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BIRDING AT THE WOODY CAPE SECTION OF THE ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK

Posted on the 30th September 2015

If you are visiting Addo Elephant National Park I strongly recommend staying at the Woody Cape section. Nestled among the trees are the newly opened Langebos Huts. Both huts are booked simultaneously, meaning that even if you only book one the other will not be booked and you will have the place to yourself.

          

(l-r) Addo Elephant National Park Woody Cape section, (images by Hele Oosthuizen).

Nothing could prepare me for waking up to a dawn chorus that had me up birding in my pajamas. With my new pair of binoculars and iPad with Roberts birding app in my hand I set off on the short circular route at the back of the huts. First on my list was a pair of Trumpeter Hornbills and Knysna Turacos followed by Terrestrial Brownbuls, and a pair of Lemon Doves. Near the huts Chorister Robin-Chat, Cape Robin-Chat, and Brown Scrub-Robin were found. While enjoying breakfast on the wooden porch African Dusky Flycatcher, Cape White-Eye, Black-headed Oriole, Knysna Turacos were spotted. Southern Boubou, Olive Thrush, Red-eyed Dove were also heard.

Chorister Robin-Chat, (image by Anton Odendal).

Taking a drive to the sea also delivered some excellent birding. In a lane of Erythrinas in full bloom, Amethyst Sunbird and Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Olive Bush-Shrike and Southern Black Flycatcher were found, and also Black-bellied Starling and Dark-backed Weaver. Jackal Buzzard was seen on our way. Around the offices Cape Batis, Forest Canary, Bar-throated Apalis were seen and Knysna Warbler was heard.

Birding in the afternoon along the forest road also was very successful. Both Knysna and Olive Woodpecker were seen. Also on the afternoon list was Forest Canary. Narina Trogon was heard a couple of times, but unfortunately not to be seen. Even in the evening a myriad of sounds will confront you, from Spotted Eagle-Owl to the call of the tree dassie.

     

(l) Knysna Turaco, (image by Anton Odendal) & (r) Brown Scrub-Robin, (image by Warwick Tarboton).

For forest species, the Langebos huts are a must. Accommodation is very affordable and comfortable, and the setting was just as enjoyable for even the non-birders of the group. Unfortunately the next day was met with rain and wind and not much birding was done, but it gave me a chance to finish the latest Deon Meyer!

Hele Oosthuizen

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