Saturday, 26 July 2014

Swakopmund - Spitzkoppe - Omaruru

Unlike my previous trip in April we nailed Bank Cormorant early this morning, along with White-breasted Cormorants and nice views of South African Shelduck, which meant we could leave the mist enshrouded coastline and head inland where it was much warmer. 

Driving through Swakopmund we picked up Red-knobbed Coot standing on the banks of the sewage works before driving towards the impressive Spitzkoppe. Our first good bird here was Karoo Long-billed Lark perched on a large boulder and nice views in the scope they were too! Then we headed closer to the impressive cliffs and unbelievably at our second location called in a pair of Herero Chats – probably Namibia’s toughest speciality to find. Oh boy! 

Herero Chat

One bird came in very close and sang back at us for a while before flying from bush to bush around us. Must admit I was particularly pleased with this bird! As we celebrated some movement in a tree caught our attention and we had a mad five minutes with a female Cardinal Woodpecker digging out a nest hole, followed by a pair of Brown-crowned Tchagras in the same tree. Then a pair of Bokmakierie joined them and sang back at my ipod, followed by a cracking pair of White-tailed Shrikes flying around us, perching on the treetops and circling us a few more times before flying off. And there were also a couple of White-throated Canaries nearby, which were also our first ones of the tour so far. Wow!

Bokmakierie

White-tailed Shrike - apparently a terrestrial Batis now.....!

So we were done here! A quick check of the rock drawings, followed by a very nice picnic lunch and a confiding Rufous-vented Tit-babbler plus some Rock Hyraxes, and we were off towards Omaruru. A flock of Crowned Lapwings and an African Pipit were spotted just as we left. A group of 3 Ruppell’s Korhaans showed very well beside the road and even began calling back to Charly’s imitation!

It was another 150+kms so we didn’t hang around and all until closer to Omaruru where we stopped along the roadside to look at a Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill. As usually happens there were other birds around and we also called in a Brubru, and then saw Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Little Swift, Black-chested Prinia, Common Scimitarbill, Pririt Batis, Marico Flycatcher, Burchell’s Starling and a few other common birds. We ended up at a wonderful guest house in Omaruru where I spotlighted African Scops-owl and a Pearl-spotted Owlet to end a pretty good day.





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