TYGERBERG BIRD CLUB OUTING TO ROOIELS AND BETTY'S BAY
(This report originally appeared in the latest edition of 'THE KITE', the official newsletter of the TYGERBERG BIRD CLUB, and is re-posted with the permission of the Editor. - Ed.)
A total of 18 members met at the Rooi-els Café at 7.30am. Weather was excellent without WIND!!!! Very unusual for Rooi-els.
We rst walked around the koppie next to the car park where we had seen Ground Woodpeckers and Cape Rock-thrush before. Only the Rock-thrush was home this time.
Next we moved to the entrance gate to the original Betty’s Bay dirt road which skirts Klein Hangklip. Targets here were Cape Rock-jumper, Cape Siskin and Neddicky. Siskin were the rst to be found even though we heard the Rock-jumpers calling from high up the mountain side. Cape Sugarbirds and Orange-breasted Sunbirds entertained us as we walked along the road. Yellow Bishop swizzled away in the fynbos which was much shorter after the re but was recovering well. A lone Neddicky piped his call from the top of a large rock close to the road. Always reminds me of a bicycle tyre being pumped up….pomp-pompie!
Once we passed the short fynbos we had a few Grassbirds conrming their territory with their up-and-down call, really a smart grass warbler when seen well. A fair way down the road a lone Cape Rock-jumper suddenly appeared without calling close to the road…..then another and another. Possibly 4 birds in the party and they were not going away as they fed in the fynbos amongst the rocks. The one male decided it was time to straighten his feathers and remained on a close rock where the photographers in the club could get some close-ups. The rest of the group of Rock-jumpers moved a short distance up the slope where other photographers had their chance. Really a fantastic bird to have down here in the Cape!!!! Everyone was satised with this sighting and returned to the cars with sightings of Familiar Chat, White-necked Raven and Black Swift along the way.
Harold Porter Botanical Gardens was the next stop and after a quick by-the-car breakfast, Red-winged Starling and Sombre Greenbul welcomed us. Once in the garden Brimstone Canary called from the top of a tree, with Orange-breasted and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds busy feeding in the owering ericas, with male Cape Sugarbirds standing guard on top of the yellow pincushions. A large ock of White-rumped & Little Swifts and Greater Striped Swallows were ying low over the trees and Brigid spotted a grey long tailed swift which to our surprise was a African Palm Swift…. An excellent sighting for the Cape so close to Cape Town. No Victorin’s Warblers were heard at all , maybe they have moved higher up the mountain gullies because of the dry weather, but Dusky Flycatcher was located in the forest and Swee Waxbill were feeding on grass seeds along the pathway.
All in all a great variety of special birds in various habitats with a total of 67 species.