Who says winter birding cannot be productive! Just a short report on birding at Klipfontein Keep in the Agulhas Plains. Saturday and Sunday were cold and misty but almost windless.
Saturday began with the normal Cape Bulbul, Cape Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird, African Sacred Ibis and then I was surprised by my first Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk in the 6 years of recording the Agulhas Plain. Although recorded once or twice before it is rare South of Bredasdorp. Black-shouldered Kites chasing each other performed well and Southern Boubou close-up was a good sighting. Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Fiscal Flycatcher and Rock Kestrel followed. A Jackal Buzzard showed at it's normal clump of Bluegum trees.
About 5 Denham's Bustards were spotted but over-shaddowed by the Capped Wheatear which for some reason looks at their regal best at this time of the year. The plumage/colours so clearly demarcated and wow... so many of them. Cannot recall seeing so many on one day....probably about 30. An adult Lanner Falcon was a highlight of the late morning, suspiciously keeping it's distance!
Sunday morning accounted for another Wattled Starling experience, this time mixed with Pied Starlings. I estimated 150 + 100 of each. Wattled Starling is not something we see in such large numbers in the plain. Brimstone Canary, Orange-breasted Sunbird, African Fish-Eagle, African Pipit and Agulhas Long-billed Lark were ticked and then another special observation. Southern Black Korhaan has been very rare in the past but since the clearing of aliens, there seems to be an increase in numbers, a very good sign and a good ending to an enjoyable winter birding experience! Species counted: 60.
Wim de Klerk