Samson Mulaudzi

Professional Birding Guide in the Soutpansberg and Venda area

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Mapungubwe and Kruger Park Pafur-Punda Birding Trip report

I had a superb guided 6 days  birding tour from 4th to the 9th of December with my clients from United States Michael and Erica in the Soutpansberg,Mapungubwe and Kruger Park,Pafuri and Punda Maria. Day 1 I met my clients in Makhado/Louis Trichardt at Cuckoo’s nest Guest House.That afternoon I took them birding around to […]

I had a superb guided 6 days  birding tour from 4th to the 9th of December with my clients from United States Michael and Erica in the Soutpansberg,Mapungubwe and Kruger Park,Pafuri and Punda Maria.

Day 1 I met my clients in Makhado/Louis Trichardt at Cuckoo’s nest Guest House.That afternoon I took them birding around to the dams  and we had a lovely late afternoon birding from Muirhead dams and Luvuvhu River.My clients lifers and special birds was a single female  African Finfoot,a pair of African Pygmy Goose,White Backed Ducks,Golden Weaver,Horus Swift.

Day 2 we had a lovely morning walk at Roodewal forest.Our target bird was African Broadbill.We had some nice birds along the trail such a both  Scaly-Throated Honeyguide and Lesser honeyguide,Swee Waxbill collecting nest materials,Crowned Eagle  with chick on the nest.We finally got a single male African Broadbill displaying towards the end of the trail.We left Cuckoo’s nest in the afternoon and heading to our next destination at Mapungubwe National park.It was a very hot day about 41 degrees recorded.As soon as we enter the  park we started birding heading towards Mazhou camp site and Limpopo Forest Tent Camp.

We had a great sightings of a single Great Spotted Cuckoo in the heat of the day.We also stopped at one of the small pool along the road to the camp.We had some waders including Wood Sandpipers,Three-Banded Plovers,Egyptian Goose,European Bee Eaters as well.

 

We settle in at the camp and that afternoon we went to Maloutswa Bird Hide and birding was great as well.We saw a lot of water birds and the highlights was a single Pearl-Spotted Owlet we flashed  just on the entrance of the hide.A flock of Southern Carmine Bee-Eater flying around.Other birds Knob-Billed Duck,Little Egret,Black Winged Stilt,Hottentot Teal,Woodland Kingfishers,Marsh Sandpiper,Common Sandpiper,Ruff.Along the open area towards the camp we stopped and we tick some few flocks of Chestnut-Backed Sparrow-Lark,Capped Wheatear,Sabota Larks,Red-Capped Larks and many more.There was an activity of birds along the way to the camp as the day is cooling off for sunset.We had a perching Shikra and a flying African Goshawk.There was an activity of birds around the camp.We got a lot of Woodland Kingfishers,Meves’s Starlings,Green Woodhoopoe,Yellow Billed Hornbill,African Grey Hornbills.We had an African Scops Owl calling non stop through out the night and of the early hours in the morning.

 

On Day 3 first thing early morning we drove to the eastern side of the park.Shashe river and Limpopo River was dry with some small patches of water.Our first stop was Treetop walk which produced some special birds.We had some couple of Spoonbills and Blacksmith Lapwings around the river.We had a good sightings of Broadbilled Rollers,African Morning Dove,Bearded Woodpeckers,Violet Backed Starling.Some White Backed Vultures together with a single Martial Eagle.

Our next stop was Confluence viewpoints  in the heat of the day.Around the picnic site we got a pair of Mocking Cliff-Chat,Familiar Chat,Rock Martin,White Browed Scrub Robin.

We headed down towards Limpopo river and on our way we stop at one of the water  pool.We scanned under the trees around and to our delight we got a single Greater Painted Snipe,Green Sandpiper,Green backed Heron,Little Stint,Common Sandpiper,Pied Kingfisher.At the main road towards the western side we saw a single African hawk Eagle being harassed by a pair of Pale Chanting Goshawk.A single Black Chested Snake-Eagle and Brown Snake Eagle.

 

On day 4 we left Mapungubwe to Kruger park,Pafuri and Crooks Corner.Our first stop was Luvuvhu River.We did some birding between Pafuri gate and the bridge. We pick up some nice birds along the way.We got a nice sighting of Stierling’s Wren-Warbler,a glimpse of Arnot’s Chat.White Crested Helmetshrike.We also stop at a big Baobab tree and we had a good look on the pair of Mosque Swallow that seems to be breeding there.While driving towards the bridge to our surprise we had a single Senegal Coucal calling next to the road.We had a good sightings of it for long time.We left the bridge and drive to Punda Maria Camp.

 

Day 5 early morning we left Punda Maria  to Luvuvhu River,Pafuri Picnic site and Crooks’s Corner.Our first stop was Luvuvhu River and we had a great sightings of birds .At the bridge we got one of our target birds Böhm's Spinetail.Other birds Green Capped Eremomela,White Crowned Lapwing,Crowned Hornbill.Woolly-Necked Stork,Levaillant’s Cuckoo.Woodland Kingfisher .We stop at the Picnic site for lunch and quickly headed towards Crooks Corner.Driving around the loops produced some lovely sightings not only birds but a single Leopard on the branch of a tree.Other birds  include Trumpeter Hornbill feeding the chicks,Retz’s Helmetshrike,Black Heron,Fish Eagle,Meves’s Starling,Bataleur,Ground Hornbill,Yellow-Billed Stork,African Green Pigeon and Great Egret.

At Crooks’s Corner we got some few birds a flock of Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eaters flying around.More White Crowned Lapwing,Juvenile Martial Eagle,Pied Kingfisher.We left Crooks’s Corner and heading to Punda Maria camp and what a day to finish to see  a single Eastern Nicator at the camp calling.

 

Day 6 early morning despite some drizzling we did Mahonie Loop for the morning.We got birds like Meves’s Starling,Eurasian Hobby,Brown Headed Parrot,Brubru,Crested Francolin,Marabou Stork,both Black Crowned and Brown crowned Tchagra,Violet Backed Starlings,Black headed Oriole,Spotted Flycatcher and many more.

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