Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Namibia – April 2018

This was a three-week self-guided trip to Namibia, for Yvonne and myself, from 2nd to 22nd April 2018, focusing on the areas west and north of Windhoek. We had visited Namibia a number of times previously, so this trip was designed to visit some new areas, such as Sossus Vlei and the Kunene river.


African Leopard
The trip bookings were undertaken by Avian Leisure (www.avianleisure.com) who also advised on the ideal itinerary for the target species and our sightseeing requirements. Whilst Avian Leisure prepared an outstanding itinerary plus recommended some excellent accommodation, their local booking agent in Windhoek, Wilderness Safaris, didn’t perform as well and we had problems with our bookings in Etosha. Flooding of the Kunene River meant that we were unable to visit this area during our trip and the local agent in Windhoek made alternative bookings within a short space of time.

We flew on the direct South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek and picked up the Hertz RAV4 in Windhoek, after our first night’s stay in Windhoek. Picking up the vehicle in Windhoek instead of the airport saved quite a bit over the three week trip. Generally, 4WD vehicle rental in Namibia is expensive and there’s a limited selection available. The AWD RAV4 performed very well on the rutted and washed out roads, and was a comfortable and spacious vehicle for the trip.  

For birding I had a list of 13 target lifers, which included Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush, Cinderella Waxbill and Angola Cave Chat for the Kunene River area. Excluding these Kunene River targets, which we couldn’t get to due to flooding, we managed to get all the remaining 10 target lifers plus the Red-necked Falcon which was a bonus lifer. We also managed to see American Golden Plover, a rarity for Southern Africa, plus Pallid Harrier, both of which were new birds for my Southern Africa list.

The final tally of birds was 255 species (all seen) including 11 lifers. Not a huge lifer list but very rewarding in that all the possible lifers, for the areas visited, were seen. Thanks to Patrick Cardwell of Avian Leisure who provided advice on where to go and for the contributors to the eBird sightings which were invaluable.

The timing of the trip was for April, which was at the end of the wet season and is not a popular time for birding. However, it’s an excellent time to visit Namibia with much of northern Namibia full of flowers. The northern vegetation was amazingly green and very different to the dry and dusty conditions we had experienced previously in Namibia. The weather was very pleasant, with warm and sunny days, and some rain.

Overall we had an enjoyable and successful trip but ended the trip with mixed feelings about Namibia. 

On the negative side, Namibia has been run by a locally elected government for many years and is now bankrupt, has increasing crime (but nothing like South Africa), has a real divide between 1st and 3rd world living standards and has increased poaching. Poaching is becoming increasingly sophisticated with Chinese using helicopters to remove ivory, drones used for target game spotting and no doubt Chinese bribing of government officials to enable the export of ivory, rhino horn etc. We also heard that the local police are not allowed to drive more than 10km out of the towns due to severe budget constraints.

On the positive side Namibia has excellent birding opportunities, some fantastic and varied scenery, huge national parks with good game viewing, well maintained roads, very little traffic, high standard of accommodation, excellent meals, plus friendly and hospitable people. 

Birding in Namibia
Birding in Namibia is straight forward and well suited for independent birders and travellers. The key birding sites are relatively easy to get to. Birding at the end of the wet season was excellent and a lot more pleasant than birding when the countryside to dry and dusty. Overall, the birding north of Windhoek was far better than we had experienced on previous trips and was similar to the wetter Caprivi Strip.

The roads were generally good, except for some of the dirt roads which had been affected by recent rains. The accommodation was typically to a high standard and all included fully cooked breakfasts, which were excellent. There was also a good choice of restaurants in the major cities, such as Walvis Bay, and some good restaurants even in the small towns. 

Namibia has just over 600 species of birds, excluding rarities, which occur on a regular basis. Of these species there is only one true endemic, the Dune Lark, and 14 near-endemics, these being species with "90% or more of its population in Namibia".  The 15 endemic and near-endemic species for Namibia are as follows:

Hartlaub’s Spurfowl
This rather aberrant, long billed spurfowl is restricted to high-lying rocky mountains and escarpments from central Namibia to southern Angola. It is usually an extremely secretive bird and only readily found at very first light when family parties emerge onto the tops of boulders and utter their strange, shrieking choruses. This can last for just a few minutes before they scurry back into the rocks and seemingly disappear until the following morning.

Rüppell’s Korhaan
Another noisy bird which is also found in small family groups, however, this species prefers lower lying, flatter and drier areas along the edge of the Namib Desert.

Rosy-faced Lovebird
These tiny parrots nest inside Social Weaver colonies and are found through most of Namibia. They are nomadic, with their movements dictated by water and food availability. They inhabit the dry woodland and semi-desert shrublands, and are also common along the rocky regions of the Namibian escarpment.

Rüppell’s Parrot
One of Namibia’s tougher specials to locate, these parrots often vanish into the riverine Acacia woodlands that they inhabit. Rüppell’s Parrots are best found by walking along the dry riverbeds that crisscross central Namibia, especially at dawn and dusk when the parrots are at their most active.

Monteiro’s Hornbill
This large and attractive hornbill is not uncommon in the drier woodlands of central Namibia where they spend most of their time foraging on the ground.

Damara Red-billed Hornbill
A split from the Red-billed Hornbill group, the Damara Hornbill’s diagnostic characteristics include its clean white face and dark eye. Locally common and inhabits the dry woodlands, especially acacia.

Barlow’s Lark
A recently described species that was first thought to occur only in the forbidden diamond fields of coastal southern Namibia, but now also known from the very north-western tip of South Africa. These larks prefer denser coastal scrub on flat land and can be difficult to observe.

Dune Lark
Namibia’s only true endemic, the Dune Lark is not accurately named as its preferred habitat is actually vegetated dry river beds that run between the massive dunes of the Namib Desert in central Namibia. These are the highest dunes in the world and their red sand, which also covers these riverbeds, is matched by the lovely colours of this attractive lark.

Benguela Long-billed Lark
This localized species became a Namibian near-endemic when the Long-billed Lark complex was split into 5 species. The Benguela Long-billed Lark occurs from central Namibia (north of Brandberg Mountains) into southern Angola, preferring arid semi-deserts and rocky areas. They are particularly active at dawn making their loud descending whistle call whilst perched up on rocks.
 
Gray’s Lark
This pale desert lark can also be tough to locate, preferring the expansive gravel plains of the true Namib Desert where shy family parties scurry away like ghost crabs when approached. Finding these quaint birds in this unique habitat, shared also with the amazing Welwitschia plant, is one of the highlights of a trip to the Namib Desert. Another interesting fact about Gray’s Larks is that they only perform their acrobatic aerial displays during the predawn in order to avoid exertion during the scorching days.

Herero Chat
This rather drab but distinctive bird has a beautiful song which is the best way of finding this skulker. It occurs in very low densities through arid central Namibia and southern Angola, usually in bushes along the edges of mountains and ravines. The Herero Chat can be a hard bird to find due to its inconspicuous behaviour combined with a scattered, low density  distribution.

White-tailed Shrike
This shrike resembles a large Batis and is a common resident in Namibia, preferring dry woodland such as mopane and acacia.. Small family groups forage mostly on the ground in rocky areas of central Namibia, uttering strange calls and peering, with their heads cocked, at anything that catches their attention. Originally believed to be bush shrikes, DNA work has revealed they are actually aberrant giant, terrestrial batises.

Rockrunner
Also known as the Damara Rockjumper, this Namibian near-endemic shares its range with the previous species, although it is confined to rocky hillsides and outcrops. It’s beautiful bubbling song is a prime method of locating these fast moving and agile birds in the rocky areas of central Namibia.

Bare-cheeked Babbler
One of five babblers occurring in Namibia, this fine and localized species prefers the woodlands of northern Namibia, from Etosha National Park into southern Angola. Small family groups forage at ground level and are usually approachable when located, but can be tough to find as they occur at rather low densities.

Carp’s Tit
The Carp’s Tit is a relatively common in the woodlands from central Namibia through to southern Angola. This striking black and white tit is usually found in pairs, foraging in Acacia trees and thickets.

All of these endemic and near-endemic species for Namibia were seen on this trip, with the exception of the Barlow’s Lark which occurs much further south and which we had seen previously in north-western South Africa.

Resources
(a) “Robert’s VII Birds of Southern Africa” iPhone app with the Sasol iPhone app as back-up.
(b) “Southern Africa Birdfinder” by Cohen, Spottiswoode and Rossouw, published in 2006, is a useful guide although is a bit dated
(c) eBird (https://ebird.org/home) has the most useful information on recent sightings. All the sites visited during the trip and my various bird lists have been published on eBird.  

Trip Report
Monday 2nd April: Johannesburg to Windhoek
Flew on SAA arriving in Windhoek at 21:30 after a two-hour flight from Johannesburg. Passport control and customs was uneventful. We were supposed to be met by a representative from Wilderness Safaris but that never happened. SA Rands and Namibian dollars are interchangeable, so not necessary to take out local currency if you already have SA Rands. 

Transfer to Windhoek and overnight stay at African Kwela Guest House which was fine for a short overnight stay.  

Tuesday 3rd April: Windhoek to Sossus Vlei
Some birding before breakfast had Rosy-faced Lovebird, Rattling Cisticola, Wattled Starling and Chestnut-vented Warbler in the small patch of thornveld across the road. After an excellent cooked breakfast, Ian Kemp gave us a lift to the Hertz Rental office in Windhoek. 

We left Windhoek mid-morning and headed south-west for the 5-hour drive towards Sossus Vlei. South of Windhoek we left the sealed road just after Rehoboth and travelled on the dirt road, which after the recent rains, had quite a few washaways and large muddy pools on the road.


West of Rehoboth

Birding on along the way we had Crimson-breasted Shrike, African Hawk-eagle, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Rüppell’s Korhaan, Violet-eared Waxbill, Sabota Lark and the first lifer for the trip, Monteiro’s Hornbill.


Rüppell’s Korhaan

We arrived at Elegant Desert Lodge in late afternoon which had lovely accommodation and great views of the mountains. 


View of hills from our accommodation


Xeric Four-striped Grass Rat (Rhabdomys pumilio)

Birding around the property we had Namaqua Sandgrouse coming in to drink, Pririt Batis, Bokmakerie, Latakoo Fiscal (subspecies of Common Fiscal), Tractrac Chat, Capped Wheatear and Dusky Sunbird.


Latakoo Fiscal with white eyebrow (western race of Common Fiscal)

Wednesday 4th April: Sossus Vlei to Walvis Bay
We left very early in the morning, still dark, for the drive to the entrance gate of Sossus Vlei. We had breakfast outside the park and then joined the rat race to get into the park. It’s a real tourist trap with different entry prices depending on whether you are local, from South Africa or elsewhere. I decided to give the visit to Sossus Vlei a miss and we headed off towards Walvis Bay driving via Solitaire.  


Route from Sossus Vlei to Walvis Bay

Extensive sand dunes on the way to Walvis Bay
The dirt road to Walvis Bay along the Namib-Naukluft National Park was long, dusty and rough in places, with some tight turns and steep hilly passes. Surprisingly there was flowing water in one of the rivers. 


Flowing river in the dry and rugged Namib Naukluft NP
Some limited birding on route produced Black-chested Snake Eagle, Kori Bustard, Rüppell’s Korhaan, Bradfield’s Swift, Grey-backed Sparrow-lark, Mountain Wheatear, Black-throated Canary and Lark-like Bunting.


Goab River Pass - site for the Bradfield's Swift

We arrived into Walvis Bay at midday and did some birding along the waterfront. There were hundreds of Greater and Lesser Flamingo in the shallow waters, plus Pied Avocet, Grey Plover, White-fronted Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Hartlaub’s Gull, Sandwich Tern, Damara Tern and Orange River White-eye.

Lesser Flamingo in foreground with Greater Flamingo behind

Endangered Damara Tern (more frequently seen along the Namibian coast and rarely further south)
White-fronted Plover
Our accommodation was at the Lagoon Lodge Guesthouse on the waterfront for the next three nights. Nice accommodation run by the French host which had views over the Walvis Bay lagoon and French style continental breakfasts. Had dinner at a lovely seafood place which has their restaurant over the water.

Thursday 5th April: Rooibank
We left after breakfast for the relatively short drive to Rooibank, one of the more reliable sites for Dune Lark, a potential lifer and the only true endemic species for Namibia. The township had a couple run-down houses and a water pumping station. The roads to Rooibank were good including the smooth salt roads. At Rooibank we drove off road, following some tracks and parked under some trees.


Dune Lark habitat - dry sandy Kuiseb River
The area consists of a large dry sandy Kuiseb River at the base of the huge red sand dunes. After walking for a couple of hours in the soft sand, I heard a Dune Lark calling and then managed to get good views and photos of the attractive Dune Lark on a small sandy ridge, with the lark sheltering under some vegetation.



Dune Lark

Other interesting birds included Namaqua Dove, White-rumped Swift, Grey-backed Sparrow-lark, Chestnut-vented Warbler, Orange River White-eye, Tractrac Chat (pale western subspecies) and Familiar Chat.

Getting back to the vehicle, I decided to take a different track back to road and managed to get well and truly stuck in the soft sand. None of the local residents wanted to assist and eventually a local black chap helped us out. With the aid of a shovel, plus wood and jacking the car up, we managed to get out of the hole after several hours. Apparently many birders get stuck in the sand in this area. 
  
Went back to Walvis Bay, dusty and tired and did a bit of birding along the foreshore at low tide in the afternoon. Plenty of waders and flamingos, and new birds for the area included Common Ringed Plover, Red Knot, Sanderling and Common Tern. 

Friday 6th April: Walvis Bay Salt Pans & Bird Island
We left after breakfast for the short drive down to the salt pans. It was a lovely morning, no wind and sunny conditions. The waders were in impressive numbers along the various salt pans and the good light allowed for some good photos.

Highlights included over 1,000 Black-necked Grebe, Kittlitz’s Plover, about 50 Chestnut-banded Plover, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Terek Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Damara Tern and White-winged Tern in breeding plumage.  


Chestnut-banded Plover

Chestnut-banded Plover
Common Ringed Plover
Curlew Sandpiper in partial breeding plumage
Little Stint
Ruff
Grey Plover (Black-bellied Plover)
Kittlitz's Plover
Leaving the salt pans, we stopped at some saltbush areas just outside the saltworks and noticed a very brown looking plover, different in appearance to the common Grey or Black-bellied Plover. Closer inspection revealed an American Golden Plover, a rarity for Southern Africa.



American Golden Plover 
There was some debate at the time with a top eBirder who had spotted the same bird the week prior and thought it may be a Pacific Golden Plover. After involving Trevor Hardaker, who publishes the SA Rare Bird News Report, it was confirmed as an American Golden Plover.

After lunch we headed up to Bird Island, just north of Walvis Bay. A bit disappointing but we did have about 100 Cape Cormorant on the nesting platforms. Some late afternoon birding along the foreshore in front of the hotel, had many flamingos and waders but nothing new for the trip.

Cape Cormorant

Saturday 7th April: Walvis Bay to Brandberg
After breakfast we drove just north of Swakopmund to the gravel plains for the Gray’s Lark. It took about 45 minutes of walking on the gravel plains in the grey foggy conditions, before seeing an adult pair and a young bird. The birds were also heard in flight.



Gray's Lark 

We then continued up the coast to Henties Bay, before heading inland to Uis. Had some more Rüppell’s Korhaan along the way and just outside of Uis had our first Benguela Long-billed Lark, seen on the edge of the road.


Benguela Long-billed Lark
Arrived at the Brandberg White Lady Lodge just after midday, our accommodation for the next two nights, which was a huge disappointment. No walking trails, lions down by the river so couldn’t walk around and the Desert Elephants had not been seen in the area for some time. Poor reception and even worse rooms. The rooms were very basic, bad solar lighting and no aircon or fan. Real tourist trap with many tourists sitting by the pool with nothing to do. Not much to see within the property, so we did some sightseeing and birding along the approach roads.

View of Brandberg Mountains

View of Brandberg Mountains

Interesting birds for the late afternoon included more Rüppell’s Korhaan, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Lanner Falcon, Greater Kestrel, Stark’s Lark, Dusky Sunbird and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting.


Greater Kestrel (immature with dark eyes)

Sunset near Brandberg Mountains

Sunday 8th April: Uis
After an early breakfast we drove back towards Uis to do some birding on the rocky slopes of some large hills close to Uis. At sunrise, this area was full of Benguela Long-billed Lark (at least 12) perching up on the rocks and calling. Unfortunately no Herero Chat, my main target for the day. We then went to another area and I took a long walk over the rocky hillsides. I eventually managed to hear the call of a Herero Chat but couldn’t locate the bird.


Benguela Long-billed Lark in early morning light

Some interesting birds for the morning included Booted Eagle, Rüppell’s Korhaan, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Desert Cisticola, Black-chested Prinia and Violet-backed Starling.  

We headed into Uis for lunch and had a look around for alternative accommodation. We found the Uis White Lady Guest House (uiswhiteladyguesthouse.com) which had excellent accommodation (clean, spacious, modern and with aircon) and promised the best cooked farmhouse breakfast for the trip. We went back to Brandberg White Lady Lodge to get our luggage, checked out a day early and then spent the night in Uis, far better for birding, restaurants and ease of access.


Mildly venomous Leopard Sand Snake (Psammophis leopardinus) at White Lady Guest House

In the late afternoon I went back to the area where I had heard the Herero Chat and again heard it’s call and saw it fly off. Had distant views as it perched on a bush, before disappearing.

I did have great views of a Bushveld Elephant Shrew before it scampered off. I thought it was initially a bird the way it flew between the rocks.  



Bushveld Elephant Shrew or Bushveld Sengi (Elephantulus intufi)
Went to a local restaurant in Uis and had a lovely meal. The restaurant had a pet African Grey Parrot which responded when I played it’s called.

Monday 9th April: Uis to Omaruru to Etosha NP
Before breakfast we went back to the area where I had found the Herero Chat previously. I initially heard them calling and then had fairly close views of two birds perched up in the bushes in the early morning light. 


Herero Chat
I also had a pair of Double-banded Sandgrouse very close to me on the ground, which I spotted as they tried to hide and then sneak away. Had another four Benguela Long-billed Lark in the same area, certainly common around Uis but not seen elsewhere on the trip.  

Double-banded Sandgrouse (male)


Double-banded Sandgrouse (female)
Headed back to our accommodation for a lovely fully cooked farm breakfast and then took the scenic drive eastwards to Omaruru. Up till now we had been travelling through the fairly dry and dusty countryside. East of Uis it started to get very green with many flowers and water along the way.

Birding along this section of road was excellent and we had a Bateleur on the western edge of its range and then a female Red-footed Falcon, which was an unexpected lifer. Further along we had Monotonous Lark, Karoo Chat, Gabar Goshawk, Northern Black Korhaan, Purple Roller, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, Monteiro’s Hornbill and Shaft-tailed Whydah.   


Damara Red-billed Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
Stopped in Omaruru for fuel and then Outjo for lunch before driving onto to Okaukuejo Camp in Etosha National Park. On checking in we were told we didn’t have a reservation. I showed the receptionist my confirmed accommodation vouchers and she was very helpful and rang the local agents in Windhoek and told them to pay up immediately for the accommodation. Luckily there were rooms available for our two-night stay, which were modern, spacious and very comfortable.

We did some birding on the roads around Okaukuejo and then in the camp in the late afternoon. Interesting birds included Kori Bustard, Double-banded Sandgrouse, Western Barn Owl, Acacia Pied Barbet, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Brubru, Brown-throated Martin, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Sociable Weaver and Shaft-tailed Whydah.


Acacia Pied Barbet
Spotted Flycatcher
Sociable Weaver
The Okaukuejo Camp grounds have some good birding habitat plus the water hole for game viewing. However with the wet conditions, the water holes in Etosha didn’t attract much in the way of game or birds.

Tuesday 10th April: Okaukuejo – Etosha NP
After breakfast we took a drive on various roads close to the Okaukuejo Camp and then back to camp for lunch. There was a huge storm after lunch, which flooded out the campsite. Did some birding around the camp in the late afternoon and at the waterhole in the evening.

Had close to 60 species for the day, including 18 Kori Bustard, 16 Northern Black Korhaan, Jacobin Cuckoo, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Black-crowned Tchagra, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Brubru, Ashy Tit, Spike-heeled Lark, Grey-backed Sparrow-lark, Willow Warbler, Rattling Cisticola, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Marico Flycatcher, Green-winged Pytilia, Red-headed Finch, Violet-eared Waxbill, Larklike Bunting and in the evening Rufous-cheeked Nightjar and Western Barn Owl at the waterhole.   



Crimson-breasted Shrike

Some of the best birding was at muddy water holes along the dirt roads, which brought in many birds such as Namaqua Dove, Violet-eared Waxbill, Green-winged Pytilia and Willow Warbler. Many of these birds were very common on the trip once we were north of Omaruru probably due to the lush green conditions and the recent rains. 


Green-winged Pytilia

Namaqua Dove

Wednesday 11th April: Okaukuejo to Dolomite Camp – Etosha NP
After breakfast we headed westwards to the Dolomite Camp which is situated on the western border of Etosha. This is an area of Etosha which used to be off limits for visitors and an area we hadn’t been to previously.

We drove slowly along the road with frequent stops, however the game viewing was fairly limited. We did come across large herds of Black-faced Impala (a subspecies which only occurs in Etosha), Scrub Hare, Yellow Mongoose, Slender Mongoose, Bat-eared Fox, Honey Badger and quite a few Gemsbok.

We did see a melanistic Zebra which is the first we have ever seen, and seems to occur more frequently at Etosha based on other reports.


Melanistic Zebra
Had just under 60 birds for the drive to Dolomite Camp including White-backed Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Bateleur, Wahlberg’s Eagle (dark form), Lilac-breasted Roller, Double-banded Courser, over 400 Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark, Fawn-colored Lark, Monotonous Lark, Banded Martin, Wattled Starling, Ant-eating Chat and Great Sparrow.  


Double-banded Courser

Double-banded Courser
Kori Bustard
Northern Black Korhaan

On arrival at Dolomite Camp we were told we needed to pay which we objected to as all the accommodation had been paid for months in advance. Again the Etosha staff had to sort out the problem with Wilderness Safaris in Windhoek, which didn’t inspire much confidence for the rest of the trip.

Dolomite Camp was lovely and the cabins were perched up on the hillside, the cabins being quite far apart. We had lovely views over the extensive plains and a nice thunderstorm building up in the late afternoon. In fact, the area to the north of us appeared to be getting a lot of rain.


View from the deck

Rain over the distant plains

Sunset

Relaxing on our deck we had Dassie Rat on the boulders below us, plus Gabar Goshawk, White-rumped Swift, Carp’s Tit, Short-toed Rock Thrush, Familiar Chat and in the evening we had Western Barn Owl calling.


Dassie Rat

Thursday 12th April: Dolomite Camp to Outjo
I was up well before sunrise to try and see the Hartlaub’s Spurfowl which are resident along the rocky slopes of Dolomite Camp. No sign of them after much searching but did see Western Barn Owl, Rock Kestrel, Pririt Batis, Long-billed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Groundscraper Thrush and Golden-breasted Bunting. 


Yellow-bellied Eremomela
After breakfast, as we were packing up the vehicle, I had a chat with a local black guide and he said that the Hartlaub’s Spurfowl live under the kitchen and are usually seen every morning, however he didn’t see or hear them that morning. As we drove out of the camp we stopped at several rocky hillsides along the way and heard at least four birds calling from the dolomite ridges some distance away.

The plan for today was to get fuel and then head up to the Kunene River on the northern border of Namibia for three nights. We were short of fuel so I decided to head south to Kamanjab which had the nearest fuel station. In Kamanjab we had our first telephone reception for the past four days and received a whole lot of messages. We then received news that the Kunene River Lodge had been flooded out the previous night and was under a few meters of water.

We drove onto Outjo for lunch, while Wilderness Safaris sorted out new accommodation, and we spent the night at Etotongwe Lodge in Outjo. Wilderness Safaris also booked the next two nights at Frans Indongo Lodge, which was on the way to the eastern side of Etosha, for our planned visit to Namutoni Camp after the Kunene River. Avian Leisure had been onto Wilderness Safaris after our booking problems in Etosha and suddenly we had a lot of attention from Wilderness Safaris.

After leaving Etosha, the only birding was on route to Kamanjab where we saw Black-chested Snake Eagle and Great Spotted Cuckoo.

I had received advice on the target birds for Kunene River prior to this and if we had made it to Kunene, it would have been unlikely that we would have seen the Cinderella Waxbill due to the wet conditions. Apparently they are best seen when its dry and they come down to some small water holes in a dry river bed.

Friday 13th April: Outjo to Frans Indongo Lodge
Birding around the grounds of Etotongwe Lodge before breakfast we had Black-crowned Tchagra, Pearl-breasted Swallow, Lesser Striped Swallow, Marico Flycatcher, Marico Sunbird, Pririt Batis, Chestnut-vented Warbler and Black-throated Canary. 


Pririt Batis

Marico Flycatcher

Chestnut-vented Warbler (Tit-babbler)
After breakfast we took a slow drive to Otjiwarongo and had quite a few White-backed and Cape Vulture along the road plus Gabar Goshawk, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Common Buzzard, Violet-eared Waxbill, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Long-tailed Paradise Whydah.

After Otjiwarongo we headed north-east towards Otavi and turned off on the dirt road to Frans Indongo Lodge. As soon as we got off the main road, the birding alongside the dirt road was very productive. We had over 40 species along the road over the next couple of hours including White-backed, Cape and Lappet-faced vulture, Red-crested Korhaan, Jacobin Cuckoo, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Fawn-colored Lark, Green-winged Pytilia plus many Violet-eared Waxbill and Shaft-tailed Whydah.

Frans Indongo Lodge was lovely and had top class, well maintained accommodation in spacious lodges. There was an open air dining area and huge deck for viewing over the waterhole.  

We had Rosy-faced Lovebird in the grounds of the lodge feeding on seeds on the ground and nesting in the thatch rooves. In the evening, we had Rufous-cheeked Nightjar hawking insects around the floodlights at the waterhole.


Rosy-faced Lovebird

Saturday 14th April: Frans Indongo Lodge and Cheetah Conservation Park
With all the problems we had had with our accommodation bookings, Wilderness Safaris had included for a tour to the Cheetah Conservation Park. We left after breakfast for the private jeep trip to the Cheetah Conservation Park which followed dirt tracks though the bush and wildlife areas. 

Birding along the way was excellent and we had Swainson’s Spurfowl, Purple Roller, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Fawn-colored Lark, Southern Pied Babbler, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Long-tailed Paradise Whydah and Black-throated Canary.


Swainson's Spurfowl
Brightly coloured Helmeted Guineafowl

Unfortunately the Cheetah Conservation Park was a huge disappointment and we left early and headed back to Frans Indongo Lodge.

After lunch we did some birding on the dirt road into Frans Indongo and added Eastern Clapper Lark for the trip. Back at the lodge in the late afternoon we had South African Cliff Swallow, the first for this trip.

Whilst birding around Frans Indongo Lodge was very pleasant with plenty of birds to see, there were no specific targets to get and it was obviously disappointing compared with being up on the Kunene River.   

Sunday 15th April: Frans Indongo to Namutoni Camp, Etosha
After breakfast we headed up towards Tsumeb for fuel and supplies and then onto the eastern gate for Etosha. The road up to Tsumeb was very scenic as it passed between spectacular hills and up several mountain passes.

Just south of Tsumeb we stopped at a roadside picnic area for some Monteiro’s Hornbill. This was a good patch of bush between some hills and while we were stopped, we had a pair of Rüppell’s Parrot feeding on purple seed pods of a small, deciduous tree (Terminalia prunioides). Very pleased to get the Rüppell’s Parrot, which can be one of the tougher specials to get.

The Rüppell’s Parrot changes its diet frequently depending on the season, however Terminalia prunioides (Afrikaans – sterkbos and English - purple pod terminalia) holds its pods all year round and is fed on by these parrots more than any other species.

We arrived at Namutoni Gate just after 10am and were asked if we had any drones with us. We thought this was a joke but apparently poachers are using drones to scout out potential target prey. Inside Namutoni Camp and close by we had many Banded Mongoose which were in large family groups.

In the late morning we took a drive along the loop road, to the east of the camp, before checking into the camp. The accommodation at Namutoni Camp was upmarket and spacious, with the restaurant and waterhole nearby.

We did some more driving in the afternoon to some other areas close to the camp and had a Common Dwarf Mongoose perched up in a tree.

This was the best birding day for the trip so far with close to 90 species for the day. With the recent rains, there was quite a bit of water in the lake and we had a good range of waterbirds and waders. Interesting birds included Saddle-billed Stork, Brown Snake Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Blue Crane, Black Crake, Kittlitz’s Plover, Wood Sandpiper, White-fronted Plover, Little Stint, Double-banded Courser, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Rufous-naped Lark, Banded Martin, Icterine Warbler, African Pipit and Buffy Pipit.


Scaly-feathered Finch
Secretarybird

Back at the camp I heard Senegal Coucal at the waterhole and also saw South African Cliff Swallow, Long-billed Crombec, Lesser Swamp Warbler, African Reed Warbler and Lesser Masked Weaver. 

After dinner we heard African Scops Owl calling and had Western Barn Owl and Rufous-cheeked Nightjar at the waterhole.

Monday 16th April: Namutoni and Halali Camps – Etosha NP
We were up before sunrise and Yvonne spotted a pair of Red-necked Falcon roosting in the camp. This was a falcon that we had missed so far in the trip and we had looked for it in eastern Etosha and also on the loop road to the east of Namutoni. Lovely looking falcon and we saw it every morning and late afternoon for the rest of our stay at Namutoni. It’s a falcon which likes to fly fast and swoop over reeds and wetlands, flushing potential prey.




Red-necked Falcon
After breakfast we took a slow drive to Halali Camp. We stopped at a section of road which had some shallow water on either side and after a while noticed an African Leopard walking towards us, quite some distance away. The Leopard kept walking slowly, right up to us then past the vehicle and continued on behind us. For the entire time, we had the Leopard to ourselves with no other vehicles on the road, which would have chased it off. This was the highlight of the trip and it’s rare to get such close-up views of Leopard out in the open.


African Leopard

Interesting birds for the drive to Halali included Tawny Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Little Sparrowhawk, Wood Sandpiper and Dickinson’s Kestrel.

Little Sparrowhawk

Halali Camp is a good birding spot and we had Double-banded Sandgrouse, African Scops Owl, Violet Wood Hoopoe, Southern Red-billed Hornbill, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Greater Blue-eared Starling and Groundscraper Thrush in the camp.


Bare-cheeked Babbler

Southern Red-billed Hornbill

Groundscraper Thrush

African Scops Owl
Young Violet Wood Hoopoe being fed
Double-banded Sandgrouse (adult males)

After lunch we drove back to Namutoni along some different tracks and saw Secretarybird and Booted Eagle. Driving around the Namutoni area in the late afternoon produced Senegal Coucal, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Red-necked Falcon (hunting over wetlands outside of camp), Kalahari Scrub Robin, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver and the Etosha race of the African Pipit.  We also had a couple of White Rhino out in the open, the only ones for the trip.

After dinner, at the waterhole, we had good views of Marsh Owl and Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, plus heard African Scops Owl. We also had great views of a Common Genet inside the camp, close to the waterhole.

Tuesday 17th April: Namutoni Camp – Etosha NP
We spent the day exploring various areas close to Namutoni Camp. We tried unsuccessfully for localised Black-faced Babbler on the Dik-dik Drive, however we did see Kirk’s Dik-dik on this loop drive.

The highlight for the morning was stopping on the sealed road near to the main entrance gate and having a Black Rhino walk out of the dense bush and across the road in front of us. It disappeared quickly into the dense bush and was not seen again. There were no other vehicles on the road as the early morning rush into the park had gone.

Birding highlights for the day included Secretarybird, Montagu’s Harrier, Red-necked Falcon, Double-banded Courser, pair of Burchell’s Sandgrouse, many Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Senegal Coucal, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, White-crested Helmetshrike, White-browed Scrub Robin, Ashy Tit and Red-capped Lark.


Burchell’s Sandgrouse


Senegal Coucal

In the evening, at the Namutoni waterhole we saw Western Barn Owl and European Nightjar. 
 
Wednesday 18th April: Namutoni Camp to Waterberg Mountains
We spent a couple of hours on the Dik-dik Drive before packing up and leaving Etosha for our drive south to the Waterberg mountains. Had many Emerald-spotted Wood Dove plus nice view of a Gabar Goshawk.


Emerald-spotted Wood Dove

Gabar Goshawk

We were staying at the Waterberg Guest House for the next two nights, which was situated at the base of rocky hillsides. Each guest house was nestled among the trees and very private with lovely views over the Waterberg Plateau National Park. The hosts were cattle farmers of German descendant and we had lovely meals and great hospitality during our stay. 

Arrived just after midday and saw Monteiro’s Hornbill, Pririt Batis, Brubru, Long-billed Crombec, Burnt-necked Eremomela, White-bellied Sunbird and Green-winged Pytilia around our accommodation before we had a huge thunderstorm in the late afternoon.

Thursday 19th April: Waterberg Mountains
After breakfast, we took the steep trail to the top of the ridge behind our accommodation. The main target was Rockrunner and I had good views of the attractive birds on top of boulders. They are fairly unobtrusive as they move quietly between the boulders looking for food. Every now and again they will perch up in a bush or on top of boulders to investigate further.  




Rockrunner
Birding was good along the track and we had Purple Roller, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, Cardinal Woodpecker, Black-backed Puffback, Black Cuckooshrike, Carp’s Tit, Grey-backed Cisticola, Scarlet-chested Sunbird and Cape Bunting.


Purple Roller
Relaxed after lunch and in the late afternoon had Rockrunner just outside our accommodation. Also had Damara Red-billed Hornbill, Monteiro’s Hornbill, White-browed Scrub Robin and Marico Flycatcher in the bush around our unit. Heard Spotted Thick-knee calling after sunset and saw Freckled Nightjar just after 7:30pm.

At dinner we were shown photos of rhino from Etosha which a Dutch couple had seen earlier in the week. The Dutch couple had been told by the game driver/ranger that these were Black Rhino, whereas it was clear that they were White Rhino. The standard of guiding and driving etiquette by these game drivers is very poor. They race into Etosha with their guests and then drive fast around the national park looking for various animals for their guests. If there is a significant sighting, then they are alerted by radio, and all rush off to see the animal with their guests getting covered in dust along the way. 

Friday 20th April: Waterberg Mountains to Erongo Mountains
Did some birding for ½ hr before breakfast and saw Crimson-breasted Shrike, which had been common throughout northern Namibia, and Rosy-faced lovebird. After breakfast we drove further south to Omaruru and then headed west to our accommodation at Otjohotozu Guest Farm close to the Erongo mountains. We had been booked to stay at Otjohotozu for two nights and again we had great hosts, meals and accommodation.  

This area was quite dry compared with the countryside north of Omaruru and had different habitat. Despite the fairly dry conditions, the birding was very good and in the afternoon we saw Double-banded Sandgrouse, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Bearded Woodpecker, Rüppell’s Parrot, Rosy-faced Lovebird and Black-backed Puffback. The highlight of the afternoon however was seeing five White-tailed Shrike and hearing another three birds. They are gorgeous looking shrikes (overgrown batis’s) and quite vocal as they move quickly between the thorn bushes.




Pearl-spotted Owlet

Overnight we had African Scops Owl calling from close to our accommodation.

Saturday 21st April: Erongo Mountains to Windhoek
Today was our last chance to see Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, the only remaining target for the trip. There was a good location for these spurfowl at some rocky slopes we had passed on our drive to Otjohotozu Guest Farm. 

We drove there early in the morning, well before sunrise, and I soon had three or four birds calling at sunrise, spread out at various places along the rocky hillsides. I couldn’t see them from the road despite a lot of searching, so I climbed the fence and got low down in the bushes at the base of the rocky slopes. I then had great views and photos of the Hartlaub’s Spurfowl as it moved around in the area, unconcerned about my presence. This was a great sighting for what is usually an extremely secretive bird.




Hartlaub's Spurfowl

After breakfast, I took a long walk around the Otjohotozu Guest Farm extensive property and had Common Quail, flushed from about 1m away, Red-crested Korhaan, Double-banded Sandgrouse, Violet Wood Hoopoe, Lesser Honeyguide, Bearded Woodpecker, White-tailed Shrike, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Violet-eared Waxbill, Black-faced Waxbill and Larklike Bunting. The highlight for the morning was seeing a pair of Rüppell’s Parrot at their nest in the riverine trees alongside the large dry river bed.

The birding for the Erongo Mountains area was very rewarding, with some great specials and new birds for our trip, which we hadn’t seen further west and north.

During my walk I also come across two wire snares which I took apart and then informed our hosts when I got back to the accommodation. Apparently poaching is becoming more of a problem for the area and the hosts were installing improved security systems during our visit.

At lunch we decided to drive to Windhoek in the afternoon, as it was quite a long drive for the next day (we had a midday flight) and we already had seen all our target birds. We booked a night at the Vineyard Country Lodge, on the eastern side of Windhoek, on the way to the airport. We left Otjohotozu Guest Farm and drove back to Omaruru, south to Karibib, east to Okahandja and then south to Windhoek. Just as well that we did leave the day before, as there were extensive roadworks north of Windhoek which resulted in significant delays.

On the drive we had Pallid Harrier near Albrechts, a new bird for Southern Africa, Tawny Eagle near Wilhelmstal and then Augur Buzzard flying overhead in Windhoek.

The accommodation at the Vineyard Country Lodge was lovely with great hosts.


Sunday 22nd April: Windhoek to Johannesburg
Had a relaxed morning and an excellent breakfast. Did a little bit of birding before breakfast and saw Rosy-faced Lovebird and Grey-backed Cisticola (red-headed subspecies) together with other birds we had seen many times on the trip.

We drove through to the airport for out midday departure and to drop off the rental vehicle. Hertz made a fuss about a small nick in the side of the door caused by some idiot opening their door into our car, when we were parked somewhere. Hertz insisted on charging us N$2,500 with the understanding that once the repairs had been done, the difference would be refunded. Of course, this is a scam and no repairs were undertaken. So after two months of asking for evidence and costs for the repairs, contacting the fraud department at Hertz, I was given a full refund of the N$2,500.

Flight back to Johannesburg was uneventful with excellent service provided on the flight. We then flew onto the Kimberley later that afternoon, to continue our trip through the Northern Cape.

Mammals
A total of 32 mammal species seen:
Hyracoidea
Hyraxes (Procaviidae)
Kaokoveld Hyrax (Procavia capensis welwitschii)
Proboscidea
Elephants (Elephantidae)
African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Primates
Old World Monkeys (Cercopithecidae)
Chacma Baboon [sp] (Papio ursinus)
Rodentia
Squirrels & Marmots (Sciuridae)
South African Ground Squirrel (Xerus inauris)
Old World mice and rats, gerbils, whistling rats, and relatives (Muridae)
Xeric Four-striped Grass Rat (Rhabdomys pumilio)
Dassie Rats (Petromuridae)
Dassie Rat [sp] (Petromus typicus)
Lagomorpha
Rabbits and Hares (Leporidae)
Scrub Hare [sp] (Lepus saxatilis)
Carnivora
Cats (Felidae)
African Leopard (Panthera pardus pardus)
Viverrids (Viverridae)
Common Genet [sp] (Genetta genetta)
Mongooses (Herpestidae)
Yellow Mongoose [sp] (Cynictis penicillata)
Slender Mongoose [sp] (Galerella sanguinea)
Common Dwarf Mongoose [sp] (Helogale parvula)
Banded Mongoose [sp] (Mungos mungo)
Meerkat [sp] (Suricata suricatta)
Dogs (Canidae)
Black-backed Jackal [sp] (Canis mesomelas)
Bat-eared Fox [sp] (Otocyon megalotis)
Eared Seals (Otariidae)
Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)
Mustelids (Mustelidae)
Honey Badger [sp] (Mellivora capensis)
Perissodactyla
Horses (Equidae)
Burchell's Zebra [sp] (Equus burchellii)
Rhinoceroses (Rhinocerotidae)
Southern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum)
Black Rhinoceros [sp] (Diceros bicornis)
Artiodactyla
Pigs (Suidae)
Common Warthog [sp] (Phacochoerus africanus)
Giraffes & Okapi (Giraffidae)
Nubian Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis)
Cattle & Spiral-horned Antelope (Bovidae)
Black-faced Impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi)
Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus caama)
Blue Wildebeest [sp] (Connochaetes taurinus)
Springbok [sp] (Antidorcas marsupialis)
Kirk's Dikdik [sp] (Madoqua kirkii)
Steenbok [sp] (Raphicerus campestris)
Greater Kudu [sp] (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
Gemsbok (Oryx gazella)
Waterbuck [sp] (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)

Birds
We recorded a total of 255 birds of which 11 were lifers. The list of birds according to the IOC taxonomy, with subspecies identified where possible, was as follows:

STRUTHIONIFORMES
Ostriches (Struthionidae)
Southern Ostrich (Struthio camelus australis)
ANSERIFORMES
Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)
White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
South African Shelduck (Tadorna cana)
Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota)
Cape Shoveler (Spatula smithii)
Cape Teal (Anas capensis)
Red-billed Teal (Anas erythrorhyncha)
Southern Pochard [brunnea] (Netta erythrophthalma brunnea)
GALLIFORMES
Guineafowl (Numididae)
Helmeted Guineafowl (Tufted) [papillosus] (Numida meleagris papillosus)
Pheasants and allies (Phasianidae)
Hartlaub's Spurfowl (Pternistis hartlaubi)
Red-billed Spurfowl [sp] (Pternistis adspersus)
Swainson's Spurfowl [swainsonii] (Pternistis swainsonii swainsonii)
Common Quail [sp] (Coturnix coturnix)
PODICIPEDIFORMES
Grebes (Podicipedidae)
Little Grebe [capensis] (Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis)
African Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis gurneyi)
PHOENICOPTERIFORMES
Flamingos (Phoenicopteridae)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)
CICONIIFORMES
Storks (Ciconiidae)
Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)
PELECANIFORMES
Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)
African Spoonbill (Platalea alba)
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Black-crowned Night Heron (Eurasian) (Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax)
Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Grey Heron (Grey) [cinerea] (Ardea cinerea cinerea)
Little Egret (Western) (Egretta garzetta garzetta)
Pelicans (Pelecanidae)
Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)
SULIFORMES
Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus)
Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis)
ACCIPITRIFORMES
Secretarybird (Sagittariidae)
Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius)
Kites, Hawks and Eagles (Accipitridae)
Black-winged Kite (African) (Elanus caeruleus caeruleus)
White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)
Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres)
Lappet-faced Vulture [tracheliotos] (Torgos tracheliotos tracheliotos)
Black-chested Snake Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis)
Brown Snake Eagle (Circaetus cinereus)
Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)
Wahlberg's Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi)
Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
Tawny Eagle [rapax] (Aquila rapax rapax)
African Hawk-eagle (Aquila spilogaster)
Gabar Goshawk [gabar] (Micronisus gabar gabar)
Pale Chanting Goshawk [argentior] (Melierax canorus argentior)
Little Sparrowhawk [minullus] (Accipiter minullus minullus)
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus)
Yellow-billed Kite [parasitus] (Milvus aegyptius parasitus)
Common Buzzard (Steppe) [vulpinus] (Buteo buteo vulpinus)
Augur Buzzard (Buteo augur)
Jackal Buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus)
OTIDIFORMES
Bustards (Otididae)
Kori Bustard [kori] (Ardeotis kori kori)
Rüppell's Korhaan [sp] (Eupodotis rueppelii)
Red-crested Korhaan (Lophotis ruficrista)
Northern Black Korhaan [sp] (Afrotis afraoides)
GRUIFORMES
Rails, Crakes and Coots (Rallidae)
Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra)
African Swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis)
Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata)
Cranes (Gruidae)
Blue Crane (Grus paradisea)
CHARADRIIFORMES
Stone-curlews, Thick-knees (Burhinidae)
Spotted Thick-knee [damarensis] (Burhinus capensis damarensis)
Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Blacksmith Lapwing (Vanellus armatus)
Crowned Lapwing [xerophilus] (Vanellus coronatus xerophilus)
African Wattled Lapwing [lateralis] (Vanellus senegallus lateralis)
American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica)
Grey Plover [squatarola] (Pluvialis squatarola squatarola)
Tundra Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula tundrae)
Kittlitz's Plover (Charadrius pecuarius)
Three-banded Plover (African) (Charadrius tricollaris tricollaris)
White-fronted Plover [sp] (Charadrius marginatus)
Chestnut-banded Plover [pallidus] (Charadrius pallidus pallidus)
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)
Whimbrel (European) (Numenius phaeopus phaeopus)
Bar-tailed Godwit [taymyrensis] (Limosa lapponica taymyrensis)
Ruddy Turnstone [interpres] (Arenaria interpres interpres)
Siberian Knot (Calidris canutus canutus)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Sanderling [alba] (Calidris alba alba)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)
Double-banded Courser [sp] (Rhinoptilus africanus)
Gulls, Terns and Skimmers (Laridae)
Grey-headed Gull [poiocephalus] (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus poiocephalus)
Hartlaub's Gull (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii)
Kelp Gull (Cape) (Larus dominicanus vetula)
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Greater Crested Tern [bergii] (Thalasseus bergii bergii)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Damara Tern (Sternula balaenarum)
Common Tern (Common) (Sterna hirundo hirundo)
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
PTEROCLIFORMES
Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)
Namaqua Sandgrouse (Pterocles namaqua)
Double-banded Sandgrouse [bicinctus] (Pterocles bicinctus bicinctus)
Burchell's Sandgrouse (Pterocles burchelli)
COLUMBIFORMES
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ''feral'')
Speckled Pigeon [phaeonota] (Columba guinea phaeonota)
Ring-necked Dove [sp] (Streptopelia capicola)
Laughing Dove [senegalensis] (Spilopelia senegalensis senegalensis)
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove (Turtur chalcospilos)
Namaqua Dove [capensis] (Oena capensis capensis)
MUSOPHAGIFORMES
Turacos (Musophagidae)
Grey Go-away-bird [sp] (Corythaixoides concolor)
CUCULIFORMES
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Senegal Coucal [flecki] (Centropus senegalensis flecki)
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius)
Black-and-white Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus pica)
STRIGIFORMES
Barn Owls (Tytonidae)
Western Barn Owl (Bioko) (Tyto alba poensis)
Owls (Strigidae)
African Scops Owl (African) (Otus senegalensis senegalensis)
Pearl-spotted Owlet [licua] (Glaucidium perlatum licua)
Marsh Owl [capensis] (Asio capensis capensis)
CAPRIMULGIFORMES
Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)
European Nightjar [sp] (Caprimulgus europaeus)
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar [damarensis] (Caprimulgus rufigena damarensis)
Freckled Nightjar [lentiginosus] (Caprimulgus tristigma lentiginosus)
APODIFORMES
Swifts (Apodidae)
African Palm Swift (African) [hyphaenes] (Cypsiurus parvus hyphaenes)
Bradfield's Swift [bradfieldi] (Apus bradfieldi bradfieldi)
Little Swift [sp] (Apus affinis)
White-rumped Swift (Apus caffer)
COLIIFORMES
Mousebirds (Coliidae)
White-backed Mousebird [damarensis] (Colius colius damarensis)
Red-faced Mousebird [sp] (Urocolius indicus)
CORACIIFORMES
Rollers (Coraciidae)
Purple Roller [mosambicus] (Coracias naevius mosambicus)
Lilac-breasted Roller (Lilac-breasted) (Coracias caudatus caudatus)
Bee-eaters (Meropidae)
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater [hirundineus] (Merops hirundineus hirundineus)
European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
BUCEROTIFORMES
Hoopoes (Upupidae)
African Hoopoe (Upupa africana)
Wood Hoopoes (Phoeniculidae)
Violet Wood Hoopoe (Phoeniculus damarensis)
Common Scimitarbill [cyanomelas] (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas cyanomelas)
Hornbills (Bucerotidae)
Damara Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus damarensis)
Southern Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus rufirostris)
Monteiro's Hornbill (Tockus monteiri)
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill [sp] (Tockus leucomelas)
African Grey Hornbill [epirhinus] (Lophoceros nasutus epirhinus)
PICIFORMES
African Barbets (Lybiidae)
Acacia Pied Barbet [centralis] (Tricholaema leucomelas centralis)
Honeyguides (Indicatoridae)
Lesser Honeyguide [sp] (Indicator minor)
Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Bearded Woodpecker [namaquus] (Chloropicus namaquus namaquus)
Cardinal Woodpecker [sp] (Dendropicos fuscescens)
FALCONIFORMES
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Rock Kestrel (Falco rupicolus)
Greater Kestrel [rupicoloides] (Falco rupicoloides rupicoloides)
Dickinson's Kestrel (Falco dickinsoni)
Red-necked Falcon (African) [horsbrughi] (Falco chicquera horsbrughi)
Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)
Lanner Falcon [biarmicus] (Falco biarmicus biarmicus)
PSITTACIFORMES
African and New World Parrots (Psittacidae)
Rüppell's Parrot (Poicephalus rueppellii)
Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)
Rosy-faced Lovebird [roseicollis] (Agapornis roseicollis roseicollis)
PASSERIFORMES
Wattle-eyes, Batises (Platysteiridae)
Pririt Batis [affinis] (Batis pririt affinis)
White-tailed Shrike (Lanioturdus torquatus)
Bushshrikes (Malaconotidae)
Bokmakierie [sp] (Telophorus zeylonus)
Brown-crowned Tchagra [sp] (Tchagra australis)
Black-crowned Tchagra (Black-crowned) [kalahari] (Tchagra senegalus kalahari)
Black-backed Puffback [okavangensis] (Dryoscopus cubla okavangensis)
Crimson-breasted Shrike (Laniarius atrococcineus)
Brubru [brubru] (Nilaus afer brubru)
Vangas and allies (Vangidae)
White-crested Helmetshrike (Yellow-eyed) [talacoma] (Prionops plumatus talacoma)
Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)
Black Cuckooshrike (Campephaga flava)
Shrikes (Laniidae)
Southern White-crowned Shrike [anguitimens] (Eurocephalus anguitimens anguitimens)
Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor)
Southern Fiscal [sp] (Lanius collaris)
Latakoo Fiscal (Lanius collaris subcoronatus)
Drongos (Dicruridae)
Fork-tailed Drongo (Clancey's) (Dicrurus adsimilis apivorus)
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
African Paradise Flycatcher [plumbeiceps] (Terpsiphone viridis plumbeiceps)
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
Cape Crow [capensis] (Corvus capensis capensis)
Pied Crow (Corvus albus)
Tits, Chickadees (Paridae)
Carp's Tit (Melaniparus carpi)
Ashy Tit [sp] (Melaniparus cinerascens)
Larks (Alaudidae)
Spike-heeled Lark [sp] (Chersomanes albofasciata)
Gray's Lark [sp] (Ammomanopsis grayi)
Benguela Long-billed Lark [sp] (Certhilauda benguelensis)
Benguela Long-billed Lark [kaokoensis] (Certhilauda benguelensis kaokoensis)
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark [hoeschi] (Eremopterix leucotis hoeschi)
Grey-backed Sparrow-lark [damarensis] (Eremopterix verticalis damarensis)
Sabota Lark [sp] (Calendulauda sabota)
Fawn-colored Lark [sp] (Calendulauda africanoides)
Dune Lark (Calendulauda erythrochlamys)
Eastern Clapper Lark [sp] (Mirafra fasciolata)
Rufous-naped Lark [sp] (Mirafra africana)
Monotonous Lark (Mirafra passerina)
Stark's Lark (Spizocorys starki)
Red-capped Lark [sp] (Calandrella cinerea)
Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)
African Red-eyed Bulbul [nigricans] (Pycnonotus nigricans nigricans)
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
Brown-throated Martin (African) [paludicola] (Riparia paludicola paludicola)
Banded Martin [sp] (Riparia cincta)
Barn Swallow (White-bellied) (Hirundo rustica rustica)
Pearl-breasted Swallow [dimidiata] (Hirundo dimidiata dimidiata)
Rock Martin [sp] (Ptyonoprogne fuligula)
Greater Striped Swallow (Cecropis cucullata)
Lesser Striped Swallow [ampliformis] (Cecropis abyssinica ampliformis)
South African Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon spilodera)
Crombecs, African warblers (Macrosphenidae)
Rockrunner [pycnopygius] (Achaetops pycnopygius pycnopygius)
Long-billed Crombec [sp] (Sylvietta rufescens)
Leaf warblers and allies (Phylloscopidae)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Reed warblers and allies (Acrocephalidae)
Lesser Swamp Warbler [cunenensis] (Acrocephalus gracilirostris cunenensis)
African Reed Warbler [hallae] (Acrocephalus baeticatus hallae)
Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina)
Cisticolas and Allies (Cisticolidae)
Rattling Cisticola [sp] (Cisticola chiniana)
Grey-backed Cisticola (Red-headed) [windhoekensis] (Cisticola subruficapilla windhoekensis)
Zitting Cisticola (African) [terrestris] (Cisticola juncidis terrestris)
Desert Cisticola [sp] (Cisticola aridulus)
Black-chested Prinia [sp] (Prinia flavicans)
Grey-backed Camaroptera [sharpei] (Camaroptera brevicaudata sharpei)
Yellow-bellied Eremomela [sp] (Eremomela icteropygialis)
Burnt-necked Eremomela [usticollis] (Eremomela usticollis usticollis)
Laughingthrushes (Leiothrichidae)
Southern Pied Babbler (Turdoides bicolor)
Bare-cheeked Babbler [kaokensis] (Turdoides gymnogenys kaokensis)
Sylviid Babblers (Sylviidae)
Chestnut-vented Warbler [cinerascens] (Sylvia subcoerulea cinerascens)
White-eyes (Zosteropidae)
Orange River White-eye (Zosterops pallidus)
Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae)
Wattled Starling (Creatophora cinerea)
Cape Starling (Lamprotornis nitens)
Greater Blue-eared Starling [nordmanni] (Lamprotornis chalybaeus nordmanni)
Burchell's Starling (Lamprotornis australis)
Violet-backed Starling [verreauxi] (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster verreauxi)
Pale-winged Starling (Onychognathus nabouroup)
Thrushes (Turdidae)
Groundscraper Thrush [sp] (Turdus litsitsirupa)
Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)
Kalahari Scrub Robin [sp] (Cercotrichas paena)
White-browed Scrub Robin (Red-backed) [ovamboensis] (Cercotrichas leucophrys ovamboensis)
Chat Flycatcher [sp] (Melaenornis infuscatus)
Marico Flycatcher [sp] (Melaenornis mariquensis)
Spotted Flycatcher [sp] (Muscicapa striata)
Short-toed Rock Thrush (Short-toed) (Monticola brevipes brevipes)
Karoo Chat [sp] (Emarginata schlegelii)
Tractrac Chat [sp] (Emarginata tractrac)
Tractrac Chat [albicans] (Emarginata tractrac albicans)
Ant-eating Chat (Myrmecocichla formicivora)
Mountain Wheatear [sp] (Myrmecocichla monticola)
Capped Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe pileata)
Familiar Chat [sp] (Oenanthe familiaris)
Herero Chat (Namibornis herero)
Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)
Scarlet-chested Sunbird [saturatior] (Chalcomitra senegalensis saturatior)
Marico Sunbird [mariquensis] (Cinnyris mariquensis mariquensis)
White-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris talatala)
Dusky Sunbird [fuscus] (Cinnyris fuscus fuscus)
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Great Sparrow [benguellensis] (Passer motitensis benguellensis)
Cape Sparrow [damarensis] (Passer melanurus damarensis)
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow [diffusus] (Passer diffusus diffusus)
Weavers, Widowbirds (Ploceidae)
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver [niger] (Bubalornis niger niger)
White-browed Sparrow-weaver [sp] (Plocepasser mahali)
Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius)
Scaly-feathered Weaver [squamifrons] (Sporopipes squamifrons squamifrons)
Lesser Masked Weaver [cabanisii] (Ploceus intermedius cabanisii)
Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus)
Red-billed Quelea [lathamii] (Quelea quelea lathamii)
Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)
Waxbills, Munias and Allies (Estrildidae)
Green-winged Pytilia [melba] (Pytilia melba melba)
Red-headed Finch (Amadina erythrocephala)
Red-billed Firefinch [rendalli] (Lagonosticta senegala rendalli)
Blue Waxbill [cyanopleurus] (Uraeginthus angolensis cyanopleurus)
Violet-eared Waxbill (Uraeginthus granatinus)
Common Waxbill [damarensis] (Estrilda astrild damarensis)
Black-faced Waxbill [erythronotos] (Estrilda erythronotos erythronotos)
Indigobirds, Whydahs (Viduidae)
Shaft-tailed Whydah (Vidua regia)
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah (Vidua paradisaea)
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Cape Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla capensis)
Cape Wagtail [capensis] (Motacilla capensis capensis)
African Pipit [sp] (Anthus cinnamomeus)
African Pipit (Etosha) (Anthus cinnamomeus grotei)
Buffy Pipit [sp] (Anthus vaalensis)
Finches (Fringillidae)
Black-throated Canary [sp] (Crithagra atrogularis)
Yellow Canary [sp] (Crithagra flaviventris)
White-throated Canary [sp] (Crithagra albogularis)
Buntings (Emberizidae)
Lark-like Bunting [impetuani] (Emberiza impetuani impetuani)
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting [sp] (Emberiza tahapisi)
Cape Bunting [capensis] (Emberiza capensis capensis)
Golden-breasted Bunting [sp] (Emberiza flaviventris)