September 14 – 23, 2023

By Mark Liptrot marklipt1 @ gmail.com
with additional photos by Cecily Salmon (CS) and Brendan Ryan (BR)
The elusive Green Tinkerbird

Southern Mozambique has become a prime tourist destination for those of an adventurous nature and a yen to see some rare birds off the beaten track. Wits Bird Club had organised a trip with top birding guide, Etienne Marais of Centurion, in September 2023 to see (amongst others) the top six Mozambique “specials”: Olive-headed Weaver; Eurasian (Great) Bittern; Saunders’s Tern; Crab Plover; Green Tinkerbird; African Hobby.

Mozambique has always held a special interest for me, having visited Santa Maria and the infamous Hell’s Gate on a fishing trip over ten years ago, before I became keen on birds and butterflies. Now I was more than motivated to see what wildlife was on offer…and not just birds. Did we see all the specials? Read on to find out…

Day 1: 14/09/23 South Africa to Inharrime

An early (04h30) start was in order due to the length of the journey. Eight of us loaded up 4-apiece in our sturdy steeds for the trip: Etienne’s Mahindra Karoo, and his assistant driver Johan’s Toyota Hilux. Both vehicles were comfortable, we each had a window seat and enough storage space inside the cabins for cameras, binoculars and a small bag. First stop was a garage at Komatipoort, where we saw a pair of nesting Wire-tailed Swallows:

At the border we all exchanged our rands for metacais (pronounced metacash), a smooth operation with an exchange rate of R1=3,4MT. We were advised to bring at least R2 500 equivalent in MT, as Rands and even US dollars were not guaranteed to be accepted. Not all establishments accepted credit cards, either.

On the way to the border, we passed a trail 28km long of ore and coal trucks, seemingly paralysed due to all the checks that were required to pass through…we, however on reaching the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia (Mozambique) side, were also stuck for nearly 2 hours due to the computer being off-line (or, unplugged?) After crossing the border, we travelled via the excellent Maputo ring road and up the coastal highway (EN1), stopping en route every few hours for breaks. We arrived in the dark 17 hours after leaving Centurion at Pousada Jolly Roger in Inharrime. Exhausted, we grabbed a few hours’ sleep in preparation for tomorrows exciting destination.

Day 2: 15/09/23 Chacane Wetlands and Panda area birding

A pre-dawn start for the Chacane wetlands, a few kms inland and north-west of Inharrime, where we hoped to see the Eurasian (Great) Bittern, a secretive bird that has a booming call (like a lion’s grunt, according to Sasol Birds of Southern Africa). Result! We flushed it out of the tall reeds and saw its owl-like flight as it winged gracefully away from the group. By this time, we were knee-deep in water which made swift movement with camera(s) difficult. No pic from me, but managed to get other birds and damsels:

The sprawling wetlands – very wet, the further in you walked!
African Openbill
Squacco Heron

Other notables seen were: Black-bellied Bustard, African Snipe, Shelley’s Francolin, Purple Heron, Lesser Jacana, African Swamphen, Rufous-bellied Heron, Zitting Cisticola and Whiskered Tern.

Two undistressed damsels…and two damsels:
Tropical Bluetail Ischnura senegalensis female
Common Citril Ceriagrion glabrum male

After a productive time at the wetlands, we ventured further inland to the Panda woodlands, where we decamped for a productive breakfast. We were impressed by the surrounding bird activity, including the stunning Olive-headed Weaver, Southern (Mashona) Hyliota and White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike.

This weaver is restricted in southern Africa to mature miombo woodlands where it makes its nests high in the canopy from the “Old Man’s Beard” lichen, Usnea sp. The geology of the area has created ideal conditions for the woodlands (comprising mainly of the dominant tree Brachystegia spiciformis) and in turn this isolated population at Panda, and is 600km from populations further north, where it is found in Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania.

White-chested Cuckooshrike with Usnea nesting material
Southern Hyliota…another miombo specialist
Old man with Old Man’s Beard (CS)
Racket-tailed Roller (hmmph – should it be racquet?)
Striped kingfisher with juicy spider meal
Lizard Buzzard – the most common small raptor seen

After a brief stop at Maxixe ferry terminal and jetty to look for any unusual waders (no luck) we headed off north to Morrungulo Beach Lodge to the east of the small town of Massinga, a six-hour drive from Inharrime. One point worth mentioning is that at each town we drove there was invariably either a roadblock or speed trap. We were stopped twice for speeding, once for doing 65kmh and once for doing 62kmh in a 60kmh zone. Etienne had to talk his way out of it on both occasions, and we managed to proceed without either a fine or a bribe. On arrival I managed to get a couple of butts under my belt (so to speak). We were joined for supper by a Boisduval’s False Acraea, watching us from the inside window:

Deceptive Diadem Hypolimnas deceptor deceptor 
Gold-banded Forester Euphaedra neophron neophron
Azure Hairstreak Hemiolaus caeculus caeculus
Boisduval’s False Acraea Pseudacraea boisduvalii trimenii

Morrungulo Beach Lodge offers accommodation right on the beach, with a year-round outdoor pool, a garden and a terrace. Arriving late and leaving early, we didn’t have much time to appreciate it, so Etienne promised a longer stay on the return trip.

View from Morrungulo’s terrace. Yes, it was very windy…
Day 3: 16/09/23 Morrungulo to San Sebastián

Another pre-dawn start for birding in the coastal scrub-thicket west of Unguane. This was also set within patches of subsistence farming, and the birding was productive, with many of the more common species seen, as well as these two: Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike and Livingstone’s Flycatcher:

Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike (honest!)
Livingstone’s Flycatcher © BR

Some butterflies were also seen in the woodlands, including these four:

Sulphur Orange Tip Colotis auxo auxo
Bowker’s Marbled Sapphire Stugeta bowkeri tearei
Buff-tipped Skipper Netrobalane canopus
Tailed Meadow Blue Cupidopsis jobates jobates

The Bowker’s Marbled Sapphire is the first record of the species in Mozambique on either the ADU’s Virtual Museum or iNaturalist.

We also encountered a Horned Baboon Spider (Ceratogyrus sp.) left and middle showing it in threat pose, and the silk-lined burrow can be seen below it on the right. Normally nocturnal, they roam during the day to find a mate (and to scare the s**t out of birders):

On leaving the woodlands we encountered a Yellow-throated Longclaw and a Pale Flycatcher:

This last journey of 90km took 4 hours on a dry sandy-soft road, and we arrived a bit saddle-sore before dusk at our main destination – the beautiful San Sebastian Peninsula.

Days 4-6 Jacana Research Camp, The Sanctuary, San Sebastián Peninsula

This was in many ways the highlight of our trip. Two full days had been allocated to boat trips around the Peninsula and to the outlying islands and sandbanks. Timing of the trips was critical due to the 6-metre tidal range (it was spring tides) which completely drained the water out of the estuary. There was a distinct possibility of being stranded for +6 hours if our captain had miscalculated. Fortunately, we were spared this ignominy on both occasions.

The area is known for terns and vast collections of waders, with previous trips producing huge numbers of shorebirds and many specials including Crab Plover, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Gull-billed Tern. We also hoped to see Saunders’s, Roseate, as well as Damara Terns. The area also offered a chance for Frigatebirds and other pelagics, often seen in the Peninsula.

The Peninsula is circled in red on the left-hand map, and the route taken by the boat (roughly) is in blue on the right. The position of Jacana Camp is the red circle on the right:

The first sight, and possibly the most lasting was a flamboyance of Greater Flamingos:

Flamingo footprints in the sand…

Flamingos in flight are a sight to behold; watch them in awe as their wings unfold…

Terns were indeed seen: Lesser Crested, Swift, Common, Damara, Whiskered, Saunders’s, Little, Caspian, Sooty and Roseate. Fortunately, Etienne is an expert in tern ID, otherwise some of us (all?) would have been flummoxed.

Common Terns
Saunders’s Tern – a mega bird! On left, in breeding plumage, on right, non-breeding

The presence of the Saunders’s Tern is so recent in southern Africa that it isn’t included in southern African bird literature. It is resident along the shores of the north-western Indian Ocean (southern Somalia, Arabian peninsula, Socotra, Pakistan, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and northern Sri Lanka). Also, one has been seen recently at St. Lucia, KwaZulu Natal. All the terns were very skittish, which meant photographing them from a distance with long lenses, often in windy, hazy and salt-spray conditions.

Damara Tern
Swift Tern, with Common Tern to the right
Sooty Tern overflying a mixed group of other Terns – note the sea! We sailed through that on the 2nd trip…
Lesser Crested Tern (middle) with Swift Terns
Roseate Tern

Other species seen were Pied Avocet, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Common Greenshank, Reed and White-breasted Cormorant, Sanderling, White-fronted Plover, Grey Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Crab-plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Terek Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Eurasian Whimbrel, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Egret and Pink-backed Pelican.

Although we all saw the Crab-plover, it proved impossible to photograph due to it being so far away. We were able to reverse our route on the first boat trip, but due to the lowness of the tide on the second, we had to take a longer route through the tidal rip between Linene Island and a large sandbank, which meant stowing away all loose equipment and hurtling through the very choppy waters. We also saw Humpback Dolphins and a couple of Humpback Whales.

Flotsam and jetsam on the shoreline…note the Gooseneck Barnacles on the flip-flop

On one of the trips, we stopped off at a vacant private lodge on the Peninsula, and, with prior permission, were allowed to rest on the wooden jetty and snorkel in the outgoing tide between the wooden pillars. If only I had had a Go-Pro camera! There were thousands teeming under the jetty. Fish seen included: parrotfish, spotted grunter, wrasse, surgeons, sergeant-major, coachman, butterflyfish, angelfish, moonies, batfish, stumpnose, various seabream, snapper, Malabar rockcod, firefish/lionfish and a large school of mullet.

Exploring the lodge surrounds revealed Pinkclaw Fiddler Crabs Austruca occidentalis in the mangroves and several Black-throated Wattle-eyes:

In between the boat trips, we had a day birding around the lakes, lodges and semi-ephemeral ponds near the camp, which proved productive: Collared Pratincole, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Lemon-breasted Canary, African Darter, African Green Pigeon, Great Egret, African Pygmy Goose, Pale Batis, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and Yellow-billed Stork all made an appearance or two. The bird show began with a visit to the nearby quarry and the roost/nesting site of the Olive Bee-eater, described as an uncommon resident in Mozambique. There were dozens on display, but they seemed to be in the courting rather than nesting phase.

This intra-African migrant is also found in Northern Namibia, south-western Angola and north-western Zimbabwe.

In and around the shared ablution block we had the pleasure of encountering the highly venomous Mozambique Thicktail Scorpion, Parabuthus mossambicencis, best seen under UV light. Being nocturnal and well camouflaged, it is inadvisable to walk around barefoot at night. This is one that can inject and/or spray its toxic cocktail, as our cook Castigo found to his disadvantage, and in a previous encounter (not on this trip, thankfully) had to spend a week in hospital after being stung:

Ready to strike… Parabuthus mossambicencis
Thread snake, Leptotyphlops sp. in the room

Denizens of the ablutions and surrounds:

Greater Leaf-folding Frogs Afrixalus aureus
Vlei Frog Hylambates maculatus
Nursery Web Spider (Family Pisauridae)
Natal Silverline Cigaritis natalensis

Due to Cyclone Freddy in February-March this year, which dumped in total of 1 000mm of rain in its two visits, waterbodies were mostly still full. We spent a fair amount of productive time walking around the vleis in between the boat trips, producing a wide variety of birds and insects. We saw several dragonflies and damselflies, including those below. The Inspector was the first Virtual Museum record in Mozambique:

Broad Scarlet Crocothemis erythraea male (left) and female (right)
Ferruginous Glider Tramea limbata (male)
Inspector Chalcostephia flavifrons (female)
Vlei vegetation – drowned Lala Palm and Nymphaea water lilies; insectivorous Drosera found around damp edges
Two of the common waders – Three-banded plover (left); Wood Sandpiper (right)
Jacana Lodge vlei
White-faced Ducks
Red-necked Spurfowl (Hillbilly Spurfowl?)
Scrub Hare
Day 7: 20/09/20 – Driving North to Inhassoro

After some early-morning birding around Jacana Camp, we headed south-west to the EN1, stopping for a while at Lake Manhale. Here we saw the Short-tailed Pipit (another lifer for most) but this eluded our lenses. We then joined the main road en route north to Inhassoro. Other birds seen included Namaqua Dove, Lizard Buzzard, African Pipit, Desert Cisticola, Blue-billed Teal, White-backed Duck and Saddle-billed Stork. Dragons seen around the lake included:

Black Percher male (left) and female (right)
Phantom Flutterer
Spotted Spreadwing

After another quite arduous drive we reached Brisa Mar Resort at Inhassoro before sunset. Another beach lodge, which gave an opportunity for some late-afternoon birding on the beach, which resulted in excellent sightings of Lesser-crested Terns feeding inshore.

Day 8: 21/09/23 Save Woodlands birding – to Morrungulo

We had an early departure for the 90-minute drive to the Save woodlands West of the EN1. The area is a diverse forest and coastal scrub-thicket with the occasional emergent larger trees (which are subject to illegal logging). The main target was the Green Tinkerbird, which fortuitously we saw within minutes of arriving, near an abandoned logging camp. This southern Mozambique population was thought to be locally extinct in southern Mozambique (more frequently seen in Tanzania, Malawi and Kenya) but was rediscovered 10 years ago by G. Davies and H. Chittenden.

Where is this blessed bird? Right above you!
The abandoned camp
The most common butterfly – Clouded Mother-of-pearl

We also saw the very attractive male Plain-backed Sunbird, with its iridescent electric-blue throat. Others on the day included Grey-headed Bushshrike, Brown Snake Eagle, African Harrier-Hawk, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and Woodward’s Batis. A few more butterflies were seen, including these:

Pennington’s Sailer Neptis penningtoni
Gold-banded Tip Teracolus eris eris
Dusky Russet Aloeides taikosama
Large Vagrant Nepheronia argia variegata

After birding we headed south – along to our second visit to Morrungulo Beach Lodge (about a 5-hour drive). On the way, directly off the main road, we stopped by a cluster of Baobabs to watch a display of Böhm’s Spinetails – these trees are where they roost:

We arrived at Morrungulo (after failing to stop for a quick beer at the Drunck Master’s Bar) in time to have a swim/snorkel (no fish this time) and to case the joint for more butterflies and birds. A bit disappointing, with just two new ones for the lodge:

Black-haired Bush Brown Bicyclus safitza safitza
False Dotted Border Belenois thysa thysa
Day 9: 22/09/23 Morrungulo to Zona Braza

The penultimate day, so although quite exhausted from the often-intense birding and time spent in vehicles, we left our popular beach lodge Morrungulo with a smidgeon of sadness that our trip was coming to an end. Etienne had heard whisperings about a spinetail roost about 25km inland from the EN1, so that was our first stop of the day.

Result! A flock of Spinetails, this time Mottled, again found wheeling over a baobab cluster. This was in amongst a subsistence farming area, too. I’d previously only seen them high in the sky in Kruger and Zimbabwe – it was such a pleasure seeing Spinetails up close and personal, two days in succession. Again, a pic courtesy of Brendan – I was too busy drinking in the sight (and scouting for butterflies) before the birds mysteriously vanished:

A Burchell’s Coucal was also seen by the baobabs. On the way back to the main road, we had a close encounter with a juvenile Little Sparrowhawk who alighted on the sandy track in front of the vehicles.

Little Sparrowhawk
Burchell’s Coucal
Lunch was spent just off the main road.

Other birds seen: Wahlberg’s Eagle, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Red-billed Oxpecker and African Goshawk. We arrived at the Zona Braza Beach Resort with enough time to wander, targeting the nearby vlei. This lodge had a more commercial feel to it than the previous establishments, but the rooms were comfortable, the food tasty, and the staff, friendly.

Welcome to Zona Braza!

Not too much wildlife on offer, but we did hear a Green Malkoha very clearly in the trees surrounding the adjacent lake. Common birds were the Sombre Greenbul and the Grey Sunbird:

One dragonfly I did see was the Eastern Duskhawker, another first record of the species in Mozambique on the Virtual Museum:

Eastern Duskhawker Gynacantha usambarica
One of the Spreadwings, Lestes sp.
Day 10: 23/09/23 Zona Braza to Centurion
Yellow-billed Ducks
Pygmy Goose
Black Crake

After a quick last look at the lake, we left Zona Braza in search of our last “special,” the African Hobby. Throughout the trip we had been searching for this intra-African raptor which frequents the tops of cellphone towers, but no luck thus far, after scouring dozens of potential sites. Etienne knew that this bird normally returns to breed in Mozambique in September, so a sighting was possible. Etienne knew that his reputation and status as a top birding guide depended on us seeing all 6 specials mentioned in the introduction! His last throw of the dice was to investigate the towers in Xai-Xai, namely the one by the FRELIMO offices and those near the hospital. Amazing that such a magnificent bird could be seen in a semi-industrial and highly built-up area, like the Peregrine Falcon and its affinity for high-rise buildings.

Result! At the last place we could expect to find them – a pair, who had just caught their main quarry – a House Sparrow, the most common seed-eating bird around.

Although as you can see from the above, the light and distance were not suitable for great photos, but we all had good sightings and felt honoured to be able to see this extremely adaptable and rare bird, and thankful for Etienne’s sharp eyes being able to spot it.

We arrived at the border post and our hearts sank when we saw a queue of about 200 people snaking out of Departures. Fortunately, as we were all pensioners●•  we went into the VIP counter, which was empty. Relief! Soon we were on our way, stopping at Milly’s Restaurant, on the N4 near Machadadorp for a bite to eat. After a 12-hour journey we arrived back in Centurion, glad to be reunited with our vehicles but sad that our very productive trip was at an end.

Thanks again to Etienne and Johan for their driving skills, and for keeping us all safe and bird-replete. We hope to be part of the Etienne Marais Birding experience sometime soon. Thanks also to Brendan for allowing the use of his pictures.

Etienne Marais Birding https://www.etiennebirding.com/about
APPENDIX 1: some facts about Mozambique
APPENDIX 2: Aves – bird list, alphabetical by English common name
APPENDIX 3: Lepidoptera – list of butterflies and moths seen APPENDIX 4: Odonata – list of damselflies and dragonflies seen POSTSCRIPT: RANDOM PHOTOS

APPENDIX 1: Mozambique – potted history (thanks, Wikipedia)

At 801,537 km2, Mozambique is the world’s 35th-largest country. After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People’s Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. South Africa backed RENAMO in the civil war; between 300,000 and 600,000 people died of famine over this period.

The country’s population of around 30 million, as of 2022 estimates, is composed of overwhelmingly Bantu peoples. There are 46 languages spoken. However, the only official language in Mozambique is the colonial language of Portuguese, The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. The country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese after the Island of Mozambique, derived from Mussa Bin Bique, an Arab trader who first visited the island and later lived there. The island-town was the capital of the Portuguese colony until 1898, when it was moved south to Lourenço Marques (now Maputo).

Mozambique has held elections since 1994, all won by FRELIMO, and which were accepted by most political parties as free and fair although still contested by many nationals and observers alike. RENAMO is the official opposition. In 1995, Mozambique joined the Commonwealth of Nations, becoming, at the time, the only member nation that had never been part of the British Empire. although it still faces a low-intensity insurgency distinctively in the farthermost regions from the southern capital (Maputo) and where Islam is dominant.

Malaria is prevalent in many areas, so it was a strong recommendation to take suitable prophylactics for the trip. Cecily and I chose to take Mozitec, which required 1 tablet a day, starting 2 days before and ending 5 days after the trip.

Typical market scene
Drawing water in the village…
Me with the national drink…
APPENDIX 2: Aves – bird list, alphabetical by English common name
Common NameScientific NameSeen/Heard
African DarterAnhinga rufaSeen
African GoshawkAccipiter tachiroSeen
African Green PigeonTreron calvusSeen
African Harrier-HawkPolyboroides typusSeen
African HobbyFalco cuvieriiSeen
African HoopoeUpupa africanaSeen
African JacanaActophilornis africanusSeen
African OpenbillAnastomus lamelligerusSeen
African Palm SwiftCypsiurus parvusSeen
African Pied WagtailMotacilla aguimpSeen
African PipitAnthus cinnamomeusSeen
African Pygmy GooseNettapus auritusSeen
African Sacred IbisThreskiornis aethiopicusSeen
African SnipeGallinago nigripennisSeen
African SwamphenPorphyrio madagascariensisSeen
Barn SwallowHirundo rusticaSeen
Bar-tailed GodwitLimosa lapponicaSeen
Bearded Scrub RobinCercotrichas quadrivirgataHeard
Bearded WoodpeckerChloropicus namaquusSeen
Black CrakeZaporina flavirostraSeen
Black Saw-wingPsalidoprocne pristopteraSeen
Black SparrowhawkAccipiter melanoleucusSeen
Black-backed PuffbackDryoscopus cublaSeen
Black-bellied BustardLissotis melanogasterSeen
Black-bellied StarlingNotopholia corruscaSeen
Black-chested Snake EagleCircaetus pectoralisSeen
Black-collared BarbetLybius torquatusSeen
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticoraxSeen
Black-crowned TchagraTchagra senegalusHeard
Black-headed HeronArdea melanocephalaSeen
Blacksmith LapwingVanellus armatusSeen
Black-throated Wattle-eyePlatysteira peltataSeen
Black-winged KiteElanus caeruleusSeen
Blue WaxbillUraeginthus angolensisSeen
Blue-billed TealAnas hottentotaSeen
Böhm’s SpinetailNeafrapus boehmiSeen
Brimstone CanaryCrithagra sulphurataSeen
Bronze MannikinLonchura cucullataSeen
Brown Snake EagleCircaetus cinereusSeen
Brown-crowned TchagraTchagra australisSeen
Brown-headed ParrotPoicephalus cryptoxanthusSeen
Brown-hooded KingfisherHalcyon albiventrisSeen
BrubruNilaus aferHeard
Burchell’s CoucalCentropus burchelliiSeen
Cardinal WoodpeckerDendropicos fuscescensSeen
Caspian TernHydroprogne caspiaSeen
Chestnut-fronted HelmetshrikePrionops scopifronsSeen
Collared PratincoleGlareola pratincolaSeen
Collared SunbirdHedydipna collarisSeen
Common GreenshankTringa nebulariaSeen
Common MynaAcridotheres tristisSeen
Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticulaSeen
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucosSeen
Common ScimitarbillRhinopomastus cyanomelasSeen
Common Square-tailed DrongoDicrurus ludwigiiSeen
Common TernSterna hirundoSeen
Crab-ploverDromas ardeolaSeen
Crested FrancolinOrtygornis sephaenaSeen
Crested GuineafowlGuttera pucheraniSeen
Crowned HornbillLophoceros alboterminatusSeen
Curlew SandpiperCalidris ferrugineaSeen
Damara TernSternula balaenarumSeen
Dark-backed WeaverPloceus bicolorSeen
Dark-capped BulbulPycnonotus tricolorSeen
Desert CisticolaCisticola aridulusHeard
Emerald-spotted Wood DoveTurtur chalcospilosSeen
Eurasian BitternBotaurus stellarisSeen
Eurasian OystercatcherHaematopus ostralegusSeen
Eurasian WhimbrelNumenius phaeopusSeen
Fan-tailed WidowbirdEuplectes axillarisSeen
Fork-tailed DrongoDicrurus adsimilisSeen
Gabar GoshawkMicronisus gabarSeen
Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellusSeen
Golden-breasted BuntingEmberiza flaviventrisSeen
Golden-tailed WoodpeckerCampethera abingoniHeard
Gorgeous BushshrikeTelophorus viridisHeard
Great EgretArdea albaSeen
Greater Blue-eared StarlingLamprotornis chalybaeusSeen
Greater Crested (Swift)TernThalasseus bergiiSeen
Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus roseusSeen
Greater Sand PloverCharadrius leschenaultiiSeen
Green MalkohaCeuthmochares australisHeard
Green TinkerbirdPogoniulus simplexSeen
Green Wood HoopoePhoeniculus purpureusSeen
Green-backed CamaropteraCamaroptera brachyuraHeard
Green-winged PytiliaPytilia melbaSeen
Grey Go-away-birdCrinifer concolorSeen
Grey HeronArdea cinereaSeen
Grey PloverPluvialis squatarolaSeen
Grey SunbirdCyanomitra veroxiiSeen
Grey Tit-FlycatcherMyioparus plumbeusHeard
Grey-headed BushshrikeMalaconotus blanchotiSeen
Grey-headed GullChroicocephalus cirrocephalusSeen
Hadada IbisBostrychia hagedashSeen
HamerkopScopus umbrettaSeen
Horus SwiftApus horusSeen
Intermediate EgretArdea intermediaSeen
Klaas’s CuckooChrysococcyx klaasSeen
Kurrichane ThrushTurdus libonyanaSeen
Laughing DoveSpilopelia senegalensisSeen
Lemon-breasted CanaryCrithagra citrinipectusSeen
Lesser Crested TernThalasseus bengalensisSeen
Lesser JacanaMicroparra capensisSeen
Lesser Masked WeaverPloceus intermediusSeen
Lesser Sand PloverCharadrius mongolusSeen
Lesser Striped SwallowCecropis abyssinicaSeen
Lilac-breasted RollerCoracias caudatusSeen
Little Bee-eaterMerops pusillusSeen
Little EgretEgretta garzettaSeen
Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollisSeen
Little Rush WarblerBradypterus baboecalaHeard
Little SparrowhawkAccipiter minullusSeen
Little SwiftApus affinisSeen
Little TernSternula albifronsSeen
Livingstone’s FlycatcherErythrocercus livingstoneiSeen
Livingstone’s TuracoTauraco livingstoniiHeard
Lizard BuzzardKaupifalco monogrammicusSeen
Long-crested EagleLophaetus occipitalisSeen
Malachite KingfisherCorythornis cristatusSeen
Mosque SwallowCecropis senegalensisSeen
Mottled SpinetailTelacanthura ussheriSeen
Namaqua DoveOena capensisSeen
NeddickyCisticola fulvicapillaSeen
Olive Bee-eaterMerops superciliosusSeen
Olive SunbirdCyanomitra olivaceaHeard
Olive-headed WeaverPloceus olivaceicepsSeen
Orange-breasted BushshrikeChlorophoneus sulfureopectusHeard
Pale FlycatcherMelaenornis pallidusSeen
Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosettaSeen
Pied CrowCorvus albusSeen
Pink-backed PelicanPelecanus rufescensSeen
Plain-backed SunbirdAnthreptes reichenowiSeen
Purple HeronArdea purpureaSeen
Purple-banded SunbirdCinnyris bifasciatusSeen
Purple-crested TuracoGallirex porphyreolophusSeen
Purple-crested TuracoGallirex porphyreolophusHeard
Racket-tailed RollerCoracias spatulatusSeen
Rattling CisticolaCisticola chinianaSeen
Red-billed OxpeckerBuphagus erythrorynchusSeen
Red-capped Robin-ChatCossypha natalensisSeen
Red-eyed DoveStreptopelia semitorquataSeen
Red-faced MousebirdUrocolius indicusHeard
Red-necked SpurfowlPternistis aferSeen
Reed CormorantMicrocarbo africanusSeen
Retz’s HelmetshrikePrionops retziiSeen
Ring-necked DoveStreptopelia capicolaSeen
Roseate TernSterna dougalliiSeen
Ruddy TurnstoneArenaria interpresSeen
RuffCalidris pugnaxSeen
Rufous-bellied HeronArdeola rufiventrisSeen
Rufous-naped LarkMirafra africanaHeard
Saddle-billed StorkEphippiorhynchus senegalensisSeen
SanderlingCalidris albaSeen
Saunders’s TernSternula saundersiSeen
Scarlet-chested SunbirdChalcomitra senegalensisSeen
Shelley’s FrancolinScleroptila shelleyiHeard
Short-tailed PipitAnthus brachyurusSeen
Sombre GreenbulAndropadus importunusSeen
Sooty TernOnychoprion fuscatusSeen
Southern Black FlycatcherMelaenornis pammelainaSeen
Southern Black TitMelaniparus nigerSeen
Southern BoubouLaniarius ferrugineusSeen
Southern FiscalLanius collarisSeen
Southern HyliotaHyliota australisSeen
Southern PochardNetta erythrophthalmaSeen
Speckled MousebirdColius striatusSeen
Spectacled WeaverPloceus ocularisSeen
Spotted Eagle-OwlBubo africanusSeen
Spur-winged GoosePlectropterus gambensisSeen
Squacco HeronArdeola ralloidesSeen
Striped KingfisherHalcyon chelicutiSeen
Swallow-tailed Bee-eaterMerops hirundineusSeen
Swamp BoubouLaniarius bicolorHeard
Tambourine DoveTurtur tympanistriaSeen
Tawny-flanked PriniaPrinia subflavaHeard
Terek SandpiperXenus cinereusSeen
Terrestrial BrownbulPhyllastrephus terrestrisSeen
Three-banded PloverCharadrius tricollarisSeen
Trumpeter HornbillBycanistes bucinatorSeen
Village WeaverPloceus cucullatusSeen
Wahlberg’s EagleHieraaetus wahlbergiSeen
Western Cattle EgretBubulcus ibisSeen
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybridaSeen
White-backed DuckThalassornis leuconotusSeen
White-bellied SunbirdCinnyris talatalaHeard
White-breasted CormorantPhalacrocorax lucidusSeen
White-breasted CuckooshrikeCoracina pectoralisSeen
White-browed Scrub RobinCercotrichas leucophrysHeard
White-crested HelmetshrikePrionops plumatusSeen
White-faced Whistling DuckDendrocygna viduataSeen
White-fronted Bee-eaterMerops bullockoidesSeen
White-fronted PloverCharadrius marginatusSeen
Wire-tailed SwallowHirundo smithii 
Wood SandpiperTringa glareolaSeen
Woodward’s BatisBatis fratrumSeen
Woolly-necked StorkCiconia episcopusSeen
Yellow-bellied GreenbulChlorocichla flaviventrisHeard
Yellow-billed DuckAnas undulataSeen
Yellow-billed KiteMilvus aegyptiusSeen
Yellow-billed StorkMycteria ibisSeen
Yellow-breasted ApalisApalis flavidaSeen
Yellow-crowned BishopEuplectes aferSeen
Yellow-fronted CanaryCrithagra mozambicaSeen
Yellow-rumped TinkerbirdPogoniulus bilineatusSeen
Yellow-throated Bush SparrowGymnoris superciliarisSeen
Yellow-throated LongclawMacronyx croceusSeen
Zitting CisticolaCisticola juncidisSeen
APPENDIX 3: Lepidoptera – list of butterflies and moths seen
604730CRAMBIDAEPseudonoorda rubicostalisRed-edged Pearl
 GEOMETRIDAEZerenopsis moi 
469190HESPERIIDAENetrobalane canopusBuff-tipped skipper
464690LYCAENIDAEActizera lucidaRayed blue
459570LYCAENIDAEAloeides taikosamaDusky russet
464820LYCAENIDAEAzanus moriquaBlack-bordered babul blue
458270LYCAENIDAECigaritis natalensisNatal silverline
456870LYCAENIDAECrudaria leromaSilver-spotted grey
463120LYCAENIDAECupidopsis jobates jobatesTailed meadow blue
465310LYCAENIDAEEuchrysops malathanaGrey smoky blue
465430LYCAENIDAEEuchrysops subpallidaAshen smoky blue
454230LYCAENIDAEHemiolaus caeculus caeculusAzure hairstreak
463230LYCAENIDAELampides boeticusPea blue
463950LYCAENIDAELeptotes sp. 
453590LYCAENIDAEStugeta bowkeri teareiBowker’s marbled sapphire
464605LYCAENIDAEZizeeria knysna knysnaAfrican grass blue
416120NYMPHALIDAEBicyclus safitza safitzaBlack-haired bush brown
429320NYMPHALIDAEEuphaedra neophron neophronGold-banded forester
432240NYMPHALIDAEHamanumida daedalusGuineafowl
439220NYMPHALIDAEHypolimnas deceptor deceptorDeceptive diadem
438340NYMPHALIDAEJunonia oenone oenoneDark blue pansy
415130NYMPHALIDAEMelanitis ledaCommon evening brown
423700NYMPHALIDAENeptis penningtoniPennington’s sailer
414940NYMPHALIDAEPhalanta phalantha aethiopicaAfrican leopard
438700NYMPHALIDAEProtogoniomorpha anacardii nebulosaClouded Mother-of-pearl
422310NYMPHALIDAEPseudacraea boisduvalii trimeniiBoisduval’s false acraea
413770NYMPHALIDAETelchinia serenaDancing telchinia
438050NYMPHALIDAEVanessa carduiPainted lady
402140PAPILIONIDAEGraphium antheusLarge striped swordtail
407590PIERIDAEBelenois creona severinaAfrican caper white
408060PIERIDAEBelenois thysa thysaFalse dotted border
403120PIERIDAECatopsilia florellaAfrican migrant
403830PIERIDAEColotis auxo auxoSulphur orange tip
404200PIERIDAEColotis eunoma eunoma 
402930PIERIDAEEurema brigitta brigittaBroad-bordered grass yellow
404990PIERIDAELeptosia alcesta inalcestaAfrican wood white
403380PIERIDAENepheronia argia variegataLarge vagrant
403690PIERIDAETeracolus eris erisBanded gold tip
38 species seen and photographed
APPENDIX 4: Odonata – list of damselflies and dragonflies seen
FamilySpeciesCommon Name
AeshnidaeGynacantha usambaricaEastern Duskhawker
CoenagrionidaeCeriagrion glabrumCommon Citril
CoenagrionidaeIschnura senegalensisTropical Bluetail
LestidaeLestes tridensSpotted Spreadwing
LibellulidaeAcisoma variegatumSlender Pintail
LibellulidaeBrachythemis leucostictaSouthern Banded Groundling
LibellulidaeChalcostephia flavifronsInspector
LibellulidaeCrocothemis erythraeaBroad Scarlet
LibellulidaeDiplacodes lefebvriiBlack Percher
LibellulidaeHemistigma albipunctumAfrican Piedspot
LibellulidaeNesciothemis farinosaEastern Blacktail
LibellulidaeOrthetrum trinacriaLong Skimmer
LibellulidaeRhyothemis semihyalinaPhantom Flutterer
LibellulidaeTramea limbataFerruginous Glider
Some R&R…
Etienne doing his dance after we saw the sixth special
The hunt is on…
Indian Mangrove, Ceriops tagal
Brachystegia spiciformis was a common sight
Baobabs Adansonia digitata. The one on the left is overrun by a climbing fig (CS)
Water monitor Varanus niloticus at Jacana Camp
Horse Fly Tabanus sp. at Zona Braza