Happening on the 25th October 2018

Steve Peck recently did a “recce” to this wine estate and came away very impressed. See his brief report with some images below. It was decided to postpone the visit to Kirstenbosch scheduled for 23 October to February and replace it with a visit to Zoetendal. This will happen on Thursday 25 October – the water levels are now optimal for birding, the migrants are arriving and the cuckoos are active and spring is in the air.
Keep in mind that those not wanting to hike too far can bird around the estate or relax in the hide.

DATE: Thursday 25 October 2018.
TIME: We will meet at the parking area of the Eastcliff Spar at 07:00 from where transport will be arranged. A petrol levy of R75.00 will apply if you catch a lift. Those going to Zoetendal directly can meet us in the parking area of the winery at 08:30 – it is roughly 2 km outside Elim travelling east along the R317 towards Agulhas.
WHAT TO BRING ALONG: The normal birding stuff, protection against the sun, comfortable walking shoes and money for coffee and something to eat. Some of you will remember that we had a lovely lunch there some time ago when we were returning from an outing to De Mond.
RSVP: Steve Peck at or cell 081 817 3223.


















Zoetendal Wine Estate – Elim

Yesterday I visited the Zoetendal Wine Estate situated just outside Elim on the R317.

This established winery which sits on the banks of the Nuwejaars River already has an established bird hide close by, and the owners have just completed a wooden bridge over the river leading to two small dams and wetlands.

The reason for my visit was to talk to the owner to see if we could host a bird club outing to his establishment.

I had a few minutes until my meeting so took a walk through the vines and wandered down to the bird hide….

Although it was almost midday, there were great sightings in the vines of Cape Canary, African Stonechats (complete with this year’s brood!), Cape Wagtails and Cape Weavers.

Down at the hide, Red-billed Teal and Egyptian geese sat on the river, Southern Boubou and Little Rush Warblers scurried around the reedbeds whilst Common Waxbills, Malachite Sunbirds and Reed Cormorants flew around the banks.

All around the hide swooping low were White-throated and Greater-striped Swallows and White-rumped swifts.

Next I visited the wetlands area of the estate and sightings of Crowned and Blacksmith Plovers were made, both Jackal Buzzard and Yellow-billed Kites flew low overhead, whilst African Pipit, Capped Wheatear and Yellow Bishop were all spotted.

Considering the “late in the day” time and the fact I was on a “fact” finding mission I was really impressed with the potential of the estate as a great birding destination!

Then to cap it all off upon returning to the farm stall I discovered that they served the most delicious coffee and home-made snacks, and had I had time there was even their estate produced wine to sample! Some you will remember that we stopped there for lunch after a visit to De Mond some years ago and it was outstanding!

I spoke to the owner and the following was agreed upon: As there is no circular route to be able to drive around, we agreed that we could park our cars of road at the start of the wetland area and can walk etc for about 1km to bird this area.

Then we could return and drive the half km to the farm restaurant and then walk down to the bird hide on the river, and then around from there across a river bridge to an area that has 2 small dams. The total distance walking would be around a combined 4kms, or people could just stay at the hide if they wanted?

Both areas are great for birding and think it is a great opportunity to get the club member's into somewhere new and different?

The only criteria to this access is that member's make use of the farm stall for a few cups of coffee and snacks (they even serve beer!) as a thank you for the access.



































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