I collected Erik and his daughter Eva from their lodging in the Bo-Kaap at 07h30 for a Cape Peninsula day trip. As we were already on the Atlantic coastline, we stopped along the Mouille Point seaboard, where, with the tide out, we found a small roost of Hartlaub's Gulls, Swift, Sandwich and Common terns. Also present were African Black Oystercatcher, the occasional Kelp Gull and White-breasted and Cape cormorants. A single Grey Heron was also spotted, and above the beach, Cape Canary and Cape Sparrow were feeding on seeding flower-heads. A school of dolphins was present in the bay.
We continued down the Atlantic coastline, through Hout Bay and along Chapman's Peak Drive towards Kommetjie, taking in the dramatic coastal scenery. At Kommetjie there was little additional in the way of coastal species apart from Little Egret fishing in the shallows and a few Cape Gannet diving off the coast. However, bush at Slangkop immediately produced a pair of Cape Grassbird collecting nesting material, Cape Bulbul, Cape Robin-Chat, Southern Double-collared Sunbird and Bokmakierie with Rock Kestrel and White-necked Raven overhead.
Pearl-breasted Swallow photographed on a Birding Africa day trip
We continued past Scarborough, with the southeaster now blowing quite strongly, and at Miller's Point a patch of proteas contained good numbers of Cape Sugarbird which were seen very well as was Orange-breasted Sunbird and Karoo Prinia. We competed with large numbers of other visitors to view the African Penguins at Boulders, had an early lunch at the Penguin Restaurant and then had great views of a breaching Southern Right Whale in the bay.
Continuing along the False Bay coastline, we had a brief but unproductive stop at Zandvlei before heading along to the Strandfontein Sewage Works. The water in the first pans was fairly rough. However, large numbers of Black-necked Grebes interspersed with Southern Pochard were present, with Greater Flamingo along the edges. On the tarred road leading into the works was a gull/tern roost with numbers of Hartlaub's Gull, the occasional Grey-headed Gull and both Swift and Sandwich Terns present, despite the birds being flushed every time a vehicle passed by.
Driving through the Works we notched up additional species with a good view of a Purple Swamphen, but the numbers of waterbirds such as Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and other duck species were lower than expected. Near the coast, a pair of African Shelduck was present, but there was no sign of Spur-winged Geese which had until recently been quite numerous. White-throated Swallow, African Pipit and Cape Longclaw were added along the road and a Common Sandpiper and a Common Greenshank were the only waders seen. On our way out we again stopped at the tern/gull roost, and were pleased to have a small White-winged Tern land amongst the very much larger Swift and Sandwich Terns.
Our last destination was the Philippi Wetlands which provided some good birding although the wind here was still very strong. White-faced Duck was added, and well as Lesser Flamingo, and the African Jacana which had been present there for some time was seen well. Kittlitz's and Three-banded Plovers were about, as was an additional Grey-headed Gull and bush-birds included many Levaillant's Cisticola, Common Fiscal, Pin-tailed Whydah and numerous Red-capped Lark. Excellent views were had of Pearl-breasted Swallow and Brown-throated Martin was common.
We left the area a little after 17h30 and were back in town just after 18h00. It had been a fairly quiet day's birding, no doubt due to the strong wind throughout. This certainly kept many of the smaller species from perching up and being more visible and no doubt also contributed to Rock Kestrel being the only raptor seen during the day. The final species total was 80, with two of these heard only.
For a full list of species from this trip, please
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,
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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
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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 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
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have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations with the
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We've even written two acclaimed guide
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