ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT FINDING THE MYTHICAL BIRD
Not much birding was done lately after some really bad Cape weather. I promised myself some birding time during the long weekend, so when my other half woke up on Women’s Day and said that we are going to look for the mythical Malan bird, I was more than ready.
Arriving at Rooiels by mid-morning, the wind was already blowing although we met two other birding parties also in search of the Cape Rockjumper. None of the two parties have found the bird yet and although the welcoming board states that the birds breed between August and September one birder still played their calls over and over ???
Not finding the CRJ, we turned our attention to the Black Eagle circling and later find one on the nest calling and calling at its mate - what a bird ! A little Orange-breasted Sunbird got our attention to the right, which led our eyes towards the little bay just beneath – a pod of about 41 Bottlenosed dolphins hunting, you could hear their calls and blows – amazing!
We spent another hour or so at the site, but to no avail, our mythical bird AGAIN did not show itself today, but we walked away with two amazing sightings one the Black Eagles and the other the Bottlenosed dolphins.
Next stop, coffee at Harold Porter Botanical Garden, of course you cannot go to HP and not have a quick walk through the garden. Lots of birds out and busy, particularly good sighting of Cape Rock-Thrush, which I have never seen so low down in the gardens and near the Restaurant area. I do believe they move down from the mountains to the lower altitudes in winter.
On our way back, we quickly checked in on the African Fish Eagle nest and the Spotted Eagle-Owl, but as we entered the area a huge bird of prey caught my eye. What first looked like a Jackal Buzzard turned out to be an African Crowned Eagle !! I fired a few shots at it, in the hope that it will not leave us before we got decent photographs, otherwise the mentor will think that I have been smoking something again? We spent about 15 minutes with the eagle until it flew off into the mountainous area above Arabella.
We quickly checked on the owls, and the pair is still present, so hopefully we will have little chicks soon. That was enough excitement for one birding day.
On our morning walk to look at all the new fynbos species flowering, we saw Marsh Harrier, a Denham's Bustard nearly flew into us and as we entered the estate I saw this different looking bird, which turned out to be a female Black Cuckooshrike - a lifer for me and a new bird for the estate.
This brings me to believe that it is easier to see a Black Eagle, Crowned Eagle or a Cuckooshrike than that MYTHICAL bird the Cape Rockjumper !! At least the Black Cuchooshrike is on the same page in Roberts than the Cape Rockjumper – I’m getting closer?