Media Release: Rare sighting at Camdeboo birding weekend
Birders on the Camdeboo National Park’s recent birding weekend were delighted to witness a rare bird – the Village Indigobird – in amongst the sightings of more commonly-seen bird species.
The Village Indigobird (Vidua chalybeata) usually occurs in the far north-east of the country with only very small pockets having been infrequently recorded in the Eastern Cape, so the sight of the bird, accompanied by its distinctive call, was a rare treat indeed.
The weekend kicked off with a cheese and wine function at the Park’s offices. A total of 25 birders registered for the event and were addressed by Rion Lerm of Birdlife Northern Gauteng. Later, birders could visit Lerm’s stall to purchase books and birding gadgets.
Birders split into three groups for the main birding day on a very misty, overcast Saturday, exploring the Nqweba Dam floodplains, Winterhoek area and the Education Centre area. The latter area was chosen after the group found the Fonteinskloof area too wet to navigate.
72 bird species were recorded around the dam while 47 were recorded at the Education Centre. Special sightings included Rock Kestrel, White-browed Scrub-Robin, both the Red-billed and African (Blue-billed) Firefinches and all four Bunting species in the Park: Cape, Cinnamon-breasted, Golden-breasted and Larklike. Both varieties of Tit-Babbler, namely the Chestnut-vented and the Layards, were spotted in the same company as some Neddickys and a Long-billed Crombec. Lerm, who started his birding expedition on Friday morning, was able to spot a total of 103 birds over the weekend.
Apart from birds, the birders were lucky enough to spot a large variety of wildlife species and were pleased to note the current good condition of the veld in the Park.
To end the day, the Birders were invited to a spit braai dinner at the park offices which included a talk on bird conservation and monitoring by Rion Lerm. Lerm urged the birders to join the SABAP monitoring system online to assist with this system of monitoring birds across South Africa.
Park Manager, Peter Burdett (2nd from right at back), leads the discussion on the day’s birding at the spitbraai function.
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