TBC Camp at Kuifkopvisvanger

On 17th February 24 TBC Members went on a lovely camp to Kuifkopvisvanger, near Velddrif. The cottages are along the Berg River and at low tide we were able to enjoy the Flamingo and waders on our doorstep. A Fish-Eagle, Booted Eagle and Osprey were seen briefly along the river. 
Early on Saturday morning we set off to the Kliphoek salt pans along a very sandy road. Linda 'R' nearly got stuck but luckily the men in the car behind her could push her out safely. New rules now mean we had to walk around these salt pans – no driving allowed! Wonderful views were had of a pair of dainty Red-Necked Phalarope. The one bird was feeding round and round a pole, spinning in their unique way they do.
We were grateful for the use of Rodney and Ralph's scopes, comparing Swift, Sandwich and a 'little' Tern on some poles. We could see the black 'head-phones' well on the smaller bird, to then identify it as a White-Winged Tern in non-breeding plumage. (This bird breeds in the Palaearctic region –  surprise to me!) 
Over the weekend good views were had of Common, Marsh and Curlew Sandpiper. Greenshank, Ringed Plover and Little Stint were plentiful along the river. Small numbers of Chestnut-Banded and Grey Plover, Ruff, Sanderling, Whimbrel and Bar-Tailed Godwit were also seen well. 
Both Greater and Lesser Flamingo were always feeding in front of our cottages. Groups of Spoonbill and Pelican made good use of the fluctuating tides to feed. We visited Bokkom-laan in Velddrif, as well as the Laaiplek harbour, where large numbers of Cape Cormorant congregate along the harbour wall.  
Bokmakierie and Karoo Scrub-Robin were amongst the bushbirds seen in good numbers. The highlight for many was seeing a few Cape Penduline Tit really close-up on our walk around the pans, near Velddrif. A communal braai was had at 'Bleshoender' house on the Saturday evening, where many a good story was shared. The strong wind that night gave those camping some trying moments during the night. Tents nearly blowing away.
A good weekend camp was held, at this lovely birding getaway. We saw 103 bird species.
Brigid Crewe