Birding on the West Coast

Helen and I have just returned after spending a week staying in a cottage at Dwarskersbos. The small coastal village is twelve km north of the Berg River mouth and is ideally situated for birding on that section of the coast.

The salt marshes upstream of Velddrif were alive with migrant waders on their annual feeding spree during our summer – also plenty of resident species as well. There were literally thousands of flamingos –  both Greater and Lesser as well as hundreds of Black-necked Grebes.

Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Common Greenshanks aplenty. Also a solitary hungry Pelican hopefully patrolling in front of the Bokkom fishery further upstream.

Of interest is the boardwalk and picnic area at Velddrif which has finally been repaired. 

We spent one day in the hides at Geelbek on the Langebaan Lagoon. One has to time the tides well to ensure that the little waders move close to you.

Between the Berg River and Geelbek we saw large numbers of the smaller waders. Three-banded, Kitlitz’s, White Fronted and Common Ringed Plovers, Curlew and Marsh Sandpipers, Sanderlings, Little Stints and Grey Plovers. And a real surprise! A number of Ruddy Turnstones. No idea what they were doing there because there were certainly no stones on the sand banks.

Amongst the larger birds seen were Whimbrel, Black Harrier and great views of a Black Korhaan.  

There was the usual selection of Raptors – Jackal Buzzard, Fish Eagle, Common Buzzard, Yellow-Billed Kite, Black-Shouldered Kite and Rock Kestrel.

Also a nice sighting on a farm dam were a number of Whiskered Terns.

One day we drove northwards to Verlorenvlei. On the way we passed Rocherpan but it was totally dry. The Vlei had very little water and not many birds. We crossed to the northern side of the river and traveled inland a bit. There was quite a bit of water inland but no birds!  

Nevertheless, it was a really enjoyable and productive week and a nice break from home. Our Bird Count was 91 species.

A few pics attached.

Mike and Helen Mac Naught 

2 comments on “Birding on the West Coast

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