TBC – CAMP to VELDDRIF – 11 to 13 March 2022

 

Helene, Monty and I left Cape Town at 1h30 – to be ahead of the Friday traffic leaving the City. Upon getting to Velddrif, we went for a recce at Bokkomlaan, and to assess the tides – which were very high. Next we visited Jan at Kuifkopvisvanger Farm – to plan the next day’s visit. On to our lovely accommodation, at Kliphoek River Resort. This farm has many waterside cottages, and our group unpacked, and enjoyed a wonderful sunset at the River’s edge. Some of the Ladies were spoilt to a ‘harder (mullet) braai’ by Pierre van Zyl. These fish were caught in the river that afternoon.

 

Saturday morning – Jan Kotze waited for us at the turnoff to the Kliphoek Salt Pans. It had rained 5mm the previous evening, and he warned us that the salt cakes onto our tyres, and driving is dangerous. Following him – our tyres were already slipping! With his help we could only go on a few of the roads. Nobody felt like landing in the salt pans!! Jan helped us locate the Red-necked Phalarope! What a joy to watch this bird’s feeding frenzy! Chestnut-banded plovers were seen well.

 

Next we went birding at the harbour at Laaiplek. A Trawler was rolling up its net. We were all amazed to see the incredible length of this net – just more and more kept on being loaded onto a truck. It shocks one to know that this is just one of the huge nets used by each of the trawlers fishing out at sea. No wonder fish are getting scarce!!

 

Then we went onto Kuifkop farm to bird. What a joy!! Western Barn Owl was seen well, in a  palm tree and here our birding list for the weekend really grew. Saturday evening a nice braai was held back at Kliphoek,  with everyone sharing the best sightings they had had that day. 

 

The weather was not great on Sunday, but we dressed warmly and went on the Cracklin’ Rosy boat, on a river cruise. This really is a lovely way to see many birds, on little islands in the river and at their roosts. We were happy to find a Bar-tailed Godwit amongst the waders on a small island. We were all amazed at the large number of Pied Kingfishers seen on this trip. They flourish along the Berg River, and we saw large numbers of these birds. Pelicans entertained us, and water birds were enjoyed by all. This was a lovely way to end the weekend. Total bird species seen was 94 species. A good time was had by all.

 

Brigid Crewe