Tanqua this week - again! - June 2008

Spent a looong day yesterday birding for specials in the Tanqua with 7 clients.  Weather was good for birding, not cold at all.  The aim was to find the Burchells Courser and Cinnamon Breasted Warbler amongst others.

Even though we tried numerous spots for Cinnamon Breasted Warbler, the only area where it called and only twice, was at Skitterykloof but here the wind caused directional and distance problems in locating the source. We did not see the Cinnamon Breasted Warbler but I photographed a skink/sand-lizard there that I had not seen before and found an un-flowered lithops (will have to wait for this one).

However we had better luck with Burchells Courser.   We had stopped and scanned the area when one of the clients found one about 500m away. After saying “where is the mate” it was found close by the first one. They took off and I saw 3 in flight. We moved up the road and I located them again and this time 2 flew off and 2 stayed. These also took off and we turned around and found them closes, about 100m and feeding towards the road. They eventually flew further away and we left. Not often that you seen 4 Burchells Courser on one day. All I need now to find is a nest and chick---dream on!

Some other birds were:
Rock and Greater Kestrels, Jackal Buzzard, Black Harrier, and Pale Chanting Goshawk, Fairy Flycatcher, Layard’s and Chestnut-vented Tit-babblers, Cape, White-throated and Yellow Canaries, Mountain, Karoo, Sickle-winged and Tractrac Chats, Acacia Pied Barbet, Grey-backed Cisticola, Namaqua and Karoo Prinias, Southern Grey Tit, Three-banded Plover, Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Karoo Korhaan and Ludwig’s Bustard, Karoo, Large-billed and Red-capped Larks, Chat-flycatcher and of course Rufous-eared Warbler and Karoo Eremomela. On the way home 3 Spotted Eagle Owls, no not Capes, we checked!

A total of 53 birds whilst not stopping much to bird en route, but still not too bad for a winter’s day in the Tanqua!

Happy Birding,
Brian Vanderwalt