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 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 R326 between the intersections with the R316 and the N2 when travelling between Stanford and Riviersonderend represents a very good summary of bird-watching in the Overberg Wheatbelt. This tarred road is unfortunately not supported by decent road verges and this makes the tendency of birders to suddenly stop without warning very dangerous – caution is advised. Locals recommend that most of the gravel roads turning off the R326 are also worth investigating. Of these the Jongensklip road deserves particular attention. It can alternatively be reached off the N2 just east of the village of Caledon. (34° 13'28”S 19° 28'01”E). All of the region's larks (including the AGULHAS LONG-BILLED LARK), pipits, bishops and cisticolas are available, together with large numbers of BLUE CRANES. Also listen for the distinctive call of the COMMON QUAIL in summer. The Voorhoede Dam further regularly produces large numbers of waterbirds.

The R326, together with the mentioned gravel roads, gives access to several of the region's special, often endemic and sought-after species. BLUE CRANES are abundant, with very large flocks often present in autumn and winter and breeding pairs, often with chicks on view in summer. The DENHAM'S BUSTARD, KAROO and SOUTHERN BLACK KORHAANS are all recorded fairly often, but in smaller numbers. The BLACK HARRIER and AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER quarter over suitable habitat types fairly regularly. The SECRETARYBIRD and CAPE SISKIN are recorded, but mostly in very small numbers.

The most sought-after LBJs along here are certainly the AGULHAS LONG-BILLED and CAPE CLAPPER LARKS, even though very few sightings of these are on record. Birds that are found commonly include the BRIMSTONE, CAPE and YELLOW CANARIES, GREY-BACKED, LEVAILLANT'S and ZITTING CISTICOLAS, LARGE-BILLED and RED-CAPPED LARKS, CAPE LONGCLAW, AFRICAN PIPIT and CAPPED WHEATEAR. A few records of the KAROO LARK, PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT and KAROO SCRUB-ROBIN have also been noted and these can be described as being rare in the area.

Noteworthy and abundant endemic or near-endemic species are the BOKMAKIERIE, CAPE CROW, CAPE SPURFOWL, PIED STARLING and CAPE WEAVER. Other very common species recorded are the SOUTHERN RED and YELLOW BISHOPS, BLACK-HEADED HERON, CROWNED LAPWINGS and AFRICAN STONECHAT. Interesting that a few records of the difficult to find AFRICAN QUAILFINCH are indicated. Birds of prey that are locally common in suitable habitats are the FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE and ROCK KESTREL, with STEPPE BUZZARD often being present in large numbers during summer. A few records of the MARTIAL EAGLE and BLACK-CHESTED SNAKE-EAGLE seem somewhat surprising.

One spot along the R326 deserves attention: the WITKLIPPESKLOOF DAM at 34° 18'30"S 19° 45'27"E holds vast numbers of waterbirds during winter and spring and the bluegum trees surrounding the dam serve as roost for many interesting species. These include egrets, herons and ibises. Expect to find the geese and grebes of the region often in prolific number, together with large numbers of the MACCOA, WHITE-BACKED, WHITE-FACED and YELLOW-BILLED DUCKS, SOUTHERN POCHARD and BLACK-SMITH LAPWING, SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK and CAPE SHOVELER.

(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).

Yellow-billed Duck  (Image by AO)
White-faced Ducks  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African Stonechat  (Image by JW)
Yellow Canary female  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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