BLO OUTING TO HAWSTON SEWAGE WORKS AND MEER-EN-SEE
Posted on the 23rd May 2016
BirdLife Overberg’s outing on Sunday 15 May to the Hawston sewage works started off rather wobbly with only a few of us in attendance. Fortunately we were later joined by Wilfred and Marcia Crous, as well as Frank Spratt and Nida Potgieter. The day produced a total of 67 species.
The Hawston sewage was well worth it, as usual. One of the first species spotted was BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON. Another surprise was BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE. There were lots of CAPE SHOVELERS, a few CAPE TEALS, a couple of THREE-BANDED PLOVERS, COMMON MOORHEN and LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA. The reedbeds were swarming with LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER.
The very productive Hawston reedbeds
Part of group along the Bot Estuary
Nida arranged for access to Meer-en-See, where we enjoyed a lovely morning birding along the shoreline and exploring the thickets and Milkwood groves amongst the houses. The estuary close to the mouth was not as busy as during last year’s outing, but on the way we spotted a little group of four WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS together, which is unusual. The usual SWIFT TERNS were in abundance and quite a few plunged into the water to emerge with their breakfast. Anton managed to spot a single GREY-HEADED GULL amongst a sea of other gulls, as well as two AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS in the distance. Other waders including BLACK-WINGED STILT and KITTLITZ'S PLOVER. GREATER FLAMINGO, BLACK-HEADED and GREY HERON also rewarded our efforts.
Swift Terns & dune
In the thickets we managed to spot BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT on beautiful display on the grass, BRIMSTONE CANARY, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD, SOMBRE GREENBUL, COMMON WAXBILL and STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER. One of the big highlights of the day was CAPE LONGCLAW. HELMETED GUINEAFOWL and CAPE SPURFOWL were particularly numerous and a pair of SPOTTED THICK-KNEES showed well.
Another highlight was our picnic. Due to everybody’s contributions (especially Frank and his avo-on-biscuit) we enjoyed a well-deserved brunch. Due to time constraints, we decided against the idea to explore the Swartrivier Road, but it was a rewarding and beautiful morning’s birding. It was decided that we will repeat this outing during Spring once the migrants start arriving.