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January 28, 2013

Birding Cape Point Reserve: South Africa

Filed under: Birds,South Africa — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am


Cape Sugarbird

At the Southwest tip of Africa is the Cape Point. It is close to the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and although the climate can be moderate, the seas can be rough. Indeed the original name in Portuguese translated as Cape of Storms until the early spin doctors had it changed to Cape of Good Hope.Mammals are represented by the Caracal, Chacma Baboons, and a wide variety of bucks including the large Bontebok.


The bird species are spectacular. Ostriches roam about unconcerned by the many visitors, Orange Breasted Sunbird, Cape Bulbul and Cape Sugarbirds (all endemic to the south of South Africa), 4 species of Cormorants, and the endangered African Oystercatcher.Just outside the Reserve is a famous colony of Jackass or African Penguins at Simonstown.


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January 2, 2013

Birding De Hoop N.P.: South Africa

Filed under: Birds,South Africa — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am


Cape Mountain Zebra

Cape Mountain Zebra

This is a protected area of coastal dunes, and Lowland Fynbos. On the way, we stopped at Sir Lowrey’s Pass where we saw the fabulous Cape Rockjumper. We missed the other target endemic, Victorin’s Warbler, which had gone quiet.

In the farmlands leading to the reserve we saw Clapper Lark and the recently split Algulhas Long Billed Lark. Groups of Blue Crane could be seen in the fields, and a Lanner Falcon made a flyby.

Near the entrance to the reserve, a group of Wattled Starlings was found near a colony of Red Bishops. Both the Greater and Lesser Honeyguides were also in the area, and it was a special treat to see a Cape Griffon soaring overhead. Cape Mountain Zebra may be seen.

Common Fiscals were easily found in the Reserve, as well as a long distance view of a displaying Stanley’s Bustard. A Hoopoe wandered through one of the picnic area, and it was interesting to see the darker brown plumage of this race compared to the European race. It has been treated as a separate species, and may be again.


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