Darling Hills Road  3 May 2017

A small group of members left just after 07:30 from Oxford Street, Durbanville. Travelling along Vissershok Road, we encountered heavy traffic from the Contermanskloof intersection, taking about 25 minutes for the 4 km to the N7.

At about 08:40 we began birding along Darling Hills road. The countryside is very dry and, although sunny, a cool breeze was blowing from the South-east. Initial sightings included  Black-shouldered Kite, Cape Sparrow, Rock Kestrel and Blue Crane. A Bokmakierie was calling in the bush to the South. A little further along Red-capped Lark, Capped Wheatear, African Pipit and Pied Starling were found. Up on the ridge a large group of Helmeted Guineafowl, about 240, were running in a westerly direction.

Whilst there were few sightings along the road to Groote Post, we did see Red-eyed Dove, Crowned Lapwing, Brimstone Canary and Yellow Canary. At the entrance to Groote Post Wine Estate there was a raptor in a tree. Much debate ensued, with some calling “Booted Eagle” and others in the “unsure” camp. When the bird flew off, however, it turned out to be a young Jackal Buzzard. On the way to the parking area we passed Springbuck and Bontebok.

On the Estate, the road to the dam turned up Speckled Mousebird, White-backed Mousebird, Cape Bulbul and Speckled Pigeon. The dam, being the only source of water in the vicinity, was a magnet for birds. Species present included Yellow-billed Duck, Black-winged Stilt, Cape Shoveler, Common Moorhen, Three-banded Plover and, the highlight, Black Crake. Beyond the dam the arid countryside yielded Karoo Prinia, Karoo Scrub Robin and Cape Canary. Several Eland were seen in the bush on the ridge.

The bird count for the morning was 57, not bad for the area and time of year. Thanks are due to Kevin Drummond-Hay, the leader of the outing.

Rodney and Anke Gray

 


STRANDFONTEIN BIRD SANCTUARY OUTING - 24th JULY

What a lovely morning it turned out to be. 

12 TBC members arrived at the Poo Ponds at Strandfontein to a most glorious sunrise. Not a breath of wind and the glossy water surfaces reflected the breaking dawn.

A massive flock of flamingoes passed overhead in the early morning light, there silhouettes spread across the sky as the sun peeped over the horizon.

The weather held up and in the autumn sunshine we recorded 54 species including Pochard and White- backed duck.

 Sadly we did not find the White-faced whistling ducks. 

During the morning we received a message from the Boss, reminding us to look for the Knob-billed duck on P7. 

African purple gallinules and Black Shouldered Kites were all over with at least three flyby's by Marsh Harriers.

Following the traditional tea break at the picnic site on S8, entertained by noisy sunbirds and a very curious Grey Heron, bird list completed, happy birders made their way home having, once again, enjoyed Strandfontein's Poo Pond hospitality.


Kevin Drummond-Hay