About 30 birding enthusiasts from the Overberg as well as from Cape Town, Stellenbosch and surrounds set of at sparrow from Stanford  this morning on a birding expedition to  Die Mond via the sewage works outside Napier and, on our return, via Voelvlei  near Elim, homewards.

 

BIrders at Die Mond on a Walker Bay Bird Fair outing . Photo: Viv of Scenic South

BIrders at Die Mond on a Walker Bay Bird Fair outing .

As I do not have a fancy camera nor a vast knowledge of our birds, this pictorial account of the outing aims to capture the atmosphere and the charm of the areas we visited. (I hope to receive images of the birds that we saw from some of the participants!).

BIrders at Die Mond on a Wlaker Bay Bird Fair outing . Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Lowering skies and low tide at Die Mond

En route to Napier we were observed by a number of Steppe Buzzards and a great Yellow Billed Kite in flight. In turn, a number of Denham’s Bustards were observed by us in the fields. The sewage works were home to their water-loving cousins of smaller ilk – Three-banded and Crowned Plovers, Red-billed and Cape Teals, the African Black Duck and the Malachite Kingfisher, to name a few. The very brief and unrepeated sighting of a Painted Snipe was a source of great excitement for the birding fundis  as was the sighting of a “lifer”, a.k.a a Terek Sandpiper, at Die Mond. Nedless to say , I saw neither! I also had my camera frozen on a wrong setting so cannot offer you a virtual visit to Napier Sewage Works. Tut.

The estuary and mouth of the Heunignes River at Die Mond. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

The estuary and mouth of the Heunignes River at Die Mond.

Die Mond, a Cape Nature Reserve between Arniston and Struisbaai, is beautiful. Crystal turquoise waters run from the sea into the estuary at the mouth of the Heuningnes River which is lined by wooden walkways and old umbrella-ed milkwood trees.

Circles in the sand at Die Mond. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Circles in the sand at Die Mond. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

I would love to hear from anyone who can explain these circles in the sand on the banks of the estuary!

Sand circles and flamingos at Die Mond. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

More sand hubcaps

Stately Greater Flamingos balanced in a line on one leg, a threesome prancing and dancing on two in a colourful ballet. Caspian, Grey, Common, Sandwich and Little Terns consorted on the bank along with plovers and gulls and sandpipers  ….

Greater Flamingos at Die Mond. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Graceful Greater Flamingos at Die Mond.

 

Flamingos at Die Mond. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

En route home we stopped at a very dry dam between Bredasdorp and Baardskeerdersbos, where  a flutter of white would reveal a flock of avocets or egrets, while overhead two juvenile Fish Eagles  kept their beady eyes on things.

Birding in the Overberg. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

A flurry of what look like origami birds

Thank you to the experienced birders who shared their knowledge and their telescopic lenses with those of us less experienced. It was a most enjoyable day out in the countryside with a lovely group of people.

Walker Bay Bird Fair outing - Near Bredasdorp. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

A stiff breeze, a drying dam – but birds were still to be seen.

A peaceful piece of the Overberg - in need of rain! Photo: Viv of Scenic South

A peaceful piece of the Overberg – in need of rain!

 

Walker Bay Bird Fair outing - Near Bredasdorp. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Textures …

And mud, glorious mud…

Walker Bay Bird Fair outing - Near Bredasdorp. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Mud, glorious mud.

Viv von der Heyden