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Field Guides Tour Report
Nov 5, 2019 to Nov 24, 2019
Terry Stevenson

One of the first endemics we found were the localized Monteiro's Hornbills. We got very good views of them in the Erongo Mountains, and also near Windhoek. Our local guide Tarry Butcher got a lovely image of two of these interesting birds perched together.

Our November 2019 Namibia and Botswana tour took place during the worst drought ever recorded, leaving some areas totally without living vegetation. At first reading this might seem depressing, but in reality it turned out to be a wonderful time to visit, with all the endemic/near endemic birds we hoped for, and a spectacular mammal list too. Such a widespread drought meant that for many species the remaining waterholes were vital for their survival - attracting far more Lions, Black Rhino and Elephant than usual, plus many large herds of zebra, wildebeest and springbok.

As always we met in Johannesburg and flew to Windhoek the following day. We then had lunch at the Galton Guesthouse before spending the afternoon at the local sewage works. This might not sound like an ideal way to begin a tour, but in a country which is largely desert (and in a drought year) any area of water is worth a visit. South African Shelduck was a highlight here, as were African Swamphen, Three-banded Plover, African Jacana, African Darter, Hamerkop, Little Bittern, and Sacred Ibis. While in the surrounding acacia woodland Gray Go-away-bird, Dideric Cuckoo, White-backed Mousebird, the endemic Monteiro's Hornbill, Pied Barbet, and Scarlet-chested Sunbird were all enjoyed. To cap off a great first day we then went to a local site for the almost endemic Bradfield's Swift and had super close looks at these localized birds as they came to roost in palm trees.

Leaving Windhoek behind we then drove south-west for a two night stay at the luxurious Hoodia Desert Lodge - our base for a visit to the giant red sand dunes at nearby Sossusvlei. Only quarter of an inch of rain had fallen here in the past 13 months, so this really was a true desert experience. The birding though was excellent, with our main target - the endemic Dune Lark, being found within an hour of walking, and then a super tame second bird resting right in the shade of our vehicle! Other special birds seen in this area were Namaqua Sandgrouse, Ludwig's and Rueppell's bustards, Burchell's and Double-banded coursers, Lappet-faced Vulture, Greater Kestrel, Lanner Falcon, Pririt Batis, Layard's Warbler, Mountain Wheatear, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Dusky Sunbird, Scaly and Sociable weavers, and Red-headed Finch. We had nice looks at several mammals too, including Chacma Baboon, Cape Ground-Squirrel, Gemsbok, and Springbok.

Heading west and crossing the Tropic of Capricorn we picked up another very localized endemic - Gray's Lark. And then at the coast itself, we spent several hours at the Walvis Bay lagoon enjoying spectacular numbers of both Greater and Lesser flamingos, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, over 950 Chestnut-banded Plovers in a single flock, and yet more thousands of migrant shorebirds including Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Greenshank, and Marsh Sandpiper. Gray-hooded, Hartlaub's and Kelp gulls were present, as were 5 species of tern, including at least 7 very localized Damara Terns.

Our last new species at the coast was Orange River White-eye, and we then headed inland and north for three nights in the Erongo Mountains (based at two different lodges). As always the birding here was superb and we all enjoyed our walks in the dry river beds and rocky hill country as we encountered Hartlaub's Francolin, Freckled Nightjar, Verreaux's Eagle, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Green and Violet Woodhoopoe's, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, flocks of Rosy-faced Lovebirds, the endangered Rueppell's Parrot, White-tailed Shrike, White Helmetshrike, Crimson-breasted Gonolek, Carp's and Ashy tits, Rockrunner, Rufous-vented Warbler, Southern Pied Babbler, Herero Chat (a difficult to find endemic), Short-toed Rock-Thrush, and Green-winged Pytilia. Dassie Rat - a range restricted species in its own family was undoubtedly the most interesting mammal in this area.

Again heading north we then spent three nights in the Etosha area, where the dry conditions attracted numerous zebras and a variety of antelopes to the life-saving waterholes. Additionally we saw Warthog, Common Giraffe, Greater Kudu, and at night 5 endangered Black Rhino! Of course this permanent water attracted the predators too, giving us great looks at Spotted Hyaena, and Lion (in five different areas). The bird life was as varied as always and just some of the most memorable were Common Ostrich, Kori and White-quilled bustards, Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, Temminck's Courser, Marabou Stork, Bateleur, Martial and Tawny eagles, Pale Chanting-Goshawk, Southern Yellow-billed and Southern Red-billed hornbills, Spike-heeled, Stark's and Pink-billed larks, Rufous-chested and Mosque swallows, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Burnt-neck Eremomela, Chat Flycatcher, Yellow Canary, and Violet-eared Waxbill.

The final part of our stay in Namibia was at Taranga Safari Lodge on the banks of the Okavango River, and then passing through Mahango Game Reserve as we headed in to Botswana. With greener vegetation than what we'd experienced so far we added many new species; again just a few of the highlights were large flocks of White-faced Whistling-Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Crested Francolin, African Green-Pigeon, Wattled Crane, Long-toed Lapwing, African Openbill, Goliath Heron, White-headed Vulture, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, African Fish-Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Black-collared Barbet, Gabon Boubou, Southern Black-Tit, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Hartlaub's Babbler, White-browed Robin-Chat, Violet-backed and Meves's starlings, Red-billed Oxpecker, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, and Eastern Paradise-Whydah. Star of the show here though, was a superb Ross's Turaco - only the second record ever for Namibia!

Moving on to Botswana, the first part of our stay was at Drotsky's on the banks of the Okavango River. Set in beautiful gardens and riverine woodland the spacious cabins were a great base while we explored the area by boat and on foot. The first morning boat trip was truly spectacular, as we enjoyed White-backed Night-Heron, Burchell’s Sandgrouse, African Skimmer, and 2 separate Pel's Fishing-Owls all between 8 and 9:20 am - a record??? While other new birds we enjoyed here included African Pygmy-goose, Coppery-tailed and White-browed coucals, Water Thick-knee, Collared Pratincole, Purple Heron, Black-winged Kite, Giant and Pied kingfishers, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Wire-tailed Swallow, Chirping Cisticola, Arrow-marked Babbler, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Collared Sunbird, Spectacled Weaver, and Common Waxbill. We also had our best views to date of Hippo and African Elephant.

The second (and final) part of our stay in Botswana was taking a private charter flight to Macatoo, a luxury fully inclusive camp on a huge private concession deep within the Okavango Delta. We were not disappointed as we took morning and afternoon drives in this vast wilderness area. A major highlight was having an unexpected lunch in the shade of a tree over-looking a new waterhole where a procession of up to 60 elephants were drinking and bathing only hundred yards away. Other mammals we enjoyed here included 2 more Spotted Hyaena, a super tame Leopard that wouldn't move from its shady vantage point on top of a termite mound, 4 more Lions, Side-striped Jackal, at least 200 African Elephants, 130+ zebra, close hippos at their resident pool, and several hundred buffalo, lechwe and impala. We also had lesser numbers (but excellent views) of giraffe, warthog, reedbuck, topi, wildebeest, and steenbok. The birding was great too, as we revisited many species from earlier in the tour and added Double-banded Sandgrouse, Small Buttonquail, Saddle-billed Stork, Hooded Vulture, Southern Ground-hornbill, Striped Kingfisher, Broad-billed Roller, Dickinson's Kestrel, Meyer's Parrot, Lesser Striped Swallow, Piping and Desert cisticolas, Capped Wheatear, and Red-billed and Brown firefinches.

Another charter flight to Maun, for our connections to Johannesburg and home was a fabulous way to round off this ever popular tour.

Our next tours to Namibia and Botswana are led by Joe Grosel and run March 31 - April 19, and 3 - 22 November, 2020.

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

Since the area was in extreme drought, animals were concentrated at the remaining waterholes, which allowed us to have some memorable encounters with some of Africa's iconic mammals. One of the best of these was our close-up view of a herd of elephants at Macatoo. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Struthionidae (Ostriches)
COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus) – At least 35 at Sossusvlei, 50 west of Solitaire, and 150+ at Etosha were the largest numbers, but we also had small numbers in several other widespread open areas, including 4 near Macatoo, Botswana; in all we saw about 250.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Three at Otjiwarongo were our first, but we then saw at least 1000 at Mahango.
KNOB-BILLED DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos) – About 20 at Mahango, and 1 at Macatoo.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Eighty at Windhoek Sewage Works were the largest number for a single area, but they were also common and widespread throughout Etosha, at Taranga, Mahango, and near Macatoo; in all we saw about 170.
SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna cana) – Ten at Windhoek Sewage Works, and 1 at Otjiwarongo Sewage Works.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – Sixteen at Mahango, 6 near Drotsky's, and about 50 in the Macatoo area.
AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus) – Nice looks at a single female on one of our boat trips from Drotsky's.
HOTTENTOT TEAL (Spatula hottentota) – Eight at Windhoek Sewage Works, 60+ at Walvis Bay Sewage Works, and a dozen at Macatoo.
CAPE SHOVELER (Spatula smithii) – About 40 at Walvis Bay Sewage Works.
CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis) – About 500+ in the Walvis Bay area, and 4 at Etosha.

Herero Chat is an endemic that can be difficult to find, but we had good luck in the Erongo Mountains. Photo by participant George Sims.

RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha) – About 60 at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 22 at Etosha, 10 at Mahango, and 2 near Macatoo.
MACCOA DUCK (Oxyura maccoa) – Nice looks at a pair at the Walvis Bay Sewage Works.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – Very common in dry bush and acacia country throughout the tour; in all we saw about 240.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
HARTLAUB'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis hartlaubi) – Shy as always, but eventually we all managed to see at least 1 (of 2) in the southern Erongo Mountains. [E]
RED-BILLED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis adspersus) – Very common and widespread; in all we saw about 140.
SWAINSON'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis swainsonii) – About 10 in the Macatoo area.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Dendroperdix sephaena) – We saw a pair with a juvenile at Taranga Safari Lodge, 3 at Drotsky's, and 2 near Macatoo.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – Many thousands in the Walvis Bay area.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor) – Fewer than the previous species, but still many thousands in the Walvis Bay area.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Six at Windhoek Sewage Works, about 20 at Walvis Bay Sewage Works, and 50+ at Etosha.

Water Thick-knees waited until we reached the Okavango in Botswana to appear, but once there, we had some great views of these large shorebirds. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – We saw a single adult at the Walvis Bay Sewage Works.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – About 10 at Walvis Bay.
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – Common and widespread from Windhoek to Walvis Bay, and then north to Etosha.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Common along the Okavango River and in Botswana at Drotsky's and around Macatoo.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Very common and widespread.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Very common and widespread.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – First seen at Etosha and then more commonly north to Taranga, Mahango, Drotsky's; in all we saw about 50.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – Small numbers were widespread in dry country throughout the tour; in all we saw about 45.
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – About a dozen at Drotsky's.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
NAMAQUA SANDGROUSE (Pterocles namaqua) – We saw a total of about 35 in the Sossusvlei area.

This Leopard at Macatoo was very comfortable, resting in the shade of a termite mound. We were able to get a wonderful view of this gorgeous cat. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

DOUBLE-BANDED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles bicinctus) – Eight at Macatoo.
BURCHELL'S SANDGROUSE (Pterocles burchelli) – Eleven landed and quickly took a drink along the banks of the Okavango River near Shakawe.
Otididae (Bustards)
KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori) – Some of our group saw 1 at the Okaukuejo waterhole in Etosha.
LUDWIG'S BUSTARD (Neotis ludwigii) – Two at Sossusvlei.
RŸUEPPELL'S BUSTARD (Eupodotis rueppelii)
WHITE-QUILLED BUSTARD (Eupodotis afraoides) – We saw 3 males and 2 females at Etosha.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
ROSS'S TURACO (Musophaga rossae) – Brief, but good looks at this gorgeous bird at Taranga - only the second record for Namibia.
GRAY GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides concolor) – Common and widespread in dry woodland throughout the tour; in all we saw about 180.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
COPPERY-TAILED COUCAL (Centropus cupreicaudus) – Two singles at Drotsky's.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – One in the grounds of Drotsky's, and 1 near Macatoo.

The endangered Rueppell's Parrot is another bird that can be hard to locate, so we were thrilled to see them in three locations! Photo by participant George Sims.

LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii) – One flew over our vehicle at Mahango.
PIED CUCKOO (Clamator jacobinus) – Two at Uris, 1 at Mahango, and 1 at Drotsky's.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – Singles at Windhoek, Etosha, Mushara, and Uris.
BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus) – Heard at Taranga, and then 2 seen at Drotsky's.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
RUFOUS-CHEEKED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus rufigena) – Eight at the Okaukuejo waterhole.
FRECKLED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus tristigma) – Three at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
Apodidae (Swifts)
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba) – At least 40 at Windhoek.
COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus) – A flock of about 20 were seen drinking along the river near Drotsky's.
BRADFIELD'S SWIFT (Apus bradfieldi) – About 50 at Windhoek, with several very close as they came to roost in palm trees. [E]
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Six at Windhoek, 4 at Walvis Bay, and 55 from Otjiwarongo to Etosha.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Six at Otijwarongo.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – About 20 at Windhoek, and then small numbers daily from Etosha across the north and in to Botswana; in all we saw about 120.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Eight at Windhoek, 1 at Guisis, 10 at Walvis Bay, and then singles at Otjiwarongo and Shakawe.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – About 120 at Windhoek Sewage Works, and 50 at Walvis Bay Sewage Works.
AFRICAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio madagascariensis) – Three at Windhoek Sewage Works, 8 at Walvis Bay Sewage Works, and 1 along the Okavango River near Drotsky's.
BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra) – Singles near Taranga Safari Lodge and Drotsky's.
Gruidae (Cranes)
WATTLED CRANE (Bugeranus carunculatus) – Three at Mahango, and 8 in the Macatoo area of the Okavango Delta.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus) – The along the Okavango River near Shakawe, and 2 singles near Macatoo.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Widespread at a variety of pools, but the largest number was about 400 at Walvis Bay.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – At least 600 on the main lagoon at Walvis Bay.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AFRICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus moquini) – Two at the guano platform north of Walvis Bay.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Six in the Walvis Bay area.

African Fish-Eagles were a common sight along the Okavango River. Here, local guide Tarry Butcher captured an adult and an immature together in flight.

LONG-TOED LAPWING (Vanellus crassirostris) – Two distantly at Mahango, and then about 9 along the Okavango River.
BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus) – Two hundred and fifty at Etosha, 120 at Mahango, and 250 along the Okavango River were by far the highest totals, but we also had smaller numbers at a variety of pools elsewhere.
CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Two at Etosha, and 14 near Macatoo.
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – Some of the group saw 1 at the Walvis Bay Sewage Works, then we all had about a dozen at Etosha, and 8 near Macatoo.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) – Four at Walvis Bay.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – Thirty at Windhoek, and about another 14 at a variety of widespread wetlands.
WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER (Charadrius marginatus) – About 15 at Walvis Bay, and 2 on the Okavango River sandbanks.
CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius pallidus) – Just incredible this year, with 950 in a single flock, and perhaps 100 others as well - all at the Walvis Bay lagoon.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Widespread at a variety of wetlands; in all we saw about 60.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – Twenty at Walvis Bay.

One of the animals that thrives in the Namib Desert is the Gemsbok. We saw a good number of these beautiful antelopes, including this herd at Etosha. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – Four close birds, and about another 100 more distantly at Walvis Bay.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Twenty-five in the Walvis Bay area.
RUFF (Calidris pugnax) – Fairly common at a variety of wetlands; in all we saw about 230.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – About 1500 at Walvis Bay, and 1 at Etosha.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Eight at Walvis Bay.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta) – Perhaps 1000 at Walvis Bay (with many other more distant birds) and a few at Etosha and in the Okavango Delta near Macatoo.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Singles at Walvis Bay, Etosha and Shakawe, and 4 in the Macatoo area.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Twenty-two at Walvis Bay, 8 at Mahango, 5 near Shakawe, and 2 at Macatoo.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – About 70 at Walvis Bay, and 1 near Macatoo.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Fairly common and widespread at a variety of marshy wetlands; in all we saw about 75.

This pair of Rueppell's Bustards were seen at Sossusvlei. Photo by participant George Sims.

Turnicidae (Buttonquail)
SMALL BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix sylvaticus) – One was flushed by our vehicle near Macatoo.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
BURCHELL'S COURSER (Cursorius rufus) – We were very lucky with this nomadic wanderer this year; first seeing a pair with a juvenile near Solitaire, and then 2 adults together at Sossusvlei.
TEMMINCK'S COURSER (Cursorius temminckii) – Great looks at 1 right next to our vehicle at Etosha.
DOUBLE-BANDED COURSER (Smutsornis africanus) – Two adults and a juvenile near Solitaire, and then 4 at Etosha.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola) – We saw 7 and then 4 on a couple of different sandbanks along the Okavango River, and then about 40 in the Macatoo area.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – Four at Walvis Bay.
HARTLAUB'S GULL (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii) – At least 800 in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
KELP GULL (VETULA) (Larus dominicanus vetula) – About 250 in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
DAMARA TERN (Sternula balaenarum) – Fantastic close looks at 7 individuals at Walvis Bay.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – About a dozen at Walvis Bay.

Rosy-faced Lovebirds were a common sight in Namibia, where we saw flocks of these lovely little parrots. This charming trio was part of a larger flock. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – One near Shakawe, and 6 near Macatoo.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – One in breeding plumage near Macatoo.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – At least 300 at Walvis Bay.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – Thirty at Walvis Bay.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – One hundred and fifty at Walvis Bay.
AFRICAN SKIMMER (Rynchops flavirostris) – We saw a total of 6 on the sandbars in the Shakawe area, and then 12 near Macatoo where they are very uncommon.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus) – One at Taranga, 5 at Mahango, and 3 near Drotsky's.
SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) – Nice looks at 2 single birds near Macatoo.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – Seven at Etosha, 30+ at Mahango, 60+ near Drotsky's, and 35 at Macatoo.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – Five singles at Mahango, Shakawe, and Macatoo.

We found African Skimmers in Botswana, including at Macatoo Camp, where they are not commonly found. Photo by participant George Sims.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa) – Singles at Windhoek Sewage Works and Mahango, and then about a dozen in the Drotsky's area.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus) – Twenty-five at Windhoek Sewage Works, and 75+ between Taranga and Drotsky's.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Surprisingly few, with just 3 at Walvis Bay.
CAPE CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax capensis) – Several hundred in the Walvis Bay area included close views at the guano platform.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – Four close birds at Walvis Bay, about 150 more distantly at the guano platform, and flocks totaling 150+ near Shakawe.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – Singles at Windhoek, near Usakos, and Taranga, and then 8 in the Drotsky's and Macatoo areas.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LITTLE BITTERN (Ixobrychus minutus) – Nice looks at 1 in the reed beds at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Three at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 6 at Mahango, and 6 in the Macatoo area.
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – One at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 3 at Okaukuejo, and 1 at Taranga.
GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath) – Fabulous to see this, the world's largest heron; in all we saw 17 from our boat trips in the Okavango panhandle.

The huge sand dunes of Sossusvlei are one of the wonders of Namibia. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Great looks at a well camouflaged bird near Drotsky's.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Three in the Taranga-Mahango area, and 1 near Macatoo.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Ten at Walvis Bay, and then a few singles along the Okavango River and in the delta.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Fairly widespread, but (perhaps due to the ultra dry weather) only in relatively small numbers; in all we saw about 40.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – One at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 15 between Taranga to Mahangu, and 14 in the Okavango panhandle.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Two singles in the Shakawe area.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – One at Otijwarongo, and 2 at Drotsky's.
WHITE-BACKED NIGHT-HERON (Gorsachius leuconotus) – Fantastic looks at a pair of these real super skulkers at Drotsky's.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – Seven in flight at Windhoek, 1 at Otjiwarongo, 1 near Shakawe, and 10 near Macatoo.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Six as we drove from our hotel to the airport in Johannesburg, about 8 in the Drotsky's area, and 2 near Macatoo.

Participant George Sims got this great image of an especially lively Green-bellied Greenbul in the woodlands along the Okavango River.

AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – Five at Mahango, and 3 near Macatoo.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One along the Okavango River near Shakawe.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Four singles in the Drotsky's area.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Nice views of a flying adult at Mahango.
WHITE-HEADED VULTURE (Trigonoceps occipitalis) – Two singles at Mahango, and 1 near Macatoo.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos) – We saw pairs west of Windhoek and near Solitaire, and then 6 with a resting flock of White-backed Vultures at Etosha, 1 at Mahango, and 4 near Macatoo.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – One near Macatoo.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – About 60 at Etosha, a dozen at Mahango, and 40+ at Macatoo.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – We saw about 12 in the Etosha to Mahango area, and 3 at Macatoo.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Single adults were widespread throughout the Namibian drylands; in all we saw 7.

This Temminck's Courser was quite cooperative, and came right next to our vehicle where we were able to get great views! Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus) – One near Macatoo.
MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) – In all we saw 3 adults and an immature, with a close perched adult at Mahango being a fabulous sighting.
BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus) – We had single dark morphs at Etosha, and near Drotsky's.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – About 10 in the Etosha area.
VERREAUX'S EAGLE (Aquila verreauxii) – We saw a pair in flight at the south end of the Erongo Mountains.
AFRICAN HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila spilogaster) – One in the Erongo Mountains, and 2 singles near Macatoo.
PALE CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax canorus) – Three west of Guisis, 2 in the Solitaire area, and 9 at Etosha.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – Two at the south end of the Erongo Mountains, 3 at Etosha, and a melanistic bird near Drotsky's.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – One at Etosha.
OVAMBO SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter ovampensis) – One in flight at Taranga.
BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus) – At least 70 were seen between Rundu, Shakawe, and in the Okavango Delta.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – Very common all along the Okavango River and delta area; in all we saw about 80.
Strigidae (Owls)
PEL'S FISHING-OWL (Scotopelia peli) – Simply fantastic! And with sincere thanks to our local guide we saw 2 single birds in the Shakawe area.
PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum) – Common in areas with large acacia trees; in all we saw about 14.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
WHITE-BACKED MOUSEBIRD (Colius colius) – About 30 in the Windhoek area, and 10 near Guisis.
RED-FACED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius indicus) – Nice looks at 1 at Uris.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (AFRICAN) (Upupa epops africana) – Small numbers in open acacia woodland (and the few grassy areas we encountered); in total we saw about 14.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – Five near Okombahe, about 18 at Drotsky's, and 5 at Macatoo.
VIOLET WOODHOOPOE (VIOLET) (Phoeniculus damarensis damarensis) – One at the Khan River, 2 near Okombahe, and then great looks at 5 at Halali. [E]
COMMON SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) – Widespread in acacia country; in all we saw about a dozen.
Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)
SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus leadbeateri) – Nice looks at 4 near Macatoo.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus) – First seen near Okombahe, and then frequently throughout Etosha and north-east to the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

At Macatoo we enjoyed a lunch near a waterhole, complete with a herd of elephants. What a fantastic experience! Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

SOUTHERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus leucomelas) – Five in the Usakos area, at least 45 at Etosha, and 5 at Macatoo.
MONTEIRO'S HORNBILL (Tockus monteiri) – Great views of this endemic, with 4 near Windhoek, and about a dozen in the Erongo Mountains area. [E]
SOUTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus rufirostris) – First seen at Etosha, and then at Macatoo; in all we saw about 20.
DAMARA RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus damarensis) – Seven to the west of Usakos, a further 6 in the Erongo Mountains, and 2 (possibly hybrids?) at Etosha. [E]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Three along the Okavango River in the Taranga and Shakawe areas.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – We saw a total of about 15 between Taranga, Drotsky's, and in the Okavango Delta.
STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti) – One in the dry woodland near Macatoo.
GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima) – Two on our boat trips from Drotsky's.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – About 20 along the Okavango River near Shakawe was far fewer than usual - but still we had beautiful views of this striking black and white kingfisher.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER (Merops bullockoides) – About 120 along the Okavango River in the Shakawe area.

A Ross's Turaco that we found at Taranga provided us with the most unexpected sighting for the tour. This was only the second time this bird has been recorded in Namibia! Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – One at Mahango for some of the group, and then 6 for everyone at Macatoo.
SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops hirundineus) – Ten on the outskirts of Windhoek, and then singles at Sossusvlei, the Erongo Mountains, Mahango, and near Macatoo.
BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (Merops persicus) – We saw about 50 of these beautiful bee-eaters along the Okavango River.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) – Another gorgeous bee-eater, we saw these at Windhoek, Etosha, Taranga, and Mahango; in total we saw about 100.
SOUTHERN CARMINE BEE-EATER (Merops nubicoides) – And perhaps the most gorgeous bee-eater of all; we saw 7 of these at Mahango and near Shakawe.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus) – Two at Otjiwarongo, and 40+ between Mahango and the Okavango Delta.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – Nice looks at 1 near Namutoni.
BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus) – Seven at Macatoo.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
CRESTED BARBET (Trachyphonus vaillantii) – One at Drotsky's, 1 eating our breakfast toast at Macatoo (and several others in the Macatoo area).
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) – One at Drotsky's.

Helmeted Guineafowl were a common sight in many of the drier locations. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

PIED BARBET (Tricholaema leucomelas) – Small numbers in acacia country; in all we saw about 9.
BLACK-COLLARED BARBET (Lybius torquatus) – Small numbers at Drotsky's and Macatoo.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
LESSER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator minor) – One at Taranga.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Chloropicus fuscescens) – We saw single females at Windhoek, in the Erongo Mountains, and at Etosha.
GOLDEN-TAILED WOODPECKER (Campethera abingoni) – Great looks at a pair in the dry Khan River bed.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – Nice looks at a female near Solitaire.
ROCK KESTREL (Falco rupicolus) – Two in the Erongo Mountains.
GREATER KESTREL (Falco rupicoloides) – Five in the Solitaire area.
DICKINSON'S KESTREL (Falco dickinsoni) – Two singles in the palms near Macatoo.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – One at Hoodia Desert Lodge.

A pair of White-backed Night-Herons tried to hide from us at Drotsky's, but we were able to get good looks at them, and participant George Sims got a nice image of one peering back through the foliage.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – Two in the northern Erongo Mountains, and 1 at Etosha.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ROSY-FACED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis roseicollis) – Widespread in Namibia with a total of about 170. [E]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri) – Six at Macatoo.
RUEŸPPELL'S PARROT (Poicephalus rueppellii) – Can be very difficult, so we were lucky to see 1 at the Khan River, 6 in the southern Erongo Mountains, and 2 at Okombahe. [E]
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
WHITE-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanioturdus torquatus) – Four in the Guisis area, and 5 around Erongo Wilderness Lodge. [E]
CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor) – We saw a single male at Drotsky's.
PRIRIT BATIS (Batis pririt) – We saw a pair at Hoodia Desert Lodge, and then about 8 in the Erongo Mountains, and 2 in the Etosha area.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
WHITE HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops plumatus) – Four in the large acacia trees along the Khan River, 8 at Okombahe, and 5 at Mushara.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – One near Windhoek, 1 at Khan River, and 2 at Okombahe.
BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus cubla) – Two at Uris.

We saw thousands of Burchell's Zebras at Etosha, where guide Terry Stevenson got this shot of a group at a waterhole.

BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – One near Macatoo.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – Singles at Khan River and Mahango.
GABON BOUBOU (Laniarius bicolor) – About 10 at Taranga, 12 at Mahango, and 1 at Macatoo.
CRIMSON-BREASTED GONOLEK (Laniarius atrococcineus) – Small numbers at Windhoek, Guisis, Mushara, and Mahango; in total we saw about 18.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – One at Taranga.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE (Campephaga flava) – We saw a single male at Drotsky's.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
RED-BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius collurio) – Three at Uris, and 2 at Mahango.
LESSER GRAY SHRIKE (Lanius minor) – One at Mahango.
SOUTHERN FISCAL (SOUTHERN) (Lanius collaris subcoronatus) – Singles near Windhoek and Usakos.
MAGPIE SHRIKE (Corvinella melanoleuca) – Small numbers from the veterinary check point on the way to Rundu and on throughout the north and in to the Okavango Delta.

Drotsky's was a wonderful place where we found a number of great birds on our first morning, including a pair of Pel's Fishing-Owls. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

WHITE-CROWNED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus anguitimens) – About 20 in the acacia's along the Khan River, and then another 20 in the Erongo Mountains and at Etosha.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
AFRICAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Oriolus auratus) – One at Drotsky's for some of our group.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Except in the most arid areas, they were common and widespread throughout the tour.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Small numbers were widespread in wooded areas throughout the tour; in all we saw about 20.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Seven around Solitaire, and 70 at Etosha.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Common and widespread; in all we saw about 200.
Alaudidae (Larks)
SPIKE-HEELED LARK (Chersomanes albofasciata) – Sixteen at Etosha.
GRAY'S LARK (Ammomanopsis grayi) – Seven were seen on the gravel plains desert on the way to Walvis Bay. [E]
CHESTNUT-BACKED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix leucotis) – At least 300 were seen coming to the waterholes in Etosha.
GRAY-BACKED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix verticalis) – A minimum of 700 were seen at various waterholes in Etosha.

This adult and juvenile Crested Francolin were seen at Taranga Safari Lodge. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

SABOTA LARK (BRADFIELD'S) (Calendulauda sabota naevia) – Three in the Erongo Mountains, and 9 at Etosha.
DUNE LARK (Calendulauda erythrochlamys) – After walking around in the dunes at Sossusvlei we eventually found 1, and then got back to find a very tame second bird sheltering in the shade of our vehicle. Super views down to 3 feet! [E]
RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana) – Two singles near Macatoo.
RED-CAPPED LARK (Calandrella cinerea) – About 50 at Etosha.
STARK'S LARK (Spizocorys starki) – Great this tour, with good looks at about 16 at Etosha.
PINK-BILLED LARK (Spizocorys conirostris) – Nice looks at 1 on our first drive in Etosha.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – About 10 along the river in the Shakawe area.
BANDED MARTIN (Riparia cincta) – Fifteen near Drotsky's.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – Common and widespread from Windhoek to the coast and then north to Etosha; in all we saw about 80.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Very common and widespread throughout the tour.

The Long-tailed Cormorant is sometimes called "Reed Cormorant"; a number of these showed well in Namibia, including at the sewage works in Windhoek. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Five along the Okavango River in the Drotsky's area.
PEARL-BREASTED SWALLOW (Hirundo dimidiata) – About 30 at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
GREATER STRIPED SWALLOW (Cecropis cucullata) – Singles at Windhoek and Guisis.
LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – Three near Macatoo.
RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa) – One over the waterhole at Okaukuejo.
MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis) – Two at Namutoni were well west of their usual range, and we then saw 1 at Taranga.
COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum) – About 15 at Etosha.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
SOUTHERN BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus niger) – One at Mahango.
CARP'S TIT (Melaniparus carpi) – Good looks at 3 at the Khan River, 1 at Okombahe, and 2 at Uris. [E]
ASHY TIT (Melaniparus cinerascens) – Two singles in the Erongo Mountains.

We saw many more Lions than expected, including this big male that guide Terry Stevenson caught snoozing.

Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
YELLOW-BELLIED GREENBUL (Chlorocichla flaviventris) – About 20 at Taranga, and 7 at Drotsky's.
TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL (Phyllastrephus terrestris) – Two at Taranga.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor) – Common from Taranga easterly through to the Okavango Delta.
BLACK-FRONTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus nigricans) – Very common in Namibia, and (perhaps due to the dry conditions) north to Taranga and Drotsky's.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
CAPE CROMBEC (Sylvietta rufescens) – Small numbers in acacia country; in all we saw about 8.
ROCKRUNNER (Achaetops pycnopygius) – Great scope views of 1 in the rocky foothills of the Erongo Mountains. [E]
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus) – Widespread; we saw a total of about 30.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
ICTERINE WARBLER (Hippolais icterina) – Two singles in the Etosha area.
AFRICAN REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus baeticatus) – Three at Walvis Bay Sewage Works, and others heard at Windhoek and Otjiwarongo.
LESSER SWAMP WARBLER (Acrocephalus gracilirostris) – One at Walvis Bay Sewage Works.

The endemic Dune Lark was our main target at Sossusvlei, and we did well, seeing one bird in the dunes, and another resting in the shade of our vehicle. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

GREATER SWAMP WARBLER (Acrocephalus rufescens) – Heard in the reed beds near Shakawe.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA (Eremomela icteropygialis) – Two at the Erongo Mountains.
BURNT-NECK EREMOMELA (Eremomela usticollis) – Two at Namutoni.
BARRED WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes fasciolatus) – One of our group saw 1 at the south end of the Erongo Mountains.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – Small numbers from Okombahe to Etosha, and on through Taranga and Mahango.
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – Two at Namutoni.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – One from the boat near Drotsky's.
BLACK-CHESTED PRINIA (Prinia flavicans) – Pairs at Windhoek, Erongo Mountains, and Uris.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – Two at Etosha, and 4 near Macatoo.
CHIRPING CISTICOLA (Cisticola pipiens) – Nice looks at 2 from the boat near Drotsky's.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters showed nicely for us along the Okavango River. Photo by participant George Sims.

PIPING CISTICOLA (Cisticola fulvicapilla) – One near Macatoo.
DESERT CISTICOLA (Cisticola aridulus) – One near Macatoo.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
LAYARD'S WARBLER (Sylvia layardi) – Nice looks at a single at Hoodia Desert Lodge.
RUFOUS-VENTED WARBLER (Sylvia subcaerulea) – Good looks at about a dozen around the Erongo Mountains and at Okombahe.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
ORANGE RIVER WHITE-EYE (Zosterops pallidus) – One at Walvis Bay.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
HARTLAUB'S BABBLER (Turdoides hartlaubii) – Very common from Taranga easterly through Mahango and south in to the Okavango Delta.
BLACK-FACED BABBLER (Turdoides melanops) – Great close looks at 3 of these rather localized babblers at Mushara. [E]
SOUTHERN PIED-BABBLER (Turdoides bicolor) – We saw a flock of 7 to the west of Windhoek, and then 3 briefly at the Khan River, 5 mobbing a cobra at Okombahe, and finally 6 at Mahango.
ARROW-MARKED BABBLER (Turdoides jardineii) – About 20 in the Drotsky's area, and 4 at Macatoo.
BARE-CHEEKED BABBLER (Turdoides gymnogenys) – Excellent super close looks at 3 of these often difficult to find babblers at Halali. [E]

This sparkling Collared Sunbird was one of three that we found at Drotsky's. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) – Small numbers were seen almost daily from Etosha onwards.
MARIQUA FLYCATCHER (Bradornis mariquensis) – Common in acacia country; in all we saw about 85.
PALE FLYCATCHER (PALE) (Agricola pallidus pallidus) – One at Taranga.
CHAT FLYCATCHER (Agricola infuscatus) – At least 6 along the road from Swakopmund to Usakos, and a further 6 at Etosha.
HERERO CHAT (Melaenornis herero) – One of the most difficult endemics, but we had excellent close views of 2 at the south end of the Erongo Mountains. [E]
KAROO SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas coryphoeus) – Three at Hoodia Desert Lodge.
KALAHARI SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas paena) – Three at the Erongo Mountains.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Heard several times near Windhoek. [*]
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – Two at Taranga, and 3 at Drotsky's.
SHORT-TOED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola brevipes) – Seen by different members of our group at different times, with a total of 4 between the Erongo Mountains and Etosha.

Photographers on the Okavango River. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

TRACTRAC CHAT (Cercomela tractrac) – Nice looks at 2 singles on the drive to Walvis Bay.
FAMILIAR CHAT (Cercomela familiaris) – Small numbers from Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay, and north to Etosha.
MOUNTAIN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe monticola) – We saw a total of about a dozen in the Sossusvlei and Solitaire areas, and 2 at the Erongo Mountains.
CAPPED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe pileata) – One at Macatoo.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
GROUNDSCRAPER THRUSH (Psophocichla litsitsirupa) – One at Okombahe, and about 10 at Etosha.
KURRICHANE THRUSH (Turdus libonyana) – Eight at Taranga, and 1 at Mahango.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea) – At least 400 were at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) – We saw about 14 of these gorgeous starlings at Taranga and Drotsky's.
PALE-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus nabouroup) – Common in Namibia's rocky areas; in all we saw about 160.
BURCHELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis australis) – Fairly common around the Erongo Mountains, Okombahe, Mushara, Mahango, and Macatoo; in all we saw about 110.

The wonderful African Paradise-Flycatcher was seen in small numbers in the woodlands. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

MEVES'S STARLING (Lamprotornis mevesii) – Nice looks at about 8 at Mahango.
CAPE STARLING (Lamprotornis nitens) – Common and widespread from near Windhoek to the coast and north to Etosha and Uris.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Small numbers at Mahango, Drotsky's, and near Macatoo.
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – Four near Drotsky's, and about a dozen in the Macatoo area.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris) – Three at Drotsky's.
AMETHYST SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra amethystina) – Six at Taranga.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – Six in the Windhoek area.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – This gorgeous sunbird was widespread in small numbers (in acacia country); in all we saw 19.
WHITE-BREASTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris talatala) – We saw about 25 between the east side of Etosha, Uris, and Taranga.
DUSKY SUNBIRD (Cinnyris fuscus) – Fourteen in the Sossusvlei -Solitaire area, 8 at the Erongo Mountains, and 10 at Etosha.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis) – Mainly found in areas with water, they were widespread with a total of about 50.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – About 12 from Otjiwarongo to Etosha.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – Four at Etosha.
BUFFY PIPIT (Anthus vaalensis) – One at the east side of Etosha, and then 3 singles in the Macatoo area.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
BLACK-THROATED CANARY (Crithagra atrogularis) – Widespread from Windhoek to the Erongo Mountains and on to Etosha; in all we saw about 80.
YELLOW CANARY (Crithagra flaviventris) – We saw single males at Windhoek and Etosha.
WHITE-THROATED CANARY (Crithagra albogularis) – Two at Hoodia Desert Lodge.
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza flaviventris) – Five at Etosha, and 1 at Uris.
CAPE BUNTING (Emberiza capensis) – Four at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
LARK-LIKE BUNTING (Emberiza impetuani) – One at Solitaire, and about 10 in the Erongo Mountains.
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – Eight from Etosha to Uris.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Common from Windhoek to the coast and north to Usakos.
GREAT RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer motitensis) – Two at the Erongo Mountains, and 6 at Etosha.
CAPE SPARROW (Passer melanurus) – Common from Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay and north to Usakos.
SOUTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer diffusus) – Most common at Etosha (60+), but we had a few others in the Erongo Mountains, and at Taranga.

Bare-cheeked Babblers are difficult to find, but we were lucky and saw three at Halali. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

YELLOW-THROATED PETRONIA (Gymnornis superciliaris) – Some authorities now call this Yellow-throated Bush-Sparrow; we saw a perched up bird at Uris.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – About 20 at the Khan River, 15 at Okombahe, and a few others at scattered sites with large acacia trees.
SCALY WEAVER (Sporopipes squamifrons) – Also known as Scaly-feathered Finch, we saw 2 at Solitaire.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Widespread in acacia country from the Erongo Mountains to Etosha, and east Mahango.
SOCIABLE WEAVER (Philetairus socius) – Nice looks around Sossusvlei and Solitaire, where we also saw some of their huge 'haystack' nests.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – Two singles near Drotsky's.
HOLUB'S GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus xanthops) – About 40 between Taranga, Mahango, and Drotsky's.
SOUTHERN BROWN-THROATED WEAVER (Ploceus xanthopterus) – Despite the dry conditions it was great to see so many of these weavers in breeding plumage; we saw a total of about 250 from Taranga to Drotsky's.
LESSER MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus intermedius) – Thirty at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
SOUTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus velatus) – Very common and seen daily throughout most of the tour.

Black Rhinoceros were affected by the drought, and we saw several of these massive beasts at waterholes in Etosha. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – Most common at Etosha, but also widespread around waterholes in dry country.
SOUTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes orix) – Six at Windhoek Sewage Works.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – About 40 at Drotsky's.
BLACK-FACED WAXBILL (Estrilda erythronotos) – Two of our group saw singles near Windhoek and at Taranga.
SOUTHERN CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus angolensis) – Two at Mushara, 6 at Uris, and 9 at Taranga.
VIOLET-EARED WAXBILL (Granatina granatina) – We saw 3 of the gorgeous waxbills at Uris, and then 2 more at Taranga.
GREEN-WINGED PYTILIA (Pytilia melba) – Two in the Erongo Mountains, and 1 at Uris.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – Seen by some of the group at Windhoek, and then by everyone at Macatoo.
BROWN FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta nitidula) – Two near Macatoo.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – One at Uris, and then about 8 at Macatoo including a bird in full breeding plumage.

Gabon Boubou showed nicely for us in several locations. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

EASTERN PARADISE-WHYDAH (Vidua paradisaea) – We saw single males (in intermediate plumage) at Taranga and Mahango.
SHAFT-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua regia) – Two near Windhoek.

BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Common along the Okavango River and in the delta; in all we saw about 210.
CHACMA BABOON (Papio ursinus) – Widespread away from heavily populated areas (of which there are very few); in all we saw about 330.
SCRUB HARE (Lepus saxatalis) – Singles at the Erongo Mountains, and at Etosha.
CAPE GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus inaurius) – Most common at Etosha (60+), but we also saw them at Solitaire and near the Erongo Mountains.
TREE SQUIRREL (Paraxerus cepapi) – Common from Etosha to the Okavango River and south to the delta.
DASSIE RAT (Petromus typicus) – Nice looks at this unique mammal in the Erongo Mountains, where we saw at least 11.
SIDE-STRIPED JACKAL (Canis adustus) – Two singles in the Macatoo area.
BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas) – About 10 at Etosha.
BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo) – Eighteen at Halali, and 7 near Macatoo.

Guide Terry Stevenson shot this aerial view of the Okavango as we took our charter flight to Macatoo.

SLENDER-TAILED MEERKAT (Suricata suricatta) – One crossed the road to the south-west of Windhoek.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – Five at Etosha, and 2 near Macatoo.
LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) – Fantastic close looks at 1 which just wouldn't move away from its resting place on a termite hill.
LION (Panthera leo) – Just exceptional this tour, with 9 at Etosha, and 4 near Macatoo; seen on five different occasions with wonderful (and often close looks) at big maned males, females and cubs!
CAPE (AUSTRALIAN) FUR SEAL (Arctocephalus pusillus) – Two singles at Walvis Bay.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – We saw about 7 distantly in Etosha, then 4 near Drotsky's (also a bit distant) but at Macatoo we had fantastic close looks at a couple of hundred, including big bulls and herds with young. We also enjoyed a fabulous lunch next to a herd at a waterhole.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – About 40 in the Erongo Mountains.
MOUNTAIN ZEBRA (Equus zebra) – Six as we drove across the desert near the Tropic of Capricorn.
BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – At least a few thousand at Etosha, 50+ at Mahango, and about 150 at Macatoo.
BLACK RHINOCEROS (Diceros bicornis) – Due to the dry conditions they were coming to the waterholes at Etosha where we all saw a total of 8.
WHITE RHINOCEROS (Ceratotherium simum) – One near Macatoo was a real bonus.
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – Widespread; in all we saw about 160.

White-fronted Bee-eaters showed well along the Okavango River near Shakawe. Photo by local guide Tarry Butcher.

HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – Great looks at about 230 as we traveled from Mahango to Drotsky's and on to Macatoo.
COMMON GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardalis) – By far the most were at Etosha (140+) but we also saw a few others at the Erongo Mountains and at Macatoo.
GREATER KUDU (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) – Fairly common and widespread away from the most arid areas; in all we saw about 185.
AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) – Thirty at Mahango, and 300+ in the Macatoo area.
LECHWE (Kobus leche) – Seventy-five at Mahango, and 220 at Macatoo.
REEDBUCK (Redunca arundinum) – Three at Mahango, and 34 in the Macatoo area.
GEMSBOK (Oryx gazella) – A spectacular antelope of the true arid areas; in all we saw about 340, with most in the Namib Naukluft Desert (including at the Sossusvlei Dunes) and at Etosha.
TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus) – Twenty at Etosha, and 70+ at Macatoo.
HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus) – Also known as Red Hartebeest, we saw about 60 at Etosha.
BLUE WILDEBEEST (Connochaetes taurinus) – Several thousand at Etosha (often with the herds of zebra), and about 25 at Macatoo.
STEENBOK (Raphicerus campestris) – Four at Etosha, and 3 at Macatoo.
KIRK'S DIK-DIK (Modoqua kirki) – Two at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus) – About 200 at Etosha, 300+ at Mahango, and 550+ around Macatoo.
SPRINGBOK (Antidorcas marsupialis) – Most common at Etosha, but we also had good numbers around Sossusvlei and in the Namib Naukluft Desert; in all we saw 3000+.


Reptiles seen on the tour included;

Wedge-snouted Lizard; about 10 at Sossusvlei.

Namibia Rock Agama; 2 or 3 in the Erongo Mountains area.

Kalahari Tree Skink; 1 at Etosha.

Water Monitor; 5 in the Drotsky's area.

Nile Crocodile; at least 100 along the Okavango River near Drotsky's (included several really huge ones).

Leopard Tortoise; 1 at Etosha.

Western Barred Spitting Cobra; nice looks at 1 being mobbed by birds in the river bed at Okombahe.

Totals for the tour: 331 bird taxa and 35 mammal taxa