Atlassing the Springbok Flats

  • waldens@faerieglen
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7 years 11 months ago #13603 by waldens@faerieglen
waldens@faerieglen created the topic: Atlassing the Springbok Flats
My friend Sue and I left Lonehill at 5am on Monday, to do 8 virgin pentads for our contribution to BBD (the SABAP2 section)
We exited the N1 north at Settlers/Codrington, drove 20km on the road towards Settlers, and at 06h30 started our first count. There were hundreds of birds in the thornveld and although the area is mostly agricultural land, with a lot of newly plowed fields, the birding was good, and we counted a total of 156 species for the area, with an average of 74 birds per pentad. We found things like Desert Cisticola (displaying), Chestnutbacked Sparrowlark, Greybacked Sparrowlark, Melanistic Gabar Goshawk, Walberg's Eagle, a huge flock of Abdim's storks in a field that was being plowed, and later in the day, when we passed the field again, 7 White Storks, accompanied by 4 Steppe Buzzards, lots of Spur-Winged Geese, and literally hundreds of Whitefaced Ducks. Every puddle larger than a saucer had a few Whitefaced Ducks. We also found a little wetland right next to one of the farm tracks where we saw Blackwinged Stilt, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Comb Duck, Gyppos, Southern Pochard, Spoonbill, and again about 200 Whitefaced Ducks. Huge areas are cultivated fields, but there were patches of Thornveld, where the normal bushveld species were found. A highlight was early on Tuesday morning, when we stopped to look at a dam, and a little way ahead of us, a Serval casually strolled across the road, and disappeared into the bush. We saw Pearlspotted owls in most of the Pentads, and at our overnight accommodation, Ruimte Game Farm (2545_2845), on the R516 to Crecy, we were kept awake by Barn Owls and lots of Spotted Thicknee. We also heard Whitefaced Scopps Owl and Rufouscheeked Nightjar. Redbacked Shrikes were plentiful, as were Crimsonbreasted Shrikes, Magpie Shrikes, Woodland Kingfishers, and 145 others. If anybody is interested in the combined list for the area, please let me know and I will send it on. We managed to cover 6 virgins, a lady pipped us at the post on Saturday by doing 2 of our virgins <!-- s:banghead: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/banghead.gif" alt=":banghead:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:banghead: --> ! We enjoyed our stay at Ruimte, there is a big grassed area, with playground for kiddies, swimmingpool, trampoline, jungle gym, and a communal kitchen, lapa with lots of comfy chairs. Lots of huge trees and shady spots for tents and caravans. There are also some basic chalets which are very reasonably priced (although not 5 star, they are quite adequate). The farmers in the area were very concerned about the two "tannies" standing next to the road, most of them offered to help us, thinking that we were stuck. The Barred Wren Warbler was also singing non-stop, and was therefore easy to find. Rattling Cisticola on every bush and telephone wire. We missed a few raptors flying over the fields, but managed to get quite a few like Black Chested Snake Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Amur, etc. There is still a vast area to be atlassed, and we will definately be back.

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  • peter sharland
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7 years 11 months ago #13616 by peter sharland
peter sharland replied the topic: Re: Atlassing the Springbok Flats
Hi Amanda

Nice report! I think I know your friend Sue......... <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) -->

Greybacked Sparrowlark is an interesting record. Did you get an Out Of Range form?

Regards

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  • waldens@faerieglen
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7 years 11 months ago #13618 by waldens@faerieglen
waldens@faerieglen replied the topic: Re: Atlassing the Springbok Flats
Yes, Peter, indeed, the Sue is the one you know :) Greybacked Sparrowlark, got an ORF, as well as for the Desert Cisticola, but they were both accepted <!-- s:bouncy: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bouncy.gif" alt=":bouncy:" title="Enthusiastic" /><!-- s:bouncy: -->
Good luck with your BBD on Saturday, not sure where you will be counting, (there's a lot of places where we were), but I'm sure it will be hectic.

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