We're holding a raptor walk in Newlands Forest on Saturday
14th March at 7h30am in conjunction with the Friends
of Newlands Forest.
It is an open event and all are welcome to attend. It is an opportunity
for both beginners and more experienced birders to watch soaring
raptors with a group of experts along to help with identification.
We'll walk for about 20 minutes to an open vantage point above the
forest where we will set our telescopes up and watch for soaring
birds. We never quite know what we will see, but previous outings
have seen the rare European Honey Buzzard, African
Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene), Booted Eagle,
Peregrine, Forest Buzzard, Steppe
Buzzard, Black andRufous-chestedSparrowhawks, African Goshawk,Verreaux's Eagle, Jackal Buzzard
and Rock Kestrel. Being mid-March, some of the
migrants may have started to head north already, but the exact departure
time of the buzzards is not known. Resident passerines in the forest
include Swee Waxbill, Chaffinch,
Cape Siskin and Forest Canary.
We'll meet at the the main gate for Newlands Forest (boom below
the helicopters at the Newlands Forest Station at 07h30). From the
Newlands Ave/M3 junction, travel about 700m towards UCT and take
the signed road to the left. The outing usually lasts until about
For a trip report from a previous outing, please scroll down.
by Callan Cohen, posted
on CapeBirdNet and SABirdNet on 19 February 2007
Honey Buzzards in Newlands Forest
Here is a short trip report from the joint
"Friends of Newlands Forest"-"Cape Bird Club"-"University
of Cape Town" raptor walk on Sunday (in Newlands Forest, on
the eastern slopes of Table Mountain).
The highlights were 9 species of raptor
observed in less than 3 hours, and watching the antics of two Honey
Buzzards (local rarities) for close to an hour while they
flew above: twisting, turning and soaring to avoid being harassed
by other small raptors. After a short introduction at 7h00,
we walked up towards the raptor view point at Newlands Forest (the
same place now for four years running; I've afraid it's very difficult
to describe exactly where it is as it involves a bit of bundu-bashing).
The first raptor was a juvenile Black Sparrowhawk
The first Honey Buzzard put in an appearance shortly after 8h00,
soaring above the forest against the cliffs of Newlands Ravine -
and being variously mobbed by Rock Kestrel and
Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk. While we were watching
this, a second Honey Buzzard cruised low over our
heads from directly behind us - giving everyone close up views of
the plumage. Peregrine Falcon and a pale phase
Booted Eagle were also in the vicinity (as was
a Jackal Buzzard). Some Steppe Buzzards
put in an appearance near the end, with a Forest Buzzard
at the very end in the car park at 10h00.
Other birds seen were Chaffinch (introduced), Swee
Waxbill and Cape Siskin. The previous
week, I also heard Lemon Dove and Olive
Woodpecker in Newlands Forest, at the raptor observation
Thanks to Patricia Fraser and Jane von Witt for organising the walk,
Michael Mills for coleading and to Jonathan Schrire for his great
photos of the Honey Buzzards.
If you'd like to go on our mailing list for future walks, please
send me your email address.
All the best,
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