Working for birds in Africa

Hotspots

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 14:08 -- abc_admin

The following extracts are taken from "Southern African Birdfinder: where to find 1,400 birds in southern Africa and Madagascar" by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode and Jonathan Rossouw, released by Struik Publishers in 2006. 

Mafika-Lisiu Pass and Katse Dam This remote corner of Lesotho’s Maluti Mountains, once the sole domain of nomadic Basutus and their herds of livestock, is now reached easily by means of the spectacular Mafika-Lisiu Pass. The excellent tarred road, used during the construction of Lesotho Highlands Water Project, provides vehicle-bound birders with the most accessible highland birding in the Drakensberg. Specials: Grey-winged Francolin Francolinus africanus, Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus, Cape Eagle Owl Bubo capensis, Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus, Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres, Black Stork Ciconia nigra, Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus, Drakensberg or Orange-breasted Rockjumper Chaetops (frenatus) aurantius, Sentinel Rock-Thrush Monticola explorator, African Rock Anthus crenatus and Mountain Pipits A. hoeschi and Drakensberg Siskin Pseudochloroptila symonsi.

Sani Pass Although strictly speaking Sani Pass is in South Africa, it is used as a thoroughfare to gain access into Lesotho, hence its inclusion under this section. The spectacular Sani Pass is justly famous as the most accessible site in Southern Africa for the high-altitude specials of the Drakensberg massif and is an essential stop on any endemic-hunter’s birding route. A day trip up the pass in summer should almost guarantee sightings of such highly sought-after species as Drakensberg Rockjumper Chaetops (frenatus) aurantius, Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi and Drakensberg Siskin Pseudochloroptila symonsi. Specials: Grey-winged Francolin Francolinus africanus, Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus, Cape Eagle Owl Bubo capensis, Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus, Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres, Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus, Drakensberg Rockjumper Chaetops (frenatus) aurantius, Sentinel Rock-Thrush Monticola explorator, Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata, Barratt's Warbler Bradypterus barratti, Bush Blackcap Lioptilus nigricapillus, Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi, Mountain Pipit Anthus hoeschi and Drakensberg Siskin Pseudochloroptila symonsi.

Liqobong This site is located on the Mechachaneng Ridge, and consists of 60-90 m high cliffs which span approximately 1 km. The surrounding area consists primarily of cultivated land and montane grassland. This site is centred on a well-established Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres colony. Other cliff-nesting species found in the area include Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus, Jackal Buzzard Buteo rufofuscus, Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus and Black Stork Ciconia nigra. Range restricted Drakensberg Rockjumper Chaetops (frenatus) aurantius, Mountain Pipit Anthus hoeschi and Drakensberg Siskin Pseudochloroptila symonsi can also be found. Commonly occurring species restricted to Lesotho and South Africa include African Rock Pipit Anthus crenatus, Sentinel Rock-Thrush Monticola explorator and Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus.

Sehlabathebe National Park Lesotho’s only National Park, Sehlabathebe is located on the eastern border of Lesotho where it links with South Africa’s Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. All of Lesotho’s flagship montane species can be found in the park as well as the country’s only known population of Yellow-breasted Pipit Anthus chloris.

Copyright © African Bird Club. All rights reserved.
UK registered charity 1053920

Southmedia

Web site designed and built by