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Old Friday 25th October 2013, 23:58   #1
HanAnd
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Namibia trip November

Hello everyone!

I just registrated as I figured out this looks like a great place to ask for advice for my upcoming trip to Namibia in November.

I'm going with my university class as part of a course in biodiversity, so it's not technically a birding trip, although birds will be included in our surveys. Also I'm not having freedom of movement as we are following a predestined route, but I do think it will bring us to most interesting areas for birding as well as everything else.

We will be going on the 9th of November, staying untill the 1th of December.

The travel schedule looks like this:
Windhoek - Waterberg - Rundu (near the Kavango) - Mahangu Game Reserve - Popa Falls - Rundu - Etosha (Okaukuejo) - Palmwag - Brandberg - Swakopmund - Blutkoppe - Windhoek

As this will be my first trip to Southern Africa, pretty much everything is on my wanted list, although I guess the endemics and near-endemics will have some priority. I have already done some research on the localities for those species most desirable, but of course any help is welcome! The same goes for all other species that might be of interest/more tricky etc. of course!

I'll return with more specific information when someone replies.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers!
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Old Saturday 26th October 2013, 01:59   #2
njlarsen
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Welcome to Birdforum!

Given that locations are prearranged, I am wondering a little at what type of advice you are looking for. Anyway, my two cents: memorize how to recognize the different groups in the field guide you will be using. It is probably not possible to memorize to the level of species determination, but knowing which few pages in the book to look at will be invaluable. Additionally try to know whether wing bars, facial pattern, or something else is important to notice for each group.

Second advice: knowing as many sounds as possible ahead of time is invaluable. You will miss some species unless you know which sounds should make you stop to look.

Third advice: know how to avoid the big cats and the snakes when out, we would like you to return to tell us what you saw

Niels
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Old Saturday 26th October 2013, 12:36   #3
HanAnd
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Thanks for the advice! The smaller ones sting the worst, right?

I guess I will have to specify myself a bit, so here's my guess where I'll stand the best chances of seeing things:

- Windhoek for Bradfield's Swift?

- Waterberg for Rockrunner, Hartlaub's Francolin, Rüppell's Parrot, Verreaux's Eagle, Bradfield's-, Monteiro's- & Damara Hornbills?

- Okavango for Slaty Egret, Pel's Fishing Owl, African Skimmer, Rock Pratincole? etc.

- Etosha for Blue Crane, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Violet Wood-hoopoe, White-tailed Shrike, Sandgrouse? etc.

- Brandberg for Carp's Tit, Rüppell's Parrot?

- Swakopmund for Damara Tern, Hartlaub's Gull, Chestnut-banded Plover, African Penguin (possible?), Black Oystercatcher, Cape Gannet, Cormorants, Tubenoses? etc.

- Blutkoppe for Gray's Lark, Rüppell's Korhaan?

This is what I can come up with now, but of course there's a lot more...

I've been reading a little bit in my SASOL "Birds of Southern Africa" almost every day since I bought it this summer. I also have some experience with African birds since I went to Tanzania three years ago (though not a very active birder at the time, that journey more or less sent me down this path...). I've also been looking a lot at the Internet Bird Collection, doing their test for South Africa every other day.

Sadly my hearing is very bad - without using my hearing aids, I can hear Wood Pigeons and Cuckoos - and that's about it, so I never bother with the sounds. Luckily, I have four other birding friends going on the same trip, though not as well prepared as I am, I guess they will learn some of the calls while there.

/Hannes
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Old Saturday 26th October 2013, 17:14   #4
njlarsen
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Hannes,
while we wait for someone with more knowledge of the area than me, are you aware of Southern African Birdfinder http://www.amazon.com/The-Southern-A.../dp/1868727254

Niels
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Old Saturday 26th October 2013, 18:05   #5
HanAnd
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Apparently not, thank you very much for the tip!

/Hannes
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