Leopard seen on a Birding Africa trip near Cape Town
Early morning on 11 May a Birding
Africa guide Michael Mills and two participants witnessed a rare
a Cape Leopard near Mountain Mist,
Aurora, only 180 km north of Cape Town. To read the full trip
report, please click here.
With heavy mist and driving rain at the top of the mountain, the
group decided to head for lower altitudes to look for owls and nightjars.
Shortly after dawn they slowly made their way back up the mountain
for breakfast at Mountain Mist, pausing to watch two groups of Ground
Woodpecker. Their attention was diverted by a pair of Pied crows
mobbing a Cape Leopard! They only managed a brief glimpse before
the secretive animal slunk behind a sandstone outcrop, but the clients
were fortunate to join an elite club of people who have ever set
eyes on a leopard in the Cape mountains!
What has this got to do with birding in the Western Cape?
Quinton Martins, The Cape
Leopard Trust co-founder, asks all birders who frequent the
Cape mountains to report any sightings of Cape leopard, preferably
noting the GPS Co-ordinates. He also points out that birders can
look for Verreaux's eagles either
dive-bombing or calling for leopard. This behaviour has been recorded
in the Cederberg and it would be useful to know if these black eagles
do this in other areas too. By observing the behaviour of these
larger raptors, birders have a better chance of spotting Cape leopard!
To find out more about how you can help
Cape Leopard : visit the Cape Leopard Trust website: http://www.capeleopard.org.za,
sign up for the newsletter, ‘adopt a spot’, or help
sponsor a camera trap – as Birding Africa did.
Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company
customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders.
We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and
other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's
most diverse birding destinations. Our guides'
knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength
and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations
with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent.
We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds.
Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated
to making professional, best value trips filled with endemic species and
unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small
birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation
Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and
consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the
BBC Natural History Unit.