Birding Routes

INTRODUCTION TO BIRDING ALONG THE CAPE WHALE COAST Show details


INTRODUCTION TO THIS REVISED EDITION OF THE WEB PAGES
The Overstrand local municipal area herein referred to as the Cape Whale Coast in the Western Cape Province of South Africa is internationally renowned as a tourist destination. Consider the countless, breathtaking nature reserves, the sublime Cape Floral Kingdom, spectacular landscapes, acclaimed wines, diverse peoples – the list goes on. One of the region’s greatest assets is the sheer diversity of bird species found in the area as it hosts a sundry range of highly sought-after endemic and near-endemic species. The AFRICAN PENGUIN, CAPE ROCKJUMPER, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD, VICTORIN'S WARBLER and GROUND WOODPECKER are just a few of the exciting species on display.

Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anton Odendal)
Cape Sugarbird (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furthermore, several intriguing, underutilised and ecologically varied birding destinations such as the Harold Porter Botanical Garden, the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, the Vermont Salt Pan, the estuaries at Bot River, Klein River and Uilenkraal Estuary and others need to be properly exposed to a rapidly growing bird-watching fraternity. It is simply impossible to describe all of the splendid birding destinations that the Cape Whale Coast region has to offer, but rest assured that several of the destinations not included at this stage can be incorporated in the future. In addition, the region boasts an outstanding tourism infrastructure and a plethora of accommodation establishments that are well-equipped to cope with the demands set by domestic and international bird-watchers. 

Dyer Island (Wilfred Chivell)
Fernkloof Nature Reserve (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This text serves as an introductory overview to assist the visitor in tracking down some of the prominent birds of the region with key information on where to search for them. It should be seen as a starting point to be used against the backdrop of the website. Dropdown menus are provided with each body of text and these offer links to more comprehensive articles, trip reports and websites that the visitor can use to enhance the planning of birding excursions. These links are updated on a continual basis and, in most cases, basic GPS co-ordinates are provided.

The bird finder web pages explore an impressive collection of worthwhile areas. Firstly the endemic and near-endemic species of the region are reviewed. Pelagic birding from Kleinbaai with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust is also highlighted. Birding opportunities at destinations from Rooiels to Kleinbaai in the Gansbaai district are then discussed. This is followed by detailed descriptions of birding opportunities along the Overberg Wheatbelt Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) that can be used to delve into the region. Three gravel roads not necessarily part of the Overstrand from which the birding delights of the Overberg Wheatbelt can be explored are finally described in detail – these are the Swartrivier Road, the Oudekraal Road and the Papiesvlei circle route.

Wandering Albatross (Richard Masson)
The African Penguin & Seabirds Sanctuary, Kleinbaai (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It should be noted that large portions of the Cape Whale Coast region are farmland under private ownership, which may restrict access. Visitors are requested to respect such privacy and not transgress onto privately owned property without prior permission obtained from owners. Kindly take note of the ethics of bird-watching as described by BirdLife South Africa in one of the dropdown menus below.

A few further comments need to be made: (1). Spelling and particularly the hyphenation (or not) of bird names used is based on the second edition of the Roberts Bird Guide. (2). A new feature of this revised version of the web pages is that the abundance of species at the various sites described is in most cases based on SABAP2 statistics – this is the second South African Bird Atlas Project managed by the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town. (3). Notes on several conservation issues related to some projects of Birdlife Overberg’s CleanMarine campaign have been incorporated into the text and dropdown menus of coastal sites. (4). Devastating fires ravaged sections of the Overstrand region early in 2019 and this had a very negative effect of birding opportunities at several sites described – this applies particularly to the Harold Porter Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay. The hope is expressed that infrastructural damage will be repaired and that the habitat will recover in time.

The text of this web page has been drafted in such a way that the individual sections may be copied and printed in view of making bird-watching in that section so much more accessible and practical.

Southern Black Korhaan
Ground Woodpecker. (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



NOTE: Every effort has been made to ensure that the contents of this web page, including the GPS co-ordinates given, are accurate. However, the members of BirdLife Overberg or the staff of BirdLife South Africa cannot be held responsible for any omissions or errors, as well as misfortune, injury or damages that may arise.
The members of BirdLife Overberg would like to deeply thank and congratulate the OVERSTRAND MUNICIPALITY, TABLE MOUNTAIN FUND, the AGULHAS BIOSPHERE INITIATIVE and the FLOWER VALLEY CONSERVATION TRUST for the wonderful initiative of sponsoring the development of the previous editions of these web pages. This edition was sponsored by BirdLife Overberg with the support of the IBA division of BirdLife South Africa. The hope is sincerely expressed that these pages will contribute to the further development of the Cape Whale Coast region as one of the premiere bird-watching and eco-tourism destinations in southern Africa.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENDEMIC BIRD SPECIES OF THE CAPE WHALE COAST REGION Show details

PELAGIC ENCOUNTERS FROM KLEINBAAI WITH MARINE DYNAMICS Show details

THE ROOIELS SITE - IN SEARCH OF THE CAPE ROCKJUMPER Show details

AFRICAN PENGUINS AND CORMORANTS AT STONY POINT Show details

THE HAROLD PORTER NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN Show details

BIRDING AT THE KOGELBERG BIOSPHERE RESERVE AND KLEINMOND Show details

BIRDING AT ROOISAND ALONG THE BOT RIVER ESTUARY Show details

BIRDING AT FISHERHAVEN & THE HAWSTON SEWAGE WORKS Show details

THE VERMONT SALT PAN Show details

BIRDING AT ONRUS AND HARDERBAAI Show details

BIRDING ALONG THE HEMEL & AARDE VALLEY AND ROTARY WAY SCENIC DRIVE Show details

BIRDING ALONG THE HERMANUS CLIFF PATH AND THE KLEIN RIVER ESTUARY Show details

THE FERNKLOOF NATURE RESERVE AT HERMANUS Show details

BIRDING IN AND AROUND STANFORD Show details

FROM STANFORD TO THE UILENKRAALS ESTUARY AND BEYOND Show details

THE DANGER POINT PENINSULA Show details

KLEINBAAI AND THE DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST Show details

THE UILENKRAALS VALLEY TO BAARDSKEERDERSBOS AND BEYOND Show details

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

WHEATBELT BIRDING CIRCLE ROUTE 1: KARWYDERSKRAAL AND SWART RIVER ROADS Show details

WHEATBELT BIRDING CIRCLE ROUTE 2: THE OUDEKRAAL ROAD Show details

WHEATBELT BIRDING CIRCLE ROUTE 3: THE PAPIESVLEI AREA Show details

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details