A checklist of birds of the Leopard Rock Nature Reserve and the Vumba region by Bart Wursten

Name Scientific name Status
Little Grebe (Dabchick) Tachybaptus ruficollis Uncommon in Vumba
Reed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus Resident at Leopard Rock golf course dam
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Resident at Leopard Rock golf course dam
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Vagrant in Vumba
Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii Vagrant in Vumba
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta Breeding resident at Leopard Rock
White Stork Ciconia ciconia Vagrant in Vumba
African Black Duck Anas sparsa Occasional on larger dams
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Introduced at Leopard Rock golfcourse
Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis Vagrant in Vumba
Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius Vagrant in Vumba
White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus Uncommon passage migrant
Yellow-billed Kite Milvus migrans Occasional summer visitor
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Fairly common resident
African Cuckoo Hawk Avecida cuculoides Vagrant in Vumba
Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus Rare
European Honey-Buzzard Pernis apivorus Very occasional visitor
Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle Aquila verreauxii Not recently recorded
Wahlberg’s Eagle Aquila wahlbergi Very occasional visitor
African Hawk-Eagle Aquila spilogaster Resident near Burma Valley
Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis Common resident
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus Vagrant in Vumba
African Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus Resident, breeding pair in Bunga Forest
Black-chested Snake Eagle

(Black-breasted Snake Eagle)

Circaetus pectoralis

(Circaetus gallicus)

Regular visitor, especially after grass fires


African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer Regular visitor from Lake Chicamba and Zonwe Dam
Steppe Buzard Buteo buteo Common summer visitor
Augur Buzard Buteo augur Common resident
Lizard Buzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus Fairly common resident in woodland areas
Rufous-chested (Redbreasted) Sparrowhawk Accipiter rufiventris Uncommon resident in montane grassland
Little Sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus Very uncommon
Black Sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus Uncommon resident in woodland areas
Shikra (Little Banded Goshawk) Accipiter badius Vagrant in Vumba
African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro Common resident in forest
Gabar Goshawk Melierax gabar Vagrant in Vumba
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus Vagrant
African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene) Polyboroides typus Occasional visitor<
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Rare visitor
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus Breeding pair Castle Beacon (2000-01)
Eurasian (European) Hobby Falco subbuteo Uncommon summer visitor
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor Vagrant in Vumba
Rock Kestrel Falco rupicolus Fairly common (at Castle Beacon)
Coqui Francolin Peliperdix coqui Vagrant in Vumba
Shelley’s Francolin Scleroptila shelleyi No recent records
Red-necked Spurfowl (Francolin) Pternistes afer Common resident
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix Uncommon resident
Harlequin Quail Coturnix delegorguei Occasional passage migrant
Blue Quail Coturnix adansonii Vagrant in Vumba
Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris Common resident
Crested Guineafowl Guttera pucherani Possible seasonal visitor
Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostris Uncommon at small dams
Buff-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura elegans Common in and near forest
Striped Flufftail Sarothrura affinis Possible vagrant
African Wattled Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus senegallus Vagrant in Vumba
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos Occasional visitor
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Occasional visitor
Bronze-winged Courser Rhinoptilus chalcopterus Vagrant in Vumba
African Olive Pigeon (Rameron Pigeon) Columba arquatrix Common resident
Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon (Delegorgue’s) Columba delegorguei Fairly common near forest
Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata Becoming more common in open woodland
Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola Vagrant in Vumba
Laughing (Palm) Dove Streptopelia senegalensis Vagrant in Vumba
Blue-spotted Wood Dove Turtur afer Fairly common in lower areas
Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria Common in and near forest
Lemon (Cinnamon) Dove Aplopelia larvata Common on forest floor
African Green Pigeon Treron calva Fairly common visitor
Livingstone’s Turaco (Lourie) Tauraco livingstonii Common resident in forest
Purple-crested Turaco (Lourie) Tauraco porphyreolophus Fairly common in woodlands below 1200m
Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus Vagrant
Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius Very common in summer
Jacobin Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus Uncommon visitor
African Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus Common in forest, probably resident
Klaas’s Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas Fairly common woodland visitor
Diderick Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius Rare visitor in Vumba
Burchell’s Coucal Centropus burchelli Common resident near water
African Wood Owl Strix woodfordii Common resident of forest edge
Southern White-faced Scops Owl (White-faced Owl) Ptilopsus granti Vagrant in Vumba
Barred Owlet (African Barred Owl) Glaucidium capense Uncommon in woodland
Cape Eagle-Owl Bubo capensis Possible on Castle Beacon and other cliff and rock faces
Spotted Eagle-Owl Bubo africanus Fairly common resident
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus Common migrant
Fiery-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus pectoralis Fairly common, possibly resident
Freckled Nightjar Caprimulgus tristigma Resident in rocky areas
Square-tailed (Mozambique) Nightjar Caprimulgus fossii Vagrant in Vumba
Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius Vagrant in Vumba
Common (European) Swift Apus apus In summer mixed with African Black Swift
African Black Swift Apus barbatus Common, associated with cliffs
White-rumped Swift Apus caffer Common in summer
Horus Swift Apus horus Uncommon, needs banks for nesting holes
Little Swift Apus affinus Breeding resident at Leopard rock Hotel
Mottled Swift Tachymarptis aequatorialis Uncommon
Specled Mousebird Colius striatus Common resident
Red-faced Mousebird Urocolius indicus Vagrant in Vumba
Narina trogon Apaloderma narina Fairly common but seasonal
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis Resident at lower dams
Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maximus Uncommon, nomadic
African Pygmy Kingfisher Insipinda picta Uncommon passage migrant
Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris Common resident
Grey-headed (Grey-hooded) Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala Uncommon migrant
Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti Fairly common in lower areas
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Common summer visitor
Little Bee-eater Merops pusilius Fairly common in lower areas
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops hirundineus Occasional visitor
Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudatus Uncommon in Vumba
Purple  Roller Coracias naevius Occasional passage migrant
African Hoopoe Upupa africana Uncommon in lower areas
Greater Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas Occasional, probably nomadic
Trumpeter Hornbill Bycanistes bucinator Occasional in woodland below 1200m
Silvery-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes brevis Common resident at higher levels
Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus Nomadic, not a resident
Southern Ground Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri Vagrant in Vumba
White-eared Barbet Stactolaema leucotis Common resident in montane forest, especially fig trees
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (Tinker Barbet) Pogoniulus chrysoconus Occasional, only in woodland
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird  (Golden-rumped Tinker Barbet) Pogoniulus bilineatus Common resident in forest
Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator Vagrant in Vumba
Scaly-throated Honeyguide Indicator variegatus Uncommon in montane forest
Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor Uncommon, lower woodland
Brown-backed honeybird (Sharp-billed Honeyguide) Prodotiscus regulus Irregular visitor throughout
Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni Fairly common, even in forest
Green-backed (Little spotted) Woodpecker Campethera cailliautii Uncommon below 1200m, usually near Burma Valley
Cardinal woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens Common but not in forest
African Broadbill Smithornis capensis Irregular visitor
African (Angola) Pitta Pitta angolensis Possible passage migrant
Barn ( European) Swallow Hirundo rustica Very common summer visitor
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea Rare breeding visitor
Lesser Striped Swallow Hirundo abyssinica Common breeding visitor
Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula Common on Chinyakwaremba
Common House-Martin Delichon urbicum Uncommon in late summer
Eastern Saw-wing (Swallow) Psalidoprocne orientalis Common resident
Black Cuckooshrike Campephaga flava Regular below 1400m
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia Uncommon resident of forest
Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis Not common, in woodland
Square-tailed Drongo Dicrurus ludwigii common in montane forest
Eurasian (European) Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus Vagrant in Vumba
African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus Rare summer visitor
(Eastern) Black-headed Oriole Oriolus larvatus Common in open woodland
Pied Crow Corvus albus Very occasional visitor
White-necked Raven Corvus albicollis Common resident
Ashy Tit Parus cinerascens Uncommon, below 1200m
Miombo (Nothern Grey) Tit Parus griseiventris Fairly common in woodland
Southern Black Tit Parus niger Occasional visitor
Rufous-bellied Tit Parus rufiventris Uncommon in woodland
Grey  Penduline Tit Antoscopus caroli Uncommon, below 1200m
Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus Uncommon in woodland
Arrow-marked Babbler Pycnonotus jardineii Fairly common resident
Dark-capped (Black-eyed) Bulbul Pycnonotus tricolor Common, as always
Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul) Phyllastrephus terrestris) Fairly common below 1200m
Yellow-streaked Greenbul (Bulbul) Phyllastrephus flavostriatus Common resident in montane forest
Sombre Greenbul (Bulbul) Andropadus importunus Common below 1200m but comes up higher occasionaly
Stripe-cheeked Greenbul (Bulbul) Andropadus milanjesis Very common in montane forest and forest edge
Yellow-bellied Greenbul (Bulbul) Chlorochicla flaviventris Fairly common in woodland below 1200m
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus Common resident
Olive Thrush Turdus olivaceus Fairly common on forest floor
Orange Ground Thrush (Orange Thrush) Zoothera gurneyi Common on forest floor
Ground-scraper Thrush Psophocichla litsipsirupa Occasional visitor
Miombo Rock Thrush Monticola angolensis Fairly common in woodland
Familiar Chat Cercomela familiaris Uncommon in woodland
African Stonechat Saxicola torquata Common in montane grassland
White-browed Robin-Chat (Heuglin’s Robin) Cossypha heuglini Common in thickets and gardens
Red-capped  Robin-Chat (Natal Robin) Cossypha natalensis Common in forest, possibly an altitude migrant
Cape Robin-Chat (Cape Robin) Cossypha caffra Common resident
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata Common in montane forest
Swynnerton’s Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni Uncommon resident on montane forest floor
White-browed Scrub-Robin (White-browed Robin) Cercotrichas leucophrys Uncommon in woodland
Bearded Scrub-Robin (Eastern Bearded Robin) Cercotrichas quadrivirgata Irregular below 1200m
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin Common summer migrant
(European ) March Warbler Acrocephalus palustris Common summer migrant
Dark-capped Yellow Warbler Chloropeta natalensis Breeding summer visitor
Barratt’s Warbler Bradypterus barratti Common in summer in bracken & forest edge
Broad-tailed Warbler Schoenicola brevirostris Uncommon in swampy vegetation, mainly below 1200m
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus Common in summer
Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus ruficapillus Common resident in montane forest
Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica Common resident
Chirinda Apalis Apalis chirindensis Common in montane forest
Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida Fairly common at lower altitude
Cape Grassbird Sphenoeacus afer Common in montane grass
(African) Moustached Grass Warbler Melocichla mentalis Uncommon below 1200m
Wing-snapping (Ayres’) Cisticola Cisticola ayresii Uncommon in montane grassland
Wailing Cisticola Cisticola lais Common in montane grassland
Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans Common resident
Croaking Cisticola Cisticola natalensis Uncommon resident
Red-winged Warbler Heliolais erythropterus Uncommon below 1200m
Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava Common resident
Robert’s Warbler (Robert’s Prinia) Oreophilais robertsi Common resident in bracken scrub above 1400m
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata Occasional summer visitor
African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta Common resident
Ashy (Blue-grey) Flycatcher Musicapa caerulescens Fairly common in woodland below 1200m
Grey (Fan-tailed) Tit-Flycatcher Myioparus plumbeus Occasional below 1200m
Southern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina Fairly common below 1200m
Cape Batis Batis capensis Common resident in forest
Chinspot Batis Batis molitor Common in woodland
Pale (Mozambique) Batis Batis soror Uncommon below 1200m
Blue-mantled Crested Batis Trochocercus cyanomelas Resident below 1200m
White-tailed Crested Flycatcher (African White-tailed Flycatcher) Elminia albonotata Common resident of montane forest
African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis Fairly common in summer
African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp Regular at Leopard Rock Golf course dam
Mountain (Longtailed) Wagtail Motacilla clara Fairly common in forested maountain streams
African (Grassveld) Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus Common resident in grass
Wood Pipit Anthus nyassae Uncommon in woodland
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis Fairly common migrant
Cape (Orange-throated) Longclaw Macronyx capensis Occasional in grassland
Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus Occasional in grassland
Common Fiscal (Fiscal shrike) Lanius collaris Common resident
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Occasional passage migrant
Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus Common, not in forest
Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus cubla Common mainly in summer
Brown-crowned (Three-streaked) Tchagra Tchagra australis Fairly common resident at lower altitude than Black-Crowned Tchagra
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegalus Common resident
Gorgeous Bush-Shrike Telophorus quadricolor Fairly common in thickets and forest edge
Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike Telophorus sulfureopectus Fairly common below 1200m, not in forest
Black-fronted Bush-Shrike Telophorus nigrifrons Common in montane forest
Olive Bush-Shrike Telophorus olivaceus Very common in montane forest
Grey-headed Bush-Shrike Malaconotus blanchoti Common below 1200m, not in forest
White-crested Helmet-Shrike Prionops plumatus Common visitor in winter
Retz’s (Red-billed) Helmet-Shrike Prionops retzii Fairly common in woodlands
Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio Breeding resident at Leopard Rock Hotel
Gurney’s Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi Closely associated with Protea spp. but occasional visitor to flowering Aloes
Malachite Sunbird Nectarinia famosa Fairly common above 1500m, nomadic when not breeding
Bronzy (Bronze) Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis Fairly common resident
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris manoensis Common resident in Miombo woodland
Variable (Yellow-bellied) Sunbird Cinnyris venustus Common resident
(Western) Olive Sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea Common near montane forest
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis Fairly common in woodland
Amethyst (Black) Sunbird Chalcomitra amethystina Resident in woodland but regular visitor to other areas
Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris Common near forest
Plain-backed (Blue-throated) Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi Uncommon below 1200m
Western Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes longuemarei Uncommon in Miombo Woodland below 1200m
African Yellow White-eye Zosterops senegalensis Common resident
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow Passer diffusus Occasional visitor, possibly increasing in numbers
Thick-billed Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons Breeding resident at dams
Dark-backed (Forest) Weaver Ploceus bicolor Common in montane forest
Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis Common resident
Golden Weaver Ploceus xanthops Breeding resident at dams
Red-billed Quelea Quelea Quelea Occasional visitor
Yellow Bishop (Yellow-rumped Widow) Euplectes capensis Common, mainly in summer
Red-collared Widowbird Eucleptes ardens Common in summer in montane grassland
Orange-winged (Golden-backed) Pytilia Pytilia afra Very uncommon
Green Twinspot Mandingoa nitidula Common at forest edge below 1200m
Red-faced Crimsonwing Cryptyspiza reichenovii Common at montane forest edge
Red-throated Twinspot Hypargos niveoguttatus Common in thickets and gardens but nomadic
African (Blue-billed) Firefinch Lagonosticts rubricata Common resident in bracken and forest edge
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild Common in rank grassland at all altitudes
Grey Waxbill Estrilda perreini Only at forest edge near Burma Valley, uncommon
Yellow-bellied Waxbill (East African Swee) Coccopygia quartinia Common resident in bracken and forest edge
Bronze Mannikin Spermestescucullata Common resident
Red-backed Mannikin Spermestes nigriceps Common resident
Magpie (Pied) Mannikin Spermestes fringilloides Vagrant in Vumba
Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura Common resident
Dusky Indigobird (Black Widowfinch) Vidua funerea Common in Bracken areas
Yellow-fronted (Yellow-eyed) Canary Serinus mozambicus Common resident, less above 1500m due to competition with Cape Canary
Cape Canary Serinus canicollis Common above 1500m, attracted to exotic pine plantations
Brimstone (Bully) Canary Serinus sulphuratus Fairly common also below 1500m
Streaky-headed Seed-eater (Canary) Serinus gularis More common below 1500m
Cabanis’s Bunting Emberiza cabanisi Occasional in Acacia woodland near Leopard Rock Hotel
Cape Bunting Emberiza capensis Uncommon on Castle Beacon
Cinnemon-breasted (Rock) Bunting Emberiza tahapisi Occasional on burnt ground