Outing to Rooisand

On Thursday 1 July there will be an outing to Rooisand. Members should meet at the Onrus Trading Post at 8:00 am, however, it looks as if the weather may be against us. You should also be very wary of the present Covid situation and you will need to wear a mask and ensure social distancing throughout the walk. With this in mind, please think carefully before deciding to travel together in cars. For those who do not know, John Saunders is in hospital with Covid. Please keep him and Irene in your thoughts!

Outing to Rooi Els and Harold Porter

We (there were only nine members present) started our birding trip with a visit to Rooi Els in the hope of seeing the local specials, and boy, we were not disappointed! We immediately saw Cape Rock Thrush and then a great sighting of Sentinal Rock Thrush. Of course, there were the usual Orange-breasted Sunbirds and Cape Buntings, and then we suddenly saw a Cape Rockjumper in the distance. Further searching revealed a few more and they were quite engaging and did not mind coming closer. A juvenile even came out onto the track near to us and approached to within a metre or two!

We thought we had seen everything, but then came the Ground Woodpeckers and we saw around three of them hopping about in the middle distance. It was a wonderful start to our day, and we set out for the Harold Porter Gardens feeling quite buoyed up.

At Harold Porter we had our tea in the car park and then started our walk. Things only got interesting as we entered the section up towards the waterfall. Here we saw an African Black Duck, and then Dusky Flycatchers and Cape Batis. Then, lo and behold, a Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher came and displayed in the branches above us! What a great sighting!! On the way out we had good interaction with a flock of Swee Waxbills, rounding off a wonderful morning, during which we recorded only 30 species, but the specials made it very worthwhile. It was one of the best outings I have ever been on with the HBC and those who stayed in bed really missed something!!


Walking around the Jeep Track


This morning six of us set out from the Visitors’ Centre for a walk around the Jeep Track. First off came the climb up Adder’s Ladder – all in the cool early morning shade – so we were glad to come out into some sunshine at the top. Next came the trek along the Jeep Track towards the Vogelgat fence, with a stop along the way for tea and to search for winter orchids (we were not successful).

This section was fruitful from a birding perspective as we put up a Hottentot Buttonquail – a very exciting bird to see! Later we heard the unique call of the Victorin’s Warbler and there they were – about four of them close to the path and in full voice. We saw them a couple of time quite clearly as they flitted through to fynbos undergrowth.

The views all along the way were…

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