Birding Routes

INTRODUCTION TO BIRDING ALONG THE CAPE WHALE COAST Show details

ENDEMIC BIRD SPECIES OF THE CAPE WHALE COAST REGION Show details

PELAGIC ENCOUNTERS FROM KLEINBAAI IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST Show details

THE ROOIELS SITE - IN SEARCH OF THE CAPE ROCK-JUMPER Show details


BIRDING AT ROOIELS

(Kindly note that the Fynbos vegetation at this site has been destroyed by the raging fire that ripped through the area over the weekend of 19 March 2017. Birding in the area is not advised for the time being - sadly, this could take a very long time. - Ed.)


The ROOIELS “CAPE ROCK-JUMPER site” is probably the best place on earth to find this hugely sought-after endemic species and BirdLife Overberg’s logo bird. The site forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and the Boland Mountains Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA - SA 107). Visit one of the links in the drop-down menus below to find out more about the significance of this Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. The Rooiels site is reached by taking the R44 from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond and at Rooiels turning right into the second turn-off at Porter Road. (34˚ 18’10.22”S 18˚ 49’12.18”E). Drive along this road until a gate is reached (34˚ 18’27.50”S 18˚ 49’03.47”E), park outside the gate and go further on foot. Kindly ensure that the road is not blocked.

Cape Rock-jumper  (Carin Malan)
(Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

(Richard Masson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here are some recommendations on finding those elusive CAPE ROCK-JUMPERS: These birds are most active during their breeding season in spring and early summer. Knowing the bird's piping call will help to locate it. The Rock-jumpers are normally found in the rocky habitats towards the mountain about 500 yards beyond the gate, even though they are sometimes located close to the gate. They often sit on the rocks, drop down into the fynbos, disappearing from sight only to re-appear again a few yards away. At other times they would fly for about ten to fifteen meters from one rock to another before dropping from sight again. Patient observation and scanning the rocky slopes is needed. The males are very territorial and often do their fantail display during breeding season - a dream sighting for both avid birders and nature photographers.

The Rooiels site is however not only about finding the CAPE ROCK-JUMPERS. The pristine Fynbos, together with rugged boulder-strewn mountain slopes around “False Hangklip” host a huge diversity of endemic species. It is not uncommon that first time visitors locate more than ten endemic species within a few hours spent here. Expect to find the the CAPE BUNTING, CAPE GRASSBIRD, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD and SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, all being abundant. The CAPE BULBUL, GREY-BACKED CISTICOLA, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, CAPE SPURFOWL, CAPE WEAVER and CAPE WHITE-EYE are also common. To crown this all there is also a real possibility of locating other sought-after species such as the JACKAL BUZZARD, CAPE SISKIN, VICTORIN'S WARBLER and GROUND WOODPECKER.
Other resident species that are recorded regularly include the YELLOW BISHOP, FAMILIAR CHAT, ROCK MARTIN, WHITE-NECKED RAVEN and CAPE ROCK-THRUSH. The SENTINEL ROCK-THRUSH has been photographed here, but is regarded as being uncommon. A pair of VERREAUX'S EAGLE regularly breed against the cliffs and often provide great entertainment patrolling the skies with the immature fledgling of the season. Also look out for the ROCK KESTREL, NEDDICKY, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT and MALACHITE SUNBIRD that occur less often.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Sugarbird on Brunia stokoei. The latter only found in January, endemic to the Kleinmond district (Carin Malan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some good coastal birds are also often on view along the shore, even though at a distance with the result that the use of spotting scopes is advised. The CAPE and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, HARTLAUB'S and KELP GULLS, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER and SWIFT TERN occur commonly, with CAPE GANNETS often foraging out to sea. The Rooiels site also often produces wonderful views of large pods of dolphins and sightings of whales in season.

The Rooiels site is generally regarded as one of the best spots in the Western Cape Province to observe and study several of the endemic species associated with the Fynbos Biome. The very popular CAPE ROCK-JUMPER serves as an extra bonus. This site is on privately owned property with the result that visitors are requested to observe the code of conduct for bird-watchers as described by BirdLife South Africa. It is best to visit the site when the wind is not blowing. 

(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).

In search of that lost rock-jumper 
Cape Rock-Thrush (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Siskin female  (Craig Adam)
Ground Woodpecker  (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFRICAN PENGUINS AND CORMORANTS AT STONY POINT Show details

THE HAROLD PORTER NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS 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 PATHS 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

DYER ISLAND AND SURROUNDS 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