News

BIRDING ALONG THE WHEATFIELDS OUTSIDE NAPIER

Posted on the 6th March 2017

Having moved to Napier just over a year ago I have been “blown away” with the birding opportunities this area and especially what is known as the Overberg Wheatbelt has to offer!

Just a little over 4km from the 4-way stop entering the village from the Caledon direction heading out to the corn silo’s is a dirt road known and signed as “Klipdale”, and here you start a journey through the undulating wheatfields that hold such a wide diversity of birds.

A typical slow drive along this road last weekend (there really is no need to get out of your car) revealed literately hundreds of Red Bishops lined along the fencing. Then glancing across the fields you will most certainly spot Blue Cranes, sometimes in flocks of 20 or more.

Capped Wheatears are common on the low poles and almost always stay still for that close up photo! African Stonechats flit across the road while Pied Starlings are present in abundance.

I spotted five Rock Kestrels all in a tight group (family outing?) sitting on the tall poles, along with numerous Jackal and Steppe Buzzards, with Yellow-billed Kites flying low and slow.

Large-billed and Red-capped Larks are always to be seen, and occasionally a Neddicky will put in an appearance.

Large flocks of Spur-winged Geese gather at the small dams along the road, and occasionally Black-headed Herons and Giant Kingfishers sit quietly alongside them.

But the most exciting sighting for this day was almost certainly a pair of Cape Longclaws foraging in the tall grass and a Rufous-phased juvenile Black Sparrowhawk exploding out of one of the few small copse of trees right in front of me!!

This is such an exceptional place to bird and that is why it gets me going back for more…..week in and week out!

Text and images by Steve Peck

Rock Kestrel in flight
Steppe Buzzard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Kestrels

 

 

Spur-winged Goose

 

 

 

 

 

Pied Starling

 

 

 

 

Cape Longclaw

 

 

 

 

 

Capped Wheatear

 

 

 

Immature Red-capped Lark

 

 

 

Large-billed Lark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immature rufous-phased Black Sparrowhawk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Cranes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS

2323
CORNEL BESTER (posted: 2017-03-07 08:16:18)
Goed gedoen. Ek leef tussen hulle en geniet hulle elke dag.
CAROL VAN HOOGSTRATEN (posted: 2017-03-06 14:09:55)
Thanks Steve for the info and wonderful photos. Our beautiful world!