REPORT ON THE DE MOND NATURE RESERVE OUTING ON 10 JANUARY 2019
Posted on the 11th January 2019
Seventeen brave-hearts participated in the BirdLife Overberg morning outing to the De Mond Nature Reserve on Thursday 10 January 2019 despite cloudy weather, howling winds and a tide not being supportive of great birding. We travelled to De Mond via Napier and Bredasdorp. Along the way we picked up all three buzzards and many BLUE CRANES, several of them with chicks. Other interesting sightings included NAMAQUA DOVES, ROCK KESTREL, BLACK-WINGED KITES and WHITE STORKS.
The extremely dry floodplain area along the gravel access road towards De Mond produced many YELLOW-BILLED KITES and DENHAM’S BUSTARDS and LBJs such as LARGE-BILLED and RED-CAPPED LARKS, ZITTING CISTICOLA and CAPPED WHEATEAR. The two Steve’s added ACACIA PIED BARBET and BOOTED EAGLE along here. Riaan Jacobs found GREY-BACKED CISTICOLA, SOUTHERN BLACK KORHAAN and WHITE-FACED WHISTLING DUCK, amongst others while driving in from Gansbaai.
Denham's Bustard - Riaan
Black Harrier - Steve
De Mond was unfortunately very disappointing as an extreme wind was pumping and the tide was receding, not allowing us to get close to birds in most cases. There were very few terns, despite people recording thousands yesterday – the bad luck of the draw. Fortune favours the brave however and we quickly started picking up on good species. There were several DAMARA TERNS flying up and down the estuary and we found six species on a sandbank: CASPIAN, COMMON, DAMARA, LITTLE, SANDWICH and SWIFT TERNS viewed from one point are sensational!
Damara Tern - Riaan
Caspian Tern - Riaan
James working on flying swallows
Mixed terns - Steve
Mixed waders - Riaan
To name-drop on waders a bit we found LITTLE EGRET, COMMON GREENSHANK, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, KITTLITZ'S and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS, COMMON RINGED PLOVER, GREY PLOVER, SANDERLING, CURLEW and MARSH SANDPIPERS, LITTLE STINT and COMMON WHIMBREL. A pair of WATER THICK-KNEES squatted against the wind on another sandbank. Wonderful birding!
Sanderlings - Riaan
Curlew Sandpipers - Riaan
White-fronted Plovers - Riaan
Kittlitz's Plovers - Riaan
There were interesting species seen in the vegetation around the estuary. A BLACK HARRIER quartered past and BRIMSTONE and YELLOW CANARY were entertaining. The Milkwood trees around the picnic area again caused excitement during our brunch. Species located included the CAPE BATIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE BULBUL, COMMON FISCAL, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, CAPE SPURFOWL, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS and CAPE WEAVER and the calls of the BAR-THROATED APALIS, BOKMAKIERIE, KAROO PRINIA and several doves were heard in the distance. Outstanding birding despite horrible weather and tides!
Picnic under the milkwoods
Immature Fiscal Flycatcher - Brian
At De Mond one would normally expect to find at least some kingfishers, ducks, grebes, many more waders and individual species such as white-eye, tchagra, spotty, stilt, avocet, flamingo, etc on a normal summer’s day with fair weather. This clearly illustrates the vast birding potential of the Overberg in general and the De Mond Nature Reserve in particular. The only excitement upon our return to Hermanus was a SOUTHERN PALE CHANTING GOSHAWK located outside Napier. We have circulated the provisional list of species seen on the day to participants and we cracked a hundred species on the morning.
Kelp Gull - Brian
Immature Kelp Gull - Steve
Our next outing will be the traditional annual visit to Rooiels and Harold Porter on Saturday 19 January and it promises to be another wonderful trip – the Red Disas are in full bloom up at the waterfall. Don’t miss out on this one and join us for another memorable outing. Remember to let me know if you are coming along at firstname.lastname@example.org or sms or WhatsApp at 082 550 3347. Also remember that we will be celebrating the SECRETARYBIRD as the bird of the year at our monthly talk on Monday 21 January – RSVP Elaine at email@example.com or sms or WhatsApp at 082 455 8402. Details of both of these events are available under “events” on the club website.
(My appreciation to Riaan Jacobs, Steve Peck and Brian Taylor for the use of their images taken yesterday)