CAMDEBOO NATIONAL PARK
If you bird the Nqweba Dam section of Camdeboo NP in the morning you will start at the Parks offices so as to have the sun at your back.
A) As you go down the slope from the offices there is Red-capped Lark, African and Long-billed Pipit. As you head into the bush typical Acacia Karoo specials like Chestnut-vented Titbabbler, Acacia Pied Barbet will be recorded. Karoo and White-browed Scrub Robin, Southern Boubou, Karoo Prinia, Fairy and Fiscal Flycatcher, all three Mousebirds, Pririt Batis, Neddicky. A rare sighting here was European Roller.
B) A little further on the road swings left and the Dam comes into view. Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Yellow-billed, White-faced Duck, Cape Shoveler, Red-billed and Cape Teal and less commonly Southern Pochard and rarely Fulvous Duck are here with Little and Great Crested Grebe and Egyptian and Spurwinged Goose.
C) The road hugs the perimeter fence after this and Spotted Eagle Owl are often seen in the big Acacias here. As the road descends to the Sundays River crossing there are extensive reedbeds. Here there are Namaqua Warbler (in the reeds and Acacia), African Reed Warbler and Great Reed Warbler. Just before the river is good for African Stone Chat. At the crossing there is invariably a pair of South African Shelduck and often little Egret, Spoonbill and Glossy Ibis. Stream up where the reeds flank the stream there is Lesser Swamp Warbler and Common Moorhen.
D) At either of the top entrances to the dam and when the water is high enough is where the Red-knobbed Coot are in numbers and the waders: Ruff, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank. A couple of rare sightings here have been Abdim’s and Yellow-billed Stork. Blue Crane roost here and Sacred Ibis that fly in extended Vs over town every evening also roost in the dead Tamarisk trees in the water.
E) There are 2 loops through the veld above the dams that are good for Karoo Korhaan, Ludwig’s Bustard, Secretary Bird, Eastern Clapper and Spike-heeled Lark, Desert Cisticola and Familiar and Ant-eating Chat. Double-banded Courser is an occasional sighting.
F) Leaving the Dam section through the Acacia Woodland there are Cape and Southern Grey-headed Sparrow and Yellow-throated Petronia, Black-chested Prinia. A rare sighting here has been Eurasian Golden Oriole. Turning left on the Murraysburg road Osprey has been seen on the power lines.
VALLEY OF DESOLATION SECTION
G) In the short Acacia trees along the road as you enter this section Cape Penduline Tit have nested in the past. At the V in the road (tar to the Valley, dirt to Winterhoek) there is a Karoo Chat which is one of very few in the Graaff Reinet district.
H) Going up to the Valley there are Sombre Greenbul, African Red-eyed Bulbul, Fiscal Flycatcher and Streaky-headed Seedeater. Further up the mountain are Pale-winged and red-winged Starling, Rock Kestrel and White-necked Raven. Verraeux’s Eagle nest below the toposcope and Booted Eagle in the Valley.
I) Taking the dirt road at the V and turning right a few kms further will take you to Koedoeskloof. On the way through open veld are Karoo Korhaan, Eastern Clapper, Spike-heeled and Eastern Long-billed Lark, African and Long-billed Pipit, Rufous-eared Warbler and Sickle-winged Chat. There is a trough in the kloof which attracts Red-billed and African Firefinch, Swee and Common Waxbill, Cape Robin Chat, Acacia Pied Barbet, Layards Titbabbler, Dusky Indigobird, Red and Pale-winged Starling Canaries and Buntings.
J) Past the Winterhoek house and into Kleinkloof it is well wooded and here you will find Black-headed Oriole, African Olive Pigeon, Southern Boubou and Sombre Greenbul.
K) Back on the tar (rare record of Short-toed Thrush) at the dam wall is good for swallows, swifts and martins: Greater and Lesser Striped and White-throated Swallow, Rock, Brown-throated and House Martin, White-rumped, Little, Alpine, African Palm and Common Swift.
Not all the birds that occur in the Park are mentioned here because of space restraints.