News
 
Update from SARBN - African Skimmer - 2017-05-09
AFRICAN SKIMMER – what are presumed to be the same 2 birds that were seen along the Letaba River in the Kruger National Park a few days ago are present at Engelhardt Dam, also in the park, this morning. Given that this is a publicly accessible site, getting this news out timeously is obviously of more importance now. It has been suggested tha... more

SARBN - AFRICAN SKIMMER - 2016-11-05
Both birds are still present this morning at Albasini Dam (Limpopo) – reported by Samson Mulaudzi. ... more

KNOB-BILLED DUCK - A RARE VISITOR TO THE WESTERN CAPE - 2016-11-04
Still present at Avonrus farm (Western Cape) today at the dam at 33 deg 30’ 45” S 19 deg 15’ 51” E. Anyone wanting to look for it can contact Plum Lategan at 083 229 9002 or his brother, Louis, on 082 557 9437 and they will gladly assist you to find it – reported by Plum Lategan. ... more

SARBN Mega Alert - Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin (Erythropygia galactotes) - 2016-07-31
This is the very first time that this little bird has ever been reported in South Africa. It is a medium-sized member of the family Muscicaoidae. Other common names include the rufous scrub robin, rufous bush chat, rufous bush robin and the rufous warbler.It breeds around the Mediterranean and east to Pakistan. It also breeds south of the Sahara fr... more

Kgalagadi Radical Raptor Safari 2016 - 2016-06-14
The Kgalagadi is a name that inspires adventure and the mystique of Africa. It is a vast expanse of desert/dry savannah with red dunes and dry river beds. This is where Absolute Birding headed for our latest tour. We started by collecting our guests in Cape Town from their respective hotels and guest house. We headed north out of the mother city al... more

This is the kind of experience you can experience you can expect on our African birding safaris to the Kgalagadi ! - 2016-05-26
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There is no greater past time than birding in the South African bush. Join us ! - 2016-05-26
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SARBN - Swallow Tailed Bee Eater - 2016-05-26
SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER – still present this morning at Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve (KZN) in the same general area as described yesterday – reported by Andrew Stainthorpe.   ... more

David Attenborough speaks ... - 2016-05-24
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KGALAGADI RADICAL RAPTOR SAFARI - 2016-05-17
We have just returned from another African odyssey. There is nothing like relaxing after a long birding safari to reflect over wonderful times you have experienced. One of the great things about birding is that it begins almost immediately you hit the road. From Cape Town we travelled due north initially through imposing wine lands, then green whea... more

The Call of the African Bush - 2016-05-01
There is nothing quite like waking up before first light. There is a certain stillness and latent energy for the coming day. You turn on the kitchen lights and put the kettle on. You pack your camera equipment and other gear in your safari vehicle and rouse your guests. The excitement becomes palpable. Once the flasks and guests are loaded you get ... more

Birding Day Tour up the Cape West Coast - 2016-04-29
Up and out early to get the early birds. Travelled up to the West Coast National Park. With most of the migratories having taken wing to warmer climbs we are making do with the local endemics. We came across some really great sightings of : Cape Weaver, Lanner Falcon, Yellow Bishop, Cape Bulbul, Karoo Scrub Robin, Little Grebe, Cape Teal, Southern ... more

Groot Karoo Birding Safari-Trip Report - 2016-04-03
Groot Karoo Birding Safari-Trip Report Another fantastic birding trip to the interior of South Africa. Strangely for this time of year the interior is quite green and with a lion on the loose near Beaufort West excitement was high. We got great sightings of Verreaux's Eagle with a Rock Hyrax kill, Jackal Buzzard, Black Crow, Rufous E... more

Unexpected Elephant - Incredible Eastern Cape Birding Tour - 2016-03-07
On the final day of our Eastern Cape safari we spent the late morning resting in our vehicle under a large Wild Fig tree discussing the tour and all that we had seen and experienced. The next moment I looked up there was a huge elephant looming large directly in front of the vehicle. I had looked up as the shade cast by this mighty beast had blotte... more

Seeking the African Fish Eagle - 2016-03-06
The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) is the voice of daylight Africa south of the Sahara. It features on many national coats of arms and is distinctive for it's head thrown back call. They have incredible eyesight specially adapted to seeing fish just below the surface of rivers and dams. Not great pic's but had to share as there is ... more

The Subtleties of Nature - 2016-03-04
Sitting at my desk I hear a Cape Robin Chat singing in my White Karee tree, then a rustle in the grass outside, I get up to look as one does not take chances living on a farm with no-one else about. Sure as nuts there are three eland literally outside my front door. As I scan the grassland to the forest edge I see more making good use of the camouf... more

Mega surprise - Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) - 2016-02-28
We have absolutely no other family members of the Turaco family within 500 kilometers of Cape Town so when theis magnificent bird arrived in a tree outside my house I got really excited. This beautiful bird is an escapee and comes from far away Senegal in West Africa. This one kind posed for me before moving on. A privelege to see.    ... more

Cape Fox family co-habiting with Yellow Mongoose - 2016-02-28
Cape Fox (Vulpes chama) by Sean de Nobrega. We have had these cute little predators on the farm for some time. However, the interesting thing about this family is that they are co-habiting with a Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata). They are sharing a burrow which is most unusual behavior.     ... more

An incredible Cheetah Experience - 2016-02-28
On a recent safari I led to the world renowned Kruger National Park we were sitting quietly at the Transport Dam south of Skukuza when I noticed a female Waterbuck staring intently at a large bush on the other side of the dam. She started slowly walking towards the bush stopping every now and again to stamp her foreleg before proceeding forward. ... more

South African Rare Bird Network - Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) - 2016-02-06
A single bird has been mist-netted and ringed this morning (and photographed) at Princess Vlei on the Cape Flats (Western Cape) at -34.045128, 18.483704 – reported by Dieter Oschadleus. These birds are approximately 14 cm: 19 grams. Sexes Alike. The only brownish grey warbler in the region without a noticeable eyebrow or any obvious features.... more

South African Rare Bird Network - Elegent Tern (Thalasseus elegans) - 2016-02-04
A single bird has been photographed this afternoon and is still currently on view in the tern roost at Geiring Point opposite Burgundy Restaurant in Hermanus (Western Cape) Size approximately 39-42 cm: Weighing 190-325 g. Sexes Alike. A medium-sized tern with shaggy crest and long, slightly drooping orange bill. Most similar to Lesser Crested Tern,... more

South African Rare Bird Network - African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus) - 2016-02-03
A flock of at least 30 birds still present this morning at Umbogavango Nature Reserve in Amanzimtoti (KZN). A relatively small stork, blackish plumage glossed green, purple and brown. Uniquely shaped bill has a conspicuous gap specially adapted to facilitate removal of molluscs from their shells. The upper mandible is relatively straight and used t... more

Two new 'lifers' bagged over the weekend ! - 2016-02-01
There is nothing better than being able to share the joy of birding with a loved one and especially being able to bag 'lifers' together. I am blessed that all my kids are animal lovers and my son, Taine (15), in particular is a fine up and coming birder who is a fair hand with a camera. Below we are show casing some of his latest pic's.... more

South African Rare Bird Network - Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana) - 2016-01-27
A little bird lost is causing a huge flutter. More than 600 people, some from as far as Cape Town, have come to Johannesburg to get a glimpse of a bird that is not quite the size of a chicken. The bird is a spotted crake and it has pitched up at a pond at Waterfall Estate, Midrand. Spotted crakes usually migrate only as far south as Zambia... more

Absolute Birding 'Lifer' and 'Twitch' - Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) - 2016-01-26
Just nailed a 'lifer' - Western Yellow Wagtail 😎 These birds occur usually in small groups and are insectiverous following cattle and game. Usually found in the North Eastern parts of Southern Africa and a patch of Namibia. This bird was interacting nicely with the Cape wagtails on the shoreline. Thanks to Trevor and his SARBN for t... more

South African Rare Bird Network - African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus) - 2016-01-25
AFRICAN OPENBILL – the first one has just hit the Western Cape ! A single bird has just been found at Geelhoutboom in George at -33.985, 22.364. The birds are mostly found in Northern Botswana, Zimbabwe and the east coast from northern Kwazulu through Mozambique. They are of the stork family and their unique bills are used to extract mussel a... more

South African Rare Bird Network - Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) - 2016-01-23
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER - a single bird has just been found and photographed at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif (enter through Kuifkopvisvanger farm - www.kuifkop.co.za). The bird was seen along the edge of the large pan opposite the large piles of salt more or less at 32 49 31 S 18 11 54 E - reported by Lex van Vught and Christian Boix. ... more

Pel's Fishing Owl (Scotopelia peli) - 2016-01-20
This large owl almost matches the Verreauxs Eagle Owl in size with the female being slightly larger. Its upper parts are rufous to tawny in colour. Its legs are feathered but its feet are not. Its voice is a soft hooting humming sound. This bird is found mostly on the eastern side of the country and particularly on major river courses like the Limp... more

Absolute Birding 'Lifer' and 'Twitch' - Southern Tchagra (Tchagra tchagra) : The Ultimate Skulker - 2016-01-20
On our recent birding tour to the Eastern Cape I was fortunate enough to spot movement in deep foliage. Not being sure what I had seen I sat it out with my guests getting a little anxious until they realised that they had just seen one of the most secretive birds in South Africa. The Southern Tchagra is a close family member of the shrike and does ... more

Absolute Birding 'Lifer' and 'Twitch' - Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens) - 2016-01-11
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens) by Sean de Nobrega. This is surely one of the coolest pic's I have ever taken. It shows the interaction between both male and female birds. For me bird watching is not just about getting the 'shot' but about studying the various birds behavioral patterns. When it comes to territorial defense ... more

Absolute Birding 'Lifer' and 'Twitch' - Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) - 2015-12-16
I have a Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) in the Eucalyptus tree outside my house on Clara Anna Fontein. These birds are endemic to West Africa and we suspect that this particular bird is an escapee. Still a real treat to have around. ... more

South African Rare Bird Network - Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) - 2015-12-13
GREY WAGTAIL - a single bird located at Grown Energy farm at Sena (the Bohm's Bee-eater site) in Mozambique yesterday - reported by Etienne Marais. LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO - a single bird located at the entrance to Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve yesterday - reported by Tony Archer. TUFTED DUCK - a single male associating wi... more

Update from SARBN‏ - 2015-11-28
AYRES’ HAWK EAGLE – at least one bird is currently still showing well soaring over Weskoppies Hospital in Pretoria. Best viewed from near the end of John Keevy Drive at S 25.76822 E 028.17682 – reported by Dawie Kleynhans. ... more

Western Cape Rare Bird News Report - 2015-11-14
In the Western Cape, there have been a couple of nice finds in recent days including an AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER located this afternoon on the sandbanks near the mouth of the river at De Mond Nature Reserve near Arniston as well as a single CASPIAN PLOVER that was located at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif on Tuesday afternoon whilst at least one RED-... more

ABSOLUTE BIRDING - TOUR SCHEDULE 2016 - 2015-11-09
  ABSOLUTE BIRDING - TOUR SCHEDULE 2016   Destination Departure/Arrival Depart from Duration         Kruger 11 Jan '1... more

PENNANT-WINGED NIGHTJAR - 2015-10-21
A single male bird was seen at 23h45 last night around the lights at Hobatere Lodge in Namibia, well out of range for this species – reported by Dayne Braine. ... more

Xanthochroic Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus) sighting - 2015-10-17
Xanthochroic Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus) exceptional and extremely rare sighting by Callie De Wet. These birds normally have red heads. ... more

NEW WORLD RECORD : 425 SPECIES IN JUST 24-HOURS - 2015-10-10
ECUADOR BIG DAY TEAM (left to right): Rudy Gelis, Mitch Lysinger, Tuomas Seimola & Dušan Brinkhuizen. Photo taken at Ecuasal, Salinas, just a few minutes after breaking the world record. Our team recorded a total of 425 ABA countable bird species within 24-hours on 8 Oct 2015 in Ecuador (the previous world record was made in Peru by L... more

EASTERN CAPE AND ADDO BIRDING SAFARI 2015/2016 - 2015-10-08
Our Eastern Cape and Addo Safari is fully booked and leaving Cape Town on the 27th of December (//www.absolutebirding.com///p/779738/eastern-cape-and-addo-birding-safari) Sorry you can't join us this time but we do have limited vacancies foe next year. Can now for more information on our birding tours and big five safaris ... more

DAY TRIP TO BETTY'S BAY AND WORCESTER - 2015-09-13
We were up and at em at 0500 this morning. However the wind in Betty's Bay was merciless and seriously hampered our birding. We persevered and still got some decent pic's. Our birding tour then left the wind behind us and headed inland to Worcester via Botrivier and Villiersdorp. We had a great lunch at the Karoo Desert National Botanical G... more

RAPTOR COMPARISON - 2015-09-12
Eurasian hobby (Falco subbuteo) and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). This is very interesting comparison of two raptors whose feather colouration are remarkably similar. Both of these birds can be seen on a summer Birding Safari South Africa. ... more

EXCEPTIONAL COST SAVING ON BIRDING TOURS AND SAFARIS TO SOUTH AFRICA - 2015-09-11
There has never been a better time to head to South Africa to experience nature. All major currencies have strengthened substantionally against the Rand making your dream holiday to South Africa cheaper. That means you will get more bang for your buck ! Book now for your birding tour, wildlife safari, historical tour or photographic experience of a... more

TRIP REPORT : GARDEN ROUTE - 2015-09-11
As we descend into the green valley get are surrounded by huge Yellowwood and other indigenous trees that will provide the canopy under which we will find the birds we have come to search for. The very first bird we saw was the Forest Buzzard perched nonchalantly on a pole. Forest birding can be tricky due to the dense amount of vegatation. As we r... more

SADDLE BILLED STORK - 2015-09-11
A single bird has been spotted on a birding tour to a small dam near Boschkop along the N14 near Coligny - reported by Geoff Lockwood. ... more

AMETHYST SUNBIRD IN DURBANVILLE - 2015-09-03
This is a very rare bird in Cape Town and I was thrilled that I was able to track one down just down the road from where I live. One would be more likely to see one on a birding safari or tour to the Eastern Cape. Amethyst Sunbird (Chalcomitra amethystina) a very tricky customer to photograph as his black colour absorbs the light. ... more

PALM-NUT VULTURE IN SWELLENDAM AREA - 2015-09-02
The adult bird is present once again today in Swellendam (Western Cape) and has been seen circling over the greenbelt area between the mountain and the first houses around Marloth Nature Reserve – reported by Willie Linde. ... more

TRIP REPORT : GARDEN ROUTE - 2015-08-25
From Bontebok National Park, after a hearty breakfast, we headed off to Natures Valley in ther heart of the Garden Route. Just outside Riversdal we saw a Brown Hooded Kingfisher near the river and a Martial Eagle flying over the national road. Lifers for my clients. En route we made a pitstop at the Millwood Goldfields near Reenendal where we ... more

TRIP REPORT : GARDEN ROUTE - 2015-08-21
After collecting our guests from their hotel in Cape Town we headed out on the N2 reaching the Hottentots Holland mountains just as the sun was rising. With clear skies heading up the Sir Lowry's Pass promised some good sightings of local birdlife. First on the list was a single Cape Rock Jumper catching the early sun's rays. A good omen th... more

ABSOLUTE BIRDING TOURS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARIS SPOT 'BOOTED EAGLE' - 2015-08-17
While on a birding safari out of Cape Town today  we were fortuante to come across a 'Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus Pennatus)'. The bird just swooped in before taking to the thermals again. ... more

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA'S FLAMINGOES - 2015-08-16
We are blessed to have 2 x species that are to be found over pretty much the same areas over the sub-continent where large bodies of water is to be found. The Greater is substantially larger than the Lesser coming in at 165cm while the Lesser is just 122cm. In both species the the males are bigger than the females. The Lesser is a more colourful bi... more

Absolute Birding tracked down the elusive 'Red Necked Phalarope' - 2015-08-13
We left Cape Town for Veldrif on the West Coast on a very dreary winters day. Despite the rain and wind our perseverence paid off and after some serious searching we found the 'Red Necked Phalarope' (Phalaropus lobatus) in full breeding colours. As you can see it is a real little beauty and well worth the effort.    ... more

Breaking news from SARBN‏ - 2015-08-09
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE – a single individual in full breeding plumage was located today on the Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif at 32º 49.452 S 18º 12.025 E. Anyone wanting to access the area should do so through Kuifkopvisvanger farm and can speak to Jan Kotze at 0837597075 in order to arrange access. – reported by Eddie and Lind... more

Stay Calm and Go Birding ! - 2015-08-09
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SA Rare Bird News Report - 2015-08-03
Starting in the Western Cape, things were all reasonably sedate until early this evening when news trickled through of an odd bird seen at Perdekloof Reserve near Cape Point today. Although the photos are not of the greatest quality, for all intents and purposes, the bird looks very much like a TREE PIPIT which would be a huge record for the provin... more

BUSH BLACKCAP : Update from SARBN‏ - 2015-08-02
This bird is still present this morning at the same site at Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve - reported by Mark Kirk. ... more

BLACK SPARROWHAWKS BREEDING IN DURBANVILLE : FOLLOW UP - 2015-07-31
All still going well with our youngster. Saw his parents bring him a nice fat dove yesterday. He should be flying very soon. Have a group of birders coming to visit him tomorrow. ... more

BREAKING NEWS FROM SARBN‏ - 2015-07-29
GULL-BILLED TERN – a slightly delayed report of a bird seen last Tuesday, 21 July 2015, at Lake Shengeza at the northern end of the lake close to Kosi Forest Lodge (KZN). Apparently, as you get to the gate to Kosi Forest Lodge, you turn right towards the lake (which is right there) and it wasn’t more than 50m along this track. I have no... more

SAME SPECIES ? : AFRICAN AND EURASIAN HOOPOE - 2015-07-29
There is some debate about whether the African Hoopoe and the Eurasian Hoopoe are two species or simply subspecies of Upupa epops. In the field they can be distinguished from overall colouration (africana is a richer chestnut) and the absence of a white sub-terminal band on the primaries in the African Hoopoe. ... more

BREAKING NEWS : BLACK SPARROWHAWKS BREEDING IN DURBANVILLE - 2015-07-28
I am thrilled to report that our resident melanistic Black Sparrowhawks have at least one chick that is close to fledging. Mom and dad dive bombed me when I went near the nest area. They have been successfully breeding in the same stand of alien Eucolyptus trees for at least eight years. Looking forward to seeing the youngster in flight ... more

ONE DAY BIRDING TRIP TO ROOIELS - 2015-07-05
We had a cracker of an outing to Rooiels not far from Cape Town along the very scenic eastern coast of False Bay. Whales were in the bay, the weather was clear with blue skies and conditions were just perfect. Our mission to spot the elusive Cape Rock Jumper (Chaetops frenatus) and the Ground Woodpecker ( Geocolaptes olivaceus). Our timing was impe... more

SA Rare Bird News Report - 2015-06-26
Up in the Northern Cape, an EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD DOVE was located at the waterhole about 5km north of Twee Rivieren camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on Friday, an unusual species for this part of the province, well west of where they are normally recorded. Over in the Eastern Cape, a GREEN-BACKED HERON was located again yesterday at Port... more

HUGE TWITCH FOR CAPE TOWN : Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) - 2015-06-15
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) I was fortunate to add this bird to my 'lifer' list today. The snowy egret is a small white heron. It is the American counterpart to the very similar Old World Little Egret, which has established a foothold in the Bahamas. At one time, the beautiful plumes of the snowy egret were in great demand by market hunters... more

Flock at Sea AGAIN! 2017 - 2015-06-06
Flock at Sea AGAIN! 2017 offers the unique opportunity of a 5 day , 4 night cruise along the continental shelf from Cape Town and back. The route will be specified by BirdLife South Africa for optimum seabird spotting. These waters have produced some of the rarest seabirds on the South African list. With top seabird guides on deck and a variety of ... more

Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis) - 2015-06-02
               A single young male has just been located this morning at the Bordjiesdrift pool near Cape Point. It is apparently quite aggressive, so please keep to a safe distance when viewing it. – reported by Barrie Rose. ... more

Honey Badger (Millivora capensis) and Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) interaction - 2015-05-30
Honey Badger (Millivora capensis) and Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) interaction. This mother and juvenile badger pair were crossing the Aoab River bed in the Kgaladi Transfrontier Park much to the fascination of the Wildebeest. Every time the badgers turned around to face the over inquistive Wildebeest the wildies ran for it. It was r... more

Black-winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmanni) - 2015-05-28
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Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - 2015-05-06
Eurasian Blackcap: News 20 April 2014 from SARBN EURASIAN BLACKCAP – a probable one (a male from the description) was reported moving through a garden in Littleton Manor (Gauteng) about an hour ago. Although there are no photos of the bird, the observer noted several salient features which certainly seem to point to this species, although ... more