BDI Bird Ringing Course: 01 – 07 September 2022

The first BDI ringing course at the KhoiSan Karoo Conservancy has been completed. Eight attendees plus leader Dieter had an exciting week of ringing new species, going on night drives, and enjoying excellent meals!

Double-banded Courser [photo Eric Liebgold]

Attendees included ringers and trainees from the USA, UK, Namibia and South Africa.

Catching techniques were mostly mist-netting and spring traps baited with bacon. In addition to ringing most of the time, there were opportunities to discuss various aspects of ringing, and trainees had practice at putting up nets on their own.

Ringing outdoors [photo Eric Liebgold]

The total number of birds caught was 246 birds of an amazing 31 species. The top species caught was the Cape Sparrow (52), followed by Southern Masked-Weaver (45) and Southern Red Bishop (41). Starlings featured well with Pied Starling (26) and Wattled Starling (15). Wader nets on the shore line produced a few Kittlitz’s Plover and Little Stint, and also unexpected birds like Capped Wheatear. Ringing in the Karoo shrub gave the best species like Rufous-eared Warbler, Grey-backed Cisticola, Black-chested Prinia, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Long-billed Crombec, African Pipit and Lark-like Bunting. A highlight for me was spot-lighting and catching a Double-banded Courser (after an unsuccessful attempt!).

To join a ringing course, see dates and contact person here.

Previous blogs:
11-12/11/2019  Test ringing weekend – 86 birds
16/03-21/04/2022 Students ringing (includes ring summary and catching types)
01-06/09/2022 BDI ringing course – 246 birds (this course)     


Thanks to all the staff at New Holme for hosting us so well!

Very easy to find New Holme farm! [map created by Karen Underhill]

Table of ringing totals, Karoo Gariep NR, 1-7 Sept 2022

Sp no.SpeciesTotal caught
237Kittlitz’s Plover3
245Blacksmith Lapwing1
253Little Stint2
278Double-banded Courser1
314Red-eyed Dove1
390White-backed Mousebird7
495White-throated Swallow2
568Capped Wheatear1
619Rufous-eared Warbler2
638Grey-backed Cisticola1
650Black-chested Prinia1
583Karoo Scrub-Robin4
604Lesser Swamp Warbler1
606African Reed-Warbler2
621Long-billed Crombec1
686Cape Wagtail4
692African Pipit1
707Common Fiscal5
735Wattled Starling15
746Pied Starling26
784House Sparrow1
786Cape Sparrow52
803Southern Masked-Weaver45
805Red-billed Quelea9
808Southern Red Bishop41
820Red-headed Finch2
871Lark-like Bunting1
1104Karoo Thrush9
1172Cape White-eye2
4139Karoo Prinia1

Below is a selection of some of the wonderful birds caught in the mist nets during the course:

Red-headed Finch [photo Eric Liebgold]
Rufous-eared Warbler [photo Eric Liebgold]
Long-billed Crombec [photo Eric Liebgold]
Lark-like Bunting [photo Eric Liebgold]
Blacksmith Plover juvenile, caught by hand [photo Eric Liebgold]
Dieter Oschadleus
Dieter Oschadleus
Dieter Oschadleus leads the BDI bird ringing expeditions, and is able to organise bird ringing courses (having run many courses in South Africa, and some in the Seychelles). Dieter is also a registered bird guide in South Africa, and has birded widely in Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. 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.