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What birds are you excited to see on Safari?


Game Warden

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Game Warden

Have you ever planned a trip to see a specific bird species? What is your favourite eagle for example? Are you keen to spot a real rarity? Do you devote a specific day of your trip to birding, or just keep your eyes open and bird book close to hand in case you see something special?

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I've never planned a safari around birding but the little owls are always a great find, ~ Pearl-spotted, Barred & White-faced Scops. Martial eagles are an impressive bird too.

We're with kittycat...we really enjoy eye-candy birds and pretty much say "meh" to LBJs. We also sometimes play at setting fun goals like seeing all the penguin species. We've not planned a trip aro

Next month I'm heading up to Kitale/Kapenguria area for the following birds (and all others I happen to see): White-crested Turaco, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weavers, Borana Cisticola. I'll be accompa

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GW , the Martial eagle is my favorite bird,as it is very rare here in SA and the rest of Africa.While out on my trips I always keep a look out for them.

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kittykat23uk

We planned to see the penguins and albatrosses when we visited the cape. We also tried other sites for specific birds, with varying degrees of luck. I tend to get excited by the colourful, by large gatherings of birds and the unusual. I'm not so bothered about lbjs.

 

In Madagascar we planned the trip for the lemurs but birds also featured highly. unlike someone I know I don't have a fit if I don't see every endemic bird on the list! I am happy to see a good variety of birds.

 

Ifi make it to Borneo next year then more time will be spent birding there.

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stokeygirl

I tend to get excited by the colourful, by large gatherings of birds and the unusual. I'm not so bothered about lbjs.

 

 

 

Me too- I like bee eaters, but especially carmines and the nesting colonies in South Luangwa are spectacular.

 

I also like owls. It's always exciting to see a Pel's, but I like the little ones- the Pearl Spotted, Barred and Scops.

 

I also have a soft spot for black crakes- funny little cartoon birds that make a hell of a noise for such a small bird.

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madaboutcheetah

I am not an avid birder ......... What i really like about birds are the soundscapes that adds to the quintessential safari experience. Nothing like the sounds of birds chirping away, especially early in the morning.

 

There are some birds that do catch my fancy - all raptors, carmine bee eater colonies, the LBR(how can you resist the colors), saddle billed stork, Kingfishers (esp the woodland, Giant), Secretary bird (have some good images from ndutu - some very relaxed specimens there), crimson breasted shrike ...........

 

Still awaiting a relaxed Martial Eagle at close range.

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twaffle

Well, I had planned a safari around flamingoes and Fish Eagles but have been distracted and am going for hirolas instead. I love birds but can't say I've planned a trip around a species however I intend to factor in Shoebills for my Uganda trip.

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Game Warden

I would think Shoebills are a big draw in Uganda, a must see?

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Geoff

I've never planned a safari around birding but the little owls are always a great find, ~ Pearl-spotted, Barred & White-faced Scops.

Martial eagles are an impressive bird too.

post-5120-0-83895900-1365067166_thumb.jpg

post-5120-0-98520300-1365067464_thumb.jpg

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Treepol

A Shoebill would be a must-see in Uganda for me, although I probably wouldn't plan a whole trip just to see a Shoebill or any other bird. I usually tell the guides mammals first, birds next...

 

I've certainly added particular locations to itineraries to see birds for e.g. Lake Nakuru for flamingoes, Manu Cloudforest for the Andean Cock of the rock and the Pantanal and Manu for macaws.

 

This year I've heard that a young Harpy Eagle has been seen along the Transpantaneira in the Northern Pantanal and that is worthy of a detour, or several. I'm also including Shamvura in our Namibian itinerary next year specifically for Carmine bee-eaters.

 

Like kittykat, I'm most interested in 'flashy' birds rather than lbjs.

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Jochen

I'm with André; Martial Eagle.

 

Saw one in Botswana... right after we passed the fence line. My cam was still in the bag!

Then we heard that one was spotted by another vehicle (this was in Klaserie). We rushed over. It was a juvenile sitting in the shade.

Later that trip, we saw another one, but it flew off even before the car was stopped.

Grrr...

 

I really really REALLY would like just ONE shot of a mature Martial. In sunlight please. If it's not too much too ask.

 

Come to think of it; Pel's Fishing Owl would be cool as well.

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ovenbird

We're with kittycat...we really enjoy eye-candy birds and pretty much say "meh" to LBJs. We also sometimes play at setting fun goals like seeing all the penguin species. We've not planned a trip around any specific African bird yet, but we might in the future as we're half-heartedly trying to see all the bird families. The eye-candy birds in Africa are too numerous to list here, even if just families. I guess we'd have to say we get excited about any bird which is not a LBJ!

 

But we have done specific trips for 3 specific birds....Snow Hill Antarctica for the Emperor Penguin (our final penguin species), Gujarat India for the monotypic Grey Hypocolius, and Bukit Tinggi Malaysia to photograph the Silver-breasted Broadbill (see Dave's pics below). The upside is we got to see much more than just birds on those trips.

 

Male Silver-breasted Broadbill

large.jpg

 

 

Female with pearl necklace

large.jpg

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Sverker

I do not plan a safari to see a certain bird, but being a keen birder I really want so see species not checked already.

Of the unchecked raptors I long for, the crowned eagle is number one closely followed by the Taita falcon.

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Tracks Berg Travel

Favorite eagle i would have to say the Martial eagle but on safari i would also probably look out for the Paradise pin tailed wydah, Kori bustard, Red and Yellow barbets, Bishops and Verreux eagle owl.

 

Am not sure what happened to the beautiful Lammergeir eagle in Hells gate National park (Kenya), had an impressive wing span.

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Sharifa

We have planned holidays just to see the Bearded Vultures but that you can only see in a small area in South Africa.

On safari to the game reserves we stop for everthing we see.

 

My favourite is the Gymnogene which I was lucky to see a few times. A bird I would give up a few other sightings for is the Pel's Fishing Owl. We have gone on guided walks just to get a glimpse of one but have had no luck so far.

 

@@Sverker - we were lucky to have one sighting of the Crowned Eagle in Kruger. The Taita is still on our wish list. Went looking for it in the Blyde River Canyon area of South Africa but were not successful.

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africapurohit

I've noticed that I've become more of a twitcher with age. Although I've never planned a trip around a specific bird species, I may have to deviate from this in my pursuit of the shoebill.

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Tdgraves

I'm with André; Martial Eagle.

 

Saw one in Botswana... right after we passed the fence line. My cam was still in the bag!

Then we heard that one was spotted by another vehicle (this was in Klaserie). We rushed over. It was a juvenile sitting in the shade.

Later that trip, we saw another one, but it flew off even before the car was stopped.

Grrr...

 

I really really REALLY would like just ONE shot of a mature Martial. In sunlight please. If it's not too much too ask.

 

Come to think of it; Pel's Fishing Owl would be cool as well.

You should go to the kruger - they were almost BBJs there in jan. Around every corner and sitting in most dead trees was a martial eagle! They would never fly off though :(

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ZaminOz

I have never planned a safari around any particular animal, avian or terrestrial, and I doubt I ever will (to be honest I have never understood doing that... Or I guess more accurately never imagined having the finances to do that).

 

There are many african birds that I love to see while on safari, but of all, Guinea Fowl are probably the ones I perhaps enjoy seeing the most in the bush. Guineas always bring a smile to my face and warm the heart.

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I am currently planning a trip to Southern Tanzania, and while I can't say I'm planning it specifically for this bird, I really, really want to see Carmine Bee-eater, and I'm trying to time it so that they would have arrived. The plan now is for mid to late November 2014 but if that's too early I could move it up a bit, to late Nov-early December. Anyone know when they might arrive in Selous or Ruaha?

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kittykat23uk

In my last trip, Purple crested Turacos were quite abundant and I loved trying to photograph them. I also really like Batis and Barbets. :)

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owenshaffer

There are many birds which I would love to see yet haven't. Yes, I'm planning to go to safari mainly to go birding. Of course part of the reason why I want to visit Ethiopia and Madagascar is to see the incredible birdlife.

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owenshaffer

I have to say that I've really enjoyed seeing the colonies of carmine bee eater at Kaingo or Mwamba camp in South Luangwa National Park. I've also enjoyed seeing crowned cranes and Lillian's lovebirds there as well. I've also enjoyed see the white fronted and little bee eaters. I love aquatic birds as well such as the sacred ibis, saddle billed storks, and many others.

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David-Baluku

Thanks for your interest in birding and particularly in TZ. I have a colleague Mr Tony running a birding company called "Birding tanzania" , He could be know when the bee eater would be arriving in Selous or Ruaha. Try http://www.tanzaniabirding.com/

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  • 1 year later...
Tom Kellie

I have never planned a safari around any particular animal, avian or terrestrial, and I doubt I ever will (to be honest I have never understood doing that... Or I guess more accurately never imagined having the finances to do that).

 

There are many african birds that I love to see while on safari, but of all, Guinea Fowl are probably the ones I perhaps enjoy seeing the most in the bush. Guineas always bring a smile to my face and warm the heart.

 

~ Hi, ZaminOz!

 

I laughed when I read your comment on Guinea Fowls. Like you, my heart is warmed when I see them running about or gathered in the shade of a tree.

The helmeted Guineas have a certain zaftig quality that appeals to me. Their Vulturine Guinea cousins seem a bit more staid.

Glad to know someone shares my love of Guinea Fowl zaniness.

Tom K.

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Peter Connan

I have only fairly recently developed an interest in birds, itself a consequence of a developing interest in photography, and now I often mourn the missed opportunities!

 

I am not really into LBJ's yet, and as many have admiited before me, it's the flashy ones that excite: Bee-eaters, Kingfishers, Rollers and Sunbirds particularly. But I have long held a soft spot for vultures and owls of all sorts.

 

However to some extent the sounds are even more evocative than the sights, and for me a safari is not complete without the sound of a Scops or Pearl-spotted owl, a francolin of some sort (particularly Swainson's) and like @@Tom Kellie and @@ZaminOz, the dotty spotty is a particular favourite, as well as the Fish Eagle.

 

I have not yet planned a whole trip around a specific species, but have done several day-trips of this nature and do now choose safari destinations with birding opportunities as a serious selection criteria, and I won't say never as never is a very long time (I hope)...

 

There is a bird book in my car's dash bag almost all the time, but I tend to do my identification after the end of the trip, on the hand of photos (my memory is not good enough for any other method).

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Tom Kellie

~ @@Peter Connan:

 

I can't say that I set out on safari with birds as a target.

They're just there.

The safari itself is the target. Being outdoors.

If birds it is, then birds it is.

Likewise butterflies, dwarf mongoose, lionesses and reticulated giraffe.

I'm easy to please...

Tom K.

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