Project Description

Reflections on what turned out to be a fantastic day for these quirky terrestrial waders in and around Kimberley in the Northern Cape. The main and most difficult target for the day was the near-endemic Burchell’s Courser Cursorius rufus, which we eventually found on an extensive dry pan. Not too far away, we found a single Temminck’s Courser C. temminckii. These two species are similar at a glance but can be distinguished by their hind-crown colour (powder blue in Burchell’s, rufous in Temminck’s) and the shape of the dark marking on their bellies (horizontal bar in Burchell’s, vertical wedge in Temminck’s). The former also has a much narrower black line behind the eye, and a longer more clearly decurved bill. While searching for the Burchell’s we bumped into several pairs of the characterful Double-banded Courser Rhinoptilus africanus as well. And cherry on top, when we returned to camp that night, two Bronze-winged Coursers R. chalcopterus were waiting to greet us in the car headlights.