Birding Routes

THEEWATERSKLOOF BIRDING - INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS Show details

THE ENDEMIC AND OTHER SPECIAL BIRD SPECIES OF THE THEEWATERSKLOOF REGION Show details

BIRDING IN THE OVERBERG WHEATBELT IMPORTANT BIRD AND BIODIVERSITY AREA - INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW Show details

THE SIR LOWRYS PASS SITE Show details


The SIR LOWRY’S PASS site has long been recognised as one of the top birding spots in the Western Cape. However, a stern warning is necessary before continuing: the site is reached from the parking area at the lookout point at the summit of the pass. (34° 08'58”S 18° 55'41”E). The N2 has to be crossed on foot and there is a very dangerous blind corner at this point. It should also be mentioned that bird-watchers have been mugged at this spot recently and birding in groups is advised.

It is recommended that access to the Sir Lowry's Pass site be gained by driving past the view site, turning left opposite the entrance to the Steenbras Dam, and parking at the gate. (34° 09' 00”S 18° 56' 03”E). The description of species abundance is based on findings in the SABAP2 (the bird atlasing project) report card for the site. A walk along the railway line, or along a broad gravel track just to the west of the railway line often produces the VICTORIN'S WARBLER. Also look for this elusive bird in the thickets along the stream beneath the powerlines further on along the gravel track. The rocky terrain to the left of the track and up towards the summit of Kanonkop is ideal habitat for the CAPE ROCK-JUMPER. The Sir Lowry's Pass site is regarded as one of the best places to look for these two hugely sought-after species. These rocky slopes can also produce the CAPE BUNTING, CAPE ROCK-THRUSH, SENTINEL ROCK-THRUSH (not too regularly) and GROUND WOODPECKER.

Other breathtaking species to be found include the CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD and ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD. More common endemic, or near-endemic species include the BOKMAKIERIE, CAPE BULBUL, CAPE CANARY, GREY-BACKED CISTICOLA, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, CAPE GRASSBIRD, KAROO PRINIA, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, SWEE WAXBILL and CAPE WHITE-EYE. Other common species of interest are the YELLOW BISHOP, BRIMSTONE CANARY, FAMILIAR CHAT, NEDDICKY and MALACHITE SUNBIRD. The STRIPED FLUFFTAIL has been recorded in the area along the railway line, but it is almost impossible to find this species in daytime. Raptors that are encountered regularly include the FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL, ROCK KESTREL and PEREGRINE FALCON. The BOOTED and VERREAUX'S EAGLES and BLACK and RED-CHESTED SPARROWHAWKS are less common at this site and BLACK HARRIER has been recorded on the odd occasion. Expect to find the STEPPE BUZZARD and YELLOW-BILLED KITE in summer. Sir Lowry's Pass site remains one of the top destinations to search for several of the Western Cape's special birds, but extreme caution is advised when birding in the area.

From Sir Lowry’s Pass the N2 continues eastwards, taking birders to many of the diverse birding hotspots of the Overberg and the Garden Route. Consult the web pages for these two regions on this website for detailed information on many of the top birding destinations in the Western Cape.

(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the photographs that may be used to further plan a visit to the area).

 

Cape Rock-jumper
Cape Rock-Thrush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange-breasted Sunbird 
Ground Woodpecker  (Images by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE KOGELBERG BIOSPHERE RESERVE Show details

THE HIGHLANDS AND VALLEY ROADS LOOPS Show details

THE ELGIN/ GRABOUW COUNTRY CLUB & EIKENHOF DAM Show details

HOTTENTOTS HOLLAND NATURE RESERVE Show details

VILLIERSDORP Show details

THE THEEWATERSKLOOF DAM Show details

BOTRIVER VILLAGE AND VAN DER STEL PASS Show details

THE KARWYDERSKRAAL AND SWARTRIVIER ROADS Show details

CALEDON VILLAGE Show details

THE CALEDON WILD FLOWER GARDEN Show details

THE OUDEKRAAL ROAD AND TESSELAARSDAL Show details

THE R326 BETWEEN STANFORD AND RIVIERSONDEREND Show details

THE R406 TO GREYTON Show details

GREYTON VILLAGE AND NATURE RESERVE Show details

THE R406 BETWEEN GREYTON AND RIVIERSONDEREND Show details

BIRDING IN AND AROUND RIVIERSONDEREND Show details

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details