TBC – Outing to Tinie Versfeld and Darling Farms – 25 September 2021

13 TBC Members braved the very cold and wet weather, and met at Tinie Versfeld at 08:30. On the
way there Frank Sokolic kindly pulled two cars out – that had got stuck in deep water at the bottom
of the Vissershok Road. Luckily Judy and Brian wisely turned around to go the long way around, to
get onto the N7. Between 52 and 70mm of rain fell in the greater Durbanville area two days earlier.
Tinie Versfeld Reserve had running streams along all the paths. Lots of laughs while we tried to skip
the furrows, and not slip. Some of us wisely had water boots on. Brian and Kevin heard and followed
an African snipe flying by. No luck for the rest of us. Cloud Cisticola were calling and displaying, and
as always took quite a bit of work to actually see properly. Ducks and one lonely Greater Flamingo
were seen on the dam. It was very full and overflowing. Spur-winged Geese were seen – and one can
see the group had not been out birding much due to Covid – as their size impressed all!! Before
leaving great views were had of Pearl-breasted Swallow, sitting on a fence. Bokmakierie calls were
heard, and Red-capped larks were also seen well. This reserve promised to be spectacular in 2 weeks
time.
Next we enjoyed seeing orchids at Duckitt Nurseries in Darling. Due to rain – we had an early brunch
under carports. Next we went to see the Hamerkop nests. The old 50 year old nest and tree had
fallen down in a storm 3 months back. Four new nest were quickly built. No luck at seeing the birds!
Klaas’s Cuckoo was heard only. Rock Martins gave good views. They nest in the pack shed of the
Nursery. Yellow-billed Kite’s had recently returned, and gave the Pied Crows some competition. Next
we drove around the flower reserve, enjoying the ‘early’ flowers. Clapper larks were heard, but as
yet not displaying. Capped wheatear, Stonechat and Large-billed Lark were seen well.
We ended an enjoyable day out at Groote Post Farm. Blue crane were seen well on a field, amongst
beautiful daisies. Mousebirds, Drongo, Chestnut-vented Warbler and many waterbirds were seen on
a lovely walk past the bird hide and up the hills. It was so nice to be out in Nature, and leave
suburbia behind. We saw 70 bird species, and with warmer weather this number would easily be
higher. Thank you to the Duckitt and Pentz families for giving us permission to enjoy birding on their
lovely properties.
Brigid