TBC Camp to Jamaka in the Cederberg
8 September 2017

29 TBC Members, went to Jamaka Organic farm, near Algeria in the Cederberg for a wonderful weekend getaway.  At the top of the Nieuwoud’s Pass, overlooking the valley below one could hike 1km straight down, or drive 10km along the road!  The Cederberg mountains were magical, but unfortunately a lot of the fynbos had burnt this past year. We stayed in 7 cottages and a few members set up camp along the lovely river camping site. 

On Saturday morning we set off via Algeria, along the Uitkyk Pass and meandered along to Dwarsrivier and the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve. The rock formations were spectacular. We stopped for a walk at Lot's Wife, and enjoyed lovely spring flowers along the route. We heard calls of Grey-winged Francolin and Bokmakierie, and saw many Cape Bunting. 

We stopped to look at the rock art of ancient elephant, which has been well preserved. Most of the group had really good sightings of a pair of Mountain Wheatear in the parking area of this site. Our destination was the 'Stadsaal Caves' and the incredible rock formations surrounding them. We could all marvel at these special creations, and the cheer size of many of these gigantic rocks. (Do view the lovely pictures on the Tygerberg Bird Club Facebook page). 

The return trip to Jamaka was as nice, once more passing some wonderful scenic landscapes.  Birds seen along the way included Cape Siskin, Cape Sugarbird, Malachite and Orange-breasted Sunbird. Each day Verreaux's Eagle was seen. Their effortless flight up along the mountainside impressed us all. Saturday evening we all got together for a group 'braai'. Lesley kindly did the birdlist, with lots of backchat and laughs from the group. The stars that night were incredible – Kevin taking some nice time-delay pictures.

On Sunday morning the group did a nice walk through the camping area – all along the river. Lots of Common Waxbill and Sunbirds were seen. Cape Grassbird, Booted as well as a Verreaux's Eagle were seen well. This was a weekend of wonderful landscapes, fewer birds than expected – due to the widespread fires and drought. Our species list was 93 for the weekend, with the list starting and ending at Citrusdal Pass. A very nice weekend was had by us all.

Brigid Crewe