News

BLO WEEKEND TO THE GARDEN ROUTE

Posted on the 27th April 2007

(We found this uncompleted article in an old BirdLife Overberg newsletter - it makes for interesting reading though).  A group of birders from BirdLife Overberg recently visited the Garden Route for a club outing. A public meeting was held with BirdLife Plettenberg Bay and BirdLife Lakes in view of the development of a birding route around the Eden District Municipality and a steering committee is now being put together for such a route. The committee will consist of local birders, and representatives of local tourism authorities, the district municipality and at least three local municipalities.

The group spent two nights each at the Tsitsikama National Park at Storm's river mouth and at Nature's Valley. Bird-watching in this area is simply superb and the diversity of forest species encountered breathtaking. It was also decided to include an outing to “Birds of Eden” at The Crags between Plettenberg Bay and Nature's Valley in our visit. Most of us were very skeptical about visiting an aviary, but came away very surprised about the professionalism and dedication of the staff and the general cleanliness of the place. This is the biggest “free-flying” aviary in the world and must be seen to be believed. The group decided that this was the highlight of our trip. Also keep in mind that “Monkey World” is adjacent to the aviary and if one wants to these two destinations could make for a great day's entertainment. It would be unfair to attempt to describe or even mention the fantastic birds that are to be seen at “Birds of Eden”. We had several outings over the last few weeks and decided that comprehensive reports would take up to much space – therefore we give brief feedback on some highlights experienced.

Ruddy Turnstones

PLETTENBERG BAY – Elaine and myself held a public meeting about the WC Birding Routes at the Knysna Elephant Park and spent two evenings in Plettenberg Bay, awaiting the arrival of the rest of the group on the Garden Route outing. We were delighted to find waders such as Ruddy Turnstones, Grey Plover, Common Greenshank and Common Ringed Plover (most in partial or full breeding colors) still around on the marshy areas of both the Keurbooms- and Bitou rivers as late as 17 April.

BIRDS OF EDEN – The group that visited the Garden Route decided to include an outing to “Birds of Eden” at The Crags between Plet and Nature's Valley in our visit. Most of us were very skeptical about visiting an aviary, but came away very surprised about the professionalism and dedication of the staff and the general cleanliness of the place. This is the biggest “free-flying” aviary in the world and must be seen to be believed. The group decided that this was the highlight of our trip. Also keep in mind that “Monkey World” is adjacent to the aviary and if one wants to these two destinations could make for a great day's entertainment. It would be unfair to attempt to describe or even mention the fantastic birds that are to be seen at “Birds of Eden” - several of us took lots of photographs.

STORMSRIVER MOUTH – A bird party close to the entrance gate to the reserve included Cape Bulbul, Somber Greenbull, Terrestrial Brownbul, Cape White-eyes, Chorister Robin-Chat, Black-headed Oriole, Cape Batis and Olive Woodpecker. One of the highlights here was watching a pair of White-necked Ravens that are attempting to take over the scavenging domain of the Kelp Gulls around the chalets. The aerial bombardments and dog-fights are simply spectacular – interesting to note that the ravens came out tops in most cases despite being massively outnumbered by the gulls.

Chorister Robin-Chat


 

Sombre Greenbul

 

 

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