Early winter birding in the dry and dusty Tanqua Karoo ahead of spring rains presents itself as a unique challenge for the enthusiastic birder. Bird activity 

Karoo Korhaan in Tanqua Karoo

Karoo Korhaan

is subdued at best and less than vocal making it difficult to locate the resident species within the matrix of micro-habitats within the vast scrublands and rocky -ridgelines lying within the rain shadow of the Cederberg Mountain range.

And so it was with trepidation that I accepted the challenge of taking an enthusiastic local birder on a weekend trip to boost his SA ‘life list’ to new heights as the principal objective…

Allocating time and patience to known sites by species was the agreed tactic proved to be not only visually rewarding but extremely enjoyable as every target bird presented itself for visual appreciation.

All in all in only a day and a half along my regular summer route we accounted for more than adequate sightings of Fairy Flycatcher, Layard’s Tit-babbler, Pririt Batis, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Namaqua Warbler, Karoo Prinia, Yellow and White-throated Canary, Grey-backed Cisticola, Rufous-eared Warbler, Karoo Green Eremomela, Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler, Karoo and Trac Trac Chat, Spike-heeled and Karoo Lark, Large-billed Lark, Familiar Chat, Mountain Wheatear, Jackal Buzzard, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Greater Kestrel and Karoo Korhaan to round off with as key target species…

Not bad for a perfect winter’s week-end !

For more info on bird tours in South Africa, and both birding day trips and longer birding trips out of Cape Town, contact Patrick or Marie-Louise on

Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, bird of the rocky koppies in the Karoo

Cinnamon-breasted Warbler


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