Special Endemic Birds

The Button Birding area hosts some of finest species of birds available in Southern Africa, due in large part to the extensive array of habitats found here. Specials such as Cape Parrot and Blue Swallow are amongst our list of rare and endangered species, whilst our logo bird, the mysterious Black-rumped Buttonquail, is resident on the farm. This small quail is classified as endangered in South Africa, and inhabits well drained open grassland with bare ground between the tufts. You may see the black rump as the bird explodes up from your feet but a quick eye is needed as it will fly fast for a very short distance and then drop and disappear.

Below are some of the habitats and specials found in our area.

FOREST SPECIALS

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CAPE PARROT

There are a host of reasons why birders should come to see this bird. Besides the fact that it has spectacular plumage, it has vulnerable status, it features on the red data list, it is now a seperate species, it is rare (only 1250 exist in the world).

Our area hosts more than 100 of them, they have set flight paths, they have regular home roosts and quaint habits like talking to each other as they fly.

All in all, they are very special and in real danger of disappearing from our planet.


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KNYSNA TURACO

Just when one wishes to give up forest birding as hopeless, this remarkable bird arrives with his stunning crimson wings.
Cat like he runs along upper branches and then jumps across to the next tree like a monkey. The most unbirdlike bird of the forest. Observers need to keep a low profile though, because he is not called “iGwalalagwala” in Zulu for nothing – it means –
“The Coward”!


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RED-NECKED SPURFOWL

This is a dawn or dusk forest edge creature with a very loud harsh call, but the male has the most beautiful white-on-black breast feathers.


OTHER SPECIALS AND BIRDS SPECIFIC TO THE BUTTON BIRDING FORESTS:

White-starred Robin-chat, Barratt’s Warbler, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, Grey Cuckooshrike, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Swee Waxbill, Orange Ground-thrush, Narina Trogon, Sombre Greenbul, African Emerald Cuckoo, Forest Buzzard, Black Cuckoo, Lemon Dove, African Goshawk, Crowned Hornbill, Chorister Robin-Chat, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Dark-backed Weaver, African Crowned Eagle, African Wood-Owl, Cape Batis, Southern Boubou, Forest Canary, Collared Sunbird

GRASSLAND SPECIALS

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DENHAM’S BUSTARD

A beautiful and sought-after species of our grasslands. Slightly smaller than the Kori Bustard, but with striking colouration. An exciting find on any outing.


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BLACK-RUMPED BUTTONQUAIL

Our logo and a real mega tick! Also bad for the heart, rising at one’s feet, before dropping out of sight after a few seconds – difficult to find anytime.


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BLUE SWALLOW

The plumage of this magnificent creature makes one wonder if it is rare because it has been collected to adorn royalty – and your host serves as a nest monitor.


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AFRICAN QUAILFINCH

In more than 20 years of birding, your host has only viewed this beautiful little animal twice, yet it will fly over your head regularly all day.


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BLACK-BELLIED BUSTARD

A master at camouflage – the male signals his arrival in Creighton with a spectacular flight and wings held at dithedral – he does not appear further South or West of here.


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ORANGE-BREASTED WAXBILL

One of our smallest but brightest Grassland Gems.


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SOUTHERN BALD IBIS

This is a very beautiful Ibis – especially with good lighting on his wings – breeding locally.


OTHER SPECIALS AND BIRDS SPECIFIC TO THE BUTTON BIRDING GRASSLANDS:

Pale-crowned Cisticola, Cuckoo Finch, Bokmakierie, Blue Crane, Grey Crowned Crane, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Black-winged Lapwing, Secretarybird, Black-crowned Tchagra, Common Waxbill, Long-tailed Widowbird, Red-collared Widowbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, White-winged Widowbird, Dusky Indigobird, Red-throated Wryneck, Black Sparrowhawk

WETLAND SPECIALS

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AFRICAN GRASS-OWL

Visitors who can bare the pain for this brown Barn Owl are issued with noddy badges if successful. It lives in a local swamp. Long rubber boots essential.


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AFRICAN SNIPE

This is a heart attack bird. It gets up at your feet and you are never ready for it! It resides on the farm.


OTHER SPECIALS AND BIRDS SPECIFIC TO THE BUTTON BIRDING WETLANDS:

Broad-tailed Warbler, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Reed Cormorant, White-faced Duck, Great Egret, African Marsh-Harrier, Marsh Owl, Red-chested Flufftail, Southern Pochard, Red-headed Quelea, South African Shelduck, Cape Shoveller, Sedge Warbler

ALPINE SPECIALS

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BEARDED VULTURE (LAMMERGEIER)

This mountain denizen is both majestic and critically endangered, and in Southern Africa is found only in the Drakensberg mountain range. A sighting makes the trip up Sani Pass all the more worthwhile.


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GURNEY’S SUGARBIRD

One of only two species of sugarbird in Southern Africa, and a real beauty.


OTHER SPECIALS AND BIRDS SPECIFIC TO THE BUTTON BIRDING GRASSLANDS:

Drakensberg Rock-jumper, Red-necked Spurfowl, Mountain Pipit, Drakensberg Siskin, Yellow Bishop, Fairy Flycatcher, Malachite Sunbird, Grey-winged Francolin, Red-winged Francolin

GARDEN SPECIALS

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SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL

This big owl is common here, landing with an audible thud on the roof at night. This owl has bred twice in one of our nest boxes.


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BLACK SPARROWHAWK

A very handsom raptor, regularly active at dawn and dusk pursuing doves through the garden.


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RED-THROATED WRYNECK

It is surprising that this smart/tidy bird is of the woodpecker family. In our garden he nests in a hollow wall and drills for worms on the lawn, yet to be seen pecking wood!