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.
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!).
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.
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.
I would love to hear from anyone who can explain these circles in the sand on the banks of the estuary!
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 ….
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.
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.
And mud, glorious mud…
Viv von der Heyden