Bird Watching

Bird Watching List compiled by Peter Steyn in collaboration with James Macfarlane and Vivienne Trembath
(The names in this list are those used in the latest edition of Sasol’s Birds of Southern Africa)

Introduction
Rietfontein Guest Farm lies in the heart of the Little 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 Pale Chanting Goshawk, Karoo Korhaan, Karoo Eremomela and Karoo Chat may be seen.

Rietfontein is a bird watching paradise……

 
BIRD WATCHING LIST (Rietfontein Guest Farm)

  1. Apalis, Bar-throated 645
  2. Barbet, Acacia Pied 465
  3. Batis, Cape 700
  4. Batis, Pririt 703
  5. Bishop, Southern Red 824
  6. Bokmakirie 746
  7. Boubou, Southern 736
  8. Bulbul, Cape 566
  9. Bunting, Cape 885
  10. Buttonquail, Hottentot
  11. Buzzard, Jackal 152
  12. Buzzard, Steppe 149
  13. Canary, Cape 872
  14. Canary, White-throated 879
  15. Canary, Yellow 878
  16. Chat, Familiar 589
  17. Chat, Karoo 592
  18. Cisticola, Grey-backed 669
  19. Crombec, Long-billed 651
  20. Crow, Black 547
  21. Crow, Pied 548
  22. Cuckoo, Diederik 386
  23. Dikkop (see Thick-knee)
  24. Dove, Cape Turtle 354
  25. Dove, Laughing 355
  26. Dove, Namaqua 356
  27. Dove, Red-eyed 352
  28. Eagle, Booted 136
  29. Eagle, Martial 140
  30. Eagle, Verreaux’s 131
  31. Egret, Cattle 71
  32. Eremomela, Karoo 654
  33. Eremomela, Yellow-bellied 653
  34. Falcon, Lanner 172
  35. Falcon, Peregrine 171
  36. Fiscal, Common 732
  37. Flycatcher, African Dusky 690
  38. Flycatcher, Fairy 706
  39. Flycatcher, Fiscal 698
  40. Goose, Egyptian 102
  41. Goshawk, Pale Chanting 162
  42. Greenbul, sombre 572
  43. Guineafowl, Helmeted 203
  44. Harrier, Black 168
  45. Harrier-Hawk, African 165
  46. Honeyguide, Lesser 476
  47. Hoopoe, African 451
  48. Ibis, Hadeda 94
  49. 49 Kestrel, Rock 181
  50. Kingfisher, Pied 428
  51. Kite, Black-shouldered 127
  52. Korhaan, Karoo 235
  53. Lark, Karoo 502
  54. Lark, Spike-heeled 506
  55. Martin, Rock 529
  56. Mousebird, Red-faced 426
  57. Mousebird, Speckled 424
  58. Mousebird, white-backed 425
  59. Neddicky 681
  60. Nightjar, Fiery-necked 405
  61. Nightjar, Freckled 408
  62. Owl, Barn 392
  63. Owl, Spotted Eagle 401
  64. Pigeon, Speckled 350?
  65. Plover, Blacksmith 258
  66. Prinia, Karoo
  67. Raven, White-necked 550
  68. Robin, Cape 601
  69. Robin, Karoo 614
  70. Rock-Thrush, Cape 581
  71. Sparrow, Cape 803
  72. Sparrow, House 801
  73. Starling, Pied 759
  74. Starling, Pale-winged 770
  75. Starling, Red-winged 769
  76. Seedeater, Streaky-headed
  77. Spurfowl, Cape
  78. Stonechat, African 596
  79. Sunbird, Lesser Double-collared 783
  80. Sunbird, Malachite 775
  81. Swallow, Barn 518
  82. Swallow, Greater Striped 526
  83. Swift, Alpine 418
  84. Swift, Common
  85. Swift, Little 417
  86. Swift, White-rumped 415
  87. Tchagra, Southern 742
  88. Thick-knee, Spotted
  89. Thrush, Olive 577
  90. Tit, Grey 551
  91. Tit-babbler, Chestnut-vented 621
  92. Wagtail, Cape 713
  93. Waxbill, Common 846
  94. Weaver, Cape 813
  95. Weaver, Southern Masked 814
  96. White-eye, Cape 796
  97. Woodpecker, Cardinal 486
  98. Woodpecker, ground 480