BIRDING AT THE HARKERVILLE FOREST AND KRANSHOEK VIEW POINT
Posted on the 9th July 2012
HARKERVILLE FOREST AND KRANSHOEK VIEW POINT
Zero your odometer at the Knysna Post Office as you head east (Plettenberg Bay) . On the left at 14.3 kms it is worth stopping at the SANParks Garden of Eden, where there is a wheelchair friendly boardwalk through a patch of very beautiful indigenous forest complete with huge Outeniqua Yellow-woods. A lot of the forest specials can be found here, but unfortunately the traffic noise drowns out their calls, apart from very strident ones like the Emerald Cuckoo. Carry on until you see a Sasol Filling Station at 16.8kms and a turn marked Harkerville. Carry on along this gravel road past Krusen Bricks and Harkerville Forest Lodge and the Harkerville Hiking Hut on your right. At 1.4kms from the N2 turn right to Kranshoek and a further .4km further on is an entrance gate, where if it is unmanned you have to fill in a self issuing permit. You now drive through a delightful section of the Harkerville Indigenous Forest ,where there are many forest species such as Knysna Turaco, Grey Cuckoo-shrike,African Olive-Pigeon and Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler. At 5.3kms from the N2 you reach the Picnic site. You can park here and take a walk on the Forest Flora Trail. to see how many of the forest birds you can see or hear. There are often many birds in the trees around the picnic area. You can now either drive a further kilometer to the Kranshoek view site or rather walk along the road. The fynbos here is excellent for both double-collared Sunbirds, as well as Malachite and Orange-breasted and if the proteas are in bloom Cape Sugarbirds. Cape Grassbird and Victorin’s Warbler also enjoy this vegetation.
The view of the craggy coastline from the look-out is stunning. Whales can often be spotted.
Red-necked Spurfowl hang out near the parking area. There are often many fynbos birds in the surrounding vegetation, Kelp Gulls, White-necked Raven and Rock Kestrel glide past. You can also walk along a track heading east from the viewsite into more pristine fynbos or the very energetic can walk down a precipitous path to the rocky coves down below.
(Text provided by Pat Nurse of the Lakes Bird Club. - Ed.)