Kavango winter wetland water-bird countsSeptember 24, 2012
Celebrate Namibian Heritage Week 2012September 24, 2012
A landmark bird count took place in July along the Okavango River. What made this count so unique, was the fact that it was the first time in history, that this bird-rich habitat came under the loop so extensively.
Mark Paxton, owner of Shamvura Camp on the Okavango river and a member of KOAR, wrote an article about the event and shared some interesting observations made during the count.
For the full story, click here.
Some comments and observations:
- Ospreys which should be migratory during the winter months were nevertheless counted in five of the areas. In the Nunda area during the training course we even saw three birds interacting and spiraling in the air.
- African Marsh Harriers and Marsh Owl were very scarce, only appearing in very low numbers in one and two areas respectively. Both species are dependent on a healthy reed habitat, and uncontrolled fires consistently in this region every year may be destroying habitat and causing a decline of these two sensitive species.
- A surprisingly good total of 46 African Skimmers were recorded in four of the six areas and even in the vicinity of Rundu where one would expect human disturbances to exclude them.
- Ducks, normally very threatened by illegal hunting throughout the region, were well represented with relatively large numbers of White-faced Duck and Spur-winged Goose.
- White-backed Night Heron, normally considered a rare or illusive bird and seldom seen was however recorded from five of the six areas.
- Other specials particularly for these areas, being communal area and subjected to a range of human disturbance factors include Saddle-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, Slaty Egret, Rufous-bellied Heron, Fulvous Duck, Southern Pochard, African Spoonbill, Lesser Jacana, Lesser Moorhen, Long-toed Lapwing, Half-collared Kingfisher and African Fish Eagle.
The results from the counts revealed a total of 3 346 birds from 67 species of water-birds.