Bird Watching

Bird Watching Contest

Bird Watching

Rietfontein Birder of the Month

How to enter:

  1. The Bird Watching Competition is limited to and free to Rietfontein Guest Farm guests.
  2. During your stay at Rietfontein identify and photograph the birds you spot.
  3. Send an e-mail to with a list of birds and photographs, metadata enabled on your photographs. If you have geo tagging on your camera enabled, that would help us to identify birds in specific locations.
  4. Your entry will be confirmed by e-mail.
  5. For your entry to be valid you must “Like” the Rietfontein Guest Farm Page on Facebook.

The monthly prize for this bird watching contest is an exclusive Rietfontein Coffee Mug. There is only one mug like it in the world. They are individually produced for that month’s Birder of the Month competition and can only be owned by one person, the winner of the monthly Rietfontein Bird Watching Contest.

Grand Prize:
The Grand prize is a free 2 day stay at Rietfontein Guest Farm in 2019, dates of your choice, subject to availability and it goes to the birder who has spotted and verified with a photograph, the most birds in a month over the period 1 January to 31 December 2018.


  1. Only guests staying of Rietfontein Guest Farm qualify to take part in the Birder of the Month Contest and must “Like” the Rietfontein Guest Farm page on Facebook.
  2. Guests must be 18+ to compete in this birding competition. Guests under 18 must have parents consent to enter the competition.
  3. Entries for this competition can be sent to
  4. Entries consist of a photo of a bird and its identity.
  5. Only birds that have been sighted on Rietfontein Guest Farm and Touwsberg Nature Reserve and with a photograph taken at sighting will be considered.
  6. The winner will be the birder with the most verified sightings in a month.
  7. Entries with no photographs will not be considered.
  8. Rietfontein Guest Farm, its owners or its employees accepts no responsibility for any possible damage, injury or loss.
  9. Guests participate at own risk.
  10. The decision of the judges is final.

Bird List

Bird Watching List compiled by Peter Steyn in collaboration with James Macfarlane and Vivienne Trembath.

Rietfontein Guest Farm lies in the heart of the Klein Karoo and has a diversity of habitats where over a hundred species of birds occur. After good rains a wide variety of succulent plants bloom, attracting sunbirds, and in the valleys acacias provide a home for species such as mousebirds, canaries, weavers, Cape White-eye, Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler and specials such as Southern Tchagra and Pririt Batis. In the small patch of forest in the kloof behind Klipspringer cottage Cardinal Woodpecker, Sombre Greenbul, Bar-throated Apalis, African Dusky Flycatcher and Cape Batis have been recorded, and Booted Eagles breed on the cliffs there.

In the scrub vegetation on the slopes Karoo Prinia, Long-billed Crombec, Fairy Flycatcher and Cape Bunting may be found. Higher up where the longer walking trails reach into fynbos, the lucky birdwatcher may flush an elusive Hottentot Buttonquail.

Round the buildings of the farm itself in spring Cape Weavers breed in profusion, Greater Striped Swallows and Rock Martins build their nests under the eaves, and Pied Barbets excavate their nests in fence posts.

Overhead, in addition to White-necked Ravens, birds of prey include Jackal Buzzard, African Harrier-Hawk and Rock Kestrel, while at night the hoots of Spotted Eagle Owls may be heard.

The area covered by this list includes the farm and its environs as well as the ten kilometre drive in from the R62 when species such as Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Karoo Korhaan, Karoo Eremomela and Karoo Chat may be seen.

Rietfontein is a bird watcher’s paradise……

BIRD WATCHING LIST (Rietfontein Guest Farm)

  1. Apalis, Bar-throated 
  2. Barbet, Acacia Pied 
  3. Batis, Cape 
  4. Batis, Pririt 
  5. Bishop, Southern Red 
  6. Bokmakierie 
  7. Boubou, Southern 
  8. Bulbul, Cape 
  9. Bunting, Cape 
  10. Buttonquail, Hottentot
  11. Buzzard, Jackal 
  12. Buzzard, Common (Steppe)  
  13. Canary, Cape 
  14. Canary, White-throated 
  15. Canary, Yellow 
  16. Chat, Familiar 
  17. Chat, Karoo 
  18. Cisticola, Grey-backed 
  19. Crombec, Long-billed 
  20. Crow, Cape 
  21. Crow, Pied 
  22. Cuckoo, Diederik 
  23. Dikkop (see Thick-knee)
  24. Dove, Cape Turtle 
  25. Dove, Laughing 
  26. Dove, Namaqua 
  27. Dove, Red-eyed 
  28. Eagle, Booted 
  29. Eagle, Martial 
  30. Eagle, Verreaux’s 
  31. Egret, Western Cattle  
  32. Eremomela, Karoo 
  33. Eremomela, Yellow-bellied 
  34. Falcon, Lanner 
  35. Falcon, Peregrine 
  36. Fiscal, Southern  
  37. Flycatcher, African Dusky 
  38. Flycatcher, Fairy 
  39. Flycatcher, Fiscal 
  40. Goose, Egyptian 
  41. Goshawk, Southern Pale Chanting
  42. Greenbul, Sombre 
  43. Guineafowl, Helmeted 
  44. Harrier, Black 
  45. Harrier-Hawk, African 
  46. Honeyguide, Lesser 
  47. Hoopoe, African 
  48. Ibis, Hadeda 
  49. Kestrel, Rock 
  50. Kingfisher, Pied 
  51. Kite, Black-shouldered 
  52. Korhaan, Karoo 
  53. Lark, Karoo 
  54. Lark, Spike-heeled 
  55. Martin, Rock 
  56. Mousebird, Red-faced 
  57. Mousebird, Speckled 
  58. Mousebird, White-backed 
  59. Neddicky 
  60. Nightjar, Fiery-necked 
  61. Nightjar, Freckled 
  62. Owl, Western Barn 
  63. Eagle-Owl, Spotted
  64. Pigeon, Speckled 
  65. Lapwing, Blacksmith 
  66. Prinia, Karoo
  67. Raven, White-necked 
  68. Robin-Chat, Cape 
  69. Scrub-Robin, Karoo 
  70. Rock-Thrush, Cape 
  71. Sparrow, Cape 
  72. Sparrow, House 
  73. Starling, Pied 
  74. Starling, Pale-winged 
  75. Starling, Red-winged 
  76. Seedeater, Streaky-headed
  77. Spurfowl, Cape
  78. Stonechat, African 
  79. Sunbird, Southern Double-collared 
  80. Sunbird, Malachite 
  81. Swallow, Barn 
  82. Swallow, Greater Striped 
  83. Swift, Alpine 
  84. Swift, Common
  85. Swift, Little 
  86. Swift, White-rumped 
  87. Tchagra, Southern 
  88. Thick-knee, Spotted
  89. Thrush, Olive 
  90. Tit, Grey 
  91. Tit-babbler, Chestnut-vented 
  92. Wagtail, Cape 
  93. Waxbill, Common 
  94. Weaver, Cape 
  95. Weaver, Southern Masked 
  96. White-eye, Cape 
  97. Woodpecker, Cardinal 
  98. Woodpecker, Ground 

More Bird Watching

The following species are not on our list but have all been recorded in the area AT LEAST ONCE, according to SABAP2 records (The SA Bird Atlas Project at UCT). 

  1. Reed Cormorant
  2. White-breasted Cormorant
  3. Black Crake
  4. Klaas’s Cuckoo
  5. African Darter
  6. Fork-tailed Drongo
  7. Little Egret
  8. Grey-winged Francolin
  9. Spur-winged Goose
  10. Little Grede
  11. Common Greenshank
  12. Black-headed Heron
  13. Grey Heron
  14. African Sacred Ibis
  15. Giant Kingfisher
  16. Malachite Kingfisher
  17. Yellow-billed Kite
  18. Crowned Lapwing
  19. Brown-throated Martin
  20. Common Moorhen
  21. Cape Penduline-Tit
  22. Long-billed Pipit
  23. Kittlitz’s Plover
  24. Three-banded Plover
  25. Little Rush-Warbler
  26. Secretarybird
  27. SA Shelduck
  28. African Spoonbill
  29. Common Starling
  30. Black-winged Stilt
  31. Dusky Sunbird
  32. Pearl-breasted Swallow
  33. White-throated Swallow
  34. African Black Swift
  35. Horus Swift
  36. Cape Teal
  37. Layard’s Tit-Babbler
  38. Namaqua Warbler
  39. Rufous-eared Warbler
  40. Mountain Wheatear
  41. Pin-tailed Whydah

Other Competitions…….