Wednesday, 26 December 2012

042 | NAMIBIA GUTENACHTGESCHICHTE

42
VOGELLEBEN IN NAMIBIA FÜR JUGENDLICHE 

Gregor, der Graulärmvogel 

Fotos und Text von Stefan Rust 2012 

Diese Geschichte widme ich meiner lieben und tapferen Tochter LENI.

(In terms of the Geneva Convention the copyright of these texts belong to Stefan Rust) 

“Krekrekrekre” oder “kwääh-kwääh-kwääh”. So begrüße und warne ich meine Freunde. Ich bin Gregor, der Graulärmvogel, ein grauer pfefferfressergroßer Landvogel.

Wenn Du Dich erinnerst, dann hast Du mich bestimmt im Garten in den früchte- und knospentragenden Bäumen schon mal gesehen oder wenigstens gehört. Die meisten Menschen kennen mich wegen meinem eigenartigen Ruf. Oft schreie ich lauthals „kwäääh“. Warum fragst Du Dich? Okay, das muss ich Dir erklären. Also pass auf! Ich benutze diesen Ruf wegen zweierlei Gründe: Indem ich so rufe, bleibe ich in Verbindung mit meiner Partnerin. Ich befinde mich manchmal in dichtem Blattwerk der Bäume zur Nahrungssuche und bin deshalb ziemlich versteckt. Also rufe ich von Zeit zu Zeit und dann weiß meine Partnerin wo ich bin. Meistens antwortet sie auch so dass ich weiß wo sie sich befindet. Dann gibt es noch einen zweiten Grund weshalb ich schreie. Nämlich um meine Freunde, die Tiere, meistens Antilopen und andere Vögel, vor Feinden zu warnen. Entdecke ich einen Feind der Gefahr bedeutet, so begebe ich mich rasch auf einen Baum und rufe, vielleicht ist schreien eine passendere Bezeichnung, lauthals „kwäääh-kwäääh-kwäääh!“ Meine Freunde kennen meinen Warnruf schon und flüchten so schnell sie können. 
Und jetzt kommt etwas Lustiges. Die Englisch sprechenden Leute von euch Menschen haben meinen Warnruf in ihre Sprache übersetzt und daher habe ich meinen englischen Namen: Go-Away-Bird. Sie sind der Meinung mein Ruf höre sich an wie „Geh weg Vogel“.

Übrigens, hast Du gewusst, dass die San Buschmänner mich nicht sehr mochten? Das war damals, als die Buschmänner noch mit Pfeil und Bogen bewaffnet auf Jagd gingen. Während sie auf Pirsch waren entdeckte ich sie mit meinen guten Augen und weil ich von Natur aus ein neugieriger Vogel bin, begleitete ich sie in sicherer Entfernung indem ich von Baum zu Baum flog. Entdeckten die Jäger eine Antilope, bewegten sie sich ganz langsam und vorsichtig. Ich wurde dabei unruhig und aufgeregt und schrie „kwäääh“ worauf die Antilope aufgeschreckt davonlief. Ihr könnt sicher verstehen dass die Buschmannjäger mit mir böse waren und sie schimpften: „Geh weg Vogel“. Einige Engländer behaupten dass ich deswegen Go-Away-Bird (Geh-weg-Vogel) heiße.
Ansonsten bin ich aber ein ganz normaler Vogel. Meine Federn sind grau, habe dunkle Augen, lange Schwanzfedern und wenn ich aufgeregt bin dann stelle ich meine Kopffedern aufrecht. Ihr Menschen habt mir deshalb den Spitznamen „Kakadu“ gegeben. Meinen Papageienschnabel habe ich, um Früchte und Beeren fressen zu können.

Beobachtet man mich einmal richtig, vielleicht mit einem Fernglas, dann seht ihr, dass ich ein schöner Vogel bin. Deshalb habe ich ein Recht zu leben und verjagt mich bitte nicht. 

Es grüßt Dich Gregor,

der Graulärmvogel

Monday, 24 December 2012

041 | CHRISTMAS PARTY ONTOUR BIRDLIFE REPORT

41
Dear birding friends, 

as birdwatching is a relatively new and one of the fastest growing and a most popular pursuit, it attracts people of all ages around the world. There can hardly be a better place than southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa) to nurture an interest in birds as it supports almost 1000 bird species, which is about 10 per cent of the world's entire bird. Taking birding to new heights Hobby-Ornithologist Stefan Rust represents some of the ontour bird sightings to showcase the fun of birding, promote citizen science, highlight conservation, indicate where to view what birds and raise awareness of southern Africa's (sometimes international) birds and their habitats. 

Christmas Party Ontour Birdlife Report (Namibia) 

Personal Highlights: LANNER FALCON, WHITE-TAILED SHRIKE, VIOLET-BACKED STARLING, BOKMAKIERIE 

Have a quick look if your site is included in this scientific informational work (alphabetically arranged): - Daan Viljoen N.P. 
- Finkenstein (Farm) 
- Gauchas (Farm) 
- Hoodia Desert Lodge 
- Kalkrand 
- Namib Desert Lodge 
- Onjala Lodge 
- Remhoogte Paß (Naukluft Mountains) 
- Seeis - Solitaire Guest Farm 
- Sonnleiten (Farm) 
- Voigtskirch (Farm) 
- Windhoek 
- Zebra River Lodge 

06.12.'12   Windhoek, Von Falkenhausen Str.   Southern Red Bishop (1)   This male has completed pre-breeding moult and it will be interesting when breeding starts. I assume before January and if so it will be earlier as what Roberts V11 mentions for Namibia. 

07.12.'12   Windhoek sports field, Pionierspark   Egyptian Goose (10)   Landowners welcome these useful animals because not are they only free of charge grazers (lawnmowers) but keep they the greens free from disturbing invertebrates, eg ants, termites, caterpillars, moths, crickets and beetles. Originally these animals were restricted to flood plains and bigger rivers accompanied by broad sandbanks. 

07.12.'12   Rehoboth   Purple Roller (1)   Although considered as the least common Roller in our area, he was seen unusually often during this tour. They might have been birds on passage, although peak abundance is recorded for March - April and September - October. November - January is considered as the lowest record season. 

07.12.'12   Zebra River Lodge   Mountain Wheatear (1 Juv.)   Having nesting Mountain Wheatears in your garden, one seldom will find the Common Fiscal in the neighborhood. These birds defend the small area around their nest against Common Fiscal. 

07.12.'12   Zebra River Lodge   Rosy-faced Lovebird (13)   Bird-friendly artificial water points on Zebra River Lodge help this noisy and gregarious species to increase in population in this arid surrounding. This Lodge is a superb place to study the Rosy-faced Lovebird. 

08.12.'12   Zebra River Lodge   White-tailed Shrike (1)   For travelers into this area, this is the most southern place where to find this near-endemic Namibian bird.

08.12.'12   Hoodia Desert Lodge   Rüppell's Korhaan (3)   This Lodge offers perfect opportunities to view this uncommon to locally common bird, classified as near-endemic to western Namibia, with its flat gravel plains (the optimum habitat for this bird). 

08.12.'12   Namib Desert Lodge   Lanner Falcon (1)   Classified as near-threatened in South Africa. It might well be possible that there are chicks on the Namib Desert Lodge park ground because this would be the time for having juveniles. The positive conservation efforts of the Gondwana group at NDL and its surrounding might as well be of advantage to the Lanner Falcon. 

09.12.'12   Namib Desert Lodge   African Hoopoe (1)   This Lodge is probably the most western chance of seeing the African Hoopoe close to the Namib Naukluft Park. It definitely profits from the bird-friendly garden of the lodge. 

09.12.'12   Solitaire Guest Farm   Lappet-faced Vulture (3)   It is of utmost importance that neighboring setups to the Namib Naukluft Park cooperate with the Lappet-faced Vulture conservation efforts, because worldwide there exist estimated only 8 500 birds. All over southern Africa only 3 000 and in the Namib Naukluft Park ±40-50 breeding pairs. Nonetheless these massive birds are an important tourist attraction and guests are always overwhelmed the moment they get a good chance of seeing and photographing these impressive animals. 

09.12.'12   Remhoogte Paß   Violet-backed Starling (1)   Surely this stunning looking bird takes advantage of the currently fruiting Shepherds Tree in this area.

09.12.'12   Remhoogte Paß   Purple Roller (4)   Although considered as the least common Roller in our area, he was seen unusually often during this tour. They might have been birds on passage, although peak abundance is recorded for March - April and September - October. November - January is considered as the lowest record season. 

09.12.'12   Remhoogte Paß   Hamerkop (6)   It has a unique ritual pairing display called False-mounting in which one bird gets onto the back of another bird giving idea as for copulating but instead standing there calling and beating its wings. Making its partner of choice jealous? 

10.12.'12   Windhoek, Von Falkenhausen Str.   Red-billed Quelea (3)   Breeding moult only now completed 

11.12.'12   Windhoek, church building in Von Falkenhausen Str.   Rock Kestrel (2)   Most probably they are nesting in this man-made cliff. The presence of these Kestrels in cities helps control wild dove populations which tend to become overpopulated because of artificial food resources. 

12.12.'12   Farm Finkenstein   Bokmakierie (1)   This is the first sighting for me of this species in this area. Closer observation will be interesting and it wouldn't be of too much surprise when there will be more records in future because I am aware of previous records of this species in the Bismarck mountain on Farm Sonnleiten.

12.12.'12   Seeis   Red-breasted Swallow (2)   Its range has expanded in southern Africa also because of provision of artificial nest sites through for example culvert construction. That is also the reason why they are seen often alongside roads. 

12.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Lesser Masked-Weaver (1)   This male built its nest with its downward-pointed tunnel entrance in the Southern Masked-Weaver nest colony in a fir tree. They make use of human settlements to expand their distribution and it seems as if it favors colonizing human habitations (farms and other settlements) that are situated alongside riverbeds, even though they are dry riverbeds. 

12.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Verreaux's Eagle-Owl (2)   Although it was afternoon, thus still daytime, this female bird and its juvenile were active because it was a cloudy day. This female and juvenile are the same ones I reported on in an earlier report (see Oryx OnTour Birdlife Report 16. November '12). In that report I did some exciting discoveries on types of food during raising the juvenile. Contact me if you did not receive that report. 

12.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Freckled Nightjar (1)   The Lodge staff is proud of having this bird around. Mainly because one does not find it much further east within Namibia. 

13.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Great Sparrow (2)   Here as well as on other sites observed, they like building their nests far up in cypress trees in gardens. Once the chicks of these sparrow parents hatch, they will have a paradise to live in because the aim of my visit to Onjala Lodge is to establish a wild bird sanctuary in this garden. 

13.12.'12    Onjala Lodge   White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (±48)   On a closer inspection I encountered 20 nest colonies on an area with a size of about 30 hectares which gives an idea of the abundance of this species in this habitat. 

14.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Southern Red Bishop (3)   A fully moulted male into breeding plumage together with two females were the first visitors to the wild bird restaurant in the newly established wild bird sanctuary in the Onjala Lodge garden this morning. Not only is this sanctuary a heaven for wild birds but also a perfect opportunity for wildlife photographers and observers. 

14.12.'12   Voigtskirch   Kori Bustard (1)   Although usually seen on level and fairly open terrain, this bird was seen in a hilly area with dense blackthorn acacia vegetation, which might be an indication of a nesting pair, even though peak laying dates for Namibia are January till February. 

14.12.'12   Voigtskirch - Seeis   Lesser Grey Shrike (5)   For a relative short distance a road count gave a number of five birds within 10 minutes. Main arrivals of summer visitors are taking place. 

15.12.'12   Harmony Centre   Orange River Francolin (8)   Although not threatened, habitat manipulation, maize cultivation and overgrazing and veld mismanagement in general results in a decrease of population. 

16.12.'12   Windhoek   African Paradise-Flycatcher (6)   The population of this colorful summer visitor in Windhoek may be higher than expected. On the same day I identified him in Von Albertsstr. (Pionierspark), Von Falkenhausen Str. (Pionierspark), Burg Str. (Luxury Hill), Lotz Str. (Klein Windhoek) Freynstr. (Klein Windhoek) and in Jeannettestr. (Ludwigsdorf). 

18.12.'12   Kalkrand, 30 Km south   Martial Eagle (1)   Unfortunately is this majestic animal classified in Namibia as endangered. In a country where 42% of its surface is regarded as conservation area, this fact is not a good sign. 

18.12.'12   Kalkrand, 10 Km towards Schlip   African Hawk-Eagle (2)   This largely resident species seems to have its territory around the Kalf river in this area and this explains why there are almost no other raptors in the surrounding because they are aggressive towards other raptors. 

18.12.'12   Farm Gauchas   Scaly-feathered Finch (plenty)   More than once nests were found either finished or even in progress of building only a few centimeters away from wasps' nests. This seems to be more than coincidence and clearly visible the wasps' nests were there before the nests of the birds. Do the finches profit from the wasps functioning as protectors of predators? 

19.12.'12   Farm Gauchas   Barn Owl (2)   Since the end of 2011 this farm is managed environment-friendly under the practices of Holistic Management and a regular count in bird species and population numbers is done since then. It is overwhelming what positive changes have occurred. Finally Barn Owls came in and clearly they profit for example of high population of the Scaly-feathered Finch. The practice of Holistic Management means to set a goal and striving for healthy soil, plants and animal communities that in return are important for the survival and well-being of the human race. 

19.12.'12   Farm Gauchas   Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (3)   Although this bird is "nothing special", it becomes something special and worth writing about the moment it acts as an indicator of the wealth or positive change towards a progression in the wealth of a certain habitat, in this case of Farm Gauchas. Prior to the purchase of this farm at the end of 2011 by the owner, beehives for example were destroyed wherever found, wasp nests the same and obviously these birds preying on these kind of insects didn't find enough food to make a living here. About a year later nature is recovering, bees and wasps are found flying around which in return attracts birds such as Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters and that is good because an increase in variety of animal species is always good news. 

20.12.'12   Daan Viljoen N.P.   Red-billed Teal (±400)   Considered as southern Africa's most abundant duck, about 400 were counted at the Daan Viljoen lake. 

20.12.'12   Daan Viljoen N.P.   Squacco Heron (1)   This bird is not seen too often in central Namibia. 

20.12.'12   Daan Viljoen N.P.   African Jacana (1)   Incubation takes place by male only and on hot days it shades the eggs 84% of the time rather than incubating them. 

20.12.'12   Daan Viljoen N.P.   Orange River Francolin (30)   A fine place to spot this more often heard than seen bird 

20.12.'12   Daan Viljoen N.P.   Egyptian Goose (12)   Four half-grown chicks. The parents often nest in higher objects (trees, windmills etc.) that leads to chicks to jump or slide out of nests within 6 hours of hatching. After they dropped onto ground they are stunned for up to 4 minutes but recover soon. 

22.12.'12   Farm Sonnleiten   Cape Wagtail (2)   This bird enjoys protection in the Zulu, Xhosa, Khoi and San tribes, it appears in their folklore. The Xhosa call him the 'bird of cattle' and 'bird of good fortune'. The Cape Wagtail often uses human structures for nest building. In the Auto Hotel Park & Fly on Farm Sonnleiten one pair nests on top of the roof carrier of a camping vehicle in a bucket. 

23.12.'12   Windhoek, Corner Coetzee- Lardner Burke Str.   Pearl-spotted Owlet (2)   When hunting this small owl (17-21cm) turns its head abruptly to show first its real and then its false face. These interesting observations can be done in the middle of a capitol, right in front of your doorstep. 

23.12.'12   Windhoek, corner Coetzeestr. and Von Falkenhausen Str.   Pied Crow (1)   Seemingly this bird penetrates more often into the city of Windhoek. 

Make use of the holidays and enjoy the fun and challenge of birding, wishing you an exciting festive season with useful birding equipment gifts and a happy New Year, 

Stefan Rust

Please note: Most scientific information has been taken from Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, V11th edition! 

(For more information contact Stefan Rust on +264 (0)81 129 8415 or birdscontour@iway.na)

Saturday, 22 December 2012

040 | OKAVANGO ONTOUR BIRDLIFE REPORT

40
Dear birding friends, 

as birdwatching is a relatively new and one of the fastest growing and a most popular pursuit, it attracts people of all ages around the world. There can hardly be a better place than southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa) to nurture an interest in birds as it supports almost 1000 bird species, which is about 10 per cent of the world's entire bird. Taking birding to new heights Hobby-Ornithologist Stefan Rust represents some of the ontour bird sightings to showcase the fun of birding, promote citizen science, highlight conservation, indicate where to view what birds and raise awareness of southern Africa's (sometimes international) birds and their habitats. 

Okavango Ontour Birdlife Report (Zimbabwe-Botswana-Namibia): Personal Highlights: SOUZA'S SHRIKE, AFRICAN SNIPE, RED-CAPPED ROBIN-CHAT 

22.11.'12   Inbetween Windhoek and Nunda River Lodge   Greater Striped Swallow (plenty)   Perhaps the most often seen bird on todays trip.

22.11.'12   Otjiwarongo, 30km south   Violet-backed Starling (3)   Might have been intra-African migrants. 

22.11.'12   Rundu   Red-billed Oxpecker (1)   One of estimated 1 600 individuals in Caprivi. 

22.11.'12   Inbetween Rundu and Nunda River Lodge   Black Kite (11)   In the V11th Roberts edition of 2005 the Milvus migrans parasitus and the Milvus migrans lineatus were only considered as subspecies to the Black Kite (Milvus migrans migrans). Then in the Roberts Field Guide of 2007 the Black- and Yellow-billed Kite were regarded as two different species, named Milvus migrans and Milvus aegyptius. And to top this the Roberts Geographical Variation published in 2012 distinguishes between Black Kite (Milvus migrans) and Yellow-billed Kite (Milvus aegyptius) and even splits the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) again into two: Namely the Milvus migrans considered as an uncommon non-breeding migrant and Milvus lineatus considered as a rare vagrant. 

22.11.'12   Inbetween Rundu and Nunda River Lodge   Yellow-billed Kite (±130)   Huge flock followed termite emergence after local rain. 

22.11.'12   Inbetween Windhoek and Nunda River Lodge   Steppe Buzzard (5)   Summer arrivals. 

22.11.'12   Nunda River Lodge   Woodland Kingfisher (1)   First summer arrival. As it had rained, he was bathing while touching raindrop-wetted leaves during repeated flights, causing his feathers to become soaked. 

23.11.'12   Inbetween Nunda River Lodge and Katima   Red-backed Shrike (1)   Summer arrival. 

23.11.'12   Inbetween Nunda River Lodge and Katima   Yellow-billed Kite (±40)   Following local rains. 

23.11.'12   Katima Mulilo, 25km west   Souza's Shrike (1)   White wingbar on back erades confusion with similar Red- backed Shrike. This little known bird is considered as a rare resident or seasonal visitor to northern Namibia and this record matches all sightings of single birds in the time from July to November. 

23.11.'12   Inbetween Katima and Ngoma Border Post   Bradfield's Hornbill (1)   Carrying food to nest in tree cavity. Little is known about their breeding. 

23.11.'12   Inbetween Katima and Gorges Lodge (Zim)   Red-billed Oxpecker (12)   On this stretch of road only 2 were seen in Namibia, 7 in Botswana and 3 in Zimbabwe. The reason for this might be that in the parts of Namibia and Zimbabwe that I passed there are mainly only cattle to feed on whereas on Botswanas stretch of road there was a variety of different wild animals that are hosts to this bird. 

23.11.'12   Gorges Lodge (Zimbabwe)   Augur Buzzard (3)   Adults accompanying their Juvenile on its "Learner" flights. In this corner of Zimbabwe this species is not seen often, although at Gorges Lodge there is a territorial couple, ideal to view them from this marvelous Lodge. 

23.11.'12   Gorges Lodge   Verreauxs' Eagle (2)   Although not even registered for this place, there lives a couple. Debbie and Chris, the managers of the Gorges Lodge, offer at least once a day the most spectacular scenes for photographers and observers with their optional Verreauxs' Eagle feeding activity. This is a must for any person with an interest in wildlife traveling to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. 

24.11.'12   Gorges Lodge   Little Sparrowhawk (1)   With an abundance of one pair on 1 400 ha in average, Gorges Lodge can be thankful to show this species on their birdlist. 

24.11.'12   Gorges Lodge   Peregrine Falcon (1)   Hopefully this area will stay as remote as now in future because this species is sensitive to disturbance. Globally one only finds ±40 000 birds and in southern Africa an estimated population of between 800 and 1 200 breeding pairs of this near-threatened species. 

25.11.'12   Victoria Falls, 50km west of Vic.Falls   Southern Ground Hornbill (1)   High human population density and intensive farmig causes a decrease in the Zimbabwe population. 

25.11.'12   Kazungula   White-backed Vulture (18)   In South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho classified as vulnerable. 

25.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   African Fish-Eagle (±11) 5 Juveniles.   Botswana boasts highest abundance of this species of whole southern Africa, mainly in Okavango Delta and rivers in northern Botswana. 

25.11.'12   Kasane dumping site   Marabou Stork (121)   As a cooling mechanism this scavenger excretes urine onto its legs, giving the legs the appearance of being white. 

25.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Reed Cormorant (±28)   Feeding on the emerged termites that fell into the water. 

25.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Long-toed Lapwing (12) 2 newly hatched chicks.   Taking into consideration that 73 % of laying takes place in the time July to September, the timing of these two chicks is out of schedule. 

25.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   African Snipe (1)   Until the 1940s it was regarded as a popular bird to hunt. 

25.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Black-winged Pratincole (±150)   There is uncertainty of the world population size of this high regional conservation concerned species. 

25.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Collared Pratincole (6)   Associated with Black-winged Pratincole. 

25.11.'12   Chobe Safari Lodge   Wire-tailed Swallow (2)   Mud cup nest built under the boat and they even continue nesting while boat is cruising. 

26.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Southern Ground Hornbill (13)   Two Juveniles in group. 

26.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Lesser Grey Shrike (1)   Arrival of summer visitor. 

26.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Hooded Vulture (2)   This species was observed following Wild Dogs for foraging purposes. 

26.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Red-backed Shrike (±250/100 ha)   Although Roberts V11th mentions high arrival rates in north-west of southern Africa and high concentrations in north-east which gives idea of loop migration, I observed plenty of birds during this arrival time in the Chobe N.P. which is situated in the middle of northern part of southern Africa. 

26.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   Yellow-billed Oxpecker (2)   Foraging on Buffalo, associating with Red-billed Oxpeckers, but on different Buffalo in same herd. 

26.11.'12   Chobe N.P.   White-backed Vulture (47)   Although not classified as vulnerable in Botswana, care must be taken of new method of game poachers, who poison Vultures so that their living presence does not give away their tracks of killed game such as elephants. 

26.11.'12   Gweta, 50km east Southern   Ground Hornbill (3)   Southern edge of distribution in Botswana. 

26.11.'12   Planet Baobab   Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver (6)   Males are busy building nest of thorny twigs (serving as protection) in Baobab tree. 

26.11.'12   Planet Baobab   Meyer's Parrot (4)   Classified as endangered. Planet Baobab serves as an ideal habitat for them due to the high Baobab trees on and around its property. 

27.11.'12   Planet Baobab   Spotted Flycatcher (1)   Summer arrival. 

27.11.'12   Mankwe Bush Lodge   Red-billed Hornbill (2)   Forages emerging termites on ground. 

27.11.'12   Mankwe Bush Lodge   Red-capped Robin-Chat (1)   Out of registered distribution. Habitat here is dense undergrowth with sandy soil, near garden of Lodge. He emerged onto a path to forage in last hour of light. Mr. Roux Wessels of the Mankwe Bush Lodge confirmed this first official sighting for Botswana and will gladly assist people that are interested to see this speciality at Mankwe. He will take special care that the bird does not get disturbed because now it is its peak breeding season. 

28.11.'12   Mankwe Bush Lodge   African Cuckoo (1)   From moonrise to moonset he called his song: coo-coo. Repeated many times continuing almost the whole night because it was the night before full moon. 

28.11.'12   Moremi N.P.   Marabou Stork (±350)   Currently they find plenty of food, especially emerging termites. 

28.11.'12   Moremi N.P.   Woolly-necked Stork (130)   Considering the fact that this species is regarded as generally uncommon with an estimated global population of maximum 135 000 birds and with an African population of maximum 100 000, seeing an amount of 130 of these birds together in one flock is an absolute positive record! 

28.11.'12   Mboma Island   African Skimmer (10)   Due to habitat loss this species is classified as endangered in southern Africa. In near proximity of the Mboma Island with its truly African tented Camp is a good spot to view them. Contact me if interested in an article about this species and its conservation matters (in German). 

28.11.'12   Okavango Delta   White Stork (2)   Different to most White Storks in southern Africa these two were observed in the wetland and flood plain of the Okavango Delta. Usually they stay in crop fields and pastures. 

29.11.'12   Okavango Delta   Black Coucal (2)   The foraging behaviour of this generally scarce bird is undescribed and in South Africa it is classified as near- threatened. 

29.11.'12   Moremi N.P.   Wattled Crane (2)   Encountering two birds of this uncommon to rare species can give a person, that is aware of the population number of birds alive in the world, goosebumps. The global population is ±8 000, this is by far less than lions, leopards, cheetahs and similar animals and therefore it is understandable if guests spend more time admiring the Wattled Crane than for example the lion. 

29.11.'12   Moremi N.P.   Levaillant's Cuckoo (1)   Arrival of summer visitor. The mating system of this unobtrusive and secretive species is uncertain. 

29.11.'12   Maun, about 100km west   Common Ostrich (11)   Nine about 20 days old chicks with the male and female alongside road. Hopefully they don't get overrun by speeding vehicles. With an incubation period of ±45 days, the adult birds must have started incubating about beginning of September. 

29.11.'12   Dqae Qare   Fork-tailed Drongo (1)   This bird is known to be kleptoparasitic, meaning it steals food from other birds. I became witness of an incident where a Drongo attacked a Yellow-billed Hornbill, carrying a lizard, in flight. The frightened Hornbill let go of the lizard, it dropped and the Drongo started feasting on the lizard on the ground. It fascinates me time and again how many interesting observations can be done basically in front of our doorstep, because this incident occurred right in front of my chalet on the Planet Baobab premises. 

30.11.'12   Ghanzi   Red-breasted Swallow (1)   Its range has expanded in southern Africa also because of provision of artificial nest sites through for example culvert construction. That is also the reason why they are seen often alongside roads. 

30.11.'12   Onjala Lodge   Greater Striped Swallow (5)   All five are in the process of moulting. This is interesting because Roberts V11 presumes moulting of this species to take place during winter on Equatorial non-breeding grounds. This is definitely worth further research. The Onjala Lodge with its bird-friendly practices is situated 30 minutes drive east of the Hosea Kutako International Airport. 

30.11.'12   Onjala Lodge   Rockrunner (13)   This Lodge offers the last good chance of viewing the Rockrunner while travelling east because Onjala is situated on the eastern border of this species distribution range. 

01.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Freckled Nightjar (1)   Although on the eastern edge of its distribution one can be assured of encountering this bird in close proximity of the lodges infrastructure. 

01.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Southern Masked-Weaver (3)   After yesterdays rain it is interesting to see how these birds catch emerging insects in flight, just like the Flycatchers do. 

01.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Common Ostrich (12)   The first 10 chicks for this season in the Onjala Conservancy. 

01.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Red-backed Shrike (1)   Summer arrival. 

01.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Lappet-faced Vulture (4)   After yesterdays first rain a few small ponds of water gathered in the earth dam north of the lodge where these majestic birds came for bathing about 12:00 o'clock. 

01.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Lesser Grey Shrike (1)   This summer arrival is on time because main arrivals for this species are in second half of November. Ever increasing bush encroachment throughout southern Africa through wrong grazing management results in habitat destruction for these useful birds.

01.12.'12   Onjala Lodge   Grey-backed Cisticola (1)   This species consists out of six subspecies out of which one carries the name of Namibia's capitol, Cisticola subruficapilla windhoekensis. This race is endemic to central and central western Namibia. Once again the C. s. windhoekensis is found at Onjala on the eastern edge of its distribution range. 

Make use of the holidays and enjoy the fun and challenge of birding, wishing you an exciting festive season with useful birding equipment gifts and a happy New Year, 

Stefan Rust

Please note: Most scientific information has been taken from Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, V11th edition! 

(For more information contact Stefan Rust on +264 (0)81 129 8415 or birdscontour@iway.na)

039 | ORYX ONTOUR BIRDLIFE REPORTS

39
Dear birding friends, 

as birdwatching is a relatively new and one of the fastest growing and a most popular pursuit, it attracts people of all ages around the world. There can hardly be a better place than southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa) to nurture an interest in birds as it supports almost 1000 bird species, which is about 10 per cent of the world's entire bird. Taking birding to new heights Hobby-Ornithologist Stefan Rust represents some of the ontour bird sightings to showcase the fun of birding, promote citizen science, highlight conservation, indicate where to view what birds and raise awareness of southern Africa's (sometimes international) birds and their habitats. 

Oryx (Namibia) Ontour Birdlife Report: 

30.10.'12   Onjala Lodge   Rockrunner (10)   This near-endemic species can easily be viewed in the surrounding. 

31.10.'12   Onjala Lodge   White-backed Vulture (18)   In S.Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland classified as vulnerable. 

31.10.'12   Onjala Lodge   Lappet-faced Vulture (11)   In S.Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland classified as vulnerable. Only ±40-50 breeding pairs in Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia. 

31.10.'12   Onjala Lodge   Verreaux's Eagle-Owl (2)   One adult and one Juvenile. For Namibia egg laying dates are not mentioned. Incubation and development of young lasts ±100 days. Obviously adult must have started laying approximately mid June. Laying dates are recorded for Botswana in Sept.-Oct., for Zimbabwe May-Sept. Because it breeds only every 2-3 years and low density this species is regarded as vulnerable. I had the chance to analyze its prey in detail (not mentioned for Namibia before and some prey items have not been recorded before): Mammal, Ostrich eggs (possibly newly hatched ostrich chicks with eggshells sticking to moistures down-feathers), skunk, large moth, Helmeted Guineafowl, Savannah Monitor and fresh shoots of Acacia tree. More detailed report available. 

31.10.'12   Onjala Lodge   Freckled Nightjar (1)   On eastern border of Namibian distribution. Mica-schist rocky riverbeds are ideal habitat. 

31.10,'12   Onjala Lodge   Orange River Francolin (4)   Although considered as not threatened, reports indicate that populations decrease severely because of regular grass burning and poor grazing management (overgrazing and cultivation)(especially in "well-managed" nature reserves).

01.11.'12   Onjala Lodge   Cape Glossy Starling (1)   Gleaning ectoparasites from back of Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). More detailed report available. 

01.11.'12   Onjala Lodge   Burchell's Starling (2)   Associated with Common Warthog feeding on ground nearby. 

01.11.'12   Otjiwarongo (40 Km south)   White-backed Vulture (8)   In S.Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland classified as vulnerable. 

01.11.'12   Otjiwarongo (10 Km south)   Verreauxs' Eagle (2adult,1juv.)   Only in Namibia considered as near-threatened due to small population. 

01.11.'12   Outjo district   Steppe Buzzard (1)   Palearctic-breeding migrant arrived. 

01.11.'12   Gelukspoort   Chestnut Weaver (large flocks)   Regarded as most abundant Weaver in Namibia. Large flocks to be seen, comparable to those of Red-billed Quelea. 

01.11.'12   Gelukspoort Gaestefarm   Bare-cheeked Babbler (11)   No research on the incubation is done of this uncommon to locally common bird. 

02.11.'12   Gelukspoort Gaestefarm   White-browed Scrub-Robin (1)   There are 3 geographical variations recognized for southern Africa. For north-western Namibia the less heavy streaked race Cercotrichas leucophrys ovamboensis is reported. Here on Gelukspoort (situated in north-western Namibia) I found a member of the not for Namibia registered heavily streaked race Cercotrichas leucophrys leucophrys. Contact me for a more detailed report. 

02.11.'12   Gelukspoort Gaestefarm   Augur Buzzard (1)   These long-living birds can reach an age of up to at least 9 years. 

02.11.'12   Gelukspoort Gaestefarm   Black-backed Puffback (1)   As typical for this species only the female built the nest. 

03.11.'12   Etosha N.P.   Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk (1)   Observed how it hunted and then fed on a Monitor Lizard. 

03.11.'12   Etosha N.P., Okondeka   Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk (2)   They started nesting. 

03.11.'12   Etosha N.P., ±3Km north of Okondeka   White-backed Vulture (2)   Nesting on Umbrella tree. 

03.11.'12   Etosha N.P., halfway Okaukuejo/Okondeka   White-backed Vulture (24)   Feeding on carcass. 

03.11.'12   Etosha N.P., halfway Okaukuejo/Okondeka   Lappet-faced Vulture (24)   Feeding on carcass. 

03.11.'12   Etosha N.P.   Secretarybird (1)   Is the Namibian population decreasing? 

04.11.'12   Etosha N.P.   Cape Crow (±20)   Many are nesting. 

04.11.'12   Etosha N.P., Gemsbokvlakte waterhole   Black Kite (1)   It rained last night and most probably this is the reason for its occurrence. They are known for following local rain. 

04.11.'12   Etosha N.P.,halfway Okaukuejo/Ombika   White-backed Vulture (27)   Feeding on carcass. 

04.11.'12   Etosha N.P.,halfway Okaukuejo/Ombika   Lappet-faced Vulture (6)   Feeding on carcass. 

04.11.'12   Etosha N.P., Okaukuejo   Shaft-tailed Whydah (1)   Male already in full breeding plumage, this is early according to Roberts V11.

04.11.'12   Etosha Safari Lodge   Martial Eagle (1)   Regarded as endangered in Namibia. 

05.11.'12   Khorixas, 10 Km east   Martial Eagle (1)   Regarded as endangered in Namibia. 

05.11.'12   Fransfontein Mountains   Augur Buzzard (1)   These long-living birds can reach an age of up to at least 9 years. 

05.11.'12   Twyfelfontein   Verreauxs' Eagle (2adult,1juv.)   Only in Namibia considered as near-threatened due to small population. 

05.11.'12   Camp Kipwe   Rueppell's Parrot (8)   Near endemic to Namibia. Because of sparse vegetation this is a perfect place to spot these species. 

05.11.'12   Camp Kipwe   Pearl-spotted Owlet (1)   Because of thin tree canopy, the habit of showing "false" face can easily be observed. 

05.11.'12   Camp Kipwe   Damara Hornbill (1)   Still its population size is unknown and needs observation. 

06.11.'12   Uis   Rueppell's Korhaan (2)   This is a near-endemic species to western Namibia. 

06.11.'12   Omandumba Gaestefarm   Carp's Tit (1)   Near-endemic to Namibia. These birds are attracted to the farmyard of Omandumba. 

06.11.'12   Omandumba Gaestefarm   Rosy-faced Lovebird (10)   Visit this family-managed place and observe the interesting habit of this bird of the female carrying its nesting material in its rump feathers. 

06.11.'12   Hohenstein Lodge   Rueppell's Parrot (4)   Near endemic to Namibia. 

07.11.'12   Swakopmund   Cape Wagtail (3)   Two seen with crippled toes and one without toes at all on one foot. 

07.11.'12   Swakopmund River   Greater Flamingo (±250)   Regarded as vulnerable in Namibia. Found 5 carcasses, cause unknown. Contact me for detailed German report. 

07.11.'12   Swakopmund River   Lesser Flamingo (70)   Regarded as vulnerable in Namibia and globally as near-threatened. Population decreases across Africa and threats to the only 3 breeding sites are causes for this conservation status. 

07.11.'12   Swakopmund River   Maccoa Duck (2)   Uncommon in Namibia, a census in 1992 revealed a number of only 899. 

07.11.'12   Swakopmund River   Black-necked Grebe (6)   Thought of not being resident anywhere in southern Africa. 

08.11.'12   Walvisbay Lagoon   Greater Flamingo (100's)   Three dead, cause unknown. Contact me for detailed German report. 

08.11.'12   Walvisbay Lagoon   Lesser Flamingo (1dead)   As far as I'm concerned this is the first dead one of this species to be reported. 

08.11.'12   Namib Naukluft Park   Common Ostrich (2adult,6chicken)   Half grown chicks. 

08.11.'12   Namib Naukluft Park   Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk (±15)   Many Juvenile birds. 

08.11.'12   Namib Naukluft Park, near Ghaub R.   Tractrac Chat (1)   Near-endemic to southern Africa. 

08.11.'12   Namib Naukluft Lodge   Sociable Weaver (Colony)   Chicken in nest close to Lodge setup. They are thought to breed only in response to rain. But because no rains have fallen, that could have triggered breeding, I suggest that they have enough food supply through getting fed by lodge and there is a fixed waterhole nearby. This colony is thus not necessarily dependent on natural rain and food. 

08.11.'12    Namib Naukluft Lodge   Mountain Wheatear (2)   Juveniles, meaning they succeeded one clutch already. 

08.11.'12   Namib Naukluft Lodge   Cape Eagle-Owl (2)   Extensive range in Namibia. 

08.11.'12   Namib Naukluft Lodge   White-throated Canary (15)   Due of having 42% of Namibian surface under conservation, this near-endemic species to southern Africa is well presented in Namibia. 

09.11.'12   Sossusvlei   Ashy Tit (1)   On western edge of distribution. 

09.11.'12   Sossusvlei   Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (3)   On western edge of distribution. 

09.11.'12   Sossusvlei   Bokmakiri (1)   On western edge of distribution. 

09.11.'12   Sossusvlei   Ludwig's Korhaan (1)   Sparse species in this region. 

09.11.'12   Soft Adventure Camp   Martial Eagle (1)   Regarded as endangered in Namibia. 

09.11.'12   Soft Adventure Camp   Spotted Flycatcher (1)   Arrival of summer visitor. On western edge of distribution. 

09.11.'12   Namib Naukluft Lodge   Pale-winged Starling (1)   Makes use of a wall lamp to roost to have warmth by the light, a snack by preying on attracted insects and protection of enemies during nighttime. Small article on this in German available. 

10.11.'12   Helmeringhausen (nearby)   Secretarybird (2) 

10.11.'12   Garub Waterhole   Greater Kestrel (10)   Nesting in nests of Cape Crow on Telephone poles, sometimes in proximity of Pied Crow (probably using them as defense). 

10.11.'12   Garub Waterhole   Burchell's Courser (2)   Although abundance have decreased over the past 50-150 years in southern Africa, there is no proof of decreases in dry and protected areas of Namibia. 

10.11.'12   Garub Waterhole   Tractrac Chat (2)   Near-endemic to southern Africa. 

10.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Ludwig's Korhaan (1)   Sparse species in this region. Considered as an important role player in the ecosystem of the Sperrgebiet N.P. 

10.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Long-billed Crombec (2)   On edge of western distribution. 

10.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Common Ostrich (4 chicks)   Chicks ± 3.5 months old. 

10.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Tractrac Chat (3)   Perfect place to spot this Near-endemic species to southern Africa. 

11.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Fiery-necked Nightjar (1)   This species has not been registered for this area. 

11.11.'12   Sperrgebiet N.P.   Cape Crow (11)   One nestling was fully feathered, concluding they started breeding begin of October. There are no reports of breeding times for Namibia in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. 

11.11.'12   Sperrgebiet N.P.   Ludwig's Korhaan (4)   Sparse species in this region. Considered as an important role player in the ecosystem of the Sperrgebiet N.P. 

11.11.'12   Sperrgebiet N.P.   Karoo Korhaan (3)   This species is mainly confined to the Karoo desert and is endemic to southern Africa. 

11.11.'12   Luederitz   Greater Flamingo (±300)   Regarded as vulnerable in Namibia. 

11.11.'12   Luederitz   African Black Oystercatcher (6)   Globally regarded as near-threatened. Stable population around Luederitz. 

11.11.'12   Luederitz   Cape Cormorant (25)   The population of this near-threatened species decreased from 554 000 birds in 1981 to 144 000 birds in 1996 in southern Africa. 

11.11.'12   Luederitz   Cape Gannet (17)   They got the label of "specially protected" bird in Namibia. 

11.11.'12   Luederitz   Bank Cormorant (2)   Also listed as "specially protected" bird in Namibia. 

11.11.'12   Luederitz   Cape Teal (6) 

11.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Black Kite (1)   Although regarded as not often to be found in arid areas such as here close to Aus I found it here. Officially this species has not been seen here before.

12.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Karoo Korhaan (1)   This species is mainly confined to the Karoo desert and is endemic to southern Africa. 

12.11.'12   Eagles Nest   Ludwig's Korhaan (3)   Sparse species in this region. Considered as an important role player in the ecosystem of the Sperrgebiet N.P. 

12.11.'12   Aus (20 Km east)   Black-chested Snake-Eagle (1Juv.) 

12.11.'12   Aus (160 Km east)   Secretarybird (1) 

12.11.'12   Canyon Lodge   African Red-eyed Bulbul (25)   It is remarkable how many individuals got a clearly longer and more curved bill than one is used from this species. See my German article about this. 

12.11.'12   Canyon Lodge   White-throated Canary (19)   Due of having 42% of Namibian surface under conservation, this near-endemic species to southern Africa is well presented in Namibia. Observed one feeding on berries of "stinkblaarboom". 

12.11.'12   Canyon Lodge   Cape Eagle-Owl (2)   Extensive range in Namibia. The prominent roost in a dense-leafed tree in a dry watercourse is marked by signs of thick white droppings, large pellets and prey remains on the ground beneath the tree. An analysis revealed mainly small lizards, many beetles and grasshoppers and a few rodent prey. 

12.11.'12   Canyon Lodge   Freckled Nightjar (1)   Out of its shown distribution. 

13.11.'12   Keetmanshoop Lake   Great White Pelican (52) 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   Acacia Pied Barbet (1)   Feeds "flower" beetle to chicks. 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   Common Waxbill (35)   Uncommon large flock for this area. 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   Pin-tailed Whydah (6)   Male completed moult into breeding plumage. 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   African Hoopoe (1)   I assume that the drastically growing bush encroachment encourages the spread of nest-competing birds such as the Acacia Pied Barbet which then can outcompete the African Hoopoe. 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   African Pipit (18)   This bird has definitely benefitted from the large-scale agriculture by the Gondwana Group for supply for their self-sufficiency concept. This Pipit has clearly expanded its range towards Stampriet within the last few years. 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   Karoo Thrush (2)   This bird has also definitely benefitted from the large-scale agriculture by the Gondwana Group for supply for their self-sufficiency concept. The female had clearly visible orange eye rings, similar to that of the Kurrichane Thrush. 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   Sedge Warbler (4)   Not registered for this area. This bird has definitely benefitted from the large- scale agriculture by the Gondwana Group for supply for their self-sufficiency concept. 

13.11.'12   Kalahari Farmhouse   African Reed-Warbler (12)   Not registered for this area. This bird has definitely benefitted from the l large-scale agriculture by the Gondwana Group for supply for their self- sufficiency concept. 

Enjoy birding, 

Stefan Rust 

Please note: Most scientific information has been taken from Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, V11th edition! 

(For more information contact Stefan Rust on +264 (0)81 129 8415 or birdscontour@iway.na)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

038 | ONJALA LODGE VOGELLEBEN

38
ONJALA LODGE 

Vogelleben auf der Onjala Lodge 

Fotos und Text von Stefan Rust 2012 

(In terms of the Geneva Convention the copyright of these texts belong to Stefan Rust) 

Die Onjala Lodge liegt zentral in Namibia. Früher diente das Gebiet der Viehfarmerei und Jagd. Nachdem diese Wirtschaft aufgegeben wurde, die Onjala Lodge gebaut wurde und das ehemalige Farmgelände als privates Naturschutzgebiet umgestaltet wurde, hat sich das Wildtierleben rasch vermehrt. Besonders für ornithologisch Interessierte ist die Onjala Lodge mit ihren etwa 305 Vogelarten einen Besuch wert. 

Nilgänse (Egyptian Goose / Alopochen aegyptiaca), Milchuhu (Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl / Bubo lacteus), Weißrückengeier (White-backed Vulture / Gyps africanus) und Klippensänger (Rockrunner / Achaetops pycnopygius) sind nur wenige der hier lebenden Brutvögel. Auch Afrikanischer Kuckuck (African Cuckoo / Cuculus gularis), Rosenpapagei (Rosy-faced Lovebird / Agapornis roseicollis) und Priritschnäpper (Pririt Batis / Batis pririt) koennen auf der Nahrungssuche beobachtet werden. Die Fleckennachtschwalbe (Freckled Nightjar / Caprimulgus tristigma) – eine sich am östlichen Rand ihres Verbreitungsgebietes befindende Vogelart – verrät sich des Nachts mit ihrem welpenähnlichen Ruf. Und auch die Strauße (Common Ostrich / Struthio camelus) führen ihren Nachwuchs durch die Fläche. Das Arteninventar zeugt von einem gesunden Habitat, das für den aufmerksamen Besucher in seinem jetzigen Zustand einige Überraschungen bereithält! 

Im Frühling streiten sich die Gartenvögel um die guten Nistplätze. Maskenwebermännchen (Southern Masked-Weaver / Ploceus velatus) jagen Konkurrenten weg, Bergschmätzer (Mountain Wheatear / Oenanthe monticola) streiten sich mit Trauerdrongos (Fork-tailed Drongo / Dicrurus adsimilis) und Guinneatauben (Speckled Pigeon / Columba guinea) vertreiben sich gegenseitig. An den nach guten Regen mit Wasser gefüllten Stauseen steht der Graureiher (Grey Heron / Ardea cinerea). Weniger auffällig sind die kleinen Uferbewohner wie Kapstelze (Cape Wagtail / Motacilla capensis), Dreibandregenpfeifer (Three-banded Plover / Charadrius tricollaris) oder Bruchwasserläufer (Wood Sandpiper / Tringa glareola). Bezaubernd sind die Tauchkünste der Zwergtaucher (Little Grebe / Tachybaptus ruficollis) auf den Stauseen. Die Morgenkühle weicht der aufgehenden Sonne. Noch ist der Beobachter alleine mit dem Zauber und den Geheimnissen zwischen Nacht und Tag. Die Welt steht fuer einen Moment still. Ein typischer Vogel Namibias, das Helmperlhuhn (Helmeted Guineafowl / Numida meleagris), löst diese Stille mit seinem Ruf. Die Greifvögel der Lüfte auf der Onjala Lodge nutzen viele Strategien. Der Schwarzbrustschlangenadler (Black-chested Snake-Eagle / Circaetus pectoralis) stürzt sich aus der Luft auf Schlangen und der Ohrengeier (Lappet-faced Vulture / Aegypius tracheliotos) bereinigen die Natur von toten Tieren indem sie das Aas vertilgen. Auch der aasfressende und Beutegreifende Raubadler (Tawny Eagle / Aquila rapax) braucht hier keine Angst vor vergifteten Kadavern haben. Der mit Gras bewachsene Teil und die hügelige Dornenbuschsavanne dienen als wichtiger Brutplatz für Bodenbrüter wie Kronenkiebitz (Crowned Lapwing / Vanellus coronatus), Doppelbandrennvogel (Double-banded Courser / Rhinoptilus africanus), Weißflügeltrappe (Northern Black Korhaan / Afrotis afraoides) und Rotschopftrappe (Red-crested Korhaan / Lophotis ruficrista), deren Rufe überall im Onjala Schutzgebiet zu hören sind. Auf den Büschen sitzend lassen sich im Sommer die Neuntöter (Red-backed Shrike / Lanius collurio) gut beobachten. Zwischen den Warzenschweinen laufen eifrig nach Nahrung suchende Rotschulterglanzstare (Cape Glossy Starling / Lamprotornis nitens) umher. Die Dornbüsche liefern einen wichtigen Lebensraum für Schnurrbärtchen (Sclay-feathered Finch / Sporopipes squamifrons), Rotbraune Sperlinge (Great Sparrow / Passer motitensis), Graukopfsperlinge (Southern Grey-headed Sparrow / Passer diffusus), Brustbandprinien (Black-chested Prinia / Prinia flavicans) und Mahaliweber (White-browed Sparrow-Weaver / Plocepasser mahali). In den etwas größeren Bäumen finden sich Perlkauze (Pearl-spotted Owlet / Glaucidium perlatum) als standortstreuer Vogel. Die Aschenmeise (Ashy Tit / Parus cinerascens) sucht die Bäume und Büsche nach sitzenden Insekten ab, Maricoschnäpper (Marico Flycatcher / Bradornis mariquensis) sind hingegen oft auf der Jagd nach Fluginsekten zu beobachten. Blutschnabelweber (Red-billed Quelea / Quelea quelea) treten gern in größeren Schwärmen auf. An den Wasserstellen versammeln sie sich in den Büschen zum Trinken und man könnte meinen sie seien die Früchte der Büsche. Mit etwas Glück sind dazwischen auch einzelne Rotkopfamadine (Red-headed Finch / Amadina erythrocephala) zu finden. Der Granatastrild (Violet-eared Waxbill / Granatina granatina) ist eine der wenigen Arten, die nicht vor Wespen flüchten, sondern in deren Nähe ihr Nest bauen und die Nachbarschaft eines bewohnten Wespennestes zum Schutz vor Feinden nutzen. Eine typische Kulturfolger-Art ist der Haussperling (House Sparrow / Passer domesticus) der auch hier auf Onjala dem Menschen gefolgt ist und seine Nähe nutzt die Welt zu erobern. Schwalbenschwanzspinte (Swallow-tailed Bee-eater / Merops hirundineus) lassen sich auf der Jagd nach häufig giftigen Insekten gut beobachten und fotografieren. Im September bis November treffen die Rauchschwalben (Barn Swallow / Hirundo rustica) hier ein um dem europäischen Winter zu entfliehen. Mit etwas Aufmerksamkeit lässt sich der Grauschnäpper (Spotted Flycatcher / Muscicapa striata) als Sommergast entdecken. Das heimliche Rebhuhnfrankolin (Orange River Francolin / Scleroptila levaillantoides) ist mittels seines Rufes am besten zu finden. Der Weißstorch (White Stork / Ciconia ciconia) lässt sich auf dem Durchzug in gewissen Jahreszeiten am Himmel beobachten. Der an eine Maus erinnernde Weißrückenmausvogel (White-backed Mousebird / Colius colius) genießt an kalten Wintertagen gerne auf freier Sitzwarte die Sonne. Dem europäischen Gast begegnen hier eine fast mitteleuropäische Vogelwelt im Kontrast zur fremdartigen Natur: Alpensegler (Alpine Swift / Apus melba), Bienenfresser (European Bee-eater / Merops apiaster), Fitis (Willow Warbler / Phylloscopus trochilus), Flussuferläufer (Common Sandpiper / Actitis hypoleucos), Gelbspötter (Icterine Warbler / Hippolais icterina), Mauersegler (Commen Swift / Apus apus) und Schleiereule (Barn Owl / Tyto alba). Maches kennt er zumindest von Südeuropa: Kuhreiher (Cattle Egret / Bubulcus ibis), Häherkuckuck (Great spotted Cuckoo / Clamator glandarius) und den Gleitaar (Black-shouldered Kite / Elanus caeruleus). Der hübsche Rotbauchwürger (Crimson-breasted Shrike / Laniarius atrococcineus) hüpft auf dem Boden umher. Eine weitere Würgerart ist der Fiskalwürger (Common Fiscal / Lanius collaris). Die Felsenschwalbe (Rock Martin / Hirundo fuligula) besitzt eine Vorliebe für Felsen. Ein kleiner und sehr hübscher Vogel ist der Angolaschmetterlingsfink (Blue Waxbill / Uraeginthus angolensis). Eine Schönheit ist auch der Buntastrild (Green-winged Pytilia / Pytilia melba) und buntes gibt es noch mehr. Es ist der meist fotografierteste Vogel des südlichen Afrika, die Gabelracke (Lilac-breasted Roller / Coracias caudatus). Aus den Berghängen ist der weitschallende Ruf des Turmfalken (Rock Kestrel / Falco rupicolus) zu hören. Eine unverwechselbare Klangkulisse liefert ein wahrer Charaktervogel, die Kapturteltaube (Cape Turtle-Dove / Streptopelia capicola) mit ihrem kuk-KOORR-ru. Am Abend übersetzt ruft sie: drink Lager, drink Lager. Dieser Ruf verrät was den Vogelbeobachter nach einem interessanten Vogelbeobachtungsausflug in der schönen Onjala Lodge erwartet.

037 | VOGELLEBEN AUF WUESTENQUELL

37
6. Juni 2012 

Ornithologische Raritäten auf Wüstenquell Gästefarm 



Bereits im ersten Jahr seitdem die freundlichen Gastgeber Oliver und Verena Rust das Management der Farm und des Gastbetriebes übernommen haben und seit der Zeit umweltfreundlich wirtschaften (Errichtung von Sonnenkollektoren zur Stromversorgung, Entfernung aller internen Zäune, Entfernung der zur Überweidung führenden domestizierten Tiere) ist in der Fauna und Flora eine positive Entwicklung zu beobachten. Neben dieser naturnahen Bewirtschaftung sichern auch vorhandene Wasserquellen (Namengeber der Gästefarm), zusätzliche Wasserstellen und Salzlecken den Schutz von Wild- (z.B. Springböcken, Oryx, Zebra, Kudus, Warzenschweinen, Leoparden, Hyänen etc.) und Vogelarten. 

So konnten Ende Mai 2012 innerhalb eines Kurzbesuchs bereits Strauß (Common Ostrich / Struthio camelus), Rotstirnbartvogel (Acacia Pied Barbet / Tricholaema leucomelas), Schwalbenschwanzspint (Swallow-tailed Bee-eater / Merops hirundineus), Weißrückenmausvogel (White-backed Mousebird / Colius colius), Guinneataube (Speckled Pigeon / Columba guinea), Senegaltaube (Laughing Dove / Streptopelia senegalensis), Rüppelltrappe (Rueppell’s Korhaan / Eupodotis rueppellii), Namaflughuhn (Namaqua Sandgrouse / Pterocles namaqua), Dreibandregenpfeifer (Three-banded Plover / Charadrius tricollaris), Weißrückengeier (White-backed Vulture / Gyps africanus), Ohrengeier (Lappet-faced Vulture / Aegypius tracheliotos), Weißbürzelsinghabicht (Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk / Melierax canorus), Habichtsadler (African Hawk-Eagle / Aquila spilogaster) Augur Bussard (Augur Buzzard / Buteo augur), Zwergadler (Booted Eagle / Aquila pennatus), Kampfadler (Martial Eagle / Polemaetus bellicosus), Turmfalke (Rock Kestrel / Falco rupicolus), Steppenfalke (Greater Kestrel / Falco rupicoloides), Brubru (Brubru / Nilaus afer), Bokmakiri (Bokmakierie / Telophorus zeylonus), Fiskalwürger (Common Fiscal / Lanius collaris), Felsenschwalbe (Rock Martin / Hirundo fuligula), Maskenbülbül (African Red-eyed Bulbul / Pycnonotus nigricans), Layard’s Meisensänger (Layard’s Tit-babbler / Parisoma layardi), Brustbandprinie (Black-chested Prinia / Prinia flavicans), Sabotalerche (Sabota Lark / Calendulauda sabota), Nonnenlerche (Grey-backed Sparrowlark / Eremopterix verticalis), Namiblerche (Gray’s Lark / Ammomanopsis grayi), Namibschmätzer (Tractrac Chat / Cercomela tractrac), Rostschwanzschmätzer (Familiar Chat / Cercomela familiaris), Bergschmätzer (Mountain Wheatear / Oenanthe monticola), Ameisenschmätzer (Ant-eating Chat / Myrmecocichla formicivora), Bergstar (Pale-winged Starling / Onychognathus nabouroup), Russnektarvogel (Dusky Sunbird / Cinnyris fuscus), Schnurrbärtchen (Scaly-feathered Finch / Sporopipes squamifrons), Maskenweber (Southern Masked-Weaver / Ploceus velatus), Wellenastrild (Common Waxbill / Estrilda astrild), Elfenastrild (Black-faced Waxbill / Estrilda erythronotos), Kapsperling (Cape Sparrow / Passer melanurus), Kapstelze (Cape Wagtail / Motacilla capensis) und Lerchenammer (Lark-like Bunting / Emberiza impetuani) nachgewiesen werden. Als Sensation konnte ein in den Klauen Beute tragender Kampfadler beobachtet werden. Dieser majestätische Adler kann ein Gewicht von bis zu 4.7kg und eine Flügellänge von bis zu 2.4M erreichen. Beim genaueren Beobachten konnte die Beute als Klippschliefer (Rock Hyrax / Procavia capensis) identifiziert werden. Dieser Vogel ist im Stande, potentielle Beute aus 6 Kilometer Entfernung zu sichten. Als kleine Sensation entpuppte sich die Anwesenheit eines Zwergadlers, Europas kleinste Adlerart. Bei diesem Individuum handelte es sich um die seltener erscheinende dunkle Form.

Wer ein Naturliebhaber ist und in die Geschichte der Wissenschaft eingehen möchte, der begebe sich zur Wüstenquell Gästefarm. Hier lebt der Layard’s Meisensänger. Bei dieser Art gibt es noch keine Aufzeichnungen bezüglich des Bruterfolgs. 

Angrenzend an den Namib Naukluft Park und mit direktem Zugang zu diesem, erhebt Wüstenquell Gästefarm den Anspruch auf die nächste und einzige zaunfreie Gästefarm an der bekannten Welwitschia Fläche und ist ein Paradies für Vogelbeobachter. 

Ich wünsche Ihnen viele schöne Stunden beim Beobachten von Vögeln auf Wüstenquell Gästefarm! 

Beste Grüsse, Ihr

Stefan Rust

036 | DOMINIKANERMOEWE, MUSCHELKNACKER

36
VOGELBEOBACHTUNGEN 

Ein unglaublicher Muschelknacker 

Text und Fotos von Stefan Rust 2012 

(In terms of the Geneva Convention the copyright of these texts belong to Stefan Rust) 

Werkzeuggebrauch bei Tieren ist ein interessantes Thema. Inzwischen ist der Gebrauch von Werkzeug nicht nur von Primaten bekannt, sondern auch bei Vögeln beobachtet man dies immer häufiger. 

Dies ist täglich an Namibias Küste zu beobachten. Besonders bei Swakopmund ist selbst ohne Fernglas zu erkennen wie sich die großen Dominikanermöwen (Kelp Gull/Larus dominicanus) am Strand mit Muscheln zu schaffen machen. Mit der ergatterten Muschel im Schnabel fliegen sie über geeigneten Felsen etwa 15 Meter in die Höhe und lassen ihre Beute genau auf die Felsen (oder ähnlichen harten Untergrund, z.B. Strasse) fallen. Dann sausen sie im Sturzflug runter und sehen nach, ob die Muschelschale vom Aufprall aufgesprungen ist. Häufig klappt es nicht sofort, dann folgen weitere Versuche. Es kann manchmal bis zu einer halben Stunde dauern, bis der beharrliche Vogel sein Ziel erreicht. Ist die Muschel aufgeplatzt, so setzt die Möwe sich und schlürft die nahrhaften Weichteile heraus.
Diese Muschelknackmanöver fordern den Tieren einige Geschicklichkeit ab, denn sie müssen bei dem Zielen auch die Windrichtung und –stärke einkalkulieren. 

Schon so mancher Spaziergänger wurde durch die Muschelknacker in ein ehrfürchtiges Staunen versetzt.