Rain Shadow Birding Route

The Rain Shadow Birding Route, as its name implies, is very dry compared to the Woodbush Forest and Magoebaskloof Birders Cottage only about 15km to the north east. I have assigned the beginning of the route as the point where the Annies Fortune road drops down in the dry Ga-Molepo region. The end of the route is where it joins the R71. The route runs through mostly commercial cattle farming area. The route passes an interesting Prickly Pear plantation, reinforcing the dryness of the area. The vegetation is acacia thornveld. In winter, the flowering aloes provide lots of colour.



The route covers part of the SABAP2 pentad 2355_2950 wherein 212 bird species have been recorded over the years.

My suggestion for birding is that you drive slowly until you hear a bird calling. Stop, park on the side of the road and walk up and down the road. Please do not go through fences to follow a bird! You might be approached by a farmer checking up on a strange car. This is a public, road so birders are well within their rights to use the road. The rain shadow birding route

Beginning of Rain Shadow Route
The start of the Rain Shadow Birding Route.

Aloes and acacia thorn.typical of the area.

This birdlist below is taken from the SABAP2 website for pentad 2355_2950

  Ref Common group Common species Genus Species
1 622 Apalis Bar-throated Apalis thoracica
2 625 Apalis Yellow-breasted Apalis flavida
3 533 Babbler Arrow-marked Turdoides jardineii
4 432 Barbet Acacia Pied Tricholaema leucomelas
5 431 Barbet Black-collared Lybius torquatus
6 439 Barbet Crested Trachyphonus vaillantii
7 672 Batis Cape Batis capensis
8 673 Batis Chinspot Batis molitor
9 404 Bee-eater European Merops apiaster
10 410 Bee-eater Little Merops pusillus
11 808 Bishop Southern Red Euplectes orix
12 810 Bishop Yellow Euplectes capensis
13 709 Boubou Southern Laniarius ferrugineus
14 546 Brownbul Terrestrial Phyllastrephus terrestris
15 731 Brubru Brubru Nilaus afer
16 545 Bulbul Dark-capped Pycnonotus tricolor
17 872 Bunting Cinnamon-breasted Emberiza tahapisi
18 874 Bunting Golden-breasted Emberiza flaviventris
19 720 Bush-shrike Black-fronted Telophorus nigrifrons
20 721 Bush-shrike Gorgeous Telophorus quadricolor
21 723 Bush-shrike Grey-headed Malaconotus blanchoti
22 717 Bush-shrike Olive Telophorus olivaceus
23 719 Bush-shrike Orange-breasted Telophorus sulfureopectus
24 155 Buzzard Forest Buteo trizonatus
25 152 Buzzard Jackal Buteo rufofuscus
26 144 Buzzard Lizard Kaupifalco monogrammicus
27 154 Buzzard Steppe Buteo vulpinus
28 627 Camaroptera Green-backed Camaroptera brachyura
29 628 Camaroptera Grey-backed Camaroptera brevicaudata
30 863 Canary Brimstone Crithagra sulphuratus
31 857 Canary Cape Serinus canicollis
32 866 Canary Yellow Crithagra flaviventris
33 859 Canary Yellow-fronted Crithagra mozambicus
34 570 Chat Familiar Cercomela familiaris
35 647 Cisticola Croaking Cisticola natalensis
36 648 Cisticola Lazy Cisticola aberrans
37 646 Cisticola Levaillant’s Cisticola tinniens
38 642 Cisticola Rattling Cisticola chiniana
39 644 Cisticola Red-faced Cisticola erythrops
40 639 Cisticola Wailing Cisticola lais
41 629 Cisticola Zitting Cisticola juncidis
42 212 Coot Red-knobbed Fulica cristata
43 50 Cormorant Reed Phalacrocorax africanus
44 4131 Coucal Burchell’s Centropus burchellii
45 203 Crake Black Amaurornis flavirostris
46 621 Crombec Long-billed Sylvietta rufescens
47 522 Crow Pied Corvus albus
48 341 Cuckoo African Cuculus gularis
49 344 Cuckoo Black Cuculus clamosus
50 352 Cuckoo Diderick Chrysococcyx caprius
51 348 Cuckoo Jacobin Clamator jacobinus
52 351 Cuckoo Klaas’s Chrysococcyx klaas
53 347 Cuckoo Levaillant’s Clamator levaillantii
54 343 Cuckoo Red-chested Cuculus solitarius
55 513 Cuckoo-shrike Black Campephaga flava
56 317 Dove Laughing Streptopelia senegalensis
57 314 Dove Red-eyed Streptopelia semitorquata
58 940 Dove Rock Columba livia
59 319 Dove Tambourine Turtur tympanistria
60 517 Drongo Fork-tailed Dicrurus adsimilis
61 143 Eagle African Crowned Stephanoaetus coronatus
62 138 Eagle Long-crested Lophaetus occipitalis
63 134 Eagle Tawny Aquila rapax
64 368 Eagle-owl Spotted Bubo africanus
65 61 Egret Cattle Bubulcus ibis
66 601 Eremomela Burnt-necked Eremomela usticollis
67 114 Falcon Lanner Falco biarmicus
68 833 Firefinch African Lagonosticta rubricata
69 835 Firefinch Jameson’s Lagonosticta rhodopareia
70 837 Firefinch Red-billed Lagonosticta senegala
71 707 Fiscal Common (Southern) Lanius collaris
72 149 Fish-eagle African Haliaeetus vocifer
73 655 Flycatcher African Dusky Muscicapa adusta
74 665 Flycatcher Fiscal Sigelus silens
75 661 Flycatcher Marico Bradornis mariquensis
76 662 Flycatcher Pale Bradornis pallidus
77 664 Flycatcher Southern Black Melaenornis pammelaina
78 654 Flycatcher Spotted Muscicapa striata
79 174 Francolin Crested Dendroperdix sephaena
80 177 Francolin Shelley’s Scleroptila shelleyi
81 339 Go-away-bird Grey Corythaixoides concolor
82 89 Goose Egyptian Alopochen aegyptiacus
83 618 Grassbird Cape Sphenoeacus afer
84 551 Greenbul Sombre Andropadus importunus
85 550 Greenbul Yellow-bellied Chlorocichla flaviventris
86 547 Greenbul Yellow-streaked Phyllastrephus flavostriatus
87 192 Guineafowl Helmeted Numida meleagris
88 72 Hamerkop Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
89 171 Harrier-Hawk African Polyboroides typus
90 141 Hawk-eagle African Aquila spilogaster
91 55 Heron Black-headed Ardea melanocephala
92 115 Hobby Eurasian Falco subbuteo
93 440 Honeyguide Greater Indicator indicator
94 442 Honeyguide Lesser Indicator minor
95 441 Honeyguide Scaly-throated Indicator variegatus
96 418 Hoopoe African Upupa africana
97 426 Hornbill Southern Yellow-billed Tockus leucomelas
98 507 House-martin Common Delichon urbicum
99 84 Ibis Hadeda Bostrychia hagedash
100 849 Indigobird Dusky Vidua funerea
101 851 Indigobird Village Vidua chalybeata
102 123 Kestrel Rock Falco rupicolus
103 402 Kingfisher Brown-hooded Halcyon albiventris
104 130 Kite Black-shouldered Elanus caeruleus
105 129 Kite Yellow-billed Milvus aegyptius
106 458 Lark Rufous-naped Mirafra africana
107 703 Longclaw Cape Macronyx capensis
108 823 Mannikin Bronze Spermestes cucullatus
109 506 Martin Rock Hirundo fuligula
110 803 Masked-weaver Southern Ploceus velatus
111 392 Mousebird Red-faced Urocolius indicus
112 390 Mousebird Speckled Colius striatus
113 734 Myna Common Acridotheres tristis
114 637 Neddicky Neddicky Cisticola fulvicapilla
115 373 Nightjar Fiery-necked Caprimulgus pectoralis
116 372 Nightjar Rufous-cheeked Caprimulgus rufigena
117 312 Olive-pigeon African Columba arquatrix
118 521 Oriole Black-headed Oriolus larvatus
119 359 Owl Barn Tyto alba
120 748 Oxpecker Red-billed Buphagus erythrorhynchus
121 387 Palm-swift African Cypsiurus parvus
122 682 Paradise-flycatcher African Terpsiphone viridis
123 852 Paradise-whydah Long-tailed Vidua paradisaea
124 531 Penduline-tit Cape Anthoscopus minutus
125 311 Pigeon Speckled Columba guinea
126 692 Pipit African Anthus cinnamomeus
127 699 Pipit Bushveld Anthus caffer
128 10877 Pipit Nicholson’s Anthus nicholsoni
129 696 Pipit Striped Anthus lineiventris
130 650 Prinia Black-chested Prinia flavicans
131 1049 Prinia Drakensberg Prinia hypoxantha
132 649 Prinia Tawny-flanked Prinia subflava
133 712 Puffback Black-backed Dryoscopus cubla
134 830 Pytilia Green-winged Pytilia melba
135 805 Quelea Red-billed Quelea quelea
136 524 Raven White-necked Corvus albicollis
137 603 Reed-warbler Great Acrocephalus arundinaceus
138 589 Robin White-starred Pogonocichla stellata
139 581 Robin-chat Cape Cossypha caffra
140 579 Robin-chat Red-capped Cossypha natalensis
141 580 Robin-chat White-browed Cossypha heuglini
142 582 Robin-chat White-throated Cossypha humeralis
143 412 Roller European Coracias garrulus
144 511 Saw-wing Black (Southern race) Psalidoprocne holomelaena
145 421 Scimitarbill Common Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
146 586 Scrub-robin Kalahari Cercotrichas paena
147 588 Scrub-robin White-browed Cercotrichas leucophrys
148 867 Seedeater Streaky-headed Crithagra gularis
149 711 Shrike Crimson-breasted Laniarius atrococcineus
150 706 Shrike Lesser Grey Lanius minor
151 708 Shrike Red-backed Lanius collurio
152 146 Snake-eagle Black-chested Circaetus pectoralis
153 786 Sparrow Cape Passer melanurus
154 784 Sparrow House Passer domesticus
155 4142 Sparrow Southern Grey-headed Passer diffusus
156 780 Sparrow-weaver White-browed Plocepasser mahali
157 159 Sparrowhawk Black Accipiter melanoleucus
158 183 Spurfowl Natal Pternistis natalensis
159 185 Spurfowl Swainson’s Pternistis swainsonii
160 737 Starling Cape Glossy Lamprotornis nitens
161 745 Starling Red-winged Onychognathus morio
162 736 Starling Violet-backed Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
163 576 Stonechat African Saxicola torquatus
164 77 Stork Woolly-necked Ciconia episcopus
165 772 Sunbird Amethyst Chalcomitra amethystina
166 771 Sunbird Collared Hedydipna collaris
167 758 Sunbird Greater Double-collared Cinnyris afer
168 755 Sunbird Marico Cinnyris mariquensis
169 760 Sunbird Southern Double-collared Cinnyris chalybeus
170 763 Sunbird White-bellied Cinnyris talatala
171 493 Swallow Barn Hirundo rustica
172 502 Swallow Greater Striped Hirundo cucullata
173 503 Swallow Lesser Striped Hirundo abyssinica
174 498 Swallow Pearl-breasted Hirundo dimidiata
175 495 Swallow White-throated Hirundo albigularis
176 380 Swift African Black Apus barbatus
177 383 Swift White-rumped Apus caffer
178 715 Tchagra Black-crowned Tchagra senegalus
179 714 Tchagra Brown-crowned Tchagra australis
180 275 Thick-knee Spotted Burhinus capensis
181 1104 Thrush Karoo Turdus smithi
182 552 Thrush Kurrichane Turdus libonyanus
183 437 Tinkerbird Yellow-fronted Pogoniulus chrysoconus
184 527 Tit Southern Black Parus niger
185 658 Tit-babbler Chestnut-vented Parisoma subcaeruleum
186 393 Trogon Narina Apaloderma narina
187 4133 Turaco Knysna Tauraco corythaix
188 337 Turaco Purple-crested Gallirex porphyreolophus
189 316 Turtle-dove Cape Streptopelia capicola
190 686 Wagtail Cape Motacilla capensis
191 610 Warbler Barratt’s Bradypterus barratti
192 666 Warbler Dark-capped Yellow Chloropeta natalensis
193 595 Warbler Garden Sylvia borin
194 607 Warbler Marsh Acrocephalus palustris
195 597 Warbler Olive-tree Hippolais olivetorum
196 599 Warbler Willow Phylloscopus trochilus
197 841 Waxbill Black-faced Estrilda erythronotos
198 839 Waxbill Blue Uraeginthus angolensis
199 843 Waxbill Common Estrilda astrild
200 838 Waxbill Orange-breasted Amandava subflava
201 825 Waxbill Swee Coccopygia melanotis
202 840 Waxbill Violet-eared Granatina granatina
203 799 Weaver Cape Ploceus capensis
204 801 Weaver Golden Ploceus xanthops
205 791 Weaver Spectacled Ploceus ocularis
206 797 Weaver Village Ploceus cucullatus
207 1172 White-eye Cape Zosterops virens
208 846 Whydah Pin-tailed Vidua macroura
209 847 Whydah Shaft-tailed Vidua regia
210 813 Widowbird Red-collared Euplectes ardens
211 814 Widowbird White-winged Euplectes albonotatus
212 320 Wood-dove Blue-spotted Turtur afer
213 321 Wood-dove Emerald-spotted Turtur chalcospilos
214 419 Wood-hoopoe Green Phoeniculus purpureus
215 362 Wood-owl African Strix woodfordii
216 450 Woodpecker Cardinal Dendropicos fuscescens
217 447 Woodpecker Golden-tailed Campethera abingoni
218 452 Woodpecker Olive Dendropicos griseocephalus
219 453 Wryneck Red-throated Jynx ruficollis