Bird Watching

More than 230 species have been seen or heard in the district and several rare species can be seen in the Rhodes area including the threatened Bearded vulture of which there are estimated to only be +-100 breeding pairs left in Southern Africa. The slightly more abundant Cape vulture is also found in these parts.

An ever-popular little-but-not-so-brown-job, is the Drakensberg rockjumper, a species that is only found at high altitudes. The plateaux on the Naudesnek Pass and the road to the Tiffindell Ski Resort are host to these attractive little birds. Unlike the majority of LBJs, the female rockjumpers are also pretty little birds. Also at this altitude, Ground woodpeckers could be described as the yobbos of the Alpine bird world as they “kick up a row” of note. This is also one of the very few places where one can see no less than 8 species of chat, being the African Stonechat, Mountain Wheatear, Buff-streaked Chat, Familiar Chat, Sickle-winged Chat, Karoo Chat, Mocking Cliff-Chat and Ant-eating Chat.

Of the raptors, Vereauxs’ (Black) and Martial eagles are the biggest to be seen. Jackal buzzards can be seen all year round while Black harriers and peregrine falcons are seasonal visitors.

Along the rivers and streams in the valleys, Giant kingfishers can be heard, if not seen and the more secretive and rare Black Stork may also be spotted, their bright red legs in stark contrast to their funereal black feathers. Barratt’s Warbler in the summer, together with Layard’s Tit-Babbler and Fairy Flycatcher. Yellow Canary, Cape Robin-Chat, Cape Bunting, Red-eyed Bulbul, Olive Thrush, wagtails, waxbills and sparrows all may be seen in the valleys.

Other seasonal visitors include the tiny but spectacularly beautiful Malachite sunbirds that frequent the variety of Redhot pokers (Kniphofia spp) that flower in sequence thus providing the little birds with up to 5 months of sustenance. Paradise flycatchers have also been seen nesting in  the village.

Bird List

008 Dabchick,Common Resident
055 Cormorant, Whitebreasted Common Resident
058  Cormorant, Reed Common Resident
060  Darter, Scarce
062  Heron, Grey Common Resident
063  Heron, Blackheaded, Common Resident
065  Heron, Purple, Very Scarce Visitor
067  Egret, Little, Very Scarce Visitor
071  Egret, Cattle, Scarce Visitor
076  Nightheron, Black Crowned, Scarce
081  Hamerkop, Common Resident
083  Stork, White, Common Sum. Visitor
084  Stork, Black, Scarce Resident
085  Stork, Abdims, Very Scarce
089  Stork, Marabou, Very Scarce
090  Stork, Yellowbilled, Very Scarce
091  Ibis, Sacred, Common Visitor
092  Ibis, Bald , Very Scarce
094  Ibis, Hadeda, Very Com. Resident
095  Spoonbill, African, Fairly Common Visitor
099  Duck, Whitefaced, Scarce Visitor
102 Goose, Eqyptian, Common Resident
103  Shelduck, South African, Common Resident
104  Duck, Yellowbilled, Common Resident
105  Duck, African Black, Common Resident
106  Teal, Cape, Scarce
108  Teal, Redbilled, Scarce Visitor
112  Shoveller, Cape, Scarce Visitor
116  Goose, Spurwinged, Common Resident
117  Duck, Maccoa, Scarce Resident
118  Secretary Bird, Resident
119  Vulture, Bearded, Resident
122  Vulture, Cape , Common Resident
126  Kite, Yellowbilled , Very Scarce Visitor
127  Kite, Blackshouldered, Common Resident
131  Eagle, Black, Common Resident
136  Eagle, Booted, Scarce Visitor
139  Eagle, Longcrested, Scarce Visitor
140  Eagle, Martial, Scarce Visitor
148  Eagle, African Fish, Scarce Resident
149  Buzzard, Steppe, Common Sum. Visitor
150  Buzzard, Forest, Resident
152  Buzzard, Jackal, Common Resident
155  Sparrowhawk, Redbreasted, Scarce Resident
157  Sparrowhawk, Little, Scarce Visitor
158  Sparrowhawk, Black, Scarce Visitor
162  Goshawk, Pale Chanting, Scarce Visitor
165  Harrier, African Marsh, Scarce Resident
168 Harrier, Black, Scarce Resident
169  Falcon, Gymnogene, Scarce Resident
171  Falcon, Peregrine, Scarce Resident
172  Falcon, Lanner, Scarce Resident
180  Kestrel, Eastern, Redfooted, Common Sum. Visitor
181  Kestrel, Rock, Common Resident
182  Kestrel, Greater, Summer Visitor
183  Kestrel, Lesser, Summer Visitor
190  Francolin, Greywing, Common Resident
200  Quail, Common, Summer Visitor
203  Guineafowl, Helmeted, Common Resident
207  Crane, Wattled, Very Scarce Visitor
208  Crane, Blue, Scarce Resident
209  Crane, Crowned, Common Resident
218  Flufftail, Buffspotted, Very Scarce – (only heard at night)
226  Moorhen, Resident
228  Coot, Redknobbed, Common Resident
230  Bustard, Kori, Scarce Resident
231  Bustard, Stanleys, Scarce Resident
232  Bustard, Ludwigs, Scarce Resident
234  Korhaan, Blue, Common Resident
245  Plover, Ringed, Scarce Visitor
249  Plover, Threebanded, Scarce Visitor
255  Plover, Crowned, Scarce Visitor
258  Plover, Blacksmith, Common Resident
264  Sandpiper, Common, Scarce Summer Visitor
266  Sandpiper, Wood, Scarce Summer Visitor

269  Sandpiper, Marsh, Scarce Summer Visitor
270  Greenshank, Scarce Summer Visitor
272  Sandpiper, Curlew, Scarce Summer Visitor
284  Ruff , Scarce Summer Visitor
286  Snipe, Ethiopian, Scarce Summer Visitor
290  Whimbrel, Scarce Summer Visitor
297  Dikkop, Spotted, Scarce
299  Courser, Burchels, Scarce
330 Crombec, Longbilled, Scarce
338  Tern, Whiskered, Scarce Vagrant
348  Pigeon, Feral, Common Resident
350  Pigeon, Rameron, Scarce Resident
349  Pigeon, Rock, Common Resident
352  Dove, Redeyed, Common Resident
354  Dove, Cape Turtle, Common Resident
355  Dove, Laughing, Common Resident
356  Dove, Namaqua, Scarce Visitor
377  Cuckoo, Red Chested, Common Sum. Visitor
378  Cuckoo, Black, Summer Visitor
382 Cuckoo, Jacobin, Scarce Summer Visitor
386  Cuckoo, Diederik, Common Sum. Visitor
392  Owl, Barn, Scarce Resident
393  Owl, Grass, Scarce Resident
394  Owl, Marsh, Scarce Resident
400  Owl, Cape Eagle, Common Resident
401  Owl, Spotted Eagle, Common Resident
404  Nightjar, European, Scarce
412  Swift, Black, Summer Visitor
415  Swift, Whiterumped, Summer Visitor
416  Swift, Horus, Summer Visitor
417  Swift, Little, Summer Visitor
418  Swift, Alpine, Summer Visitor
424  Mousebird, Speckled, Common Resident
428  Kingfisher, Pied, Resident
429  Kingfisher, Giant, Common Resident
431  Kingfisher, Malachite, Very Scarce
438  Bee_Eater, European, Very Scarce
446  Roller, European, Scarce Summer Visitor
451  Hoopoe, Common Resident
465  Barbet, Pied, Scarce
474  Honeyguide, Greater, Scarce
476  Honeyguide, Lesser, Scarce
480  Woodpecker, Ground, Fairly Com. Resident
494  Lark, Rufousnaped, Common
495  Lark, Clapper, Fairly Common
500  Lark, Longbilled, Scarce
507  Lark, Redcapped, Common
512  Lark, Thickbilled, Scarce
518  Swallow, European, Summer Visitor
520  Swallow, Whitethroated, Summer Visitor
523  Swallow, Pearlbreasted, Summer Visitor
526  Swallow, Greater Striped, Summer Visitor
528  Swallow, S.A. Cliff, Scarce Summer Visitor
529  Martin, Rock, Summer Visitor
530  Martin, House, Summer Visitor
533  Martin, Brownthroated, Common Sum. Visitor
534  Martin, Banded, Scarce Summer Visitor
541  Drongo, Forktailed, Scarce Summer Visitor
547  Crow, Black, Common Resident
548  Crow, Pied, Scarce Resident
550  Raven, Whitenecked, Scarce Resident
551  Tit, Southern Grey, Scarce
565  Blackcap, Bush, Scarce Resident
567  Bulbul, Redeyed, Common Resident
568  Bulbul, Blackeyed, Scarce Resident
576  Thrush, Kurrichane, Scarce
577  Thrush, Olive, Common Resident
581  Thrush, Cape Rock, Resident
582  Thrush, Sentinel Rock, Resident
586  Chat, Mountain, Common Resident
587 Wheatear, Capped, Scarce
588  Chat, Buffstreaked, Scarce
589  Chat, Familiar, Common Resident
590  Chat, Tractrac, Scarce
591  Chat, Sicklewinged, Resident
592  Chat, Karoo, Fairly Common
593  Chat, Mocking, Resident

595  Chat, Anteating, Resident
596  Chat, Stone, Common Resident
601  Robin, Cape, Common Resident
612  Rockjumper, Orangebreasted, Scarce Resident
614  Robin, Karoo, Scarce
622  Titbabbler, Layard’s, Scarce
631  Warbler, African Marsh, Scarce Visitor
635  Warbler, Cape Reed, Scarce
639  Warbler, Barrats, Scarce Summer Visitor
643  Warbler, Willow, Scarce
661  Grassbird, Common Resident
664  Cisticola, Fantailed, Common Resident
665  Cisticola, Desert, Common Resident
666  Cisticola, Cloud, Common Resident
667  Cisticola, Ayres, Common Resident
669 Cisticola, Greybacked, Resident
670  Cisticola, Wailing, Common Resident
677  Cisticola, Levaillant’s, Common Resident
681  Neddicky, Common Resident
686a  Prinia, Spotted, Common Resident
686b Prinia, Drakensberg, Common Resident
688  Warbler Rufouseared, Scarce
690  Flycatcher, Dusky, Scarce Summer Visitor
694  Flycatcher, Black, Scarce Summer Visitor
698 Flycatcher, Fiscal, Common Resident
700 Batis, Cape, Scarce
706 Flycatcher, Fairy, Scarce Resident
710 Flycatcher, Paradise, Very Scarce Visitor
711 Wagtail, African Pied, Scarce
713 Wagtail, Cape, Common Resident
716 Pipit, Richards (Grassveld), Common Resident
717 Pipit, Long Billed, Scarce
718 Pipit, Plain Backed, Scarce
719 Pipit, Buffy, Scarce
721 Pipit, Rock, Scarce
725 Pipit, Yellowbreasted, Scarce
727 Longclaw, Orangethroated, Common Resident
732 Shrike, Fiscal, Common Resident
733 Shrike, Redbacked, Scarce Visitor
736 Boubou, Southern, Visitor
746 Bokmakierie, Common Resident
757 Starling, European, Common New Resident
759 Starling, Pied, Common Resident
760 Starling, Wattled, Scarce Nomad
769 Starling, Redwinged, Common Resident
770 Starling, Palewinged, Scarce
775 Sunbird, Malachite, Summer Visitor
796 White-eye, Cape, Common Resident
801 Sparrow, House, Common Resident
803 Sparrow, Cape, Common Resident
804 Sparrow, Greyheaded, Common Resident
813 Weaver, Cape, Common Resident
814 Weaver, Southern Masked, Scarce
824 Bishop, Red, Common Resident
826 Bishop, Golden, Less Common Resident
827 Widow, Yellowrumped, Common Resident
828 Widow, Red Shouldered, Less Common Resident
831 Widow, Red Collared, Common Resident
832 Widow, Longtailed, Common Resident
846 Waxbill, Common, Common Resident
850 Waxbill, Swee, Common Resident
852 Finch, Quail, Scarce Visitor
856 Finch, Redheaded, Scarce Visitor
860 Whydah, Pintailed, Summer Visitor
872 Canary, Cape, Common Resident
875 Siskin, Drakensberg, Scarce Resident
876 Canary, Blackheaded, Scarce Resident
877 Canary, Bully, Scarce Resident
878 Canary, Yellow, Scarce Resident
881 Canary, Streaky Headed, Common Resident
884 Bunting, Goldenbreasted, Scarce Visitor
885 Bunting, Cape, Common Resident
886 Bunting, Rock, Common Resident
901 Pipit, Mountain, Scarce Resident

± 230 Species recorded