Most interesting of this pentad (2515_2835) is that it covers three provinces namely Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
SABAP (The South African Bird Atlas Project) uses a grid-based system based on earth’s latitudinal and longitudinal lines, each 5 minute x 5
minute area (about 9 km north-south and 7 km east-west in South Africa) is called a pentad.
The farm Enkeldoorn is situated approximately 80 km north-east of Pretoria. Myself (Ben Fouche) and John Baker visited Enkeldoorn on Friday 28 April and Saturday 29 April 2016 to gather data for the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2) sabap2.adu.org.za. Another reason for the trip was to establish if it would be viable to take birders to the farm for two or three day nature, fly-fishing and other trips. The trip covered the pentad 2515_2835 and included nocturnal observation.
We arrived late morning and were accompanied by the owner, Oom Abraham Viljoen. We thank him for his hospitality and the opportunity to explore the area.
We started birding the afternoon and were unfortunate to see very little nocturnal birds due to the changing weather.
On Saturday morning we had more luck and submitted a full protocol card to SABAP2 – the South African Bird Atlas Project.
We recorded 58 species such as:
|African Grey Hornbill||Hadeda Ibis|
|Arrow-marked Babbler||Helmeted Guineafowl|
|Black Crake||Lilac-breasted Roller|
|Black-headed Oriole||Long-billed Crombec|
|Black-throated Canary||Magpie Shrike|
|Blue Waxbill||Marico Flycatcher|
|Brown-crowned Tchagra||Natal Spurfowl|
|Burchell’s Coucal||Pearl-spotted Owlet|
|Burchell’s Starling||Red-eyed Dove|
|Burnt-necked Eremomela||Red-faced Mousebird|
|Cape Glossy Starling||Reed Cormorant|
|Cape Sparrow||Sabota Lark|
|Cape Turtle Dove||Southern Black Flycatcher|
|Cape White-eye||Southern Black Tit|
|Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler||Southern Masked Weaver|
|Chinspot Batis||Southern Red-billed Hornbill|
|Common Scimitarbill||Southern White-crowned Shrike|
|Crested Barbet||Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill|
|Crested Francolin||Speckled Mousebird|
|Crowned Lapwing||Speckled Pigeon|
|Dark-capped Bulbul||Spotted Flycatcher|
|Emerald-spotted Wood Dove||Swainson’s Spurfowl|
|Fork-tailed Drongo||Tawny-flanked Prinia|
|Golden-tailed Woodpecker||White-bellied Sunbird|
|Green Wood Hoopoe||White-browed Scrub Robin|
|Grey Go-away-bird||White-crested Helmetshrike|
|Grey-headed Bushshrike||Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird|
John pointed out many interesting plants and other nature facts. John is a Master Story Teller and we spent hours around the campfire listening to his amazing knowledge of the area, stories about poachers, nature and other interesting tales.
This was an amazing trip for me as my grandfather was once the owner of this beautiful farm which I visited many times as a child. The last time I briefly visited the farm was in 1974. The kilometres of river and cliffs as well as the interesting mix of Seringveld, Tambotie, Maroela trees and Acasia bushveld makes this one of the most interesting and beautiful habitats.
I was fortunate to video a butterfly, Melanitis leda Helena. “evening brown”; “skemerbruintjie”, and took photos of other butterflies like Phalanta phalanta aethiopica; “poplar leopard” or “African leopard”.