Kruger Birding

Lastminute.com That’s how we often book our trips to Kruger! I get in the mood for a bush break and only Kruger will do, so it’s quickly onto the www.sanparks.org.za website to check availability. Due to it still being school holidays, accommodation was limited but we waited it out and eventually the sort of bungalow we wanted popped up, Book it!

We booked a bungalow on the fence line at Berg n Dal in the south of Kruger, one of my favourite camps. The Berg n Dal camp is great for bird watching as it has huge, old trees, lots of dense thickets for birds to hide in and a dam.

A typical Kruger sight – a beautiful big tree, although this one has a gorgeous leopard sleeping in it

In previous stays there I have seen quite a few lifers – Retz’s Helmet-shrike and Levaillant’s Cuckoo included.

We left Joburg after a long few days of scorching heat and headed to the Lowveld. Normally this would mean going into more hot and humid temperatures but it was quite the opposite. Kruger was cooler, overcast and a bit drizzly at times. Very welcome relief from the Highveld heat. Although the cloudy conditions didn’t make for any wonderful photographs, but I tried.

On the birding front I ticked off approx. 80 birds!…..there should

African Green Pigeon – Grooming

be a few more, but I just have no clue! I will try to identify them or get some second opinions and then once confirmed I’ll add them to the list. Mum and Dad were great help spotting birds for me and at one point there must have been about 10 different species all on the go around us. Chaos! The skies were filled with ‘Big birds’ which all seemed to be heading south to the Crocodile river, which was the driest I have ever seen it, there were the usual bushveld birds, the ever present summer sounds of the Woodlands Kingfishers, a few Lifers, some crazy camouflage (see last photo in this post) and a Fairy Tale moment.

In the next few posts I will tell you all about the highlights of the trip, but for now here’s the Kruger list.

  1. Bateleur
  2. Brown Snake Eagle
  3. Hooded Vulture
  4. White-backed Vulture
  5. Spotted Eagle Owl
  6. Barn Owl
  7. Woolly-necked Stork
  8. Black Stork
  9. Marabou Stork
  10. Saddle-billed Stork
  11. African Openbill
  12. Little Egret
  13. Grey Heron
  14. Green-backed/Striated Heron
  15. Cattle Egret
  16. Water Dikkop
  17. Sacred Ibis
  18. Hamerkop

    Hooded Vulture

  19. Knob-billed Duck
  20. White-faced Duck
  21. Egyptian goose
  22. African Jacana
  23. White-breasted Cormorant
  24. Crested Francolin
  25. Swainson’s Spurfowl
  26. Natal Spurfowl
  27. Crowned Lapwing
  28. Blacksmith Lapwing
  29. Three-banded Plover
  30. Magpie Shrike
  31. Helmeted Guineafowl
  32. Yellow-billed Hornbill
  33. Red-billed Hornbill
  34. African Grey Hornbill
  35. Ground Hornbill
  36. Green Wood-Hoopoe
  37. African Hoopoe
  38. Fork-tailed Drongo
  39. Arrow-marked Babbler
  40. Piet-my-vrou (heard)
  41. Levaillant’s Cuckoo (heard)
  42. Purple-crested Turaco (heard)
  43. Grey Go-away Bird
  44. Brown-headed Parrot
  45. Chinspot Batis (heard)
  46. Red-billed Buffalo-weavers
  47. Spectacled Weaver
  48. Southern Black Tit
  49. Wattled Starling
  50. Violet-backed Starling
  51. Red-winged Starling
  52. European Bee-eater
  53. Southern Carmine Bee-eater
  54. Purple Roller
  55. European Roller
  56. Lilac-breasted Roller
  57. Woodlands Kingfisher
  58. Pied Kingfisher
  59. Blue Waxbill
  60. Rattling Cisticola
  61. Dark-capped Bulbul
  62. Pied Wagtail
  63. Burchell’s Coucal
  64. Black-backed Puffback
  65. Retz’s Helmetshrike
  66. Black-headed Oriole
  67. Barn Swallow
  68. Lesser Striped Swallow
  69. Orange-breasted Bushshrike
  70. Brown-crowned Tchagra
  71. Black-crowned Tchagra (heard)
  72. White-crowned Shrike
  73. Red-backed Shrike
  74. Laughing Dove
  75. Cape Turtle Dove
  76. Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove
  77. African Green Pigeon
  78. Cardinal Woodpecker
  79. Red-crested Korhaan
  80. Red-billed Oxpecker

Can you spot the bird?!  (Will reveal the close up in the next post)

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