PLETTENBERG BAY AND BITOU ESTUARY. 19TH FEBRUARY 2013
(This outing report first appeared in the April 2013 edition of the Lakes Bird Club Newsletter and is duplicated with the permission of the editor. - Ed.)
It was good that Mary Allan was able to join the other 6 members for the first part of the outing. We made out first stop at the small wetland next to Old Nick, where Mike Buckham, had shown us the Lazy Cisticola last year. It did not oblige but the Little Rush-warbler was in full voice and we had good views of African Dusky and Paradise Flycatchers and quite a few more. Before the first pond, we had good views of a pair of Cape Longclaws, which seemed to have a nest that they were provisioning. The only slightly unusual species we saw at the main ponds were a pair of Common Sandpipers, and we saw all the usual ducks. The best sight of the day was an adult Little Grebe giving its two chicks a piggy-back ride. Oswald Dittrich took this charming photo. We got to the estuary a bit late, as the tide had already moved into the grass, so very few waders were seen. However, the two target birds or the day Common Whimbrel and Grey Plover were conveniently perched together on a stump (Photo Howard Laycock). We saw a large flock of Yellow Canaries, which I do not recall having seen here before and the Levaillant’s Cisticolas were very confiding. There were very few birds at the Derbyshire Quarry and the pans along the Wittedrift road only added African Spoonbill and Kittlitz’s Plover to our list. We ended up having our lunch in the very pretty Cape Nature picnic site next to the Keurbooms River. 65 species in total were recorded for my atlas card.