South Coast bird trip

Following our trip to the West Coast, Heiko and I spent 6-7 January on the Cape South Coast.


Our first stop was Rooi-Els where we found Orange-breasted Sunbird, Familiar Chats, Cape Siskins, Grassbird, and other species. Fortunately we also found Cape Rockjumpers – 2 or 3 were hopping around the slopes and occasionally chasing each other. We enjoyed watching them for 20 minutes or so.

Cape Rockjumper
Cape Rockjumper (ringed)


Cape Grassbird posing well


Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

Our next stop was Harold Porter Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay, where we ticked Paradise Flycatcher, Black Sawwing Swallow, Cape Canary, Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Batis, Speckled Mousebird, and others.

We drove to De Mond Nature Reserve, where we spent the afternoon birding. En route we saw many Common Buzzards, some Black Kites, and other birds. We also saw a Yellow Mongoose.

De Mond Nature Reserve

De Mond Nature Reserve was full of the usual waders, including Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Kittlitz Plover, and we also added White-fronted Plover to our list. Terns included Caspian, and Swift. There was a single Black Oystercatcher and Greater Flamingo. Aerial foragers were Barn Swallow and White-rumped Swift.

White-fronted Plover
White-fronted Plover


De Mond Nature Reserve
De Mond Nature Reserve


De Mond road to Bredasdorp

Leaving De Mond we found Denham’s Bustard, first a male, and a bit further a female. We had a very pleasant stay in Bredasdorp. Common garden birds included Cape and House Sparrow, Cape Robin-chat, and Red-faced Mousebird.

Denham's Bustard
Denham’s Bustard, female


Bredasdorp to De Hoop

Along the way to De Hoop lots of birds were seen: Blue Cranes, Red-capped Lark, variety of waterbirds at a small dam. Two special birds were added – Southern Black Korhaan and Wattled Starling (with Pied Starling).

Wattled Starling
Wattled Starling flock


Southern Black Korhaan
Southern Black Korhaan


De Hoop Nature Reserve

In De Hoop Nature Reserve we spent the morning overlooking the scenic river near the Visitor’s Centre. A flock of White Pelicans arrived one by one, spectacularly landing on the water below us. Other waterbirds included Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, ducks, Ruff and other waders, and Great Crested Grebe.

We added Southern Tchagra, Long-billed Crombec, Hamerkop and other species on the river walk. Two young Spotted Eagle-Owls entertained us under the fig trees.

Southern Tchagra
Southern Tchagra


The long road home

As we left De Hoop, Heiko spotted a group of Cape Vultures sitting in a field. We had run out of time to visit Potberg, so this was a fortunate addition to our list. On the farm road to the N2, we recorded more larks, Cape Crow, and other birds, including 3 pairs of Karoo Korhaan. Along the N2 our final new bird was an adult African Harrier-Hawk soaring above.

Cape Vulture
Cape Vulture
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Dieter is a qualified Bird Ringer and trainer, registered bird guide, and Weaver expert. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.