The Koeberg Nature Reserve is situated along the R27 and is adjacent to the Koeberg nuclear power station near Melkbosstrand. The reserve contains two major veld types, namely some of the last remnants of West Coast Strandveld and dune veld. The reserve also supports various wetlands. A mountain bike trail, two walking trails and a bird hide are available. The Dikkop Trail is a 13 km circular walk that includes a 2 km walk along the beach. This walk is most popular in spring when the wild flowers are in bloom. The Grysbok Trail starts at the Visitor Centre and is a two hour walk. It includes a section along the beach ¬ a restricted area in summer when AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS breed. This walk also takes birders to a salt marsh where abundant birdlife is available during the rainy season in winter.
The Koeberg Nature Reserve features most of the common species to be expected in this type of habitat. These include BAR-THROATED APALIS, BOKMAKIERIE, CAPE BULBUL, CAPE BUNTING, WHITE-THROATED and YELLOW CANARIES, CAPE GRASSBIRD, CAPE LONGCLAW, WHITE-BACKED MOUSEBIRD, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, MALACHITE SUNBIRD and CAPE WEAVER. Other more elusive species and birds normally not readily available closer to Cape Town are BLACK-HEADED CANARY, LONG-BILLED CROMBEC, NAMAQUA DOVE, GREY-WINGED FRANCOLIN, SOUTHERN BLACK KORHAAN, KAROO and CLAPPER LARKS, PIED and WATTLED STARLINGS, GREY TIT, CAPE PENDULINE TIT, CHESTNUT-VENTED and LAYARD'S TIT-BABBLERS and CAPPED WHEATEAR. Interestingly, even HOTTENTOT BUTTONQUAIL gets flushed here occasionally. Species that are rarely seen here are BLACK-NECKED GREBE, BLACK HARRIER and CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER.
Interesting waterbirds that visitors might want to take note of are MACCOA DUCK, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, SOUTHERN POCHARD, SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK and CAPE SHOVELER. Waders on record include COMMON GREENSHANK, KITTLITZ'S, THREE-BANDED and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS, CURLEW and WOOD SANDPIPERS and BLACK-WINGED STILT. Fairly common birds of prey are JACKAL BUZZARD, BOOTED EAGLE, PEREGRINE FALCON, ROCK KESTREL, BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE and AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER. STEPPE BUZZARD and YELLOW-BILLED KITE are present in summer.
An impressive list of birds for such a small reserve occur at the Koeberg Nature Reserve. Most impressively it features several species normally associated with West Coast and Karoo habitats in close proximity to Cape Town. This makes a visit to the reserve very worthwhile for birdwatchers visiting Cape Town.
Access to the reserve should be arranged through the security offices.
PHONE: +27 (0)21 553 2466 or +27 (0)21 550 4021 during office hours
(Images by BirdLife Overberg members)
African Stonechat Image by Jessie Walton
Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler Image by Richard Masson