After a very successful series of summer counts at the four Gondwana lodges in February it was time to repeat the exercise, this time in winter. The team, consisting of Gudrun Middendorff, Neil Thomson, Dirk Heinrich and Holger Kolberg, arrived at Hakusembe on 12 July 2018 and a count was done the next day resulting in 197 birds of 21 species being recorded (cf. 211 birds of 22 species in February). The team then moved to Namushasha where a count was conducted on 15 July and 67 birds of 19 species were counted (cf. 61 birds of 20 species in a rain-curtailed February count). Two days later it was the turn of Mubala where notwithstanding the arctic temperatures 1657 birds of 37 species, including a large number of African Skimmers, was counted (cf. 373 birds of 32 species in February). Finally, and again arctic temperatures had to be endured, on 19 July a count was done on the Chobe River and here 857 birds of 31 species were recorded (cf. 659 birds of 40 species in February). In total, 2778 birds of 53 species were recorded (cf. 1304 birds of 51 species in February). Seven red data book species were recorded viz. Great White Pelican, Rufous-bellied Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Marabou Stork, African Skimmer, African Fish Eagle and African Marsh Harrier.

Marabou Storks have a wingspan of more than 2.5 metres. They can remain airborne on thermals for hours and cover considerable distances.

For more information on the report please have a look at Gondwana Collection Namibia


Holger Kolberg
Directorate Scientific Services
Ministry of Environment and Tourism


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