Posted on the 9th January 2013

(This report originally appeared in BATIS NO 61 (January 2013), the electronic magazine of the SOMERSET WEST BIRD CLUB and is used with the permission of the editor. - Ed.)


14 – 17 SEPTEMBER 2012

It is unbelievable how time flies. It is 4 years since we visited Redstone Hills Guest Farm. Albeit a 4 hour drive, it certainly is a fantastic spot and well worth the distance. The farm is nestled amid red-orange sandstone rocky outcrops, with the majestic Swartberg mountain range making a magnificent backdrop. We all arrived in the course of Friday afternoon and settled into our cottages. In the evenings we gathered at the biggest “Bushmens” cottage for a social get-together and braai. Thanks to Sakkie for taking on the chore of lighting the fire and assisting everyone to braai their meat.

We were very fortunate to have the expertise in leaders Rob Martin and Jessie Walton who know the farm and environs well. Rob & Jessie have compiled a comprehensive bird list over the years. With snow still on some peaks, the mornings started off chilly but soon warmed up. We were quite a big group at 16, so we were split into a more manageable size. Rob & Jessie’s knowledge of the birds and bird calls was outstanding and I learnt that it really is necessary to know which call belonged to which bird in the Karoo. Our combined tally for the weekend was 96. Some of the birds we saw worth mentioning are :-

Booted Eagle, Pale Chanting Goshawk, African Goshawk, African Harrier Hawk, Tambourine Dove, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Half-collared Kingfisher, Karoo Thrush, Sombre Greenbul, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Bar-throated Apalis, Long-billed Crombec, Rufous-eared Warbler, Namaqua Warbler, Pririt Batis, Fairy Flycatcher, Southern Tchagra, Southern Boubou, Bokmakierie, Malachite, Southern Double-collared and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, African Paradise Flycatcher & Barn Owl.

Alas, Monday morning dawned all too quickly, but I think that everyone enjoyed themselves and had a good time.

Denise Rizzo


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