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MOZAMBIQUE (CENTRAL) TRIP REPORT

Birding Site Guide

18th – 27th November 2007 Leader Etienne Marais Participants Andy Marshall Dale R. Middleton Andy Roadhouse Richard Rowlands

INTRODUCTION

The trip was a privately organized trip through Indicator Birding run by Etienne Marais. RR and AM, both potential ‘big world listers’, claiming over 7000 each, wanted to see as many of the southern African specialities they could, that may be found in central Mozambique and neighbouring Zimbabwe. Etienne therefore worked out an itinerary to suit this, they had a potential of around 20-25 new birds. DRM and AR, both ‘low listers’ of around 3500 -3800 decided to tag along after a trip to Madagascar fell apart and wap off loads of new birds.

The trip went very well with excellent organization from Etienne with all the logistics sorted and a well stocked food box and cool box so we never went hungry or thirsty no matter how isolated we were. The cost of the trip was a package price including guiding, lodgings, camping equipment, food for when we were camping, breakfasts when we were in lodgings etc. all we needed to buy was beer and some evening meals and our last night in Beira when we chose to live it up in a nice hotel instead of camping by a mosquito ridden riverside. Also we paid for the vehicle split four ways. For more details contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our original plan was to go across the border to Zimbabwe for Green-headed Oriole, Swynnerton’s Robin, etc. but due to the unstableness of the country and the recent problems we decided against it, and in the end by visiting Mount Tsetserra (which is right on the border) and Gorongosa Mountain we managed to see all our target species. In total we managed to see 311 species and another 14 heard only, which was a good total seeing as we didn’t go out of our way to see any birds that weren’t on the ‘wanted’ list.

Flights The cost of flights varied, AM and RR booked earlier and got a better deal, but AR and DRM had to pay £650 for a flight from Manchester to Johannesburg with Lufthansa (who were crap – similar to Air France and Iberia Airlines), then we had a flight with South African Airways from Johannesburg to Beira for a cost of £150 return, both flights were booked through Wildwings.

Transport AM booked a 4x4 twin cab, Toyota pickup through Easycar. In Johannesburg, and Etienne picked it up and drove for 2 days to Beira, the vehicle cost £800, it did the job well, getting us right to the top of Tsetserra on a rarely used jeep track. There was just enough room for the five of us and all our gear, Etienne did all the driving, although we were prepared to take over if needed.

Food and drink When we camped, Etienne had brought along a good selection of tinned (beware cheap tins of beans and sausages that explode when heated up on a gas ring!) and packet food, cereals, biscuits, snacks etc and we never went hungry, supplementing with fresh food when we passed supermarkets. Many supermarkets also had a fast food shop that made good burgers and chips. The lodges we stayed at all had excellent food, with a good choice of western food.

Beer was tasty, plentiful and cheap, if we weren’t staying in a lodge we would call at a supermarket and stock up the icebox so we didn’t have to have any nights without the golden nectar.

Money This proved to be a problem, it would have been worth changing some money in South Africa first, although only a few places have the Meticais. The airport didn’t have any place to change money and the banks in Beira wouldn’t change money, so we had to use the hole in the wall machines and draw out cash, although there was a limit to how much you could draw out. It was a good job we didn’t need a lot of spare cash.

Health and annoyances It is essential to take Malaria tablets as it is rife and would be dangerous not to do so. All the usual jabs are needed, but otherwise we had a very good trip with no stomach problems etc. The people were very friendly, but not over friendly and getting in the way of your birding like in many other African countries, we never felt threatened, even at three in the morning wandering around Beira!

One thing to be aware of is land mines and in some areas there are still places that haven’t been cleared, so it is safer not to go off the tracks in certain areas.

Books and trip reports We used three different field guides between us, Birds of Africa A Complete Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds South of the Sahara Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan. Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (3rd Edition) Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey & Warwick Tarboton published by Struik (a division of New Holland). Roberts Birds of Southern Africa Hugh Chittenden, John Voelcker Bird Book Fund 2007 Southern African Birdfinder: Where to find 1400 bird species in southern Africa and Madagascar Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode and Jonathan Rossouw 456 pages, 80 col photos, 100 maps, pull-out route map. New Holland Publishers 2006.

Etienne also had most of the bird sounds on his ipod, and we used a few trip reports that we got off of the Indicator Birding website www.birding.co.za .

BIRDING SITES VISITED MENTIONED IN THE SYSTEMATIC LIST All the sites we visited can be found in the Southern African Birdfinder guide mentioned above, which gives directions and GPS co-ordinates, so I will not go into detail about the sites.

RIO SAVANNE This site is about 30km north-east of Beira and is an area of seasonally flooded grasslands, interspersed with small forest fragments, and at the mouth of the river, large tracts of mangroves. The river mouth has a few sand banks with waders and terns on and on the other side of the river (crossed on a small boat when the tide is suitable) is a lodge where most tour groups stay. The grasslands were dry when we were there and that was the main area we birded, looking for specialities like Locust Finch, Blue Quail, Black-rumped Buttonquail which we saw quite easily, but missed Short-tailed Pipit and Rufous-bellied Heron. The whole area is good for raptors and a good selection was seen. At the car park next to the river, this compound is locked at night and protected by guards and is a safe place to camp. Here we had several Mangrove Kingfishers and Black-throated Wattle-eyes. Some patches of woodland in the grasslands were good for Collared Palmthrush but we dipped as we did on Lesser Seedcracker, but on our last day we did get Southern Banded Snake-Eagle and Cuckoofinch.

PUNGOE RIVER This is the main river that empties into the Indian Ocean at Beira, we crossed it on our way to Tsetserra and as we approached it there were large areas of flooded fields and marshland, we only made a couple of brief stops on our way as there were very few birds any of us needed. We did see a few Openbills, ibises, herons etc, as well as a few weavers, cisticolas, warblers etc. If you was on a longer trip it would be worth spending half a day exploring the area.

TSETSERRA Mount Tsetserra is right on the border with Zimbabwe and very few birders have visited the area, so we birded the area from the forest at the base almost to the summit of the mountain. We expected to see similar species that were present across the border and did see most with the exception of Swynnerton’s Robin. Chirinda Apalis, Roberts Prinia, and Stripe-cheeked Bulbul were all common, as were Barratt’s Warbler, Starred Robin, and Olive Bush-shrike. We also had an Orange Ground Thrush on the jeep track and Etienne saw a Whyte’s Barbet in forest at the base of the mountain. We camped by the jeep track at the summit where large areas of pine forest had been burnt, it was cool up there and we had to make a camp fire to keep warm, it was a fantastic place to spend the night and wake up to in the morning (to the call of Buff-spotted Flufftail). There are a couple of small hotels that have opened about 30 km away, it would be easy to day trip the mountain from there.

GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK (NP in systematic list) The park lies about 40km south of Mount Gorongoza, we birded the entrance track to the gates of the park on the way in and on the way out, we tried here for Speckle-throated Woodpecker and Racket-tailed Roller but dipped on them both. However we did have Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle, a good selection of woodpeckers, Southern Hyliota, Arnot’s Chat and Miombo Blue-eared Starling. The track continues to a very comfortable lodge with an airfield next to it. We stayed at the lodge for one night and ate very well there. The grounds held a lot of Collared Palmthrushes and a good selection of commoner birds.

ALOE FARM, GORONGOSA The farm was at the base of Mount Gorongoza and was owned by a white Zimbabwean called Dup du Preez. Etienne had been in contact with him as he had suggested that there maybe an easier way of accessing the forest from there. However, this wasn’t to be and Etienne had to go and make arrangements in a village 60 km away. The farm still held most of its mature trees with just the undergrowth cleared for the farming of aloe, which was going to provide jobs for a number of local families. There was also a river running through the property and the dirt tracks through the property were excellent for Nightjars. Doop kindly put us up here for two nights in some comfortable wooden huts and even cooked for us on our first night – a real gentleman. We had some good birds here including Dwarf Bittern, European, Mozambique and Pennant-winged Nightjars, Racket-tailed Roller, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Livingstone’s Flycatcher and White-bellied Sunbird.

GORONGOSA MOUNTAIN The mountain is sacred and different sections are run by local tribal chiefs. You need to get permission and a permit from the chief that rules the part of the mountain you are going to – DO NOT visit without permission, this would only cause trouble for any one visiting in future (there was a fear it would be closed to visitors when we were there). There is a small charge for visiting including buying the chief, cigarettes, wine etc! The foothills of the mountain have been cleared of forest and used heavily for farming, this area in itself is good for birding, but you need to drive straight through it all so you can get to the forest as early as possible. The upper slopes are cloaked in mature forest and full of birds. We took camping gear to spend the night on the top as we thought that was the only place you could get Swynnerton’s Robin, however we had it and Green-headed Oriole in the first mature forest patch we came to, meaning we didn’t have to camp or even climb up to the top. Other good birds seen in the forest there were Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Chirinda Apalis and calling Red-faced Crimsonwings. On the lower slopes on our way back down we had Kurrichane Buttonquail, Anchieta’s Tchagra, Black-winged Bishop, Moustached Grass Warbler, Singing, Short-winged and Croaking Cisticolas.

CATAPU This is a lodge close to the Zambezi River and is surrounded by coutadas (hunting concessions), the lodge has basic but comfortable cottages and a very good restaurant. In the camp grounds were a couple of bird baths and these attracted a lot of birds including Black-collared Barbet, Purple-crested Turaco, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Tambourine Dove, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Black-bellied Starling and sunbirds and weavers. We mainly birded in coutada 12 and the loop road back to the main north-south road. The area of lowland forest in the coutadas is a good place for African Pitta, however we were probably a few weeks early, but we did see Crested Guineafowl, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, White-chested Alethe, East Coast Akalat, Woodward’s Batis, Slender-billed Greenbul, and Plain Sunbird. The loop road through open woodland produced lots of raptors and a very good selection of birds including, 3 Crowned Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Trumpeter Hornbill, Grey Penduline Tit, Orange-winged Pytilia and Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah, Bohm’s Spinetail was seen over the surrounding forest.

CAIA The next small town north from the Catapu turn off on the main north-south road is Caia which is only a couple of kilometres south of the Zambezi River, there are some freshwater lakes right next to the road and accessed from the village on the left side. The lakes held good numbers of ducks, herons, egrets, storks, jacanas and waders, including several Hottentot Teal and 3 Garganey which is a southern African rarity.

CHINIZUA This area of lowland forest and tall Miombo woodland was another good area and another good site for African Pitta at the right time of the year, although a large area of tropical lowland forest has been cleared for farming during the last year. In stead of camping here, we left Catapu at 03.00 and arrived just as it was getting light and birded the full morning, birding the jeep tracks through the woodland, this was our last new site and target birds remaining were Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Speckle-throated Woodpecker, African Pitta, Grey Waxbill and Lesser Seedcracker – the only one we saw was the waxbill. We did however see, Pallid Honeyguide, Green-backed Honeybird, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Slender Greenbul, and Black-headed Apalis.

 

Itinerary 17th November AR and DRM arrived in Johannesburg mid-morning and were soon picked up by staff at the Afton Guest House, which was near the airport. We had a walk around the local suburbs and saw a few birds including Rufous-throated Wryneck. We went to a local restaurant and were soon tucking into a superb fillet steak, washed down with ice cold Castle Beer. We were joined by AM who had been travelling round South Africa for the last two weeks, and he also had a very nice steak, we followed this by a sherry or two and a few bottles of excellent local red wine. Unfortunately, RR didn’t arrive from his flight until about 23.00 so he had to just go to his room and try and enjoy a couple of cold ones on his own!

18th November We all met Dickie (RR) over breakfast and the banter began! At 09.30 we went to the airport and after checking in went straight to the bar, just in case we struggled getting any beer while in Mozambique (we needn’t have worried, Etienne had it all sorted and there was a constant supply of ice cold beer!). We arrived in Beira at 14.30 and met Etienne who would be our driver, guide and beer drinking buddy for the next 10 days. We packed the twin-cab, 4 WD van and headed off, in the wrong direction out of the airport and got pulled up by some officious arsehole of a policeman who questioned Etienne and eventually let us get on our way. We headed straight for Rio Savanne, which was only about an hours drive away. Once on the road through the dried grasslands of the flood plain we soon picked up our first Black-bellied Bustard. A little further we went off road to look for a few specialities in this area, in particular Locustfinch, which after just a short walk we had a few small parties that eventually joined together to form a flock of 14. They were very flighty birds but eventually we all had reasonable views of birds on the deck. While trying to get better views of these birds we flushed both Blue Quail and Black-rumped Buttonquail – two other highly prized birds on our wanted list. We then drove to the car park at the crossing over the river, this is a gated compound with guards and is a safe place to camp. While setting up camp we added our next bird on the wanted list – Mangrove Kingfisher. As dusk came, the mosquitoes came out in force and liberal amounts of repellents were used as we tucked into our first ice-cold beers and fed well on typical camp food.

19th November Most of the team struggled sleeping and it was no hardship getting up at 04.45 just as it was getting light. We had coffee and then drove into some scrubby areas looking for Collared Palmthrush but we failed, but there were better sites for this species. Having scored very well yesterday afternoon in the grasslands, we decided to pack up camp mid-morning and head off. We stopped in Beira to pick up money, beer and ice and then headed for Tsetserra close to the Zimbabwe border. As we approached the Pungoe River, we passed wetlands next to the road. We made a couple of stops and added a few trip ticks including African Openbill. After three hours we arrived in Chinoi and refuelled and had burger and chips for lunch. We made a few roadside stops on the way to Tsetserra, which produced a few birds and then once at the mountain we started pulling in the goodies. On our way up we had Orange Ground Thrush and Red-throated Twinspot. Our next stop pulled in three localized endemics – Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Robert’s Prinia and Chirinda Apalis. The track was just passable with our 4x4 and we worked our way to the top which was deforested pine with large burnt areas. We made camp there and soon made a big campfire, set up the tents finished all our beers and had a very good meal prepared by Etienne.

20th November We woke again as it was getting light had Green Twinspot, Barratt’s Warbler and more Chirinda Apalis around our camp. We slowly made our way back down the mountain making regular stops and pulled in a few good birds including Retz’z Helmetshrike, Mozambique Batis and Jameson’s Firefinch. We again called in Chinoi for supplies and lunch and made our way to Gorongosa National Park. The afternoon was spent driving along the entrance track through the forest looking for a few specialities including Brown-headed Parrot, Bearded Woodpecker and Green-winged Pytilia. Once at the camp, we checked into our very comfortable cabins and had another one of our ‘wanted’ birds - a singing Collared Palmthrush. There was a good buffet provided at night washed down by large amounts of the now favourite 2M beer.

21st November We didn’t get up quite as early as we wanted, there were at least 10 singing palmthrushes around the camp and a good selection of common birds too. We had breakfast at 06.15 and left the camp at 06.50. We walked most of the road on the way out searching for Speckle-throated Woodpecker but no joy, although a good list of species were seen including Arnot’s Chat, Cabanis’s and Golden-breasted Buntings. From there we drove about 100 kms to an aloe farm run by a Zimbabwean called Duup. Etienne had made contact with him as he suggested a different route up Mount Gorongosa. He very kindly put us up for two nights and fed us as well, however the route didn’t look good for getting to the right part of the mountain that we needed to go to get Green-headed Oriole and Swynnerton’s Robin. Etienne drove back up the road to meet a local chief who would grant us permission and sort out a guide to go up the mountain tomorrow. In the meantime Duup showed us around his property, which still had some good mature trees around the farm which had some good birds although the only new bird was a White-bellied Sunbird. We had a few cold beers and a nice dinner and then went out for a night drive around Duup’s farm, which turned out to be very good with a lot of Mozambique Nightjars on the road, a single European Nightjar and 5 Pennant-winged Nightjars including 3 displaying males which was a fantastic sight. We went back and had a few more beers.

22nd November We were up at 04.15 and packed enough gear for a night on the mountain, this was to be our first night without any alcohol! But we were still cheery with the chance of some highly localized birds to see. We picked up a guide, bought some more wine for one of the chiefs on the mountain and drove slowly up the 4x4 track. The grasslands on the way up looked good for birds but we needed to get up early so carried on up, although we had to cut a tree up that had fallen across the track. We parked up and the village was deserted which meant there were no porters to carry the tents and food. It was a struggle for us, but eventually we found two porters in the next village. It was very hot and hard going for our unfit, beer swilling team! We reached the first forest patch by 09.30, this was a different patch of forest to the one’s that Etienne had visited before and he was very surprised when he heard a Swynnerton’s Robin singing close by. Soon we had all had views of the secretive bird but by early afternoon, we had seen another 2 very well and there were at least 7 birds seen or heard in this patch of forest. Also in the forest was our other target bird – Green-headed Oriole, and we had fantastic views of up to 10 of these great birds. The forest also held other localized birds we had already seen like Stripe-cheeked Bulbul and Chirinda Apalis. There was great elation in the team, not only had we seen both target birds, but this also meant we didn’t have to climb any higher and camp on the mountain but it also meant we would be on the ale again tonight!! We headed back down the hill early afternoon at a leisurely pace and picked up quite a few grassland species, including the much hoped for Anchieta’s Tchagra, as well as Moustached Grass Warbler, Short-winged and Croaking Cisticolas. We called at the nearest town for a nice cold beer and to pick up a crate to celebrate with later – which we did until the early hours.

23rd November We had a lie in until 06.30, and it was already very hot. We sat around and had coffee and Etienne heard a Thick-billed Cuckoo, and soon we all had good views as it flew over the farm. We had a walk round the farm and had two more target species – Livingstone’s Flycatcher and Racket-tailed Roller, we also jammed in on a bonus bird when we flushed a Dwarf Bittern next to the river, which flew into the surrounding trees and gave brief perched views. We went back for breakfast, packed and left for our next destination – Catapu. Most of the team slept on the drive, when they should have been looking for Dickinson’s Kestrel, we didn’t see any but did have Brown Snake Eagle and Bohm’s Spinetail. The lodge we stayed at was very nice, with good cabins, hot showers and a nice bar and restaurant, which overlooked a feeding area. As it was the heat of the day we cooled down with a beer or two and watched the birds coming down to bathe, which included Tambourine Dove, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Greenbul and Bearded Scrub-Robin. At 16.00 we went for a drive around the hunting concessions, however we saw very little apart from Crested Francolin and on the way back a Fiery-necked Nightjar on the road. The evening was spent eating and drinking.

24th November It was probably a little too early still to see African Pitta but we needed to try for it, so to stand any chance we needed to be out early, we were up at 03.30 and on the way to Coutardo 12 by 04.00. We arrived just before it got light and slowly walked along the track, as it got light we started seeing birds – Trumpeter Hornbill, Crested Francolins and Forest Weaver. We heard another target bird – White-chested Alethe, soon AR and DRM had superb views of a bird but AM and RR were looking the other way. Despite searching they didn’t see one all morning. We went back for breakfast and a short lie down and then had a drive up to the mighty Zambezi River, where they are building a new bridge. We stopped at some wetlands at Caia just before the river and added 15 trip ticks, including several Hottentot Teals, but also 3 Garganey which is a very rare bird in southern Africa. It was very hot by now (43 degrees) and we went back to Catapu and spent the afternoon cooling down the way we knew best – cold beer! A drive around the local coutadas produced very little. A nice steak dinner and a few bottles of red wine and an early night ready for another early morning.

25th November We were up at 03.30 again and after coffee, headed back to Coutada 12, AR and DRM walked the track which was quiet, while AM and RR went into the forest to string an Alethe and managed to get very good views of one. While having some breakfast by the vehicle we picked up East Coast Akalat, Plain Sunbird and Woodward’s Batis, however we didn’t have a sniff of a pitta in the last two days. From there we drove around the Coutadas and we added a lot of birds to the trip list, including another target bird – Orange-winged Pytilia, but also Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah, Grey Penduline Tit, and Southern Carmine Bee-eater.. The whole drive was good for raptors with 2 Martial and 3 Crowned Eagles, 12 Bataleurs, African Hawk-Eagle, 2 Wahlberg’s Eagle and 3 White-backed Vultures. We spent the heat of the day doing the usual chilling and at 16.00 had a walk around the coutadas, we saw very little apart from a Mottled Spinetail and views of the much heard Red-chested Cuckoo. Another early night after dinner as an even earlier start tomorrow.

 

26th November A very hot and sweaty night but we were up at 02.30, we were on the road to Chinizua by 03.00, it was a two hour drive and we arrived as it was getting light. It wasn’t long before we found our next target bird – Grey Waxbill. There were large tracts of degraded forest and we spent the morning looking for Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Speckle-throated Woodpecker and Lesser Seedcracker, we failed on them all but did add Green-backed Honeybird, Pallid Honeyguide and Black-headed Apalis. We did eventually get a bird to react to the mp3 of Speckle-throated Woodpecker but on close inspection it turned out to be a Bennett’s. We decided to head back to Beira and have our last night in the comfort of a nice hotel. The drive back produced a lot of raptors but not the hoped for Dickinson’s Kestrel. We had a drive around the seaside town of Beira and eventually found a nice hotel called the Tivoli. After a good clean up we went out on the town for our last night in Mozambique, we had a very good meal and then found a few lively bars to live it up!

27th November After a very late night it was a struggle getting up at 05.30 but most of us managed it and headed out for a few hours in the Rio Savanne area. Amazingly one of the first birds we looked at appeared to be a Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, so we tried to get closer and we soon found a route and got brilliant views of what we suspected and it was even eating a snake. While trying to get closer we had an added bonus with a singing male Cuckoo Finch. We made some more effort for Lesser Seedcracker, failing again and then headed back to the hotel. We went to the airport at midday where we left Etienne to drive back to South Africa. We left at 16.00 and landed in Johannesburg at 18.00 where AM and RR left for England and AR and DRM stayed on in South Africa for four days.

 

Systematic List

The following species were seen or heard in a variety of habitats throughout central Mozambique; Black-headed Heron, Cattle Egret, Hadeda Ibis, Yellow-billed Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Bataleur, Lizard Buzzard, Helmeted Guineafowl, Red-eyed Dove, Cape Turtle Dove, Emerald-spotted Dove, Burchell’s Coucal, Little Swift, Palm Swift, European Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Little Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Crowned Hornbill, Golden-rumped Tinkerbird, Barn Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, Lesser Striped Swallow, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongo, Pied Crow, Black-eyed Bulbul, Kurrichane Thrush, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Black Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Tropical Boubou, Puffback, Black-crowned Tchagra, Purple-banded Sunbird, House Sparrow, Village Weaver, Blue Waxbill, Common Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin, Red-backed Mannikin, Pin-tailed Whydah, and Yellow-eyed Canary.

 

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis 15 on the marsh at Caia on 24th.

 

Reed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus 5+ at Pungoe River on 19th and 20 at the Zambezi River and Caia on 24th.

 

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1 at Pungoe River on 19th and 3 at Caia on 24th.

 

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 1 at Caia on 24th.

 

Great White Egret Egretta alba melanorhynchus 20 at Caia on 24th.

 

Little Egret Egretta garzetta 3 at Rio Savanne on 18th, 3 at Pungoe River on 19th and 10 at Caia on 24th.

 

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia brachyrhyncha 2 at Pungoe River on 19th and 5 at Caia on 24th.

 

Squaccon Heron Ardeola ralloides 1 at Pungoe River on 19th and 10 at Caia on 24th.

 

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Singles at Pungoe River on 19th and at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 21s

 

Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii A nice surprise when one was flushed and then seen perched by the river at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 23rd.

 

Hamerkop Scopus umbretta 2 at Pungoe River on 19th, and singles at the Aloe Farm, Gorongosa on 21st and 22nd.

 

Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus microscelis 1 at Rio Savanne on 18th, 1 at Pungoe River on 19th and 2 at Rio Savanne on 22nd.

 

African Openbill Anastomus lamelligurus 8 circling Pungoe River on 19th and 90 down at Caia on 24th.

 

Marabou Stork Leptoptilios crumeniferus 8 circling over the coutadas near Caia on 25th.

 

Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus 2 at Pungoe River on 19th and 1 at Caia on 24th.

 

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus 1 at Pungoe River on 19th and 10 at Caia on 24th.

 

African Spoonbill Platalea alba Just 1 at Caia on 24th.

 

White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata 2 at Pungoe River on 19th.

 

Fulvous Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolour 60 at Caia on 24th.

 

Garganey Anas querquedula 3 of this very rare bird in southern Africa at Caia on 24th.

 

Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota 8 at Caia on 24th.

 

Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos 1 at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 20 at Caia on 24th.

 

White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, 3 near Catapu on 25th and 2 en route to Beira on 26th.

 

White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis 1 near Catapu on 25th.

 

Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus Singles seen at Gorongosa NP on 21st, near Catapu on 25th and en route to Beira on 26th.

 

Wahlberg’s Eagle Aquila wahlbergi 1 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, 1 at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 23rd, 3 near Catapu on 25th and 2 en route to Beira on 26th.

 

African Hawk Eagle Aquila spilgogaster 1 near Catapu on 25th.

 

Ayre’s Eagle Aquila ayresii 1 seen at Gorongosa NP on 21st by all except AR (whom it was suppressed from!).

 

Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis 3 seen on 21st at Rio Savanne and en route to Tsetserra, 1 at Gorongosa on 22nd, and 1 en route to Beira on 26th.

 

Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus 1 en route to Catapu on 23rd, 2 near Catapu on 25th and 2 en route to Beira on 26th.

 

Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus 3 including a perched bird seen in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th.

 

Brown Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinereus On 23rd, 1 seen en route to and 1 seen at Catapu.

 

Black-breasted Snake-Eagle Circaetus pectoralis 1 at Rio Savanne on 18th, 1 en route to Catapu on 23rd and 3 en route to Beira on 26th.

 

Southern Banded Snake-Eagle Circaetus fasciolatus A much wanted target bird which was possible at most sites, despite much trying it wasn’t seen until the last morning in a coppice near Rio Savanne by the one’s who weren’t too pissed to get up!

 

Palmnut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis 3 seen at Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer A single seen at Rio Savanne on 18th and 19th.

 

Little Banded Goshawk (Shikra) Accipiter badius polyzonoides 2 at Gorongosa NP and 1 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Steppe Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus Singles were seen on the last three days of the trip while travelling.

 

African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro The same single seen at Tsetserra on 19th and 20th and one at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Gabar Goshawk Melierax gabar A dark phase bird was seen Gorongoza on 22nd.

 

Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates mechowi Singles at Rio Savanne on 19th, Gorongosa NP on 21st and en route to Biera on 26th.

 

African Marsh Harrier Circus ranivorus Just one seen on the last morning at Rio Savanne.

 

Gymnogene (Harrier-Hawk) Polyboroides typus 1 at Catapu on 24th.

 

Osprey Pandion haliaetus A single seen at Rio Savanne on 18th and 19th.

 

Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera ruficollis Just one seen near Beira on 26th.

 

Lesser Kestrel Falco naummani A possible at Rio Savanne on 19th and one there on 27th.

 

Kirk’s Francolin Peliperdix rovuma Some authorities consider this species a race of Crested, 1-4 seen or heard daily in the Catapu area.

 

(Natal Francolin) Pternistis natalensis 1 heard at Tsetserra on 20th.

 

Red-necked Spurfowl Pternistis afer 2 seen at Gorongosa NP on 20th, heard there the next day and 1 at Catapu on 23rd.

 

Blue Quail Coturnix adansonii 1 flushed and prolonged flight views in the grasslands at Rio Savanne on 18th.

 

Crested Guineafowl Guttera edouardi Up to 8 seen in the Coutadas near Catapu on 24th and 25th.

 

Kurrichane Buttonquail Turnix sylvatica lepurana At least 12 were easily seen as they were flushed from the 4x4 track up Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Black-rumped Buttonquail Turnix nanus 2 were flushed and seen well in the grasslands at Rio Savanne on 18th.

 

(Buff-spotted Flufftail) Sarothrura elegans 1 or 2 heard in the early hours of 20th at the top of Tsetserra.

 

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis 2 at Pungoe River on 19th.

 

Black-bellied Korhaan Eupodotis melanogaster notophila Singles were seen at Rio Savanne on 18th, at Gorongosa NP on 20th and at Chinizua on 26th.

 

African Jacana Actophilornis africanus 2 at Pungoe River on 19th and 20 at Caia on 24th.

 

Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis 6 at Caia on 24th.

 

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 2 at Caia on 24th.

 

White-fronted Plover Charadrius marginatus tenellus 2 at Rio Savanne on 18th.

 

Kittlitz’s Plover Charadrius pecuarius 5 at Caia on 24th.

 

Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris 1 on the river at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 21st.

 

Crowned Lapwing Vanellus coronatus 2 at Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

Wattled Lapwing Vanellus senegallus lateralis 2 at Rio Savanne on 18th and 19th.

 

Terek Sandpiper Tringa cinerea A single at Rio Savanne on 18th and 19th.

 

Common Sandpiper Actites hypoleuca 2 at Rio Savanne on 18th.

 

Wood Sandpiper Tringla glareola 2 at Pungoe River on 19th and 5 at Caia on 24th.

 

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 3 at Caia on 24th.

 

Greenshank Tringa nebularia Singles at Rio Savanne on 18th and 19th and at Caia on 24th.

 

Little Stint Calidris minuta 50+ at Caia on 24th.

 

Ruff Philomachus pugnax 10 at Caia on 24th.

 

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 20 at Caia on 24th.

 

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola Just one single at Rio Savanne on 19th.

 

Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus Just one seen at Beira on 26th.

 

Common Tern Sterna hirundo 4 at Beira on 26th and 10 at Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida 2 at Caia on 24th.

 

Eastern Bronze-naped (Delegorgue’s) Pigeon Columba delegorguei Heard at Gorongosa NP on 20th, 3 on Mount Gorongosa on 22nd and 1 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis Common around the aloe farm at Gorongosa.

 

Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria Heard at Tsetserra on 19th, and 1 seen there the next day, singles seen or heard daily at Catapu and also heard at Chinizua.

 

Cinnamon Dove Aplopelia larvata Just 1 heard at Tsetserra on 19th.

 

African Green Pigeon Treron calva 1 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and 3 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus Cryptoxanthus Up to 5 seen daily in the Gorongosa area.

 

Livingstone’s Turaco Tauraco livingstonii Very common at Tsetserra and Gorongosa Mountain, where up to 30 a day recorded, also a single at Catapu on 25th and heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Purple-crested Turaco Musophaga porphyreolopha 1-2 daily at Tsetserra, Gorongosa and Catapu.

 

(Black Cuckoo) Cuculus clamosus Heard only, with singles at Tsetserra, Gorongosa Mountain and Chinizua.

 

Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius Several heard around Catapu and Chinizua with one seen at Catapu on 25th.

 

Jacobin Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus 1 seen at Catapu on 23rd and heard there the next day.

 

Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti 1 seen as it flew over the aloe farm at Gorongosa on 23rd.

 

Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus Heard at Tsetserra, Gorongosa, Catapu and Chinizua with 2 seen at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Klaa’s Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas 1 seen and a few heard at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 21st, and heard at Catapu on 25th and Chinizua on 26th.

 

(Didric Cuckoo) Chrysococcyx caprius Just 1 heard at Tsetserra on 19th.

 

Yellowbill (Green Coucal) Cuethmochares aereus Heard at Catapu on 23rd and 24th.

 

Barn Owl Tyto alba affinis 1 at Catapu on 24th.

 

(African Scop’s Owl) Otus senegalensis 3 heard during the day at Gorongosa NP on 20th.

 

Barred Owlet Glaucidium capense 1 seen well at Catapu on 24th and 1 heard there the next day.

 

Fiery-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus pectoralis Singles seen at dusk at Catapu on 23rd and 24th.

 

Eurasian Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus 1-3 seen on 3 days at the aloe farm, Gorongosa.

 

Mozambique (Square-tailed) Nightjar Caprimulgus fossii At the aloe farm at Gorongosa 8 were seen on the tracks on 21st and 3 the next evening, 1 at Catapu on 24th.

 

Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius 5 including 3 displaying males at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 21st and 1 female on 22nd, 1 female en route to Chinizua on 26th.

 

African Black Swift Apus barbatus 2 at Tsetserra on 19th and 100+ there the next day and 2 near Beira on 26th.

 

White-rumped Swift Apus caffer 10 near the Pungoe River on 19th and good numbers near Beira on 26th.

 

Mottled Spinetail Apus aequatorialis Just one seen at Catapu on 25th.

 

Bohm’s Spinetail Neafrapus boehmi sheppardi 2 en route to Catapu on 23rd and 2 near there on 25th.

 

Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus 4 at Mount Gorongosa on 22nd.

 

Red-faced Mousebird Colius indicus 1 at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 21st.

 

Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina Heard daily at Tsetserra, Gorongosa, and Catapu and 1 seen at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis 1-2 on the 3 days at Rio Savanne, 3 at Caia on 24th.

 

Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maximus 1 at Rio Savanne on 18th.

 

Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata 4 in the Rio Savanne and Pungoe River areas on 19th and 2 at Caia on 24th.

 

African Pygmy Kingfisher Ispidina picta natalensis A pair at a nest hole at Tsetserra on 19th and 20th and 1 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis cyanoleuca 1 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, and heard at Gorongosa, Catapu and Chinizua.

 

Mangrove Kingfisher Halcyon senegaloides Up to 4 seen at Rio Savanne around the car park, also 3+ heard in the coutadas at Catapu and also heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris Heard at Gorongosa NP, 1-2 daily in the lodge grounds at Catapu and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Grey-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala 1-4 seen or heard daily in the Tsetserra and Gorongosa areas and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti 1 at Rio Savanne on 19th and 27th, 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, and heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Southern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicoides 1 at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 5 in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th.

 

European Roller Coracias garrulus 5 en route to Catapu on 23rd, 4 in coutadas near there on 25th, with singles at Chinizua on 26th and Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

Racket-tailed Roller Coracias spatulata 2 eventually seen very well at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 23rd.

 

Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus naevia 1 at Gorongosa NP on 20th, heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd, 1-3 daily in the Catapu area and 12+ at Chinizua on 26th.

 

African Hoopoe Upupa africana Singles at Tsetserra on 20th and Catapu on 25th with 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Red-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus 2-6 seen daily in the Gorongosa, Catapu and Chinizua areas.

 

Scimitar-billed Woodhoopoe Rhinopomastus cyanomelas Heard at Tsetserra and Catapu, with 1 seen at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Trumpeter Hornbill Ceratogymna bucinator In the coutadas near Catapu, 2 on 24th and 1 on 25th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill Ceratogymna brevis 1 in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus leucomelas 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st.

 

Black-collared Barbet Lybius torquatus 2 at Tsetserra on 19th, 1-2 coming down to the drinking pool in the lodge at Catapu and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

White-eared Barbet Stactolaema leucotis Singles seen at Tsetserra on 19th and Chinizua on 26th.

 

Whyte’s Barbet Stactolaema whytii Just 1 seen by Etienne en route to Tsetserra on 19th.

 

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus chrysoconus 1 at Tsetserra on 19th and heard at Catapu on 25th.

 

(Scaly-throated Honeyguide) Indictor variegatus Heard only at Tsetserra on 20th.

 

Lesser Honeyguide Indictor minor 1 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Pallid Honeyguide Indictor meliphilus A single at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Green-backed Honeybird Prodotiscus zambesiae One in the same tree as the Pallid Honeyguide at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Bennett’s Woodpecker Campathera bennettii 1 at Chinizua on 26th came into and responded to a tape of Speckle-throated Woodpecker, only with scope views did we realize it was a Bennett’s.

 

Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campathera abingoni Heard on both days at Gorongosa NP, and 2 at Catapu on 25th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Green-backed Woodpecker Campathera cailliautii Just 1 seen at Gorongosa NP on 21st.

 

Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicus fuscescens 1 at Tsetserra on 20th, 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and 1 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Bearded Woodpecker Dendropicus namaquus 2 at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 21st, 1 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

(African Broadbill) Smithornis capensis Just 1 heard in the coutadas near Catapu on 24th.

 

(Rufous-naped Lark) Mirafra africana Heard in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th.

 

Flappet Lark Mirafra rufacinnamomea Up to 10 daily in the Rio Savanne area and 2 seen at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Red-breasted Swallow Cecropis semirufa 2 over the grasslands at Rio Savanne on 19th and 27th.

 

Mosque Swallow Cecropis senegalensis monteiri 1 at Catapu on 25th and 4 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

House Martin Delichon urbica 10+ at Tsetserra on 20th and up to 10 daily in the Gorongosa area.

 

Sand Martin Riparia riparia 2 en route to Catapu on 23rd.

 

Black Saw-wing Swallow Psalidoprocne pristoptera Up to 10 seen on the 3 days at Rio Savanne. Eastern Saw-wing Swallow Psalidoprocne orientalis has now been lumped by Clements, there were up to 6 mixed with Black Saw-wings at Rio Savanne and 1 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Black Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga flava 1 at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 1 heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike Coracina flava 3 at Tsetserra on 20th, 2 at Catapu on 25th and 3 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Grey Cuckoo-shrike Coracina caesia Just 1 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus 2 seen at Gorongosa NP on 21st, 2 at aloe farm, Gorongosa on 23rd and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus Small numbers at Tsetserra, Gorongosa and Catapu including 30+ on 21st.

 

Black-headed Oriole Oriolus larvatus 2 at Tsetserra on 20th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Green-headed Oriole Oriolus chlorocephalus 10+ seen and heard in the first patch of forest on Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd. Some birds showed extremely well and were one of the highlights of the trip.

 

Southern Black Tit Parus niger 2 at Tsetserra on 19th, 1 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, 1 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and singles at Catapu on 24th and 25th.

 

Grey Penduline Tit Anthoscopus caroli 4 in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th.

 

Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii 6 at Tsetserra on 19th and 4 there on 20th with 2 more at Gorongosa NP on 22nd.

 

Terrestrial Bulbul Phyllastrephus terrestris Up to 6 in the coutadas near Catapu on 24th and 25th.

 

Yellow-streaked Greenbul Phyllastrephus flavostriatus Heard at Tsetserra on 19th and 20th and 3 seen at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Tiny (Slender-billed) Greenbul Phyllastrephus debilis Several heard and seen in the coutadas near Catapu on 24th and 25th, 4 at Chinizua on 26th and heard at Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

(Sombre Greenbul) Andropadus importunes Heard commonly at Gorongosa Mountain, Catapu, Chinizua and Rio Savanne.

 

Stripe-cheeked Greenbul Andropadus milanjensis 1 at Tsetserra on 19th and 20 there the next day, also 4 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Yellow-bellied Greenbul Chlorocichla flavaventris Heard at Gorongosa NP on 20th, 2-4 daily in the lodge grounds at Catapu.

 

Eastern Nicator Nicator gularis 1 en route to Tsetserra on 19th, heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd, singles seen or heard daily at Catapu and also heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

(Olive Thrush) Turdus olivaceus Heard only at Gorongosa NP on 20th.

 

Orange Ground Thrush Zoothera gurneyi disruptans A single was seen well on the track up to Tsetserra on 19th, and several were heard there the next day, also 1 heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Familiar Chat Cercomela familiaris Just one at Tsetserra on 20th.

 

Arnot’s Chat Myrmecocichla arnotti A pair seen very well in Gorongosa NP on 20th.

 

Stonechat Saxicola torquata altivaga 2 at Tsetserra on 20th and 3 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd. This race has been split by Clements (African Stonechat).

 

Heuglin’s Robin Cossypha heuglini Heard at Tsetserra on 19th and 1 at Gorongosa NP on 21st.

 

Natal Robin Cossypha natalensis 2 at Tsetserra on 20th, 2 heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd, 1 at the coutadas near Catapu on 24th and 1 heard there the next day.

 

Cape Robin Cossypha caffra Heard at Tsetserra on 19th and 4 at Gorongosa on 20th.

 

Collared Palmthrush Cichladusa arquata A pair showed very well in the lodge grounds at Gorongosa NP on 20th and at least 10 were around the camp the next morning.

 

White-chested Alethe Alethe fuelleborni 1 seen well but briefly in the coutadas near Catapu on 24th and two at the same place the next day.

 

Starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata Heard at Tsetserra on 19th with at least 6 there the next day, 2 also heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Swynnerton’s Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni The only place to see this species apart from in neighbouring Zimbabwe is on Gorongosa Mountain and we were fortunate to find at least 7 on 22nd in the first patch of forest we climbed to.

 

East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi Singles seen in the coutadas near Catapu on 24th and 25th and heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

White-browed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas leucophrys 1 at Gorongosa NP on 20th, 1 in the coutadas on 25th and heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Bearded Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas quadrivirgata 2 in the lodge grounds at Catapu on 23rd and one at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Southern Hyliota Hyliota australis Singles seen at Gorongosa NP on 21st and Chinizua on 26th.

 

African Reed Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus 4 near Pungoe River on 19th.

 

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Just one at Pungoe River on 19th.

 

(Lesser Swamp Warbler) Acrocephalus gracilirostris One heard at Caia on 24th.

 

Dark-capped Yellow Warbler Chloropeta natalensis 1 at Tsetserra on 20th and 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Little Rush Warbler (African Sedge Warbler) Bradypterus baboecala Just one at Rio Savanne on 19th.

 

Barratt’s Warbler Bradypterus barratti Heard at Tsetserra near the summit on 19th and 2 seen there the next morning.

 

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus 2-4 daily in the Gorongosa area and 2 at Catapu on 25th.

 

Yellow-throated Warbler Phylloscopus ruficapillus Heard at Tsetserra on 19th and 20th and 1 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica 2 at Tsetserra on 19th and 20th and several heard and seen at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Chirinda Apalis Apalis chirindensis Another highly sought, very localized species, which was commonly found on Tsetserra on 19th and 20th and on Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Black-headed Apalis Apalis melanocephala Heard at Catapu on 25th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii 4 en route to Tsetserra on 19th, heard at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 21st, 1 at Catapu on 23rd and 3 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Green-capped Eremomela Eremomela scotops 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st.

 

Green-backed Bleating-Warbler Camaroptera brachyura Single at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd, several around Catapu on 24th and 25th, and several heard at Chinizua on 26th and Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

Stierling’s Barred Warbler Calamonastes stierlingi Present in small numbers at Tsetserra, Gorongosa, Catapu and Chinizua, more often heard than seen.

 

Moustached Warbler Melocichla mentalis 1 seen and 2 others heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Fan-tailed (Zitting) Cisticola Cisticola juncidis terrestris 1-4 seen daily at Rio Savanne.

 

Rattling Cisticola Cisticola chiniana 1 seen at Catapu on 24th and heard there on 25th and at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans 6+ at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Red-faced Cisticola Cisticola erythrops Heard at Tsetserra, 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, heard at Gorongosa Mountain and Catapu and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Rufous-winged Cisticola Cisticola galactotes 6 at Pungoe River on 19th and 1 at Caia on 24th, often treated as a race of Winding Cisticola.

 

Croaking Cisticola Cisticola natalensis 3 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Lazy Cisticola Cisticola aberrans Singles seen at Tsetserra on 19th and 20th.

 

Short-winged Cisticola Cisticola brachypterus Singles at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and Catapu on 24th and 25th.

 

Neddicky Cisticola fulvicapillus Singles seen at Tsetserra, Catapu and heard at Chinizua.

 

Red-winged Warbler Heliolais erythroptera 6 at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 1 there the next day and heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Robert’s Prinia (Briar Warbler) Prinia robertsi Another highly-sought and very localized species and very common at Tsetserra with 20+ on 20th.

 

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata 1-3 seen at Gorongosa, Catapu and Chinizua.

 

Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta Just one seen at Rio Savanne on 19th.

 

Ashy (Blue-Grey) Flycatcher Muscicapa caerulescens Singles seen at Gorongosa NP on 21st, Catapu on 25th and Chinizua on 26th.

 

Grey Tit-Flycatcher Myioparus plumbeus One in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th and heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Pallid Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus Just one seen in the lodge grounds at Gorongosa NP on 21st.

 

Vanga (Black and White) Flycatcher Bias musicus A pair at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Cape Batis Batis capensis 2 at Tsetserra on 19th and 20th, 4 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Pale (Mozambique) Batis Batis soror 2 at Tsetserra on 20th, 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 21st, 2 at Catapu on 25th and 4 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Woodwards’ Batis Batis fratrum sheppardi Hear at the coutadas near Catapu on 24th and 2 seen there the next day, 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Black-throated Wattle-eye Platyseira peltata 2 at Rio Savanne on 19th in the mangroves around the car park next to the river.

 

Livingstone’s Flycatcher Erythrocercus livingstonei 6 at the aloe farm Gorongosa on 23rd, 6 at Catapu on 24th and 5 there the next day.

 

Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher Trochocercus cyanomelas Heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and 1 at Catapu on 24th.

 

White-tailed Crested Flycatcher Eliminia albonotata Up to 10 on the two days at Tsetserra and 1 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava 2 at Caia on 24th were the only ones seen.

 

Grassveld Pipit Anthus caffer 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and 2 at Caia on 24th.

 

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis A single at Tsetserra on 20th.

 

Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus Up to 6 see daily at Rio Savanne.

 

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Singles at Rio Savanne on 19th and 27th and 3 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Brubru Nilaus afer Singles at Gorongosa NP on 21st, Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and Chinizua on 26th.

 

(Three-streaked Tchagra) Tchagra australis Heard only at Catapu and Chinizua.

 

Anchieta’s Tchagra Tchagra anchietae One showed very well at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd. Still considered a race of Marsh Tchagra by Clements.

 

(Gorgeous Bush Shrike) Telophorus quadricolor At least one heard at Tsetserra on 19th.

 

Orange-breasted Bush ShrikeTelophorus sulfureopectus Heard at Tsetserra, Gorongosa Mountain, Catapu and 2 seen at the last site on 25th.

 

(Black-fronted Bush Shrike) Telophorus nigrifrons Heard only at Tsetserra and Gorongosa Mountain.

 

Olive Bush Shrike Telophorus olivaceus Heard at Tsetserra on 19th and several seen the next day there where at least 15 were heard.

 

(Grey-headed Bush Shrike) Malaconotus blanchoti Heard only at Rio Savanne, Catapu and Chinizua.

 

White Helmet-Shrike Prionops plumatus poliocephalus 1 at Gorongosa NP on 20th, 5 at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 23rd and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Red-billed (Retz’z) Helmet-Shrike Prionops retzi 4 at Tsetserra on 20th and 6 at Gorongosa NP on 21st.

 

Plum-coloured (Amethyst) Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster verreauxi 1-4 seen daily at Rio Savanne, Tsetserra, Gorongosa, Catapu and Chinizua.

 

Greater Blue-eared Starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Miombo Blue-eared Starling Lamprotornis elisabeth 2 at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 6 there the next day, 4 at Chinizua on 26th. Considered by Clements to be a race of Lesser Blue-eared Starling.

 

Black-bellied Starling Lamprotornis corruscus 2 at Rio Savanne on 19th, common and seen daily in the Catapu area and 10 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio 2 at Tsetserra on 19th, 4 there on 20th and 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Malachite Sunbird Nectarinia famosa cupreonitens 1 at Tsetserra on 19th and 2 there on 20th.

 

Variable Sunbird Nectarinia venusta falkensteini 4 at Gorongosa NP on 20th, common at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

White-bellied Sunbird Cynnyris talatala Just one male seen at the aloe farm, Gorongosa Mountain on 21st.

 

Western Olive Sunbird Nectarinia obscura 1 at Tsetserra on 19th, 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and 1 at Catapu on 23rd.

 

Olive Sunbird Nectarinia olivacea 2 at Rio Savanne on 18th.

 

Scarlet-chested Sunbird Nectarinia senegalensis gutturalis Singles at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 21st, Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and Catapu on 25th.

 

Black Sunbird Nectarinia amethystina 4 at Rio Savanne on 19th, 1 at Gorongosa NP on 21st, at Catapu on 23rd and Chinizua on 26th.

 

Collared Sunbird Anthreptes collaris Small numbers seen daily in the Gorongosa area, Catapu and Chinizua.

 

Plain-backed Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi Heard at Catapu on 24th, 4 there the next day and 2 heard at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Western Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes longuemarei Just one immature male at Tsetserra on 20th.

 

Yellow White-eye Zosterops senegalensis 2 at Tsetserra on 19th and 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow Passer diffuses Singles were seen at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd and Chinizua on 26th.

 

Yellow-throated Sparrow Petronia superciliarsis Common at Gorongosa NP with up to 20 daily, also 2 at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 23rd.

 

Forest Weaver Ploceus bicolor 3 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd, up to 6 daily in the coutadas at Catapu and 4 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis 4 at Pungoe River on 19th, 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st and heard at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus xanthopterus 4 at Pungoe River on 19th, 2 at Caia on 24th and 1 near Beira on 26th.

 

Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps Heard at Gorongosa NP on 19th and 4 there the next day, also 2 near Catapu on 24th.

 

Cuckoofinch Anomalospiza imberbis A fine singing male was seen at Rio Savanne on the last morning.

 

Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea Up to 50 on the two days at Gorongosa NP.

 

Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops 4 near Beira on 26th and 2 at Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

Red Bishop Euplectes orix Just 12 at Rio Savanne on 27th.

 

Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus 30 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Yellow-rumped Widow (Yellow Bishop) Euplectes capensis 2 seen daily at Tsetserra and Gorongosa area and 1 at Catapu on 25th.

 

Red-shouldered Widow Euplectes axillaries Up to 60 at Rio Savanne on 18th and 19th.

 

White-winged Widow Euplectes albonotatus 1 at Tsetserra on 20th and c.20 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Red-collared Widow Euplectes ardens 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Orange-winged Pytilia Pytilia afra Eventually we saw 6 in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th.

 

Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba 1 at Gorongosa NP on 20th and 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Green Twinspot Mandingoa nitidula 3 on the summit of Tsetserra on 20th.

 

(Red-faced Crimsonwing) Cryptospiza reichonovii A few heard in the forest on Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Red-throated Twinspot Hypargos niveoguttatus 1 at Tsetserra on 19th, 5 at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 21st, 4 at Catapu on 24th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Blue-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata 1-2 seen daily in the Tsetserra, Gorongosa and Catapu areas.

 

Jameson’s Firefinch Lagonosticta rhodopareia 6 at Tsetserra on 20th, 2 at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 21st, common on Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Grey Waxbill Estrilda perreini poliogastra 5 at Chinizua on 26th was a much sought after species. Yellow-bellied Waxbill Estrilda quartinia 2 at the summit of Tsetserra on 19th and 20th.

 

Quail Finch Ortygospiza fuscocrissa muelleri 4 at Rio Savanne on 18th and 1 there on 27th.

 

Locust Finch Paludipasser locustella This highly prized bird was found fairly easily on the first afternoon, when 14 flocked together at Rio Savanne on 18th and 1 was seen there on 27th.

 

Cut-throat Finch Amadina fasciata meridionalis 2 at the aloe farm, Gorongosa on 21st.

 

Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah Vidua obtuse 30 unfortunately in non-breeding plumage were seen in the coutadas near Catapu on 25th.

 

Cape Canary Serinus canicollis griseitergum 2 at Tsetserra on 19th and 4 there on 20th.

 

Bully Canary Serinus sulphuratus 4 at Tsetserra on 19th and 2 at Gorongosa Mountain on 22nd.

 

Black-eared Canary Serinus mennelli 1 near Tsetserra on 19th and 2 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Cabanis’s Bunting Emberiza cabanisi orientalis Just 1 seen at Gorongosa NP on 21st.

 

Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris 1 at Tsetserra on 19th, 2 at Gorongosa NP on 21st and 1 at Chinizua on 26th.

 

Author: Andy Roadhouse

www.birdingsiteguide.com