BIRDLIFE PLETT OUTING TO BITOU RIVER VLEI IN FEBRUARY 2014
Posted on the 26th April 2014
(This outing report originally appeared in the APRIL 2014 edition of BIRDLIFE PLETTENBERG BAY'S newsletter. -Ed.)
BIRD OUTINGS – BITOU RIVER VLEI - FEBRUARY
As has become the norm, the January outing had to be postponed due to rain. However, on 1 February a small group of birders, again under threat of adverse weather, gathered on Pierre van Zyl's farm on the Bitou River vlei. This turned out to be one of the most successful outings in recent times. Under the leadership of our resident bird guide Gareth Robbins, we set off across the vlei, quickly spotting Yellow Billed Ducks and Cape Teal on the open river section. These sightings were soon followed by Yellow Bishops and Cape Longclaw in the reeds and grass respectively. In the meantime, the traffic overhead
was considerable and we were hard pressed to identify birds positioning themselves for their daily schedule.
Walking towards the tree line, numerous birds emerged to catch the first warming rays of sunlight. Cape White-eyes, Dusky Flycatcher and Paradise Flycatcher, Fork Tailed Drongo, Cape Turtle Doves, Red Eyed Doves and to top it all, the indisputed highlight of the day.... a very fine display from a Tambourine Dove. This was followed by sightings of Amethyst Sunbird and Southern Double Collared Sunbird.
Amongst a total of 41 birds, Blue Cranes, Jackal Buzzard, Olive Woodpecker, Pied Kingfishers and Knysna Turaco all displayed well.
This was a most productive venue presenting the best of our area's birding and with a delightful picnic spot under Milkwood trees on the river bank; it is destined to become a favoured spot of the Plettenberg Bay Bird Club.