Fourteen BirdLife Overberg members went on the monthly Saturday morning outing, can you (Cape people) believe it on a clear beautiful day without wind. It was the first July outing in the club's history that we have been this fortunate. The early morning was chilly, but the log fire and coffee at Peregrine's in Stanford sorted that out. The trip to Danger Point was fairly uneventful, although we did see several Jackal Buzzards, one Forest Buzzard and most of the fynbos birds that one would normally expect in this area. The plan was to travel along the coast at De Kelders in an attempt to watch some whales, but Anton got the group hopelessly lost and the plan was aborted. The bridge over the Uilenskraals estuary was fairly quite without the summer migrants, but we were able to see goods numbers of ducks, gulls, herons and kingfishers. The highlight here was undoubtedly the very large fishes that were caught be White-breasted and Reed Cormorants. We were amazed at the ease with which they were able to catch and then swallow these fishes.
We then traveled all along the coastline from east to west through the villages of Franskraal and Kleinbaai. The group was very casual and it became evident that we all just wanted to take in this beautiful day and the great scenery. We made several extended stops and just drank all of this in. We had great sightings of White-fronted Plovers, African Black Oystercatchers and most of the cormorants. We spent some time studying a female Common Fiscal that had a lot of chestnut on her flanks – to the extent that some thought that it was a boubou. The entertainment of the day was certainly the antics of the Kelp Gulls dropping mussels onto the rocks – interesting to note that in most cases they were able to crack the mussels open at the first attempt.
The shark and whale boats were out in full force at the Kleinbaai harbour and the area was really busy. One is astonished at how this industry just keeps on growing and wonders what horrific impacts the proposed nuclear power station at Bantamklip (ten km down the road) will have on this massive tourism industry. Not to speak of conservation issues and the impact on Dyer Island.
In winter the lighthouse at Danger Point is unfortunately not open to the public over weekends. The group immediately decided to just have a lazy picnic along the seashore. The weather was simply magnificent and this certainly made up for the really bad storms that we have experienced over the last few months. In total over fifty species of birds were seen, but who cares? We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.