From the middle of January until the end of February is the peak time for birding in the Pafuri area. Right now most birds are rearing their young. It is a vulnerable time for them as many raptors prey on the helpless fledglings. Bird parties occur regularly, while insect populations are still high, with plentiful
sightings of Rollers, Hornbills and Shrikes.
By February, all the migrants are settled, the breeding birds are in full plumage and fledglings are beginning to mature. Food is abundant with Sunbirds conspicuous in flowering trees and shrubs. The reed beds are alive with the sound of Bishops, Widow-birds and Weavers and the raptors are particularly active.*
Pafuri River Camp is right next to all this activity. In addition to all our own specials, we are just over 20 kilometres from the Luvuvhu River Bridge and the River Drive, as well as the Pafuri Picnic Site, an area described in SA Birdfinder as "arguably the most exciting birding in Kruger".
*Information from Prime Origins Kruger Birding Calendar
Special offer for All Bird Lovers
To help you make the most of this exciting birding period, Pafuri River Camp is offering a 15% discount on all our standard rates up to the end of February 2012.
Refer to this newsletter to claim your discount.
Bird of the Month - January 2012:
Birders visiting Pafuri River Camp during the New Year period were thrilled to find a pair of Black-throated Wattle-eyes building a nest just below our main camp near the beginning of our River Walk. Even for some experienced birders, this was a 'lifer'.
(*previously the Wattle-eyed Flycatcher)
Birders of the Month - January 2012:
Johan de Beer Team
Members of this team of birders have been very successful during Birdlife SA's Birding Big Days for more than a decade. (From left to right) Hennie de Beer, Johan de Beer (Jnr), Hansie van Rooyen and Johan de Beer (Snr)
Johan de Beer's experienced team of birders camped for four days at Pafuri River Camp early in January 2012. By birding mainly in our camp grounds, as well as visiting nearby birding hotspots, they identified and listed 198 different bird species during their stay here. They 'got' two of the Kruger Big Six (Lappet-faced Vulture & Martial Eagle), three of the four birds in the Far North Challenge (Crested Guineafowl, Yellow-billed Oxpecker & Broad-billed Roller) and around 40 regional specials.
These specials included Tropical Boubou, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike (as well as Grey-headed and Orange-breasted), Lemon-breasted Canary (and Yellow-fronted), Red-faced Cisticola (and Rattling), Burnt-necked and Green-capped Eremomelas (plus Yellow-bellied), Lanner & Peregrine Falcons, African Finfoot, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher (together with African dusky, African Paradise-, Ashy, Marico, Southern Black & Spotted), African Cuckoo Hawk (& African Harrier-), Retz's and White-crested Helmet Shrikes, Scaly-throated Honeyguide (plus Brown-backed & Greater), Crowned Hornbill (as well as African Grey & Southern Yellow-billed), Village Indigobird, Dusky Lark (and Fawn-coloured),Yellow-billed Kite (plus Black and Black-shoulded), Eastern Nicator, Pennant-winged Nightjar (as well as Fiery-necked, Freckled & Square-tailed), Grey-headed Parrot (and Brown-headed), White-Browed Robin-Chat (and Red-capped), Meve's Starling As well as Voilet-backed and Cape Glossy), Alpine, African Palm-, Horus, Little and White-rumped Swifts, Southern Black Tit, Narina Trogon, Purple-crested Turaco, Pink-throated Twinspot (and Green), White-backed Vulture, and Black-throated Wattle-eye.
In addition to Pafuri River Camp, the team also birded along the Luvuvhu River, at Golwe Picnic Site and in Makuya Park. Johan (Jnr) took some exceptional photographs of most of the special birds.