Dullstroom Birding

  • mdelport
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5 years 1 week ago #80162 by mdelport
mdelport created the topic: Dullstroom Birding
My folks have a farm on the Slaaihoek Road just outside Machadodorp in Mpumalanga, and I went there for Friday and Saturday night to do some birding. I saw that the pentad the farm is in only has one card entered for it, so I wanted to get a good card together for that pentad this weekend. I also wanted to bird the Dullstroom area to target a few birds.
I birded the De Berg Road just outside Dullstroom yesterday morning and saw some cracking birds.

I drove through the first half of the road quite quickly as most of the birds I was targeting are found on the second half of the road, just past the turn-off to Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve. some notable birds I picked up on the first half of the road included African Harrier-Hawk and Long-crested Eagle.

Once I passed the turn-off to Verloren Vallei I started scanning the rocky outcrops and found a pair of Buff-streaked Chats. This is probably the best spot in the country to find this bird.

Buff-streaked Chat (female)
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4260-1.jpg?t=1352647433

Buff-streaked Chat (male)
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4264-1.jpg?t=1352647494

Not long after I saw two Francolins in the road. As I got closer to them I saw that they were Red-winged Francolins.

Red-winged Francolin
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4271-2.jpg?t=1352647466

Further a long the road I saw my first of three flocks of Southern Bald Ibises for the morning. Always a special bird to see, but very difficult to get close for photos.

Southern Bald Ibis
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4362.jpg?t=1352647917

I noticed some movement on one of the boulders, and was ecstatic to see a small flock of Ground Woodpeckers. They were extremely skittish, and always flew as I tried to get close to them for a shot. All I managed was this very poor record shot, but I was still very happy to eventually get this lifer.

Ground Woodpecker
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4308.jpg?t=1352647618

There were plenty of Cape Canaries along the road that kept me entertained, and some of them posed nicely for photos.

Cape Canary
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4325.jpg?t=1352648181

My main target for the day was Yellow-breasted Pipit. After checking countless African and Long-billed Pipits, I eventually saw three Pipits foraging in the grass next to the road close to the end of the road. After getting my binocs onto them I saw their distinct yellow underparts, and was extremely happy to tick this very sought after bird.

Yellow-breasted Pipit
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4329.jpg?t=1352648164

http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/MattAxel05/IMG_4336.jpg?t=1352648458

On the way back down the road I saw more of the same, and also managed to find a nice male Sentinal Rock Thrush. It was unfortunately too far off to get any decent shots. I also saw a few Wailing Cisticolas.

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I birded around the farm, and some notable birds seen included Long-crested Eagle, Red-necked Spurfowl, Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, Mountain Wagtail, Chorister Robin-Chat, Black-headed Oriole, African Black Duck, Wailing Cisticola, and early this morning I heard a Buff-spotted Flufftail calling from deep inside the forest, that unfortunately I couldn't get a visual on (as is usually the case with these darn Flufftails).

All in all a very successful weekend of birding!

Regards
Matt

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  • docandy
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5 years 1 week ago #80230 by docandy
docandy replied the topic: Re: Dullstroom Birding
Very nice Matt! I am sure you added some very valuable SABAP2 Atlas cards! :D

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5 years 1 week ago #80232 by mdelport
mdelport replied the topic: Re: Dullstroom Birding
Thanks Andy! Yes I managed to almost double the species count for the pentad that the farm is in. Also got an ORF for the Flufftail.

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5 years 1 week ago #80235 by wildtuinman
wildtuinman replied the topic: Re: Dullstroom Birding
Very well done, Matt! I am jealous of that Yellow-breasted Pipit. :mrgreen:

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