Due to the strong southeaster predicted off Cape Point, Margaret and Richard's Cape Town Pelagics trip had to be postponed until Monday. Instead I met them at their accommodation at 07h30 to enjoy a day of birding dedicated to sites around the Cape Peninsula.
Spotted Eagle Owl
First on our list of places to visit was Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Conditions were sheltered up against the mountain slopes and we managed to find Forest Seedeater, Brimstone Canary, Cape Sugarbird and Sombre Greenbul with relative ease within these world famous gardens. We then visited the famous resident pair of Spotted Eagle Owls and there two large chicks. These birds are totally habituated and they sit calmly on the edge of a major path, totally unperturbed by the passing visitors. A walk through a forested section of the garden delivered Cape Batis and an African Goshawk.
We were then on our way to Cape Point but first made a stop at Tokai Forest. On route we encountered a Steppe Buzzard. The short walk at Tokai did not disappoint as we managed to locate Chaffinch, Cape Canary, Fork-tailed Drongo, Dusky Flycatcher, Common Waxbill and a small group of charming Swee Waxbills.
Swee Waxbill and Fork-tailed Drongo
We proceeded on to Cape Point and enjoyed the scenic drive down the Cape Peninsula. A quick stop at the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony delivered African Penguin and African Black Oystercatcher. Partridge Point allowed scope views of Cape Fur Seal as well as breeding White-breasted and Bank Cormorants. After a great lunch at Cape Point, we had good looks at two Eland and then birded our way down to the Cape of Good Hope. Despite the very strong wind we enjoyed Common Ostrich and had Swift, Sandwich and Common Terns as well as Cape Cormorants. We also managed to get some fair views of Cape Gannet moving offshore. At Olifantsbos we located some stately Bontebok as well as a troop of Chacma Baboon.
We then headed towards Strandfontein Sewage Works for a bit of wetland birding. We had large numbers of waterfowl including, Cape Shoveler, Southern Pochard, Cape Teal, Red-billed Teal and Maccoa Duck. We found three species of grebe, namely, Great-crested, Black-necked and Little Grebe. Both Greater and Lesser Flamingo were in attendance and we also added Cape Longclaw and Water Thick-knee. We were very lucky to encounter a Cape Dune Mole-rat in the road.
With some daylight remaining we decided to stop in at the Philippi wetlands on route back to Margaret and Richard's accommodation. This proved to be a good option as we had great views of both White-faced and Fulvous Duck as well as African Spoonbill and Yellow-billed Egret.
White-faced And Maccoa Ducks seen on Cape Flats wetlands.
For a full list of species from this trip, please
A Birding Africa Trip Report by Tour Leader
Our Cape tours and day trips are aimed at keen birders and
nature enthusiasts. They have been designed to see as many endemic
birds as possible. While on the walks, we spend a lot of time
looking for other aspects of wildlife such as mammals, chameleons,
geckos, butterflies and interesting plants. We can also customise
any itinerary to suit to the keen birder, the wildlife enthusiast
Many participants on our tours and day trips are amateur wildlife
photographers. And when we get excellent views of a bird or
mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing
it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority
of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or
bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the
next encounter. Thus, while the photographic
opportunities are very good, the group will only occasionally
wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better
Only a low level of fitness is required.
Throughout the year.
Moderate; can be warm in summer and chilly in winter.
A good standard of accommodation in guest houses, lodges and
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.