Nature Notes

September 11, 2008

Birding West Coast N.P.: South Africa

Filed under: Birds,South Africa — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Cape Francolin

Cape Francolin

Traveling north from Capetown, up the coast, you come to the West Coast N.P. ,has a varied habitat which at certain times of the year, can be a vast sea of flowers. There is a salt water lagoon which has a hide available. During our visit to the lagoon, we saw a good mix of wintering shorebirds including Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, and Little Stint. A lone African Fish Eagle watched from a tree along the shore while a group of noisy European Bee-Eaters made their presence known.

There is also a freshwater area with two hides which are excellent. On this day, a pair of African Spoonbills flew by, followed by an Osprey.

Even the restaurant had its birds. Rock Martin nested in the eaves while African Golden Weaver and Cape Francolin looked for a handout.

In a drier area of the park, there is a waterhole which is a magnet for birds. I could happily have set up my camera and stayed for hours. Present were Namaqua Doves, Yellow Canary, Cape Bulbul and a colony of Red Bishops. A pair of Black Bustards were seen, as well as Southern Penduline-Tits.

Driving farther north into an area of open fields, we saw a pair of Namaqua Sandgrouse, Capped Wheatear, Sickle Winged Chat as well as Cape Long Billed and Karoo Larks. Earlier in the day we had seen both Clapper and Long Billed Larks. The cap to a fine birding day.

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