• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Pel's fishing owl/buff-spotted flufftail South africa (1 Viewer)

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
Hi all

I'm off to South Africa during their winter. Of the sites I'm visiting, I know Pel's fishing owl is meant to be present at Kruger, Mkhuze and Lower Mkhuze and buff-spotted flufftail at Mkhuze and St Lucia but I am failing to get any recent information. Can anyone help?

I am very aware that both are tricky to see especially the flufftail. But any information would be gratefully received.



Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Was in Kruger for a couple of weeks last year.

No sightings of either as far as I'm aware.

Levuvhu and Olifants are given as the most regular sites for Pel's in a list I have for Kruger with status remarks.

The same list gives the Flufftail as 'probably a rare visitor'.

Have you got 'Southern African Birdfinder'? Very good value with a really useful map included.

Last edited:


Well-known member
Pel's is hard in Kruger. It's also at Mkuze but you'll still need luck and local knowledge.

In Kruger, you could try to get in touch with the ranger John, who was working out of Letaba this spring. I've gone out on walks with him in 2009 and this year, and he's a good birder. He might be able to line you up with a shot at the owl. In Mkuze, I suggest you get in touch with a local ranger as soon as you arrive and see if they can help.

I've encountered Buff-spot twice, both in fairly rich, damp woodland/forest, once seen, once heard only. Doesn't have to be extensive habitat though. One thing to do is to learn the call (easy) and if you're lucky enough to hear one, try to see it (sure you know what I mean!).

Best of luck, Steve.

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
According to Ebird there are only a few sightings of Pel's Fishing Owl in South Africa this year. There are some reports over the past few months from the Mkuze area and one from Kruger.

Buff-spotted Flufftail doesn't figure too much either. A few recent records from Mt Sheba and one from Xumeni Forest. Very few anywhere else.
Warning! This thread is more than 7 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread