I have just returned from a trip with clients to Botswana and we picked up 342 species. Most of the migrant species didn’t return yet but we had excellent views of some others. A full trip report with details will be on my website in due course.
Cape Town to Beaufort West: Greater Flamingo, Booted Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Red-capped Lark, Karoo Scrub-robin.
Around Victoria West: A pair of Black Eagles has a nest on the cell phone mass as you enter the town from south. It is quite a strange place to see a Black Eagle nest. One was sitting on the nest and the other on top of the mass. Other birds includes Chat Flycatcher, Eastern Clapper Lark and at the dam Red-billed Queleas, Common Greenshank, Great Crested Grebe, SA Cliff Swallow and White-throated Canary.
Victoria West to Hopetown: Greater Kestrel, Secretarybird, Afr Palm Swift, Bradfield’s Swift, Eur Bee-eater, Orange River White-eye and Afr Reed-warbler.
Kimberley area: Bradfield’s, Alpine, Little & White-rumped Swift, White-faced Duck, Cape Shoveller and Lesser Flamingo.
Dronfield NR: We stayed the 2nd night at Dronfield which is one of those jewels of the N Cape. Birds include White-backed Vulture, Kalahari Scrub-robin, Ashy Tit, Brubru, Secretarybird, Spike-heeled Lark, Double-banded Courser, Afr Quailfinch, Buffy Pipit & Swallow-tailed Bee-eater.
Hartswater to Vryburg: Along the road is a lovely pan in the Dry Harts River where we had Afr Fish-eagle, Greater Flamingo, hundreds of White-faced Ducks, Whiskered Tern, Southern Pochard, Red-headed Finch and Goliath Heron.
Mafikeng: We should stay at Manyane Game Lodge near Mafikeng, but on arrival found that the lodge was already for 3 months without water. After a long discussion about why they took a booking knowing that there is no water, they direct me to Cooke’s Lake Lodge where all the drama started again. At the end we had accom, but going to the restaurant that evening, was another disaster. So in short, avoid these lodges which are run by Golden Leopard Resorts. It is only trouble!!
Birding in Mafikeng NR was good as always with inter alia Groundscraper Thrush, Violet-eared Waxbill, Eastern Clapper Lark, Burchell’s Coucal, Giant & Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Little Rush Warbler, Black Crake and nesting Secretarybirds.
Lobatse to Francistown: Village Weaver, Purple Roller, White-crowned Shrike, Brown Sake-eagle
Woodlands Lodge: White-throated Robin-chat, Senegal Coucal, Orange-breasted Bush Shrike, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Little Sparrowhawk, Sth Black Tit, Pied Babbler, And Tropical Boubou.
Woodlands to Kasane: Kori Bustard, Magpie Shrike, Tawny Eagle, Secretarybird, Bradfield’s Hornbill, Yellow-billed & Red-billed Oxpeckers.
Kasane Boat trip: Hottentot Teal, Long-toed Lapwing, Luapula Cisticola, Slaty Egret, Afr Skimmer, Collared Pratincole and all of the white egrets.
Kasane: Collared Palm-thrush, Golden Weaver, Terrestrial Brownbul, Yellow White-eye, Coppery Sunbird, Rock Pratincole, Violet-backed Starling, Bradfield’s Hornbill, Red-billed Firefinch, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Hooded Vulture, and Meve’s Starling.
Kasane Game Drive: Red-headed Weaver, Hooded, White-backed & Lappet-faced Vulture, Little Bee-eater, Pearl-spotted Owl, Kori Bustard and animals – Elephant, Sable, Puku, Red Lechwe, 8 lions, etc.
Caprivi Houseboat Lodge, Katima: Tropical Boubou, Collared Sunbird, Schalow’s Turaco, White-crowned Lapwing, Marico Sunbird, Afr Skimmer, Ashy Flycatcher, Osprey, Square-tailed Nightjar, Willow Warbler. On a night boat trip we got White-backed Night Heron, 2 Afr Finfoot and 4 Pel’s Fishing Owls – 2 adults with 2 juveniles.
Towards Kalizo Lodge: Temminck’s Courser, Senegal Coucal, Banded Martin, Red-crested Korhaan, Pygmy Goose, Shelly’s Sunbird, Hartlaub’s Babbler and the beautiful colony of Carmine Bee-eaters. There is now a conservancy from the turn off of the main road and an entrance fee of N$20 / adult is payable.
Katima to Camp Kwando: Meyer’s Parrot, Lizard Buzzard, Bateleur, Violet-eared Waxbill, Yellow-throated Petronia.
Camp Kwando: Brown Firefinch, Lappet-faced Vulture, Blake Crake, Greater Swamp Warbler, Wattle Lapwing, Collared Pratincole, Ret’z Helmet Shrike.
Kwando to Divundu: Racket-tailed Roller, Dickonson’s Kestrel, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Western Banded Snake-eagle.
Bwabwata Nat Park: Lots of birds on the Kavango floodplains including Red-billed Spurfowl, Racket-tailed Roller, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Long-toed Lapwing, Black-winged & Collared Pratincole, Martial Eagle, 2 Wattled Cranes and lots of egrets and herons.
Divundu to Shankara Lodge: Golden-breasted Bunting, Chinspot Batis, Cardinal Woodpecker, Meyer’s Parrot, Rufous-bellied Tit, White-crested Helmet Shrike, Wood Pipit, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Lanner Falcon, Dark Chanting Goshawk.
Shankara Lodge: Swamp Boubou, Barn Owl, Giant Kingfisher.
Mahango Game Reserve: Wattle Crane, Slaty Egret, Greater Honeyguide, Afr Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Stork.
Drotsky Cabins: Swamp Boubou, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Green-backed Honeybird, Brown-throated Weaver, White-backed Night Heron, Afr Marsh Harrier, Lesser Jacana, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Rock Pratincole, Afr Skimmer, Flappet Lark, White-winged & Whiskered Tern, Chirping Cisticola, Greater Swamp Warbler, Rufous-bellied Heron, Western Banded Snake-eagle, Green Pigeon, Gabar Goshawk,
Drotsky to Maun: Martial Eagle, Glossy Ibis, Meyer’s Parrot, Ruddy Turnstone, Fulvous Duck.
Maun: Swamp Boubou, Afr Hawk Eagle, Collared Sunbird, Afr & Black Cuckoo, Black-winged Pratincole.
Maun to Thakadu Lodge, Ghanzi: Eur Bee-eater, Maraboe Stork, White Pelican, Gabar Goshawk, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Tawny Eagle, Temminck’s Courser, Fawn-coloured Lark.
Thakadu Lodge: Brubru, Painted Snipe, Grey-rumped Swallow, Fawn-coloured Lark, Afr Cuckoo, Ashy Tit, Black-faced Waxbill, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Melba Finch, Burchell’s & Double-banded Sandgrouse.
Ghanzi to Gochas: Tawny Eagle, Greater Kestrel, Burchell’s Sandgrouse, Red-headed Finch, Pied Babblers, 50+ White-backed Vultures on a horse carcass next to road, Pygmy Falcon, Lappet-faced Vulture.
Auob Lodge, Gochas: Very far north Karoo Scrub-robins, Black-chested Prinia, Black-throated Canary.
Gochas to Springbok: Pygmy Falcon, pririt Batis, Kori Bustard, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Fawn-coloured Lark, Rosy-faced Lovebirds, millions of Red-billed Queleas, Yellow Canary, Double-banded Courser, Ashy Tit, Spike-heeled Lark, Chat Flycatcher, Larklike Bunting, Large-billed Lark, Tractrac Chat, Orange River White-eye, Jackal Buzzard.
Springbok to Cape Town: Karoo lark, Booted Eagle, Pale-winged Starling, Ludwig’s Bustard, Cape Clapper Lark, Blue Crane, Pin-tailed Whydah.