(We are receiving so many great images of yesterday's outing that it was decided to do a photo article. We'll probably add some more photographs as these are received. Also, conditions were bad at De Mond and often we could not get close to the birds. This caused huge identification debates. At the bottom of the article you will find some images of birds not identified. Kindly id these correctly in the user comments below the article and stand a chance to win a Swartrivier birding trip with us. Only BLO members may participate and you may not comment on your own photographs. - Ed.)
Twenty birders participated in the BirdLife Overberg day outing to the De Mond Nature Reserve on Thursday 12 January 2017. We travelled to De Mond via Napier and Bredasdorp. Along the way we picked up all three buzzards and many BLUE CRANES , several of them with chicks.
The Napier sewage works again produced wonderful birding. There were vast numbers of CAPE SHOVELERS and CAPE TEALS with young, together with the usual suspects such as GREY and BLACK-HEADED HERONS, COMMON MOORHEN, very irate BLACK-WINGED STILTS and many more. The extremely dry floodplain area produced a beautiful quartering BLACK HARRIER and many YELLOW-BILLED KITES and WHITE STORKS.
Jackal Buzzard - Steve Peck
Brimstone Canary - Riaan Jacobs
De Mond was unfortunately very disappointing as an extreme wind was pumping and it was high tide, not allowing us to get close to birds in most cases. There were just about no terns and it was my first summer visit to De Mond when not a single SANDWICH or SWIFT TERN was found. Fortune favours the brave however and we quickly started picking up on good species. There were small numbers of CASPIAN, COMMON and DAMARA TERNS and the waders were outstanding. To just name-drop a bit we found LITTLE EGRET, GREATER FLAMINGO, BAR-TAILED GODWITS, COMMON GREENSHANK, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, KITTLITZ'S, THREE-BANDED and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS, COMMON RINGED PLOVER, GREY PLOVER, SANDERLING, COMMON, CURLEW and MARSH SANDPIPERS, LITTLE STINT, RUDDY TURNSTONE and COMMON WHIMBREL. Need one say more? Brilliant birding!
Bar-tailed Godwits (Grote Griet)
Oystercatchers - All 4 images by Riaan Jacobs
There were interesting species seen in the vegetation around the estuary. A BLACK HARRIER drifted past and a ROCK KESTREL took a prey item close to us before returning to a perch. Some novice members created a huge BRIMSTONE/ YELLOW CANARY debate, but the highlight was vast numbers of sub-adult and moulting swallows battling against the wind and settling on short vegetation. The Milkwood trees around the picnic area again caused excitement during our brunch. Species located included the SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE BULBUL, COMMON FISCAL, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, CAPE SPURFOWL, CAPE WEAVER and CAPE WHYTE-EYE and the calls of the SOUTHERN TCHAGRA and WATER THICK-KNEE could be heard in the distance. The best action was provided by a BOOMSLANG freaking out some twenty SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS – the most of this species that I had ever seen in one spot.
Boomslang - Ingrid Grundlingh
We have circulated the provisional list of species seen on the day to participants and are awaiting feedback – we have however seen more than a hundred species. This again illustrates the great birding potential of the Overberg in general and De Mond in particular. Let's hear from you about the identification of the birds below.
Our next outing will be to Rooiels and Harold Porter on 21 January and it promises to be another wonderful trip. Join us and remember to let me know if you are coming along. Details at this link: