Thanks to the wonderful hospitality of Sun City and their Final Round golf day, I only managed to get into the park at midday and a boiling hot afternoon saw the temperature hover between 34° and 37 ° celsius.
On days like that, searching for waterbirds is often the best option and I headed from the eastern Manyane Gate to Ratlhogo Waterhole in the northern section of the park.
The waterhole was quiet, apart from a couple of Blacksmith Plovers hanging about … But there, behind the common Plovers was something different and a lot smaller …
It turned out to be a lone juvenile Ringed Plover pottering about in the shallow water … a bird I have not seen for some time.
On my way to Ratlhogo, I came across some Redbilled Oxpeckers on Impala, some lone Elephant, a Kalahari Scrub Robin and a Lesser Masked Weaver was a welcome sighting too. A Southern Boubou revealed himself in the thicker streamside vegetation, while the typical, but charming Pilanesberg birds like Familiar Chat and the sweet-calling Rufousnaped Lark were also spotted.From there I headed for much-needed liquid refreshment at the Pilanesberg Centre and their grossly overpriced shop. It was quite busy with birds, though, including a nice sighting of a Diederick Cuckoo, and from there I headed for Mankwe Dam.
A Greenbacked Heron was found sheltering in one of the quieter tributaries, while Horus Swift and Yellowbilled Egret were two less commonly seen birds. Three species of duck – Yellowbilled, African Black and Whitefaced – were at the dam as was a solitary needle-billed Marsh Sandpiper, along with Yellowbilled Stork.Heading towards the Bakubung exit, Marabou Stork were having their usual congregation at Lengau Dam and, surprisingly considering the temperature, I finished the afternoon jaunt with a respectable 57 species of bird.
Greater Striped Swallow
Kalahari Scrub Robin
Lesser Masked Weaver
Cape Turtle Dove
Southern Yellowbilled Hornbill
Southern Masked Weaver
African Black Duck
Great White Egret
African Fish Eagle
Lesser Striped Swallow
Southern Black Flycatcher