundo semirufa

6 Zambezi NP and 4 Hwange.

Mosque Swallow, Hirundo senegalensis

10 Hwange.

South African Swallow, Hirundo spilodera

2 Wakkerstroom and 10 Sani Pass.

House Martin, Delichon urbica

10 Wakkerstroom, 1 Underberg, 3 Chirundu, 100 Hwange, 1 Vic Falls gorge and 4 Great Zimbabwe.

Eastern Sawwing, Psalidoprocne orientalis

10 Seldomseen and 20 Honde Valley.

Black Sawwing, Psalidoprocne holomelas

1 Mkuzi, 4 Bonamanzi, 10 Vernon Crookes, 1 Sani Pass.

Common Bulbul, Pycnonotus barbatus

Common throughout.

Sombre Greenbul, Andropadus importunus

Common throughout Natal.

Stripe-cheeked Bulbul, Andropadus milanjensis

Fairly common Vumbas and Honde Valley.

Yellow-bellied Greenbul (Bulbul), Chlorocichla flaviventris

Fairly common Mkuzi and the coastal strip reserves.

Terrestrial Brownbul, Phyllastrephus terrestris

Fairly common throughout Natal and western Zimbabwe, with a few at Vic Falls.

Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Phyllastrephus flavostriatus

4 Seldomseen and Aberfoyle.

Eastern (Yellow-spotted) Nicator, Nicator gularis

Several heard but only 2 seen Mkuzi and heard at Umlalazi.

Bush Blackcap, Lioptilus nigricapillus

2 below Sani Pass.

Pale (Cape) White-eye, Zosterops pallidus

Widespread and fairly common in Natal and from Harare to eastern Zimbabwe.

Red-faced Cisticola, Cisticola erythrops

4 Mkuzi.

Singing Cisticola, Cisticola cantans

2 Seldomseen.

Lazy Cisticola, Cisticola aberrans

3 near Ntumeni Forest.

Rattling Cisticola, Cisticola chinianus

Common Mkuzi, a few Underberg.

Wailing Cisticola, Cisticola lais

1 near Underberg.

Chirping Cisticola, Cisticola pipiens

Heard Imbalala Camp.

Tinkling (Levaillant’s) Cisticola, Cisticola tinniens

2 Wakkerstroom, 1 near Pietermaritzberg and a few Harare vleis.

Croaking Cisticola, Cisticola natalensis

2 Bonamanzi, Charara and Rainham Dam, 4+ Vernon Crookes.

Piping Cisticola (Neddicky), Cisticola fulvicapillus

2 Vernon Crookes, common Suikerbosrand, a few Tshabala and Rainham Dam.

Zitting (Fan-tailed) Cisticola, Cisticola juncidis

Common Wakkerstroom and a few Bonamanzi, Umlalazi, Suikerbosrand and throughout Zimbabwe.

Pectoral-patch (Pale-crowned) Cisticola, Cisticola brunnescens

1 Wakkerstroom and 2 Underberg and Harare vleis.

Wing-snapping (Ayres’) Cisticola, Cisticola ayresii

Fairly common Wakkerstroom area.

Tawny-flanked Prinia, Prinia subflava

Widespread in small numbers.

Black-chested Prinia, Prinia flavicans

1 Hwange.

Drakensberg Prinia, Prinia hypoxantha

2 below Sani Pass and singles near Ntumeni Forest, at Vernon Crookes and Bulwer Forest.

Roberts' Prinia, Prinia robertsi

2 seldomseen and heard Aberfoyle.

Red-winged Prinia (Warbler), Prinia erythroptera

2 at marsh / lake near Aberfoyle.

Bar-throated Apalis, Apalis thoracica

2 Suikerbosrand, 1 Eshowe, 10 Bulwer Forest, 3 Seldomseen, 2 Aberfoyle and Christon Bank, 1 Goshu Park.

Yellow-breasted Apalis, Apalis flavida

2 daily Mkuzi and singles Bulwer Forest, Aberfoyle and Zambezi NP.

Rudd's Apalis, Apalis ruddi

2-6 daily Mkuzi and Bonamanzi

Chirinda Apalis, Apalis chirindensis

7 Seldomseen / Bunga Forest and 10 Aberfoyle.

Grey-backed Camaroptera, Camaroptera brevicaudata

2 Charara and 1 Vic Falls.

Green-backed Camaroptera, Camaroptera brachyura

Common throughout Natal and a few at Aberfoyle.

Stierling's Wren-(Barred) Warbler, Calamonastes stierlingi      

1 Mkuzi (AB), 4 Mkuvisi (including feeding young), 2 Gosho Park and 2 heard.

African Bush- (Sedge) Warbler, Bradypterus baboecala

3 Harare vleis

African Scrub- (Barratt’s) Warbler, Bradypterus barratti

1 seen and 3 heard Xumeni forest, 1 seen and 2 heard below Sani Pass, and 1 heard Seldomseen.

Cape Grassbird, Sphenoeacus afer

4 Sani Pass and 1 Aberfoyle.

Sedge Warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Singles at Harare vleis and Imbalala Camp.

African Reed-Warbler, Acrocephalus baeticatus

2+ Wakkerstroom, 1 Umlalazi and 3 Harare vleis. 10 acros at Bonamanzi were probably this sp. and a large acro at Honde Valley appeared to be arundinaceus Great Reed Warbler

Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Acrocephalus gracilirostris

At least 1 Imbalala Camp.

Olive-tree Warbler,  Hippolais olivetorum

1 Great Zimbabwe (JH).

African Yellow Warbler, Chloropeta natalensis

2 singles near Underberg.

Fairy Warbler (Flycatcher), Stenostira scita

4 Sani Pass.

Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Eremomela icteropygialis

1 Christon Bank and 3 Gosho Park on 5th March

Greencap Eremomela, Eremomela scotops

2-5 Gosho Park.

Burnt-neck Eremomela, Eremomela usticollis

2 Mkuzi and 1 Hwange.

Red-faced Crombec, Sylvietta whytii

2 Mkuvisi and Christon Bank, 1 Honde Valley and 8 Gosho Park on 5th March.

Cape (Long-billed) Crombec, Sylvietta rufescens

Up to 5 daily Mkuzi and Bonamanzi, 1 Gosho Park

Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, Phylloscopus ruficapilla

2 Bulwer Forest and up to 5 Vumbas and Honde Valley.

Willow Warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus

Widespread with up to 3 in suitable habitat in S Africa and fairly common in western Zimbabwe.

Southern (Masona) Hyliota, Hyliota australis

2 Gosho Park on 22nd Feb and 5 on 5th March, 1 Christon Bank.

Broad-tailed Grassbird (Warbler), Schoenicola platyura

6 at marsh near Underberg and 1 Marlborough Vlei.

Layard's Warbler (Tit-Babbler), Sylvia layardi

2 Lesotho.

Garden Warbler, Sylvia borin

1 Vumbas

Greater (Common) Whitethroat, Sylvia communis

Singles Tshabala and Great Zimbabwe.

Southern Pied-Babbler, Turdoides bicolor

10 Hwange.

White-rumped Babbler, Turdoides leucopygius

6+ Imbalala Camp.

Arrow-marked Babbler, Turdoides jardineii

10 Hwange daily and 2-3 Great Zimbabwe and Christon Bank.

Southern Black-Tit, Parus niger

Up to 6 daily Mkuzi, 2 Bonamanzi and Mkuvisi, 2-4 in woodland throughout Zimbabwe.

Miombo (Northern Grey) Tit, Parus griseiventris

Fairly common in miombo-type woodland, ie Mkuvisi, Christon Bank and Gosho Park.

Ashy Tit, Parus cinerascens

10 Vumbas.

(Southern) Grey Tit, Parus afer

3 Lesotho.

African (Grey) Penduline-Tit, Anthoscopus caroli

2 Mkuzi and Christon Bank, and 5 Gosho Park on 5th March.

Monotonous Lark, Mirafra passerina

2 seen and 2 heard near Felixburg.

Latakoo (Melodious) Lark, Mirafra cheniana

3 near Sinamatella Camp, Hwange.

Rufous-naped Lark, Mirafra africana

2 Airstrip, Mkuzi, 5 Sani Pass and most days in Zimbabwe except E of Harare, with a max of 10 Great Zimbabwe - Harare.

Sabota Lark, Mirafra sabota

3 Tshbalala GR, Bulawayo.

Rudd's Lark, Mirafra ruddi

At least 2 near Wakkerstroom.

Spike-heeled Lark, Chersomanes albofasciata

2 Tshbalala GR.

Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Eremopterix leucotis

At least 2 at Hwange on 26-27th.

Red-capped Lark, Calandrella cinerea

20 near Wakkerstroom and 80 near Felixburg.

Pink-billed Lark, Spizocorys conirostris

2 near Wakkerstroom.

Botha's Lark, Spizocorys fringillaris

At least 2 near Wakkerstroom.

Large (Thick)-billed Lark, Galerida magnirostris

6 Sani Pass.

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus

10 Mtunzini, a few Beitbridge and 2 en route to Hwange

Mossie (Cape Sparrow), Passer melanurus

2 Wakkerstroom and 10 Underberg.

Cape (Grey-headed) Sparrow, Passer diffusus

5 Wakkerstroom, 4 Mkuzi, 2 Umlalazi, common around Underberg, Chirundu and throughout western Zimbabwe.

Yellow-throated Petronia, Petronia superciliaris

10 Gosho Park

Orange-winged (Golden-backed) Pytilia, Pytilia afra

Singles Katulgula - Vic Falls and Vic Falls (Zambia).

Green-winged Pytilia (Melba Finch), Pytilia melba

3 Mkuzi and Suikerbosrand, 1 Hwange, a few Vic Falls area and 2 near Felixburg.

Green-backed Twinspot, Mandingoa nitidula

1 Fig Tree Walk, Mkuzi.

Red-faced Crimson-wing, Cryptospiza reichenovii

Single pairs Seldomseen and Aberfoyle.

Peters' (Red-throated) Twinspot, Hypargos niveoguttatus

1 Seldomseen and a pair Aberfoyle.

Pink-throated Twinspot, Hypargos margaritatus

1-2 Mkuzi.

Brown Firefinch, Lagonosticta nitidula

2 Imbalala Camp.

Red-billed Firefinch, Lagonosticta senegala

2 Vic Falls - Katulgula.

African (Blue-billed) Firefinch, Lagonosticta rubricata

10 Aberfoyle.

Jameson's Firefinch, Lagonosticta rhodopareia

2 Mkuvisi and 10 Seldomseen.

Blue-breasted Cordonblue (Blue Waxbill), Uraeginthus angolensis

5-10 Mkuzi, 5 Mkuvisi and Seldomseen, common Chirundu and western Zimbabwe .

Violet-eared Waxbill, Uraeginthus granatina

2 Suikerbosrand and Hwange.

Black-tailed (Grey) Waxbill, Estrilda perreini

2 lakeside near Aberfoyle.

Yellow-bellied Waxbill (East African Swee), Estrilda quartinia

5+ Christmas Pass and 3 Seldomseen.

Swee Waxbill, Estrilda melanotis

1 Xumeni Forest and 10 below Sani Pass.

Common Waxbill, Estrilda astrild

Widespread in small parties of up to 10.

Black-cheeked Waxbill, Estrilda erythronotos

1 Suikerbosrand.

Zebra (Orange-breasted) Waxbill, Amandava subflava

20 Underberg vlei and 5 Harare vleis and Gosho Park.

African Quailfinch, Ortygospiza atricollis

30 near Felixburg.

Bronze Mannikin, Lonchura cucullata

20 Umlalazi, 15 Mkuvisi and common in the western highlands.

Black-and-white (Red-backed) Mannikin, Lonchura bicolor

10 near Ntumeni Forest, 2 Vernon Crookes and common Honde Valley

Cut-throat, Amadina fasciata

10 Hwange.

Red-headed Finch, Amadina erythrocephala

1 SE of Joburg.

Village Indigobird (Steel-blue Widowfinch), Vidua chalybeata

4 Mkuzi, 5 Mkuvisi, 1 Chirundu and up to 3 Vic Falls area.

Variable Indigobird (Black Widowfinch), Vidua funerea

3 Honde Valley.

Purple Indigobird, Vidua purpurascens

1 Mkuvisi and 2 Katulgula - Vic Falls.

Violet Indigobird, Vidua incognita

1 Imbalala Camp, singing like Brown Firefinch - identified by Kit Hustler.

Shaft-tailed Whydah, Vidua regia

Up to 10 daily Hwange and a few Vic Falls area.

Pin-tailed Whydah, Vidua macroura

Fairly common throughout excluding western Zimbabwe where absent.

Eastern Paradise-Whydah, Vidua paradisaea

Common Suikerbosrand and Wakkerstroom. 

Broad-tailed Paradise-Whydah, Vidua obtusa

10 Chirundu and up to 5 Hwange.

African Pied Wagtail, Motacilla aguimp

1-2 Mkuzi, 3 Bonamanzi, 2 Umlalazi and widespread in Zimbabwe with a max of 10 at Chirundu.

Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava

2 Richard’s Bay.

Mountain (Long-tailed) Wagtail, Motacilla clara

2 Aberfoyle.

Cape Wagtail, Motacilla capensis

1-2 Wakkerstroom and 2 Sani Pass and Vic Falls.

Yellow-throated Longclaw, Macronyx croceus

Widespread and fairly common in Natal and 2-3 Harare vleis.

Cape (Orange-throated) Longclaw, Macronyx capensis

Common Wakkerstroom, a few Suikerbosrand and 1 Monavale Vlei.

Rosy (Pink)-throated Longclaw, Macronyx ameliae

5 Harare vleis.

Yellow-breasted Pipit, Anthus chloris

2 definite and 2 probable juvs Wakkerstroom.

Striped Pipit, Anthus lineiventris

Singles Mkuvisi, Christmas Pass, Christon Bank and Gosho Park.

Wood Pipit, Anthus nyassae

Singles Gosho Park on 22nd Feb and 5th March.

Yellow-tufted (Rock) Pipit, Anthus crenatus

1 Lesotho.

African (Grassveld) Pipit, Anthus cinnamomeus

Common Wakkerstroom and several Bonamanzi, Underberg / Sani Pass and Felixburg area.

Mountain Pipit, Anthus hoeschi

10 Sani Pass.

Buffy Pipit, Anthus vaalensis

Singles Tshbalala and Felixburg.

Tree Pipit, Anthus trivialis

3-5 Gosho Park and 1 Tshbalala.

Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver, Bubalornis niger

20+ Beitbridge and 10 Tshbalala.

Scaly Weaver (-feathered Finch), Sporopipes squamifrons

10 Hwange and Felixburg, 15 Tshbalala.

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Plocepasser mahali

Common / abundant in Zimbabwe excluding the western highlands where absent.

Lesser Masked Weaver, Ploceus intermedius

A few Mkuzi, 10 Bonamanzi, 20 Suikerbosrand

Spectacled Weaver, Ploceus ocularis

2 Mkuzi and Umlalazi, and 1 Vic Falls.

Cape Weaver, Ploceus capensis

Common Wakkerstroom and 20 Underberg.

African Golden- (Yellow) Weaver, Ploceus subaureus

6 Richard’s Bay.

Holub's Golden-Weaver, Ploceus xanthops

4 Honde Valley and Chirundu.

Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Ploceus xanthopterus

10 Bonamanzi and 2 Imbalala Camp.

Southern Masked-Weaver, Ploceus velatus

10+ Mkuzi, Umlalazi and Suikerbosrand, 15 Harare, common Chirundu and western Zimbabwe.

Village (Spotted-backed) Weaver, Ploceus cucullatus

5 Wakkerstroom.

Forest Weaver, Ploceus bicolor

Widespread in small numbers in Natal and western Zimbabwe - common at Aberfoyle.

Red-headed Weaver, Anaplectes rubriceps

20 Harare and 1 Chirundu.

Red-headed Quelea, Quelea erythrops

50 Bonamanzi.

Red-billed Quelea, Quelea quelea

50+ Underberg, and common throughout Zimbabwe, with 100+ Chirundu, excluding the eastern highlands where 1 at aberfoyle was the only record.

Yellow-crowned (Golden) Bishop, Euplectes afer

10+ Wakkerstroom, 5 Underberg, 10 Suikerbosrand, a few Honde Valley and 1 Hwange.

Red Bishop, Euplectes orix

Locally common throughout, excluding western Zimbabwe where absent.

Yellow Bishop (Yellow-rumped Widow), Euplectes capensis

Common Suikerbosrand and a few Harare vleis.

Fan-tailed (Red-shouldered) Widowbird, Euplectes axillaris

5 Wakkerstroom, Bonamanzi and 10 Vernon Crookes.

Yellow-shouldered (backed) Widowbird, Euplectes macrourus

Common Harare vlies and 1 Geat Zimbabwe.

White-winged Widowbird, Euplectes albonotatus

4-5 Harare vlies and 10 Hwange.

Red-collared Widowbird, Euplectes ardens

Common Suikerbosrand and Nyanga NP, a few Underberg, Harare vleis, Aberfoyle and Great Zimbabwe.

Long-tailed Widowbird, Euplectes progne

Common Suikerbosrand, Wakkerstroom, Honde Valley and .

Parasitic Weaver (Cuckoo Finch), Anomalospiza imberbis

2 Vernon Crookes.

Grosbeak (Thick-billed) Weaver, Amblyospiza albifrons

10 Bonamanzi and Honde Valley, 1 Umlalazi and 2 Imbalala Camp.

Gurney's Sugarbird, Promerops gurneyi

6+ Sani Pass.

Collared Sunbird, Anthreptes collaris

10 Mkuzi, 2 Bonamanzi, Umlalazi, Vernon Crookes and Bulwer Forest, and 1 Vic Falls.

Olive Sunbird, Nectarinia olivacea

2 Umlalazi and 1 Aberfoyle.

Mouse-coloured (Grey) Sunbird, Nectarinia veroxii

2 Bonamanzi.

Amethyst Sunbird, Nectarinia amethystina

2 Vernon Crookes and common Honde Valley, Nyanga NP and Gosho Park, and a few Imbalala Camp.

Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Nectarinia senegalensis

Singles Mkuzi and Bonamanzi, 2 Katiwa Tea Plantation.

Variable (Yellow-bellied) Sunbird, Nectarinia venusta

Common Vumbas and Honde Valley, 2 Great Zimbabwe and 1 Gosho Park.

White-breasted Sunbird, Nectarinia talatala

2 Mkuzi, 1 Bonamanzi and 2 Hwange.

Miombo Sunbird, Nectarinia manoensis

Up to 20 Gosho Park, 1 Christmas Pass and Seldomseen, 4 Great Zimbabwe and 5 Christon Bank.

Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Nectarinia afra

2 singles Vernon Crookes.

Lesser Double-collared Sunbird, Nectarinia chalybea

1 Xumeni Forest.

Neergaard's Sunbird, Nectarinia neergaardi

2 Mkuzi.

Copper Sunbird, Nectarinia cuprea

2 Imbalala Camp.

Bronze Sunbird, Nectarinia kilimensis

Up to 3 Seldomseen.

Malachite Sunbird, Nectarinia famosa

2 wakkerstroom and 10 Sani Pass.

Mariqua Sunbird, Nectarinia mariquensis

1-2 Mkuzi and a few Imbalala Camp.

Purple-banded Sunbird, Nectarinia bifasciata

Up to 5 Mkuzi and 1 Dukuduku Forest.

Cape Canary, Serinus canicollis

10 Wakkerstroom and 5 Underberg.

Forest Canary, Serinus scotops

30 Xumeni Forest and 10 Bulwer Forest.

Southern Yellow-rumped Seedeater (Black-throated Canary), Serinus atrogularis

2 Monavale Vlei and 4 Imbalala Camp.

Lemon-breasted Seedeater (Canary), Serinus citrinipectus

1 Bonamanzi.

Yellow-fronted (eyed) Canary, Serinus mozambicus

Widespread and fairly common throughout with a max of 20 at Mkuzi.

Yellow Canary, Serinus flaviventris

Common Sani Pass.

Brimstone (Bully) Canary, Serinus sulphuratus

2 Vernon Crookes and Bulwer Forest.

Streaky-headed Seedeater (Canary), Serinus gularis

A few Underberg area, Vumbas and Great Zimbabwe, and up to 20 Gosho Park.

Black-eared Seedeater (Canary), Serinus mennelli

2 Gosho Park on 2 dates.

Drakensberg Siskin, Serinus symonsi

20 Sani Pass.

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Emberiza tahapisi

Common Suikerbosrand, a few Nyanga NP, Hwange and Bulawayo - Great Zimbabwe.

Cape Bunting, Emberiza capensis

Common Sani Pass.

Golden-breasted Bunting, Emberiza flaviventris

1-2 Mkuzi, Nyanga NP, Hwange, Vic Falls and Great Zimbabwe.

Cabanis' Bunting, Emberiza cabanisi

2 Christmas Pass and Gosho Park on 5th March.

 

DIP LIST

Slaty Egret, Egretta vinaceigula  - Imbalala Camp

Taita Falcon, Falco fasciinucha - Vic Falls

Red-winged Francolin, Francolinus levaillantii - Underberg / Sani Pass

Striped Flufftail, Sarothrura affinis - Harare Vleis

Wattled Crane, Grus carunculatus - Underberg, S of Harare

Rock Pratincole, Glareola nuchalis - Westwood Lodge, Vic Falls & Chirundu but leaves in Feb when water level rises.

Senegal Lapwing, Vanellus lugubris - Mkuzi ?, Kruger NP, Gunarezhou NP

African Skimmer, Rhynchops flavirostris              - R Zambezi          

Brown-headed Parrot, Poicephalus cryptoxanthus - Mkuzi but seasonal

Schalow's Turaco, Tauraco schalowi - Vic Falls

Thick-billed Cuckoo, Pachycoccyx audeberti - miombo woodland in easten Zimbabwe

Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cercococcyx montanus - Aberfoyle but rare

African Grass-Owl, Tyto capensis - Wakkerstroom, Rainham Dam

Cape Eagle-Owl, Bubo capensis - Underberg, N of Harare

Bat-like Spinetail, Neafrapus boehmi - Chirundu

Mangrove Kingfisher, Halcyon senegaloides - Mtunzini in winter

Green Barbet, Stactolaema olivacea - Nagoye Forest

Green-backed Honeyguide, Prodotiscus zambesiae - Aberfoyle, Haroni Rusitu

African Pitta, Pitta angolensis - Chizarira NP

Livingstone's Flycatcher, Erythrocercus livingstonei - Chizarira NP

Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Prionops scopifrons - Aberfoyle, Haroni Rusitu

Tiny Greenbul (Slender Bulbul), Phyllastrephus debilis - Haroni Rusitu

Black-headed Apalis, Apalis melanocephala - Haroni Rusitu

Cinnamon-breasted Tit, Parus pallidiventris - Vumbas

Short-clawed Lark, Certhilauda chuana -             Pietersberg NR

Bush Pipit, Anthus caffer - Mkuzi

Short-tailed Pipit, Anthus brachyurus - Giant’s Castle

Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Anthreptes longuemarei - L McIlwaine (Harare)

Locustfinch, Ortygospiza locustella - Rainham Dam

 

 

LIST OF MAMMALS

Taxonomy, names and sequence according to Kingdon, J (1997) The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals.

 

Chacma Baboon  Papio ursinus                                    Fairly common at Mkuzi. 

Vervet Monkey, Cercopithecus pygerythrus             Fairly common in Natal and western highlands of Zimbabwe

Greater Galago,  Otolemur crassicaudatus                1 Bonamanzi

South African Galago, Galago moholi                           4 near Hwange Lodge

Lesser Elephant Shrew, Elephantulus sp.                  1 Gosho Park

Scrub Hare, Lepus saxatilis                                            A few  singles, eg at Hwange

Natal Red Rock Hare, Pronolagus crassicaudatus  1 Vernon Crookes

Spring Hare  Pedetes capensis                                     1 Hwange and 2 near Katulgula.

Smith’s Bush Squirrel, Paraxerus cepapi                   2 Seldomseen

South African Ground Squirrel  Geosciurus inauris A few Wakkerstroom area

South African Porcupine, Hystrix africaeaustralis   1 Bonamanzi

Side-striped Jackal,  Canis adustus                             3 Makuti and 1 felixburg

Bat-eared Fox, Otocyon megalotis                               4 Katulgula - Vic Falls

Ratel, Mellivora capensis                                                                1 Bonamanzi       

Dwarf  Mongoose,  Helogaleparvula                             10 Hwange

Yellow Mongoose  Cynictis penicillata                         1 Suikerbosrand and 3 Wakkerstroom

Meerkat(Suricate)  Suricata suricatta                          5 Suikerbosrand and 10 Wakkerstroom

Banded Mongoose, Mungos mungo                              6 Hwange

White-tailed Mongoose,  Ichneumia albicauda           2 singles Bonamanzi

Marsh Mongoose,  Atilax paludinosus                         1 Gosho Park

Spotted Hyena  Crocuta crocuta                                   1 Makuti, 2 Hwange

African Civet, Civettictis civetta                                    1 Bonamanzi

Lion, Panthera leo                                                              A pair Makuti

Cape Rock Hyrax,  Procavia capensis                        A few Sani Pass, Gosho Park and 1 Christon Bank (the latter could possibly have been Yellow-spotted Hyrax, Heterohyrax brucei)

African Elephant  Loxodonta africana                          25-60 Hwange, 1 Chirundu

Common Zebra, Equus quagga boehmi                       Common Mkuzi and a few Hwange

White Rhinoceros  Ceratotherium simum                   Parties of 7 and 5 and a few singles Mkuzi

Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius                  100 Chirundu and several Imbalala Camp

Common Warthog,  Phacochoerus africanus            Several Mkuzi and Bonamanzi       

Giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis                                      4 Hwange, 3 Gosho Park

Greater Kudu  Tragelaphus strepsiceros                   Numerous Mkuzi

Eland  Tragelaphus oryx                                                  10+ Sani Pass

Bush Duiker  Sylvicapra grimmia                                 1 Aberfoyle and 2 Goshu Park

Natal Duiker  Cephalophus natalensis                         1-2 Bonamanzi 

Blue Duiker,  Cephalophus monticola                          2 Bonamanzi

Rhebok  Pelea capreolus                                                 A few Sani Pass

Mountain Reedbuck  Redunca fulvorufula                  Several Sani Pass

Southern Reedbuck  Redunca arundinum                  5 Vernon Crookes

Ringed Waterbuck, Kobus ellipsiprymnus ellipsiprymnus     4 Katulgula

Impala  Aepyceros melampus                                       Fairly common Mkuzi and a few Hwange

Bontebok  Damaliscus dorcas                                       A few Suikerbosrand

Bridled Gnu / Blue Wildebeest  Connochaetes taurinus          Common Mkuzi

White-tailed Gnu / Black Wildebeest  Connochaetes gnou     A few Suikerbosrand

Sable Antelope  Hippotragus niger                                A few Gosho Park and Tshbalala.

 

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