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BIRDLIFE PLETT OUTING TO QUARRY LAKES FARM ALONG THE WITTEDRIFT ROAD

Posted on the 26th April 2014

(This outing report originally appeared in the APRIL 2014 edition of BIRDLIFE PLETTENBERG BAY'S newsletter. -Ed.)

Quarry Lakes Farm – Bob Forbes
Every so often, in my search for a new destination for our monthly outings, I am pleasantly surprised by the excellent venues available for bird watchers. Some of these properties are privately owned farms and estates while others, like the lakes and estuaries, are state owned, often managed by Cape Nature Conservation. In addition, there are privately owned bird sanctuaries like Radical Raptors, the Plett Bird Sanctuary and let's not forget Nature's Valley with its acres of fynbos, forests and river. Altogether, a most fortunate and enviable situation in which our members find themselves.

I was in search of a new venue when a member directed my attention to Quarry Lake Farm on the Stofpad Road near Wittedrift. It turned out to be a gem of a birding destination. Not only did it present a delightful coffee shop with very special treats, it also offered two walks with very different habitat....a river walk with a very dense afromontane forest on the one side and a walk through a less dense edge forest.
The twenty-three members, who participated in this April bird outing to Quarry Lake Farm, felt a slight nip in the air which reminded us that most migrant birds had probably left the area. Because of the size of the group, we split up with Geoff McIleron and Bob leading the two parties in opposite directions. After a coffee break, they swopped routes which of course meant that not everybody saw the same birds. Geoff's group was especially envied for the Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Red-necked Spurfowl and Plain-backed Pipit that crossed their path. Bob's group on the other hand, had excellent sightings of a Grey Cuckooshrike, Paradise Flycatcher and Terrestrial Brownbul. Unfortunately, the Collared Sunbird, not often seen in town, but witnessed at the farm, did not put in an appearance and we had to console ourselves with tales of the numerous nightjars and owls that "abounded" on the farm at night. Perhaps it's time for a night outing!
A total of 45 birds was recorded, a good number for a 3-hour outing during this time of the year. The Plettenberg Bay Bird Club wishes to extend its grateful appreciation to Lello and Lisa Incendiario for allowing us access to their very interesting property and commend them for the delightful fare they served up in their coffee shop. With their permission, we'll be back at Quarry Lake in spring! 

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