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lmSA84 last won the day on June 19

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About lmSA84

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  1. @TonyQ - impressive list and photos! I'm not sure that I've seen all three pipits let alone photography them
  2. @xelas - the quality of these photos makes even LBJ's seem a like a bird of paradise. The Prinia and Tit-Babbler really standout.
  3. 322. Green Sandpiper, 5/7, Rye Meads I thought initially that this was a Common Sandpiper but I think the dark colouration and white spots on the back are diagnostic of a breeding Green Sandpiper.
  4. 321. Bearded Reedling, 13/7, Rainham Marshes Male Juveniles
  5. 320. Eurasian Hobby, 13/7, Rainham Marshes All EBC's but I'm terrible at BIF so I'll take it
  6. 319. Common Kingfisher, 5/7, Rye Meads
  7. 318. Cetti's Warbler, 13/07, Rainham Marshes It's an EBC but I've never got a photo of these small warblers before and I don't expect that I'll get another chance this year.
  8. @Dave Williams - now that makes sense! I was totally confused by that comment....even thought that there was sequence of Bitten photos that you're might to get that I somehow missed. I'll start with a few better shots of earlier postings - all taken at Rainham Marshes Goldfinch Western Marsh Harrier Common Tern
  9. @xelas beautiful photos as always!
  10. Lamberts Bay At this point our route may seem a bit confusing but I wanted to lead with Marrick, rather than going chronologically and this is the consequence. Following Cape Point we headed North, along the Western Coast to Clanwilliam and the Cederberg. For anyone heading up the West Coast I would recommend a stop in at Lamberts Bay for a Crayfish lunch ( yum yum!) and a quick peek at the Gannet Colony. Lamberts Bay is small fishing town on SA's west coast and is one of the hubs of South Africa's sadly rapidly declining Crayfish industry. Just outside of it's small harbour is a large Gannet colony, interspersed with seal haul outs and other seabirds. Cape Fur Seals Sandwich Terns, Swift Terns and Hartlaub's Gull The Gannet Colony can be approached on foot and has a large hide affording excellent views of the constant comings and goings Once your done with the Gannet's there's restaurant Isabella's just inside the small harbour where you can enjoy the local speciality.
  11. @kittykat23uk - A few thoughts for your consideration: 1. Cape Town - I replied to your question re. Cape Point in my TR so I won't repeat myself. The other two bird watching options that I would highlight in CT are Intaka Island and Rondevlei. Intaka Island is a very simple and easy walk around a natural marsh and would allow to tick-off a few of the "easys" and get an excellent view of malachite / pied kingfisher. It's not the most natural setting though and it's North East of where you are staying so I would only strongly recommend it if you're after good photos. Rondevlei is a bigger natural reserve which can be a bit hit and miss but it's a viable alternative to Strandfontein. Both Rondevlei and Strandfontein get rare migrants to its worth checking SA Rare Bird News's Google Group to check if anything exciting is about. 2. Cape Rockjumper - I've never seen the Cape variant but my understanding is Rooi-Els is your best shot 3. Vineyards - On the way to Swellendam you will pass Paul Cluver , this is a good vineyard, not far off the N2, with a good range of types and a tasting room, open daily excluding Sunday. In Cape Town I would recommend considering Steenberg (the wine is fine but the setting is excellent) and Cape Point (one of SA's best white wine vineyards and not far from where you're staying). 4. Mokala / Kamfers - my understanding is that the Flamingos are there year round but I didn't visit so can not confirm. Mokala can be done in a full day and I recommend entering at the main / Mosu gate and leaving via Lilydale. Mosu / Matopi area has the Rhino & Buffalo and Lilydale the Sable & Roan. 5. Marrick - I can only go on my experiences but we saw Black-footed cats on both drives so you may not need to go on a drive at Benfontein as well. We didn't visit Benfontein but I spoke to a couple that had and they said the birding was excellent for grassland birds (Larks, Pipits, Francolin, Falcons etc.). 6. KTP - My experience was that: a. There are ~9 cheetah in two groups between Montrose and Mata Mata. b. The best spot to see AWC in the day is the trees between the Sitsas and the Dalkeith waterholes c. The night / pre-dawn drives are only possible from Twee Riverien and are good for AWC, Bat-eared Fox and Cape Fox d. There is a roosting Barn Owl in a weaver nest on the right hand side of the road (when heading to Nossob) between the Leeuwdril and Rooiputs waterholes - if you go on the game ranger drive they will show you it - assuming it's still there in summer
  12. @michael-ibk - fantastic collection! I've also run out my "likes" but can you comfortably assume that I liked them all
  13. @kittykat23uk - I think that with a few hours you should hopefully be successful - although the park is light on game so I'll let you judge your options. Other than the lighthouse there are two areas that I would highlight: 1. The Cape of Good Hope Car Park - i.e. the turning circle where the Cape of Good Hope (COGH) sign is - this area is right on the shoreline, is excellent for seabirds (terns, cormorants, gulls, sanderling), Cape Fur Seal and on the way down from the Cape Point car park you should check the rocky outcrops for Ground Woodpecker 2. Olifantbos - you will pass the turning for Olifantbos on the way to COGH. The route from the turning takes you into the interior of the park and then tacks along the shoreline to a car park. On the route we saw Mountain Zebra and then at the car park we twice saw a large herd of Eland. The birding around the car park is also quite good with Bokmakerie, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Grassbird, Ostrich and the usuals (Familar Chat, Swallows, Seabirds and Cape Bunting). For Bontebok you probably need to approach the Olifontbos Cottage which is at the end of a tarred road, past the car park. If walking it's probably about 20mins one way on the tarred road. Once you get close to the cottage, look on the hills surrounding it as the Bontebok were often there. If not, you are permitted to walk on the beach in front of the cottage (it's part an overnight hiking trail) and you will notice a small sand dune blocking your view of the valley. If you walk about 100m along the beach you will see a game trail in the sand leading between two small sand dunes - this game trail leads directly to the small waterhole (I don't know if it drys up in summer!) where the game (Bontebok, Ostrich, Baboons and Eland) would occasionally congregate. Finally, it's also worth checking along the fence line of the park if you coming from the Kommetjie direction as I've sent Bontebok and Grey Rhebok along that section. Please note it's probably about a 30min drive (given speed restrictions) from the Cape of Good Hope Car Park to the Olifantbos car park.
  14. Storms River The last pearl in the necklace is Storm' River and arguably it's the most beautiful - certainly it's the most popular! If you do visit, I highly recommend the 6km Waterfall trail - it takes you along the first 3km of one of the world's greatest hiking trails - the Otter trail. The full trail is 45km and is only permissible to those who have been fortunate enough to win a place in a lottery (such is the demand for places!). Given we only had a morning and that I was carrying my daughter we didn't go on the Waterfall trail but instead went on the Mouth Trail - a short 2km round trip on a wooden boardwalk. It ends at the eponymous Storms River mouth. If you're feeling energetic you can walk up hill behind the bridge. Be warned though - it's steep and with a baby plus a 200-500 lens it almost killed me. Still the views and birdlife were good. View on the way up. View from the top Sombre Greenbul Double Collared Sunbird
  15. Regardless of which route you take around the headland it coalesces at a grand beach with the resident breeding herring gulls and a haul out for other sea birds. The Herring Gull colony is on an thin spit of fingernail rock reaching out from the headland Immature Gulls

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