(This article originally appeared in the summer edition of Kite, the e-newsletter of the Tygerberg Bird Club and is published with the permission of Lesley Teare, the editor. - Ed.)
SATURDAY, 21 JULY 2012
KARWYDERSKRAAL ROAD, OVERBERG
(Leader: Kevin Drummond-Hay/Report by Beverley Patterson)
Eight very trusting ladies braved the elements and joined Kevin for the Saturday outing to the Overberg. On the way there we experienced heavy rain and wind lashing our cars but we were not to be put off and ventured forth. Our morning started off at the Bot River Bridge in iffy conditions, but we weren’t put off and soon had a healthy tally of water birds.
Conditions improved to pleasant as we started along Karwyderskraal Road, stopping often along the way. At one point, where there was a ditch and trees, we encountered a birding party that rather liked that spot.
It was at this point that we first saw the Verreaux’s Eagle. Further along the road towards Caledon, we stopped at a dam for another lot of waterbirds, including Shelduck, when we noticed these black birds in an adjacent field. Our Verreaux’s Eagle was on the ground looking on as 2 White-necked Raven and 2 Cape Crows were arguing about some food item. The Eagle looked on, a bit non-plussed, and walked in her ‘step – hop’ towards the group. On closer inspection we saw that she had a green tag prominently sticking out along her wing. She was tagged as a chick and named Annika, in 2008. It appeared that she had been robbed of her breakfast by the Ravens and/or crows, and there was nothing she could do about it. Other raptors seen were Marsh Harrier and Black Sparrowhawk. My personal total was 57 and the total species seen by the group was 63.
We ended the morning with soup and lovely home-baked bread at Dassiesfontein. By then the rain had settled in, so it was straight home. A lovely day …. Thanks Kevin.