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ULTIMATE SOUTH AFRICA

Thursday 22nd September - Monday 17th October 2011

Simon Harrap

Some of the tour highlights (Simon Harrap)

Some of the tour highlights (Simon Harrap)

The 2011 Birdquest to South Africa was another great trip to this wonderful birding destination. We enjoyed good weather almost throughout and recorded nearly all of the hoped for endemics, regional endemics and specialities. Highlights included Southern Bald Ibises, Cape Vulture, Lammergeier, Black Harrier, over twenty Pygmy Falcons and the delightful little Taita Falcon, eight species of francolin, including for most of us Orange River Francolin, Wattled Crane, African Rail, ten bustards (with particularly good views of Karoo Korhaan and Southern Black Korhaan), Burchell’s Courser, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Cape Parrot, Marsh Owl, Swamp Nightjar, Bradfield’s Swift, Knysna Woodpecker, four honeyguides, no less than 22 species of lark, including the hard-to-find Sclater’s Lark, Blue Swallow, two penduline tits, Bush Blackcap, Spotted and Orange Ground Thrushes, a whole host of chats, both Rockjumpers, Karoo Eremomela, great views of African Wren-Warbler and Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Knysna, Victorin’s and Barratt’s Warblers all seen, and both sugarbirds. The pelagic off Cape Town was very productive, with five species of albatross, both giant petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrel. On the mammal front the highlight was surely the White Rhinos at St Lucia and Mkuze.