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Field Guides Tour Report
Namibia & Botswana 2017
Oct 10, 2017 to Oct 29, 2017
Terry Stevenson

Pel's Fishing Owl was voted "Bird of the Trip" by many of us after our wonderful experience with two of them near Xaro Lodge in the Okavango. Participant Peggy Keller captured this great photo of one of them, perched in a tree.

Our October 2017 Namibia and Botswana tour took place during an exceptionally hot spell, which even many of the locals found hard to explain. With mid-day temperatures over 90 F on many occasions, and reaching 105 F on a couple of occasions, we took many long afternoon breaks, but the birding wasn't affected at all, with us seeing all possible endemics in Namibia, and all the 'special' highlights we hoped for in Botswana.

As usual, we started in Windhoek with a visit to the local sewage works. Not ideal for the first day of a tour, but in a country that's largely arid, finding any waterbirds at all is worth the effort. South African Shelduck, Hottentot Teal and Southern Pochard were highlights on the water, while Long-tailed Cormorants, African Darters and Sacred Ibis perched in the dead trees. Black Crake and Three-banded Plovers were along the shore, Ruff and Wood Sandpipers on the muddy fringes, and in the surrounding acacia trees were Gray Go-away-bird, White-backed Mousebird, Pied Barbet, Rufous-vented Warbler, Scarlet-chested Sunbird and Black-faced Waxbill. We started the afternoon with great looks at a roosting Bat Hawk, and we finished the day at a roost of endemic Bradfield's Swifts, all in all a great start to the tour.

The following day we drove south-west in our specially adapted 4X4 Toyota Landcruiser - the onboard refrigerator kept our picnic lunches and drinks cold. Although largely a travel day as we headed to the Namib Naukluft Desert, we found many new birds along the way, and even a surprise large body of water at Guisis. Just some of the special birds we saw today included Cape Shoveler, Maccoa Duck, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pale Chanting-Goshawk, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Common Scimitarbill, Monteiro's and Damara Red-billed hornbills, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Crimson-breasted Gonolek, Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Short-toed Rock-Thrush, Pale-winged Starling, Violet-eared Waxbill and Yellow Canary. Mammals included our first Cape Ground Squirrels, Rock Hyrax, Warthog, and Gemsbok.

After a night at the Namib Desert Lodge, we took a day trip to the giant red sand dunes at Sossusvlei - classic Namibian desert scenery! While the bird list here is always quite small, it is home to the endemic Dune Lark - which we saw really well, in addition to our first Common Ostrich, Ludwig's and Rueppell's bustards, Burchell's Courser (a true desert wanderer), Pririt Batis, and Social Weavers at their huge haystack-like nests.

We now drove in a more north-westerly direction through ever changing and spectacular desert scenery. We were heading for Walvis Bay on the Atlantic coast, but stops along the way provided us with Secretary-bird, White-quilled Bustard, Double-banded Sandgrouse, Pygmy Falcon, Karoo Long-billed and Stark's larks, Chat Flycatcher, Karoo Chat, and amongst the small herds of Springbok and Gemsbok we found 16 rather uncommon Mountain Zebra. On arrival in Walvis Bay we took a short break to check-in to our hotel, but then it was off again to watch the spectacular collection of waterbirds which gather in the nearby lagoon. More localized birds we saw here included Chestnut-banded Plover and Damara Tern, but we also enjoyed literally thousands of shorebirds including Pied Avocet, African Oystercatcher, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. Greater Flamingos and Hartlaub's Gulls were present in the 'many thousands', while Kelp Gulls and Common Terns were in the more countable 'hundreds.'

Following a night in our comfortable guest house, we drove north along the coast, stopping at the guano platform to see thousands of Cape Cormorants, and about half a dozen Crowned Cormorants, that like to breed on the pylons here. It's then only 45 minutes to the gravel plains north of Swakopmund and one of the most challenging endemics of the tour - Gray's Lark. Matching the desert here in prefect grays and white, finding these little birds can be time consuming indeed. But not this year; we found one in super quick time before taking a short break in Swakopmund and then driving inland to the Erongo Mountains. We had three nights in this area, a gorgeous landscape of rocky mountains and acacia bush country, crossed here and there by wide dry river beds.

Many of south-west Africa's dry country birds (including endemics) are found here, and we all enjoyed walking this beautiful landscape, finding Hartlaub's Francolin (with three young), Freckled Nightjar, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, flocks of Rosy-faced Lovebirds, the scarce Rueppell's Parrot (at least 5 this year), the striking White-tailed Shrike, Carp's Tit, Rockrunner, a close, singing pair of Herero Chats (usually one of the most difficult endemics), White-throated Canary and Red-headed Finch. Mammals included many Chacma Baboons, Dassie Rat - sole member of the family 'Petromuridae', Common Giraffe, Greater Kudu, Klipspringer and Steenbok.

Continuing on, we now headed north for three nights (each at different lodges) in the Etosha National Park area. Starting at Okaukuejo we then worked our way east to Halali, and finally to Uris (just outside the park). The list of birds and mammals is long, but just a few highlights included perhaps 250 Common Ostrich, Swainson's and Crested francolins, Bateleur, Tawny Eagle, Kori Bustard, Spotted Thick-knee, a flock of migrant Caspian Plovers, Greater Painted-snipe (3 feeding right in the open), Double-banded Courser, Violet Woodhoopoe, Bradfield's Hornbill, Red-necked Falcon, White Helmetshrike, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Pink-billed Lark, Rufous-eared Warbler, Southern Pied-Babbler, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Shelley's Sunbird, and a flock of many many thousands of Red-billed Quelea. Mammal highlights were Bat-eared Fox, Ratel (Honey Badger), Spotted Hyaena, thirteen Lions, including two big maned males, great encounters with over 100 African Elephants, 5000+ Burchell's Zebra, up to 4 endangered Black Rhino - including a mating pair for those who stayed up late at Okaukuejo, plus hundreds of Greater Kudu, Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Impala and Springbok.

The last night in Namibia was spent at Hakusembe on the Okavango River (where it's possible to get a few birds on your Angola list too)! Here we took an afternoon walk around the lodge grounds and out on to the nearby vlei. New birds included Hamerkop, Rufous-bellied Heron, Collared Pratincole, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Marsh Owl (one flushed and then landing right in the open), Lilac-breasted Roller, Gabon Boubou, Magpie Shrike, African Paradise-flycatcher and Hartlaub's Babbler.

The following morning found us on an early morning start as we drove east towards Botswana and stopped shortly before the border at the Mahango Game Reserve. Here we drove slowly along the edge of the flood plain, adding many new birds and some good mammals, too. In addition to flocks of ducks, geese and herons we added Saddle-billed Stork, Wahlberg's Eagle, African Fish-Eagle, two pairs of Wattled Crane, Water Thick-knee, Green Woodhoopoe, Southern Carmine Bee-eater (just gorgeous), Southern Black-Tit, Terrestrial Brownbul, White-browed Robin-Chat and Red-billed Firefinch. Mammals included our first Hippos, at least 400 Lechwe, Reedbuck, some shy Roan Antelope, a stunning male Sable Antelope, and Topi.

A short drive after crossing the border, we found ourselves boating along the Okavango River as we headed for a two night stay at Xaro Lodge. This small, attractive lodge is ideal for enjoying the ambience of the 'pan handle to the delta' and by taking a mixture of both boat trips and walks, we added African Pygmy-goose, Goliath Heron, White-backed Night-Heron (for most of the group), Allen's Gallinule, African Swamphen, Long-toed Lapwing, African Skimmer (several with small young), Dideric Cuckoo, African Barred Owlet, Red-faced Mousebird, Malachite and Giant kingfishers, Bennett's Woodpecker, Greater Swamp-Warbler, Chirping Cisticola, Southern Brown-throated Weaver and Brown Firefinch. The main highlights though included seeing so many super-close Fish-Eagles (about 50 along just a few miles of the river), Southern Carmine Bee-eaters at a breeding colony (some only 10 feet away), and for many of us, the bird of the trip - Pel's Fishing-Owl: we flushed two, one of which sat on a tree top in the open for about 10 minutes - just wonderful!

The last part of the trip was a three night stay at Stanley's Camp deep in the southern part of the delta. After taking our charter flight to this camp, we enjoyed morning and afternoon drives led by their expert local driver/guides. Again, we had a specially equipped 4X4 Landcruiser - an absolute necessity to cross the numerous water channels and floodplains here. Our most memorable sightings included Slaty Egret, Red-crested Bustard (with a tiny newly hatched juvenile), a close African Snipe, tee'd up Black Coucal, Southern Ground-Hornbill (3 close birds right next to our vehicle), Dickinson's Kestrel, Meyer's Parrot, Retz's Helmetshrike, Red-billed and Yellow-billed oxpeckers, and White-breasted Sunbird. Over 20 species of large mammals were seen, with a fabulous Leopard walking beside us and then climbing a tree to pose being a favorite sighting, but we also all enjoyed Banded Mongoose, Lion, African Elephant, African Buffalo, Giraffe, Warthog, and a variety of now familiar plains game, including Burchell's Zebra, Greater Kudu, Lechwe, Reedbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Topi and Impala.

A second chartered plane then took us from Stanley's to Maun, before connecting with our commercial flights to Johannesburg and home - the small group experience, the wild and varied scenery we'd traversed, and many of the wonderful birds and mammals we'd seen still fresh in our minds.

Note: birds in the trip list marked as endemic are range restricted mainly to Namibia, but in most cases just cross the borders in to either extreme south Angola or north-west South Africa.

Thanks to all of you for joining me on this memorable adventure


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

A Common Ostrich strolls in front of the dunes at Sossusvlei. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Struthionidae (Ostriches)
COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus) – Small numbers in the Namib Naukluft Desert NP (8), and Usakos (4), and then at least 200 at Etosha.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Six at Hakusembe, and 350+ at Mahango.
COMB DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos) – About 20 at Mahango.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Common and widespread at wetlands throughout Namibia; with a total of about 120.
SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna cana) – About 50 at Windhoek Sewage Works, and 50 at Guisis.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – Fifteen at Mahango, 30 in the Xaro area, and 5 near Stanley's Camp.
AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus) – Six on our boat trips from Xaro Lodge.
YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata) – Four at Hakusembe.
CAPE SHOVELER (Anas smithii) – Two at Guisis, and 1 at Etosha.
RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha) – One at Guisis, 3 at Etosha, 80 at Hakusembe, and 20 at Mahango.

We saw a number of gorgeous Lilac-breasted Rollers, including 40 in Botswana near Stanley's Camp in the Okavango Delta. Photo by participant Kathy Carroll.

HOTTENTOT TEAL (Anas hottentota) – Four at Windhoek Sewage Works.
CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis) – Thirty at Guisis, 40+ at Walvis Bay, and 4 at Etosha.
SOUTHERN POCHARD (Netta erythrophthalma) – We saw a single female and then a male at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
MACCOA DUCK (Oxyura maccoa) – At least 60 were on the pool where we had lunch near Guisis.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – Common and widespread throughout the tour; in all we saw about 700.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
HARTLAUB'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis hartlaubi) – Fabulous looks at a pair with 3 young at Erongo Wilderness Lodge. [E]
RED-BILLED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis adspersus) – Common from the south Erongo Mountains to Etosha, and then from Mahango to the Okavango Delta.
SWAINSON'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis swainsonii) – Seven at Etosha, and about 45 in the Stanley's Camp area.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus sephaena) – Three at the gate leaving Etosha.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – About 10 at Windhoek, a dozen at Guisis, and 50+ at a variety of pools at Etosha.
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – Six at Guisis.

This Hartlaub's Francolin was seen near the Erongo Wilderness Lodge. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – At least 10,000 were in the Walvis Bay and Swakopmund area, and one immature at Etosha.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor) – About 20 at the Swakopmund salt works.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus) – One at Mahango, 30 near Xaro, and 14 near Stanley's Camp.
SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) – Two at Mahango, and 2 near Stanley's Camp.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – Two singles at Etosha, a flying flock of at least 150 near Shakawe, and perhaps another 60 in the Xaro area.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – One at Mahango, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus) – Small numbers at scattered widespread sites in Namibia, and then about 50 around Xaro, and a dozen in the Stanley's Camp area.
CROWNED CORMORANT (Microcarbo coronatus) – Six on the guano platform north of Walvis Bay.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – A dozen at Windhoek, and 20 near Walvis Bay.
CAPE CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax capensis) – Many thousands between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa) – Ten at Windhoek Sewage Works, 2 at Mahango, and about 45 in the Xaro area.

We saw a colony of Southern Carmine Bee-eaters near Xaro Lodge. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – Sixty at Walvis Bay were the most together, but we also saw small numbers at Windhoek and Guisis.
PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens) – One in flight on the boat trip up river from Xaro Lodge.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – One at Hakusembe, 2 at Mahango, and about 60 between Xaro and Stanley's Camp.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LITTLE BITTERN (Ixobrychus minutus) – Two of our group saw 2 in the marsh in front of Stanley's Camp.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Small numbers were widespread at a variety of wetlands throughout the tour.
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – Four at the Okaukuejo waterhole, Etosha.
GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath) – Three along the river near Xaro Lodge.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – One near Hakusembe, and about 20 in the Xaro area.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Six at Mahango, 6 at Xaro, and about 15 in the Stanley's Camp area.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – Singles at Mahango and Xaro.

Zebras and other animals are often seen around waterholes; we enjoyed some great views like this in the Okavango. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Widespread in small numbers; with a total of about 70.
SLATY EGRET (Egretta vinaceigula) – We had great looks at about 18 feeding in a variety of pools in the Stanley's Camp area.
BLACK HERON (Egretta ardesiaca) – One along the Okavango River near Xaro.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Fairly widespread away from the most arid country; in all we saw about 150.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – Singles at Mahango, Xaro, and near Stanley's Camp.
RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON (Ardeola rufiventris) – Two at Hakusembe, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Singles at Windhoek Sewage Works, Hakusembe and Xaro.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – One immature bird at Guisis, an adult at Hakusembe, and 4 at Xaro.
WHITE-BACKED NIGHT-HERON (Gorsachius leuconotus) – A variety of very poor to good views were had, firstly of a flying pair at Xaro Lodge, and then of a single bird climbing the river bank near Shakawe.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – Five at Windhoek Sewage Works.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Four in Johannesburg as we headed to the airport, and 2 near Shakawe.

This "White-breasted" variant of the Great Cormorant posed nicely. This is the subspecies found south of the Sahara, including Namibia. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – Two at Mahango.
Sagittariidae (Secretary-bird)
SECRETARY-BIRD (Sagittarius serpentarius) – Great close looks at at adult near Solitaire, and then 2 other singles at Etosha.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Two at Windhoek, 1 near Guisis, 3 at Xaro.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Two in flight on the way to Rundu.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos) – We saw a pair on the way to Solitaire, and 1 near Halali.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – Thirty at Etosha, 1 near Rundu, at least 100 at Mahango, and 6 in the Stanley's Camp area.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Five at Etosha, 1 at Mahango, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Two single adults in the Erongo Mountains.
BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus) – Two singles in the Stanley's Camp area.
BAT HAWK (Macheiramphus alcinus) – Fabulous looks at a bird on a day roost at Windhoek.

One of the many African Fish-Eagles we saw, captured nicely in flight by participant Peggy Keller.

WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) – One at Mahango.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – Five (all singles) at Etosha, 1 near Rundu, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
AFRICAN HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila spilogaster) – A pair in the southern Erongo Mountains.
PALE CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax canorus) – About 20 in the Guisis to Solitaire area, and 10 at Etosha.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – Two singles at Etosha, and a dark morph along the river at Xaro.
AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus ranivorus) – One along the river near Xaro.
LITTLE SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter minullus) – Nice looks at a pair near Usakos.
BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus) – One south of Rundu, about 20 in the Xaro area, and 12 near Stanley's Camp.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – Four at Mahango, at least 50 in the Xaro area - including 1 that we fed with a Tiger Fish, and 2 near Stanley's Camp.
AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur) – One at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.

Rueppell's Bustards are endemic to Namibia. We found this pair along the road at Sossusvlei. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Otididae (Bustards)
KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori) – Great looks at about 16 at Etosha.
LUDWIG'S BUSTARD (Neotis ludwigii) – One at Sossusvlei, 1 near Solitaire, and 1 at Etosha.
RŸUEPPELL'S BUSTARD (Eupodotis rueppelii) – Good looks at a pair near the road at Sossusvlei. [E]
RED-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis ruficrista) – Two in the southern Erongo Mountains, 2 at Etosha, and a pair with a tiny juvenile near Stanley's Camp.
WHITE-QUILLED BUSTARD (Eupodotis afraoides) – We saw a single male briefly near Solitaire, and then at least 14 (including some super close males) at Etosha.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra) – Singles or pairs at Windhoek Sewage Works, Hakusembe and Mahango, and then 8 in the Xaro area.
ALLEN'S GALLINULE (Porphyrio alleni) – Nice looks at 1 on the boat trip from Xaro Lodge.
AFRICAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio madagascariensis) – Three on the boat trip from Xaro Lodge.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – About 50 at Windhoek Sewage Works, 2 at Guisis, 2 at Etosha, and 2 at Xaro.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Two hundred and fifty at Windhoek Sewage Works, 10 at Guisis, 6 at Etosha.

Participant Kathy Carroll took this lovely portrait of the Leopard that walked beside us along the road near Stanley's Camp.

Gruidae (Cranes)
WATTLED CRANE (Bugeranus carunculatus) – Great looks at a close pair (and a further distant pair) at Mahango, then 3 in flight from the boat north of Xaro.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus) – About 3 in the Xaro area.
SPOTTED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus capensis) – We found a pair on a day roost at Etosha.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Eighty at Walvis Bay, a few singles at Etosha, and then daily in small numbers along the Okavango River and delta area.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – Eight hundred at Walvis Bay were a magnificent sight, but we also saw about 40 at Guisis, and 100+ at Swakopmund.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AFRICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus moquini) – Six in the Walvis Bay area.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – About 40 in the Walvis Bay area.
LONG-TOED LAPWING (Vanellus crassirostris) – Two from the boat at Xaro.
BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus) – Common and widespread away from desert areas.
CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Small numbers from Etosha, and near Stanley's Camp.

White Helmetshrike was seen in small groups at Mushara and Stanley's Camp. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

CASPIAN PLOVER (Charadrius asiaticus) – About 40 in the Okaukuejo area of Etosha.
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – One during our picnic on the shore at Guisis, and then 6 at Etosha.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) – About 20 at Walvis Bay.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – Ten at Windhoek, 8 at Guisis, and 5 at Etosha.
WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER (Charadrius marginatus) – About 16 in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area included a pair with a single tiny juvenile.
CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius pallidus) – We saw 15 of these rather localized attractive shorebirds at Walvis Bay.
Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)
GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE (Rostratula benghalensis) – Three males at Etosha were surprisingly feeding right in the open.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Four singles at Etosha, 1 at Hakusembe, 50 in the Xaro area, and 10 around Stanley's Camp.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – About 30 in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – At least 300 were at Walvis Bay.

One of the pair of Spotted Thick-knees we saw in Etosha. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Two at Walvis Bay, and 5 at the guano platform just north of there.
RUFF (Calidris pugnax) – Four at Windhoek, 1 at Walvis Bay, and 1 at Etosha.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – About 3000 at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Eight at Walvis Bay.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta) – Many hundreds at Walvis Bay, and a total of a few hundred more at Windhoek, Guisis, Swakopmund, and Etosha.
AFRICAN SNIPE (Gallinago nigripennis) – One near Stanley's Camp.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – One at Hakusembe.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Small numbers at a variety of widespread wetlands; in all we saw about 20.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – Two singles at Etosha.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Two at Windhoek Sewage Works, 10 at Etosha, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.

These Bare-cheeked Babblers are endemic to Namibia; we got a great view of them at Halali in Etosha National Park. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
BURCHELL'S COURSER (Cursorius rufus) – We saw 2 of these desert wanderers at Sossusvlei, and then another pair with a juvenile there, and finally at 35+ at Etosha - just great this year! [E]
DOUBLE-BANDED COURSER (Smutsornis africanus) – About a dozen at Etosha.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola) – About 20 at Hakusembe, 30 at Mahango, and 15 at Xaro.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
HARTLAUB'S GULL (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii) – Several thousand between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
KELP GULL (VETULA) (Larus dominicanus vetula) – About 250 between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
DAMARA TERN (Sternula balaenarum) – Great looks this tour at about 10 at Walvis Bay. [E]
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Thirty between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – A single in non-breeding plumage at Mahango, and 1 in breeding plumage along the river near Xaro.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – About 400 between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – Twenty at Walvis Bay, and 6 at Swakopmund.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – About 10 at Walvis Bay.
AFRICAN SKIMMER (Rynchops flavirostris) – Just fabulous this tour, with about 80 adults and 15 young along the sand banks near Xaro.

A Quiver Tree provides a little perspective in this view of the Namib Naukluft Desert. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
NAMAQUA SANDGROUSE (Pterocles namaqua) – Ten along the roadside near our lodge in the Solitaire area, and 80+ at Etosha.
DOUBLE-BANDED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles bicinctus) – What amazing camouflage! We saw about 20 (right at our feet) in the Namib Naukluft Desert NP, then about a dozen at Etosha, and 10 in the Stanley's Camp area.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Small numbers in various towns and villages here and there.
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – Small numbers at the Namib Desert Lodge, Solitaire, Usakos, Erongo Wilderness Lodge, and at Etosha.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – One near Stanley's Camp.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Common at Hakusembe and Xaro, and a few near Stanley's Camp.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Very common and widespread throughout the tour.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Very common and widespread throughout the tour.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – One near the east gate of Etosha, 10 in the Xaro area, and 6 near Stanley's Camp.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – Common and widespread.
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – We saw a single bird perched high on a bare tree near Stanley's Camp.

We saw a few Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills in Namibia. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Musophagidae (Turacos)
GRAY GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides concolor) – Common and widespread throughout the tour; in all we saw about 200.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SENEGAL COUCAL (Centropus senegalensis) – One near Stanley's Camp.
COPPERY-TAILED COUCAL (Centropus cupreicaudus) – Two singles at Hakusembe, 7 near Xaro, and about a dozen in the Stanley's Camp area.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – Four in the Stanley's Camp area.
BLACK COUCAL (Centropus grillii) – Great looks at a bird in breeding plumage near Stanley's Camp, and then more distant views of a second bird there.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – One was seen nicely at Xaro Lodge.
BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus) – Heard at Xaro Lodge.
Strigidae (Owls)
PEL'S FISHING-OWL (Scotopelia peli) – Wonderful! Our local guide took us to a favorite roosting spot at Xaro and we saw 1 in flight and then a second bird perched on a tree top for at least 10 minutes.
PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum) – Widespread in acacia country; in all we saw about 16.
AFRICAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium capense) – One at Xaro, then 2 adults and a juvenile near Stanley's Camp, and another adult and newly fledged juvenile also at Stanley's Camp.

This Marsh Owl provided one of the tour highlights, when it landed in the open for us at Hakusembe. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii) – Some of our group saw 2 birds in flight at Xaro Lodge.
MARSH OWL (Asio capensis) – Great looks at a bird we flushed while walking through grass near Hakusembe Safari Lodge.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
FIERY-NECKED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus pectoralis) – Heard at Xaro Lodge.
FRECKLED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus tristigma) – Great looks at up to 5 at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
Apodidae (Swifts)
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba) – Three at Windhoek, and 1 at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
BRADFIELD'S SWIFT (Apus bradfieldi) – About 30 at Windhoek. [E]
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – One at Windhoek, 4 at Guisis, and 2 at Halali.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – Very common and widespread away from the most arid desert areas; in all we saw about 140.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
WHITE-BACKED MOUSEBIRD (Colius colius) – About 40 between Windhoek, Solitaire, and Sossusvlei.
RED-FACED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius indicus) – Eighteen at Xaro, and 6 near Stanley's Camp.

Flying over the Okavango. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (AFRICAN) (Upupa epops africana) – Often split as African Hoopoe; this form was widespread in small numbers with a total of about 35.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitar-bills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – Nice looks at 1 at Mahango, and then a total of about 40 in the Okavango region.
VIOLET WOODHOOPOE (VIOLET) (Phoeniculus damarensis damarensis) – Seven near Okombahe, and 5 at Halali Rest Camp, Etosha. [E]
COMMON SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) – One at Guisis, 1 at Erongo Wilderness Lodge, 2 at Etosha, and 1 at Mahango.
Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)
SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus leadbeateri) – Super looks at a group of 3 right next to our car near Stanley's Camp.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
BRADFIELD'S HORNBILL (Lophoceros bradfieldi) – Two at Uris were rather unexpected.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus) – Widespread throughout the tour; in all we saw about 50.
SOUTHERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus leucomelas) – Fabulous looks at 1 west of Usakos, 9 at Etosha,
MONTEIRO'S HORNBILL (Tockus monteiri) – Two near Windhoek, and 2 near Usakos. [E]
SOUTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus rufirostris) – Six at Etosha, and then about 90 in the Stanley's Camp area.
DAMARA RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus damarensis) – Some of the group saw 1 near Windhoek, and then we all saw 2 at Okombahe. [E]

We had a great look at this Red-necked Falcon in Etosha. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Two in the Xaro area, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti) – Three in the Stanley's Camp area.
GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima) – Four at Xaro Lodge and along the river there.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Fairly common from Hakusembe to Mahango and then south in to the Okavango Delta.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER (Merops bullockoides) – At least 150 were along the river between Shakawe and Xaro.
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – Four at Hakusembe, 2 at Mahango, and then about another 30 around Xaro and Stanley's Camp.
SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops hirundineus) – Three near Windhoek, 1 at Namib Desert Lodge, 2 at the Erongo Mountains, and 1 at Mahango.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) – About 150 at Etosha, and then small numbers at Xaro, and in the Okavango Delta.
SOUTHERN CARMINE BEE-EATER (Merops nubicoides) – We saw about 100 of these striking bee-eaters at a colony near Shakawe, and then smaller numbers at Mahango, and near Stanley's Camp; a highlight of the tour!
Coraciidae (Rollers)
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus) – Two at Hakusembe, about 10 at Mahango, and then 40 in the Stanley's Camp area.

We saw the Gray-backed subspecies of Green-backed Camaroptera throughout the tour. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – Three at Okombahe, 1 at Etosha, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus) – Four near Xaro Lodge, and 6 in the Stanley's Camp area.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
CRESTED BARBET (Trachyphonus vaillantii) – Small numbers (10) at Xaro and around Stanley's Camp.
PIED BARBET (Tricholaema leucomelas) – Also known as Acacia Pied Barbet; we saw small numbers in the Windhoek, Usakos and Etosha areas.
BLACK-COLLARED BARBET (Lybius torquatus) – About 8 at Xaro Lodge.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BENNETT'S WOODPECKER (Campethera bennettii) – Often difficult, but we all had great looks this tour, with 2 singles at Xaro Lodge, and another 2 near Stanley's Camp.
GOLDEN-TAILED WOODPECKER (Campethera abingoni) – Several singles between Etosha, Mushara, and Xaro.
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Dendropicos fuscescens) – We saw a male at Namutoni, and then another at Xaro Lodge.
BEARDED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos namaquus) – Pairs in a dry river bed near Usakos, and at Okombahe.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – Great looks at a female near Solitaire.

Cape Teal, photographed by participant Peggy Keller. These ducks were fairly common at Walvis Bay in Namibia.

ROCK KESTREL (Falco rupicolus) – Small numbers at Namib Desert Lodge, Solitaire, and in the Usakos area.
GREATER KESTREL (Falco rupicoloides) – Two singles near Solitaire, and 2 at Etosha.
DICKINSON'S KESTREL (Falco dickinsoni) – Nice looks at 4 in the Stanley's Camp area.
RED-NECKED FALCON (Falco chicquera) – An adult and a juvenile near Okaukuejo, and then 4 near Halali.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ROSY-FACED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis roseicollis) – About 50 between Windhoek and Sossusvlei, and then 200+ in the Erongo Mountains. [E]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri) – Five in the Stanley's Camp area.
RŸUEPPELL'S PARROT (Poicephalus rueppellii) – Nice scope looks at a pair in a river bed near Usakos, and then a single in the same area, and finally another single at Okombahe. [E]
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
WHITE-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanioturdus torquatus) – Two singles in the southern Erongo Mountains. [E]
CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor) – A pair at Stanley's Camp.
PRIRIT BATIS (Batis pririt) – We saw a single male at Namib Desert Lodge, then a pair west of Usakos, and 4 at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
WHITE HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops plumatus) – Seven (including 2 juveniles) at Mushara, and 5 near Stanley's Camp.
RETZ'S HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops retzii) – Two near Stanley's Camp.

The Cardinal Woodpecker is a real beauty, although this one seems to be having some "bad hair" issues. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – Two at Okombahe, and 1 at Uris.
BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus cubla) – Two at Okombahe, 4 at Uris, and 2 at Stanley's Camp.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – Singles near Usakos, Halali, and Stanley's Camp.
GABON BOUBOU (Laniarius bicolor) – Also known as Swamp Boubou; we saw 3 at Hakusembe, 6 at Mahango, about 8 at Xaro (including one killing a Common Bulbul), and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
CRIMSON-BREASTED GONOLEK (Laniarius atrococcineus) – These striking bushshrikes were fairly common in acacia bush country (especially at Etosha and Mahango); in total we saw about 45.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – We saw a single immature bird at Xaro Lodge.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
SOUTHERN FISCAL (SOUTHERN) (Lanius collaris subcoronatus) – Sometimes split as the Latakoo Fiscal; we saw singles in the Namib Naukluft Desert NP, and west of Usakos.
MAGPIE SHRIKE (Corvinella melanoleuca) – One near Rundu, and then about 8 in the Stanley's Camp area.
WHITE-CROWNED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus anguitimens) – Two in the Usakos area, and 20 at Etosha.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Common and widespread away from the most arid desert areas.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Singles or pairs at Hakusembe, Xaro, and Stanley's Camp.

We saw Black-faced Babblers at Mushara. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Small numbers at Sossusvlei and Etosha.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Fairly common and widespread in Namibia, and 2 near Shakawe in Botswana.
Alaudidae (Larks)
SPIKE-HEELED LARK (Chersomanes albofasciata) – Two in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and 6 at Etosha.
GRAY'S LARK (Ammomanopsis grayi) – Good looks at our usual site near Swakopmund, and then surprisingly, 2 more 55 kms NE of there. [E]
KAROO LONG-BILLED LARK (Certhilauda subcoronata) – One in the Namib Naukluft Desert NP. [E]
CHESTNUT-BACKED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix leucotis) – About 20 at Etosha.
GRAY-BACKED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix verticalis) – Several hundred at Etosha.
SABOTA LARK (BRADFIELD'S) (Calendulauda sabota naevia) – Four in the Erongo Mountains, and 12 at Etosha.
DUNE LARK (Calendulauda erythrochlamys) – A bit tough this year, but eventually we all got great looks at 2 birds at Sossusvlei. [E]
RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana) – Two in the eastern side of Etosha.

Part of our group, looking for the endemic Dune Lark near Sossusvlei. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

RED-CAPPED LARK (Calandrella cinerea) – About 20 at Swakopmund, and several hundred at Etosha.
STARK'S LARK (Spizocorys starki) – Nice looks at 1 on the rocky desert plains at the Tropic of Capricorn. [E]
PINK-BILLED LARK (Spizocorys conirostris) – Nice to get such good looks at this rather localized species; in total we saw about 7 at Etosha.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – About 40 along the river in the Xaro area.
BANDED MARTIN (Riparia cincta) – Two at Mahango.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – Widespread in Namibia, with a total of about 50.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Seen daily from Hakusembe onwards.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – About 20 between Hakusembe and Xaro.
GREATER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis cucullata) – One at Windhoek Sewage Farm.
LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – One at Xaro Lodge.
RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa) – Four at Namutoni, Etosha.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
SOUTHERN BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus niger) – One at Mahango, and 2 near Stanley's Camp.
CARP'S TIT (Melaniparus carpi) – One at Erongo Wilderness Lodge for some of the group, and then a great catch-up bird for the whole group at Uris. [E]
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
YELLOW-BELLIED GREENBUL (Chlorocichla flaviventris) – One at Xaro Lodge.
TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL (Phyllastrephus terrestris) – One at Mahango.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor) – Common from Hakusembe easterly and down in to the Okavango Delta.
BLACK-FRONTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus nigricans) – More commonly known as Red-eyed Bulbul; they were very common from Windhoek to Etosha.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
CAPE CROMBEC (Sylvietta rufescens) – Widespread in acacia country, with singles at five different widespread sites.
ROCKRUNNER (Achaetops pycnopygius) – Fabulous looks at 1 in the southern Erongo Mountains. [E]
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus) – One at Hakusembe.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
AFRICAN REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus baeticatus) – About 6 at Windhoek Sewage Works.
LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER (Acrocephalus gracilirostris) – One on the boat trip from Xaro Lodge.
GREATER SWAMP-WARBLER (Acrocephalus rufescens) – Three on the boat trip from Xaro Lodge.

A lone immature Greater Flamingo was seen at Etosha, in contrast to the thousands that we saw at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – We saw a pair at Mushara.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – Most often seen in acacia country, they were widespread in small numbers throughout the tour.
BARRED WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes fasciolatus) – Two in the acacia scrub near Windhoek, and then 1 near Usakos.
RUFOUS-EARED WARBLER (Malcorus pectoralis) – Fabulous looks at a close tee'd up bird at Etosha.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – One at Windhoek, 4 near Usakos, and 4 at Mahango.
CHIRPING CISTICOLA (Cisticola pipiens) – One at Xaro Lodge.
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Two near Stanley's Camp.
DESERT CISTICOLA (Cisticola aridulus) – One at Etosha.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Two at Mahango, and 4 in the Xaro Lodge area.
BLACK-CHESTED PRINIA (Prinia flavicans) – Small numbers in acacia country between Windhoek and the coast, and then at Etosha.
YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA (Eremomela icteropygialis) – One seen (and several heard) west of Usakos, and 2 in the Erongo Wilderness Lodge area.
BURNT-NECK EREMOMELA (Eremomela usticollis) – Two (very briefly) at Windhoek Sewage Works, 1 nicely at Okaukuejo, and 1 at Mahango.

We saw a few Brown-crowned Tchagras. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
RUFOUS-VENTED WARBLER (Sylvia subcaerulea) – Also known as Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, they were common throughout Namibia.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
ORANGE RIVER WHITE-EYE (Zosterops pallidus) – One at Walvis Bay. [E]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
HARTLAUB'S BABBLER (Turdoides hartlaubii) – Very common from Hakusembe to Mahango and in to the Okavango Delta; in all we saw about 200.
BLACK-FACED BABBLER (Turdoides melanops) – Great close looks at 8 in the grounds at Mushara.
SOUTHERN PIED-BABBLER (Turdoides bicolor) – Seven near Outjo, and 3 at Uris.
ARROW-MARKED BABBLER (Turdoides jardineii) – Six at Xaro, and then about another 30 in the Stanley's Camp area.
BARE-CHEEKED BABBLER (Turdoides gymnogenys) – Great looks at 3 of these localized endemics at Halali, Etosha. [E]
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) – One near Stanley's Camp.
MARIQUA FLYCATCHER (Bradornis mariquensis) – About 40 between Windhoek and Solitaire, 20 in the Erongo Mountains area, 2 at Etosha, and 1 at Mahango.
CHAT FLYCATCHER (Agricola infuscatus) – Two singles near Solitaire, and 3 near Halali.

A few of us stayed up late to watch the waterhole at Okaukuejo, and were treated to a pair of endangered Black Rhinos. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

HERERO CHAT (Melaenornis herero) – Great looks at a pair of these extremely localized chats in the southern Erongo Mountains. [E]
SOUTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis pammelaina) – One at Hakusembe.
KALAHARI SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas paena) – One at Windhoek, and 1 west of Usakos.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Singles near Usakos, Etosha, and Stanley's Camp.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – Two at Xaro Lodge, and 4 at Mahango.
SHORT-TOED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola brevipes) – One near Guisis, and 2 near Usakos.
SOUTHERN ANTEATER-CHAT (Myrmecocichla formicivora) – One south-west of Windhoek, 2 near the Erongo Mountains, and 4 on the way to Etosha.
KAROO CHAT (Cercomela schlegelii) – Three in the Namib Naukluft Desert. [E]
TRACTRAC CHAT (Cercomela tractrac) – Surprisingly hard this year, but eventually we all had good looks at one NE of Swakopmund. [E]
FAMILIAR CHAT (Cercomela familiaris) – Widespread in small numbers in Namibia.
MOUNTAIN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe monticola) – About a dozen in the Namib Naukluft Desert NP, and 1 at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
CAPPED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe pileata) – Singles at Etosha and near Stanley's Camp.

The Golden-breasted Bunting is a lovely bird that we saw well at Erongo and Etosha. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
GROUNDSCRAPER THRUSH (Psophocichla litsitsirupa) – Four at Guisis, 4 at Etosha, and 2 at Hakusembe.
KURRICHANE THRUSH (Turdus libonyana) – Two at Hakusembe.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea) – About 500 at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 30 near Halali, and 20 near Stanley's Camp.
VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) – Three singles at Hakusembe, Xaro and Mahango.
PALE-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus nabouroup) – Common in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and on through to the Erongo Mountains; in all we saw about 200.
BURCHELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis australis) – First seen near Usakos, and then much more commonly from Hakusembe to Mahango, and in the Okavango Delta.
MEVES'S STARLING (Lamprotornis mevesii) – Common from Mahango south through the Okavango Delta.
GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – Two near Stanley's Camp.
CAPE STARLING (Lamprotornis nitens) – Common throughout most of Namibia.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Five feeding on Impala near Stanley's Camp.
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – This species favors feeding on buffalo and giraffe; we saw about 50 in the Stanley's Camp area.

Rufous-eared Warbler was a highlight in Etosha. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
AMETHYST SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra amethystina) – We saw a single male at Mahango.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – Two at Windhoek, and 2 at Mahango.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – About a dozen in the Windhoek area, and a few more at Uris, Mahango, and Xaro.
SHELLEY'S SUNBIRD (Cinnyris shelleyi) – Nice looks at a male at Namutoni where this species is very uncommon.
WHITE-BREASTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris talatala) – We saw a single male near Stanley's Camp.
DUSKY SUNBIRD (Cinnyris fuscus) – Common from Windhoek to Solitaire, and then north to Etosha.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis) – Widespread in small numbers.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Two along the river at Hakusembe.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – Four at Etosha.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – One near Stanley's Camp.
BUFFY PIPIT (Anthus vaalensis) – One at Mahango, and 2 near Stanley's Camp.

We found these impressive bull Greater Kudus near Stanley's Camp. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
LARK-LIKE BUNTING (Emberiza impetuani) – Twelve at Guisis, 40 west of Usakos, and 4 at Erongo Wilderness Camp.
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – Eight in the Erongo Mountains area, 3 at Etosha, and 4 at Uris.
CAPE BUNTING (Emberiza capensis) – One at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza flaviventris) – Three at Erongo Wilderness Lodge, and 4 at Etosha.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
BLACK-THROATED CANARY (Serinus atrogularis) – Very common from the Erongo Mountains north to Etosha; in all we saw about 200.
YELLOW CANARY (Serinus flaviventris) – Five at Guisis, 1 near Solitaire, and 4 in the Erongo Mountains area.
WHITE-THROATED CANARY (Serinus albogularis) – Four in the southern Erongo Mountains.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Fairly common from Windhoek to Walvis Bay and north to Usakos.
GREAT RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer motitensis) – Common from Usakos to Etosha.
CAPE SPARROW (Passer melanurus) – Common in the Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay, and Usakos areas.
SOUTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer diffusus) – Another common and widespread sparrow; in total we saw about 200.

Damara Red-billed Hornbill. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

YELLOW-THROATED PETRONIA (Petronia superciliaris) – Two near Stanley's Camp.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – Small numbers at Okombahe, Halali, and near Stanley's Camp.
SCALY WEAVER (Sporopipes squamifrons) – Also known as Scaly-feathered Finch; we saw about 10 between Windhoek and Solitaire, 10 at Etosha, and 5 at Mahango.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Widespread in acacia country throughout the tour.
SOCIAL WEAVER (Philetairus socius) – We saw these fabulous birds, and their even more fabulous nests in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and at Etosha. [E]
RED-HEADED WEAVER (Anaplectes rubriceps) – Two at Halali, and 1 at Mushara.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – One at Xaro.
HOLUB'S GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus xanthops) – Five at Hakusembe, and a dozen in the Xaro area.
SOUTHERN BROWN-THROATED WEAVER (Ploceus xanthopterus) – One in breeding plumage at Drotsky's Lodge.
SOUTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus velatus) – Very common throughout the tour.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – Six at Windhoek, about 100 at Erongo Wilderness Lodge and 50 at Mahango, but by far the most spectacular were many many thousands drinking together at the Okaukuejo waterhole.

We found 15 Chestnut-banded Plovers at Walvis Bay. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

FAN-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes axillaris) – One in non-breeding plumage from the Xaro boat.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – One at Walvis Bay, and 10 at Xaro Lodge.
BLACK-FACED WAXBILL (Estrilda erythronotos) – Small numbers at Windhoek, Sossusvlei, and around Usakos.
SOUTHERN CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus angolensis) – Four at Etosha, 20 at Mahango, 10 at Xaro, and about a dozen in the Okavango Delta.
VIOLET-EARED WAXBILL (Granatina granatina) – These beautiful waxbills were seen in acacia country at several sites across Namibia.
GREEN-WINGED PYTILIA (Pytilia melba) – Another very colorful waxbill; we saw these at Windhoek, Usakos, Etosha, and Mahango.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – We saw a single male at Mahango.
BROWN FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta nitidula) – One of our group saw 4 at Xaro Lodge.
JAMESON'S FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rhodopareia) – A pair at Stanley's Camp were rather out of range and unexpected.
RED-HEADED FINCH (Amadina erythrocephala) – Common in the Erongo Mountains, and at Etosha.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
SHAFT-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua regia) – We saw a female near Windhoek.

Elephants at Etosha. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

MOHOLI BUSHBABY (Galago moholi) – Two of our group had nice looks at 1 at Stanley's Camp.
BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Small numbers at Mahango, Xaro and Stanley's; in all we saw about 50.
CHACMA BABOON (Papio ursinus) – Common and widespread with a total of about 300.
SCRUB HARE (Lepus saxatalis) – One to the west of Usakos.
CAPE GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus inaurius) – Three at Solitaire, and about 20 in the Erongo Mountains area.
TREE SQUIRREL (Paraxerus cepapi) – About 130 at Etosha, 12 at Mahango, another 12 at Xaro, and 30+ in the Stanley's Camp area.
DASSIE RAT (Petromus typicus) – The single member of the family Petromuridae; we had nice looks at this rather localized animal in the northern Erongo Mountains.
BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas) – Small numbers near Sossusvlei and the Erongo Mountains, and then about 35 at Etosha.
BAT-EARED FOX (Otocyon megalotis) – One near Halali, Etosha.
RATEL (HONEY BADGER) (Mellivora capensis) – Great looks at this often shy nocturnal species at Halali.

The Sable Antelope we saw at Mahango. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

SLENDER MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus) – One at Uris.
BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo) – About 15 in the Stanley's Camp area.
DWARF MONGOOSE (Helogale parvula) – The black form found in Namibia is sometimes considered to be a distinct species; some of us saw 1 or 2 in the Erongo Mountains.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – Some of the group saw 2 at Etosha, and then others saw 1 at Stanley's Camp.
LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) – Fabulous! Walking right next to our vehicle and then climbing a dead tree to pose near Stanley's Camp.
LION (Panthera leo) – We saw 2 big males, 4 females, and 2 young near Okaukuejo, 5 further east in the Halali area, and then another big male and 4 females near Stanley's Camp.
CAPE (AUSTRALIAN) FUR SEAL (Arctocephalus pusillus) – Three near Walvis Bay.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – Many splendid encounters at Etosha, Mahango, and in the Okavango Delta; in all we saw about 400.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – Ten on the way to Solitaire, and then about 100 at the Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
MOUNTAIN ZEBRA (Equus zebra) – We saw 6 and then 10 near the Tropic of Capricorn.

The Gabon Boubou is also known as the Swamp Boubou. We saw them at several stops, including Hakusembe and Xaro. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – Very common at Etosha (perhaps 4000), and then 300 at Mahango, and 40 in the Okavango Delta.
BLACK RHINOCEROS (Diceros bicornis) – A courting pair were watched at the Okaukuejo waterhole (and then for those who stayed up late, mating); a third individual was then also seen there, and finally a fourth on the way to Halali.
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – A few west of Windhoek and at Etosha, and then about 100 between Mahango and the Okavango Delta.
HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – Nine in the Mahango to Xaro Camp area, and then 2 near Stanley's Camp.
COMMON GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardalis) – Widespread away from the most arid desert areas; in all we saw about 150.
BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus) – One at Mahango, 5 at Xaro, and about 15 in the Stanley's Camp area.
GREATER KUDU (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) – Most common at Etosha (120+), but we also saw them at the Erongo Mountains (9), Mahango (45), and finally 5 magnificent bulls near Stanley's Camp.
COMMON ELAND (Taurotragus oryx) – One huge male near Halali.
AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) – We saw a single herd of about 180 near Stanley's Camp.
LECHWE (Kobus leche) – At least 400 were at Mahango, and about a dozen in the Stanley's Camp area.

Common Giraffe was indeed common; we saw them in all but the most arid desert areas. Photo by participant Peggy Keller.

REEDBUCK (Redunca arundinum) – Also known as Southern Reedbuck; we saw 6 at Mahango, and 3 near Stanley's Camp.
ROAN ANTELOPE (Hippotragus equinus) – Five at Mahango.
SABLE ANTELOPE (Hippotragus niger) – A fabulous male was walking right in the open at Mahango.
GEMSBOK (Oryx gazella) – Also known as Southern Oryx; we saw about 220 in the Sossusvlei and Namib Naukluft Desert NP area, and 550 at Etosha.
TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus) – Also known in southern Africa as Tsessebe; we saw 5 at Mahango, and 1 near Stanley's Camp.
HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus) – Also known as Red Hartebeest; we saw about 80 at Etosha.
BLUE WILDEBEEST (Connochaetes taurinus) – A total of about 1000 at Etosha, and 50 in the Stanley's Camp area.
KLIPSPRINGER (Oreotragus oreotragus) – One at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
STEENBOK (Raphicerus campestris) – Small numbers around the Erongo Mountains, and at Etosha.
KIRK'S DIK-DIK (Modoqua kirki) – Two near Namutoni, Etosha.
IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus) – We saw about 400 of the black-faced form at Etosha, and then the more usual brown-faced form at Mahango (100), and in the Stanley's Camp area (300).
SPRINGBOK (Antidorcas marsupialis) – About 100 in the Sossusvlei and Namib Naukluft Desert NP, and then 'many thousands' at Etosha.


Reptiles seen on the tour included:

Nile Crocodile; up to about 80 along the Okavango River around Xaro included some really huge ones.

Water Monitor; 2 in the Xaro area.

Black Mamba; attracted by the sound of scolding birds some of the group saw 1 near Stanley's Camp.

Totals for the tour: 332 bird taxa and 42 mammal taxa