At a glance
- A chance to see the Pel’s Fishing Owl
- And the chance to spot the Narina Trogan
- African Skimmers in abundance
Xaro Lodge birding
The quiet backwaters of the Ngarange channel just downstream of Xaro is another extraordinary birding area not to be missed. The backwaters in the channel are covered with water-lilies and attracts a multitude of waterbirds which includes large numbers of African Jacana and the occasional Lesser Jacana, the beautiful Pygmy Geese are also plentiful in these habitats. The secretive Allen’s Gallinule is also regularly seen here.
Numerous species of Bee-eaters and kingfishers occur in the area. Colonies of Carmine Bee-eaters are present in spring both upstream and downstream of Xaro Lodge while the White-fronted and Little Bee-eaters are common residents throughout the year. Kingfishers are plentiful but the best time to observe them is in spring when most have nests in the steep embankments along the edge of the river.
The remaining specials are to be found mainly in the riparian forest. The lodge grounds and its immediate surrounds are the best place to start looking and to explore the surrounding forest and woodland on foot as part of a guided walk. You won’t have to go far to see Swamp Boubou, Hartlaub’s Babbler and even Brown Firefinch. With a bit more effort you may well find Narina Trogon, Western Banded Snake-eagle, and even a Bathawk during dusk as they hunt bats that fly out over the river.
Xaro Lodge is truly a bird watching and bird photographers haven where special sightings and unique photographic opportunities are certainly the order of the day.
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