TBC Camp to Grootvadersbos - 14 October 2022

Birds, critters, rain and more rain in Grootvadersbos

Honeywood farm, next to Grootvadersbos is always popular for a weekend away and 20 TBC members joined in anticipation of a good weekend’s birding on 14 October. We knew that rain was forecasted for Sunday – we just didn’t know how much!

On Saturday morning at 08:00 (the agreed rendezvous time), the rain and mist were so heavy that there was no way we good venture out for birding. We all congregated at the large house with our coffee and packed picnic baskets. When it seemed like the weather is clearing a bit, it was agreed to attempt a walk in the forest and we set-off. It started to pour with rain again before we even got into the forest, but we pushed on – seeing that we were wet anyway! And then we got really wet. But nobody wanted to turn around and miss out on seeing something good. With the rain, of course the birds weren’t that active, but we still managed to see amongst others: Bar-throated Apalis, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Sombre Greenbul, Cape Robin-chat, Southern Boubou, Neddicky, Olive Thrush, etc. After an hour or so, most of us were drenched and we turned around for home, dry clothes and warm drinks!

Later in the afternoon it cleared-up a bit again and Brian with a few “die-hards” attempted a forest walk again. The rest of us, wandered around the Honeywood farm homestead and enjoyed the plants, scenery, and the odd bird here and there.

A communal braai was planned for the evening and luckily, Kevin and kie managed to keep the fire going for all to get their meat done. As always, lots of “gesellige kuier” ensued and the dreary weather was long forgotten.

Sunday morning saw a break in the weather and we set-off for a forest walk again. This time, without getting drenched! We managed to get a few hours birding, with the highlight for everybody. a good sighting of the Olive Bush-shrike – for most a “lifer” (me included).

Feeling a bit better - now that we had some birding under the belt, we returned to the chalets for breakfast and booking out.

We all dispersed home, feeling rejuvenated after a great weekend. Kevin headed home to Durbanville with his “magnificent seven” girls in the minibus and they managed to have a distanced sightings of Denham’s Bustard along the road. On the way home, the girls in Karen Small’s car were enthralled with a great sighting of an African Harrier Hawk devouring it’s kill in a tree next to the road. There were feathers flying in all directions while a crow was also harassing the hawk.

Dalene Vanderwalt