Ringing course, Nampene, 27 Nov-1 Dec 2022

Eight attendees attended the first bird ringing course to be held on Nampene Island in the Zambesi River, directly after the 15th PAOC held in Victoria Falls. A group of trainees and ringers, many of whom had attended the PAOC, were hosted on the island. Some attendees needed to leave a day earlier, but in lieu were able to arrive earlier and already ring a few birds.

Bearded Scrub-Robin


A total of 35 species was ringed on the island, the top species being Southern Brown-throated Weaver (78), Dark-capped Bulbul (40), Terrestrial Brownbul (24) and White-browed Robin-Chat (22) – all species totals are shown in the table below. Several migrants were ringed, being Garden Warbler (4), Willow Warbler (8), European Reed Warbler (5), European Marsh Warbler (2), European Sedge Warbler (1), Spotted Flycatcher (2), and African Paradise Flycatcher (2). Identifying the Reed and Marsh Warblers was done by using the Walinder Score (a specific set of measurements). There were quite a few recaptures (all from the course) but not all recaptures were processed.

Special birds included 2 Golden-tailed Woodpeckers (which were surprisingly caught in low nets), Bearded Scrub-Robins, and a male African Paradise Flycatcher (the star for several people). Two species, Grey-headed Bush Shrike and Thick-billed Weaver, had particularly powerful bills, inflicting some pain! Attendees enjoyed learning identification features in the hand, especially for the warblers, but also looking at rump colour of the firefinches, facial features to sex puffbacks, etc.


We were also treated to boat cruises on the Zambesi to enjoy some bird watching. The island was also full of birds. A pair of adult Wood Owls with a juvenile could be seen and heard in the trees above the ringing station every day.

The course was enjoyed so much by all, that it will be repeated next year! (Possible dates are end of July and November 2023, but to be confirmed). It will be interesting to process recaptures and try to catch more species on future courses.

Thanks to Yakov, Christie and all the Nampene staff that served us so well! The meals and service were excellent!

Bird ringing totals on Nampene Island, 27 Nov-1 Dec 2022

Sp no. Species Ringed
392 Red-faced Mousebird 1
447 Golden-tailed Woodpecker 2
545 Dark-capped Bulbul 40
546 Terrestrial Brownbul 24
550 Yellow-bellied Greenbul 10
580 White-browed Robin-Chat 22
585 (Eastern) Bearded Scrub-Robin 3
595 Garden Warbler 4
599 Willow Warbler 8
604 Lesser Swamp Warbler 7
607 European Marsh Warbler 2
608 European Sedge Warbler 1
609 Little Rush Warbler 2
625 Yellow-breasted Apalis 1
628 Grey-backed Camaroptera 7
644 Red-faced Cisticola 2
649 Tawny-flanked Prinia 4
654 Spotted Flycatcher 2
656 Ashy Flycatcher 1
682 African Paradise Flycatcher 2
685 African Pied Wagtail 1
712 Black-backed Puffback 5
723 Grey-headed Bush Shrike 1
771 Collared Sunbird 2
791 Spectacled Weaver 12
797 Village Weaver 2
801 Golden Weaver 7
802 Southern Brown-throated Weaver 78
804 Thick-billed Weaver 6
830 Green-winged Pytilia 3
836 Brown Firefinch 10
837 Red-billed Firefinch 3
839 Blue Waxbill 3
911 European Reed Warbler 5
977 Tropical Boubou 4







Dieter is a qualified Bird Ringer and trainer, registered bird guide, and Weaver expert. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.