Tuesday, 11 October 2011

charlie adds

Adriaan has just reminded me that in the last week the Grey-headed Parrots have started regularly flying overhead and stopping at Shamvura Camp and surrounds on their daily fly-over on their way to feed on fruits in Angola, we had 8 at Combretum site yesterday morning.  They fly through/over us twice a day as they roost South of us at night!

Charlie says

Shoo its been quite a week, Adriaans family visited after a mammoth journey from Uniondale in South Africa and had a great time, he was able to show them Sharp-tailed Starlings and Souza's Shrikes, his Dad also managed to catch a Shamvura Tiger fish.  Ethan (Nomadic Birder) moved on to Sitwa on the Kwando River to start some training with Conservancy bird guides for IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation).  We also had the Bassi-Hanssen family visit for 2 days from Okonjima, Rosalee, Luigi and their 3 kids.  They experienced their first hippos and crocodiles, enjoyed the river and caught a wide range of different fish, all catch and release except for 1 a Pink Happy which we prepared as a starter for dinner.

The Paradise Flycatchers arrived during last week always a sign to us that summer is really well on its way........this has been confirmed by the Manketti trees starting to leaf in the garden always welcome as we head into the hot dry October and November months.

Mark prepared his own power point presentation (a first and a milestone for him) normally Charlie prepares them from information he gives her.  This was a presentation that he gave to the OKACOM (Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission) Biodiversity Task Force holding a 3 day meeting at the Fisheries Institute at Divundu.  Mark leads OkBMC (Okavango Basin Management Committee) Biodiversity and Environment working group here in the Kavango Region. The presentation went really well and although he was given only 20 minutes the discussion went on for 2 hours.  The main aim was for the BDW to gain collaboration with particularly Angola for their planned monitoring programme at the 8 Biodiversity hotspots or areas of interest along the Namibian stretch of the Okavango River.  So all in all its been a WOOHOO week at Shamvura Camp!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Charlie adds

Mark has been working really hard on forming an Association for the Kavango Open African Route, this falls under the Open Africa project which offers a free website for any tourism enterprise in the Kavango Region, they have 3 other routes they promote 2 in the south and of course the Caprivi Wetland Paradise route.  He has arranged posters, t-shirts and sign-boards with the 5 indicator species (Tiger fish, African Skimmer, Grey-headed Parrot, Kiaat/Teak tree (Pterocarpus angolensis) www.openafrica.org/route/Kavango-Open-Africa-Experience

Charlie says

We have had an interesting mix of folks visiting since the 17th September starting with the Biodiversity and Environmental working group under the Okavango Basin Management Committee, who funded the actual 2 day meeting while SAREP (Southern African Regional Environmental Programme) where we hosted Traditional Authority leaders, local school teachers and pupils, local community, conservancy members,  line Ministries and merged them with experts from Fisheries, Insects and Invertebrates as we thrashed out the indicator species and criteria to implement for monitoring the Cuito/Okavango floodplain as an environmental area of interest.  The group is led by Mark Paxton and we hosted a total of 22 participants, lots of food, water, drinks and stuff going on over that weekend, was productive and fun.

Then end of August through to mid-January is our sub-tropical birding season so we have had a range of birding groups come through including the heavy-weights like Tropical birding, but also the smaller more focused folks looking to add to their lifer list.  Mark does the speicialist guided woodland walks and looks for "hotties" like Souza's Shrike (his specialist bird), Sharp-tailed Starlings, Rufous-bellied Tits, Wood Pipit, Arnotts Chat and Racket-tailed Roller.  (I am not the birder so this is by no means a complete list).  Adriaan Stander our eco-training student does the boat-trips for birding, fishing and good old sundowners....has had a range of birds some of which are also exciting sightings, the African Skimmers are regular now, the Carmine Bee-eaters are nesting.  ( Ethan has gone out with him and 2 guests Emlyn and Elizabeth Horne, who are on their second visit to Shamvura Camp).  So I will ask Ethan to list the sightings from the river over the last few weeks!

Fishing has been exciting as well...Adriaan had the crazy Finish dudes, who were quite wild 70yr olds who stripped down naked, skinny dipped and then fished off the river sandbank in nothing but their birthday suites.  Gavin and Sally Marlton were here for a few days and he had some good fishing, Pink Bream, Nyembwe, Barbel and Tigers...will have to ask Adriaan to add to this list.

In between we intervened seemingly successfully in an attempted Sitatunga poaching incident and 2 of the Sitatunga swam over and sheltered on Shamvura Camp side within our fence lines...makes one wonder, do they just know its safe here?  Ministry of Environment got here 24hrs after being called and are doing an investigation.  The hippo family has grown and is now split into 2 groups with one of them also sheltering on our immediate floodplain.  Adriaan has to sneak the boat in and out of the channel right under their noses...they do seem to know our boat and do not bother us fortunately....

We also had "Plant Phile"(Thomas Danielle, Maria and Marius)  here who are doing research into indigenous plants with a view to creating sustainable income from marketing useful plants at a local level.  We also had Dawid and Cori here from The Nature Conservancies an organization similar to WWF which was very interesting.

On the home front Bokkie Spitbraai our castrated housegoat is STILL living with us and sleeps in the bedroom along with the dogs, Mark and I.  Adriaan and Ethan rescued another small lamb recently who they called Lucy but for once Mark and I were in total agreement and said NO RETURN TO THE COMMUNITY IMMEDIATELY.

That is it for now will ask the dudes to add their sightings soon!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Recent birding with Tropical Birding

Ethan Kistler writes:

The Tropical Birding group left Shamvura this morning on their way to Mahango Game Reserve. I tagged along while they birded the area and wrote a quick report on what we had - click the following link to read my blog post (Nomadic Birder blog)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Tropical Birding

Charlie Paxton writes:

Tropical Birding arrives today, Jerry Connolly group, Jerry was at Shamvura with Tropical Birding last year and is coming again next year, we love regulars!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Shamvura Camp - Bird List

Ethan Kistler writes:

For birders that are interested in the birds of Shamvura Camp, here is the complete list of species recorded in the area compiled by Mark Paxton. The list currently stands at 429 species.

Black-necked Grebe
Little Grebe (Dabchick)
Great (Eastern) White Pelican
Pink-backed Pelican
Reed Cormorant
African Darter
Grey Heron
Black-headed Heron
Goliath Heron
Purple Heron
Great (White) Egret
Little Egret
Yellow-billed Egret
Black Heron (Egret)
Slaty Egret
Cattle Egret
(Common) Squacco Heron
Green-backed Heron
Rufous-bellied Heron
Black-crowned Night-heron
White-backed Night-heron
Little Bittern
Dwarf Bittern
White Stork
Abdin's Stork
Wooly-necked Stork
African Openbill (Openbilled Stork)
Saddle-billed Stork
Marabou Stork
Yellow-billed Stork
Booted eagle
African Hawk-eagle
Ayres  Hawk-eagle
Long-crested Eagle
Martial Eagle
Brown Snake Eagle
Black-chested (Black-breasted) Snake Eagle
Western Banded Snake Eagle
African Fish Eagle
Steppe Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Lizard Buzzard
Ovambo Sparrowhawk (Rare Melanistic form)
Ovambo Sparrowhawk
Little Sparrowhawk
Black Sparrowhawk
Shikra (Little Banded Goshawk)
African Goshawk
Gabar Goshawk
Southern Pale Chanting Goswhawk
Dark Chanting Goshawk
Eurasian (European) Marsh Harrier
African Marsh-harrier
Montagu's Harrier
Pallid Harrier
African Harrier-hawk (Gymnogene)
Peregrine Falcon
Lanner Falcon
Eurasian (European) Hobby
African Hobby
Sooty Falcon
Red necked Falcon
(Western) Red-footed Falcon
Caspian Plover
American Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Crowned Lapwing (Plover)
Blacksmith Lapwing (Plover)
African Wattled Lapwing (Plover)
Long-toed Lapwing (Plover)
Ruddy Turnstone
Terek Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Curlew Sandpiper
Little Stint
Great Snipe
African (Ethiopian) Snipe
Black-tailed Godwit
Eurasian Curlew
Pied Avocet
Black-winged Stilt
Spotted Thick-knee (Dikkop)
Water Thick-knee (Dikkop)
Temminck's Courser
Bronze-winged Courser
Collared (Redwinged) Pratincole
Black-winged Pratincole
Rock Pratincole
Grey-headed Gull
Whiskered Tern
White-winged Tern
African Skimmer
European Nightjar
Fiery-necked Nightjar
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar
Swamp (Natal) Nightjar
Square-tailed (Mozambique) Nightjar
Pennant-winged Nightjar
Common (European) Swift
Little Swift
African Palm-swift
Red-faced Mousebird
Pied Kingfisher
Gaint Kingfisher
Half-collared Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
African Pygmy-kingfisher
Woodland Kingfisher
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Grey-headed (Greyhooded) Kingfisher
Striped Kingfisher
European Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
White-fronted Bee-eater
Little Bee-eater
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
European Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller
Racket-tailed Roller
Purple Roller
Broad-billed Roller
African Hoopoe
Green (Redbilled) Wood-hoopoe
Violet Wood-hoopoe
Common (Greater) Scimitarbill
African Grey Hornbill
Sand Martin
Brown-throated Martin
Banded Martin
Black Cuckooshrike
White-breasted Cuckooshrike
Fork-tailed Drongo
Eurasian (European) Golden Oriole
African Golden Oriole
Black-headed (Eastern) Oriole
Pied Crow
Ashy Tit
Southern Black Tit
Rufous-bellied Tit
Grey Penduline-tit
Arrow-marked Babbler
Black-faced Babbler
Hartlaub's Babbler (White-rumped)
African Red-eyed Bulbul
Dark-capped (Black-eyed) Bulbul
Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul)
(African) Yellow-bellied Greenbul (Bulbul)
Kurrichane Thrush
Groundscraper Thrush
Capped Wheatear
Familiar Chat
Arnott's (Arnot's) Chat
African (Common) Stonechat
White-browed Robin-chat (Heuglin's Robin)
Collared Palm Thrush
Thrush Nightingale
White-browed Scrub Robin (Robin)
Yellow-billed stork
Garden Warbler
Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler
Icterine Warbler
African Paradise Flycatcher
African Pied Wagtail
Cape Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail
African (Grassveld) Pipit
Plain-backed Pipit
Buffy Pipit
Tree Pipit
Rosy-throated (Pinkthroated) Longclaw
Lesser Grey Shrike
Red-backed Shrike
Souza's Shrike
Magpie (African Longtailed) Shrike
Swamp Boubou
Crimson-breasted Shrike
Black-backed Puffback
Brown-crowned (Threestreaked) Tchagra
Orange-breasted Bush-shrike
White-crested (White) Helmet-shrike
Retz's (Redbilled) Helmet Shrike
Southern White-crowned Shrike
Wattled Starling
Violet-backed (Plumb coloured ) Starling
Burchell's Starling
Meve's (Longtailed) Starling
Cape Glossy Starling
Greater Blue-eared Starling
Miombo  (Southern Lesser) Blue-eared Starling
Sharp-tailed Starling
Red-billed Oxpecker
Copper (Coppery) Sunbird
Marico Sunbird
Purple-banded Sunbird
Shelley's sunbird
Orange-breasted Waxbill
Cut-throat Finch
Bronze Mannekin
Pin-tailed Whydah
Shaft-tailed Whydah
Long-tailed (Eastern) Paradise Whydah
Village Indigobird (Steelblue Widowfinch)
Yellow-fronted (Yelloweyed) Canary
Black-throated Canary
Yellow Canary
Golden-breasted Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
African Sacred Ibis
Glossy Ibis
African Spoonbill
White-faced Duck
Fulvous Duck
White-backed Duck
Egyptian Goose
Yellow-billed Duck
African Black Duck
Cape Teal
Hottentot Teal
Red-billed Teal
Southern Pochard
African Pygmy-goose
Comb (Knob-billed) Duck
Spur-winged Goose
Maccoa Duck
Hooded vulture
(African) White-backed Vulture
Lappet-faced Vulture
White-headed Vulture
Yellow-billed kite
Black kite
Black-shouldered Kite
African Cuckoo Hawk
Bat Hawk
European Honey-buzzard
Tawny Eagle
Steppe Eagle
Lesser Spotted Eagle
Wahlbergs Eagle
Amur (Eastern Red-footed) Falcon
Rock Kestrel
Greater Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel
Dickenson's Kestrel
Coqui Francolin
Crested Francolin
Red-billed Francolin
Swainson's Spurfowl (Francolin)
Common Quail
Helmeted Guineafowl
Small (Kurrichane) Buttonquail
Wattled Crane
African Rail
Corn Crake
African Crake
Black Crake
Spotted Crake
Baillon's Crake
Streaky-breasted Flufftail
African Purple Swamphen (Purple Gallinule)
Allen's (Lesser) Gallinule
Common Moorhen
Lesser Moorhen
Red knobbed Coot
Red-crested Korhaan
Black-bellied Bustard (Korhaan)
Northern Black Korhaan
African Jacana
Lesser Jacana
Greater Painted-snipe
Common Ringed Plover
White-fronted Plover
Kittlitz's Plover
Three-banded Plover
Burchells Sandgrouse
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)
Red-eyed Dove
African Mourning Dove
Cape Turtle-dove
Laughing Dove
Namaqua Dove
Emerald-spotted (Greenspotted) Wood-dove
African Green Pigeon
Grey-headed Parrot
Meyers Parrot
Grey Go-away Bird (Lourie)
Common (European) Cuckoo
African Cuckoo
Red-chested Cuckoo
Black Cuckoo (Rare rufous barred morph)
Black Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Levaillant's (Striped) Cuckoo
Jacobin Cuckoo
Thick-billed Cuckoo
Klaas's Cuckoo
Diderick (Diederick) Cuckoo
Coppery-tailed Coucal
Senegal Coucal
White-browed Coucal
Barn Owl
African Wood-owl
Marsh Owl
African Scops-owl
Southern White-faced Scops-owl
Pearl-spotted Owlet
African Barred Owlet
Spotted Eagle Owl
Spotted Eagle Owl (rare rufous morph)
Red-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Bradfield's Hornbill
Black-collared Barbet
Acacia Pied Barbet
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (Tinker Barbet)
Crested Barbet
Greater Honeyguide
Lesser Honeyguide
Green-back Honeybird (Slender-billed HG)
Brown-backed Honeybird (Sharpbilled Honeyguide)
Bennets Woodpecker
Golden Tailed Woodpecker
Cardinal Woodpecker
Bearded Woodpecker
Rufous-naped Lark
Flapped Lark
Fawn-coloured Lark
Sabota Lark
Dusky Lark
Red-capped Lark
Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark (Finchlark)
Barn (European) Swallow
Angola Swallow
White-throated Swallow
Wire-tailed Swallow
Pearl-breasted Swallow
Red-breasted Swallow
Mosque Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow
Lesser Striped Swallow
Rock Martin
Common House-martin
Grey-rumped Swallow
River Warbler
Great Reed Warbler
Eurasian (European) Reed-warbler
African (Marsh) Reed-warbler
(European) Marsh-warbler
(European) Sedge-warbler
(Cape Reed) Lesser Swamp-warbler
Greater Swamp-warbler
(African Sedge) Little Rush-warbler
Willow Warbler
Yellow-breasted Apalis
Red-faced Crombec
Long-billed Crombec
Yellow-bellied Eremomela
Green-capped Eremomela
Grey-backed camaroptera(Bleating warbler)
African (Barred) Wren-warbler
Zitting (Fantailed) Cisticola
Desert Cisticola
Tinkling Cisticola
Rattling Cisticola
Luapula (Blackbacked) Cisticola
Chirping cisticola
Tawny-flanked Prinia
Black-chested Prinia
Spotted Flycatcher
Ashy (Bluegrey) Flycatcher
Collared Flycatcher
Grey Tit-flychatcher (fantailed Flycatcher)
Southern Black flycatcher
Marico flycatcher
Pale (Mousecoloured) Flycatcher
Chat Flycatcher
Chinspot Batis
White-bellied Sunbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Amethyst (African Black) Sunbird
Collared Sunbird
African Yellow White-eye
Red-billed Buffalo-weaver
White-browed Sparrow-weaver
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
(African) Yellow-throated Petronia (Sparrow)
Scaly-feathered Finch
Thick-billed Weaver
Spectacled Weaver
Village (Spotted-backed) Weaver
Southern Masked-weaver
Lesser Masked-weaver
Golden Weaver
Southern Brown-throated Weaver
Red-headed Weaver
Cuckoo Finch
Red-billed Quelea
Cardinal Quelea
Southern Red Bishop
Yellow-crowned (Golden) Bishop
Fan-tailed Widowbird (Redshouldered Widow)
White-winged Widowbird (Widow)
Orange-winged (Goldenbacked) Pytilia
Green-winged Pytilia (Melba Finch)
Jameson's Firefinch
Red-billed Firefinch
Brown Firefinch
Blue Waxbill
Violet-eared Waxbill
Common Waxbill
Black-faced (Blackcheeked) Waxbill
African Quailfinch
Wood Pipit