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 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


STONY POINT (34˚22’26.58”S 18˚53’46.72”E) can be reached by following the sign boards from the R44 when travelling through Betty’s Bay – simply follow the PENGUIN SIGNS. The JACKAL BUZZARD, PEREGRINE FALCON and ROCK KESTREL are often found along the access roads. Endemic terrestrial species that are found regularly along the access roads and the coastal brush surrounding the Stony Point site include the SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE BULBUL, CAPE CANARY, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, CAPE GRASSBIRD, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SPURFOWL and CAPE SUGARBIRD, as well as the SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, CAPE WEAVER and CAPE WHITE-EYE. Other resident species found very often include the YELLOW BISHOP, FAMILIAR CHAT, ROCK MARTIN, SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, RED-WINGED STARLING and MALACHITE SUNBIRD. In summer the BLACK SAWWING, BARN, GREATER STRIPED and WHITE-THROATED SWALLOWS and ALPINE, LITTLE and WHITE-RUMPED SWIFTS are numerous.

Part of the African Penguin colony at Stony Point  (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stony Point Penguin Colony is one of only two mainland breeding colonies of the AFRICAN PENGUIN and the wooden boardwalks allow visitors to get really close to the penguins and a variety of other coastal birds. “The colony first began in 1982 with the arrival of a breeding pair of penguins, presumably from nearby Dyer Island, and by 1986 the colony had grown to about 40 nests. The colony was originally unfenced allowing visitors to wander and spend time with the penguins in close proximity. Sadly this changed in the late 1980’s when a leopard attacked the colony, killing over 60 penguins. Since then the penguins have been fenced in, allowing the colony to grow to over 150 pairs – partly due to immigration from Dyer Island and partly due to breeding. Boardwalks have been erected to provide easy viewing for visitors. Penguins can be seen daily, however; the best viewing is in early morning and early evening between the months of April and June. The AFRICAN PENGUIN is listed as endangered with numbers decreasing rapidly over the past few years due to oil spills, predatory Cape Fur Seals, overfishing of the surrounding waters and a variety of other factors. The site is open from 08h00 to 17h00 and a small entrance fee is applicable.” (Source: The Cape Whale Coast website).

Happy feet  (Carin Malan)
More happy feet  (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All five South African cormorant species can be found at Stony Point including the threatened BANK, CAPE and CROWNED CORMORANTS. The AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, KITTLITZ'S, THREE-BANDED and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS and BLACK-WINGED STILT also feature regularly. Small numbers of SWIFT TERN are resident and the COMMON and SANDWICH TERNS are present in summer. HARTLAUB'S and KELP GULLS are common, as are LITTLE EGRET, EGYPTIAN GOOSE, GREY HERON and AFRICAN SACRED IBIS seasonally. 

Crowned & Cape Cormorants (Carin Malan)
Nesting Bank Cormorants (Carin Malan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stony Point remains one of the Western Cape's most important birding assets: it is very well maintained and managed by the Overstrand Municipality and CapeNature and visitors regularly comment on the good number of foreign birders that are engaged with on the boardwalks. An exciting recent development at Stony Point was the launch of a themed visitor information centre, a tearoom and a heritage site for the whaling history of the Stony Point site. The Mooiuitsig Community Trust holds the commercial rights to manage the coffee shop and eco-centre, thus benefiting the local community. A visit to Stony Point is a highly enjoyable birding activity and well worth taking the time to experience. Also keep in mind that a visit to Rooiels and Stony Point can be combined with a visit to the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, making for an excellent day’s birding – three completely different habitat types in close proximity to each other featuring different suites of birds. Cape Whale Coast birding at its best!

African Black Oystercatchers (Carin Malan)
White-fronted Plover  (Charles Naude)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stony Point represents one of the many sites along the Cape Whale Coast shoreline where the adverse impact of plastics, fishing line and other pollutants on our environment in general and our coastal birds in particular often seem obvious. Birds are regularly severely injured through entanglement with various forms of ocean litter and the negative visual impact of the litter could have detrimental impacts on tourism to the region. The members of BirdLife Overberg recently launched the CleanMarine campaign that features various projects such as regular monthly coastal clean-ups, the erection of bins to collect discarded fishing line and warning placards to inform the public about the presence of AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS breeding, or raising their chicks along our beaches and rocky shores. Find out more about these projects at one of the links in the dropdown menu below and assist us by cooperating, thus contributing to the conservation of our beautiful coastline for future generations. Please report all injured or oiled coastal birds and animals to the Cape Whale Coast stranding network at 072 598 7117 immediately. This dedicated service is provided by the African Penguin and Seabirds Sanctuary (APSS) of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Kleinbaai.

(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).

Fishing line bin set up by BirdLife Overberg members
A cormorant's slow death through fishing line entanglement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The zoning of beaches for dogs along the Overstrand coastline is currently being investigated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stony Point Boardwalk (Image provided by the Overstrand Municipality)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindly stay clear of African Black Oystercatcher and White-fronted Plover nests and chick raising activities. These warning signs are being set up at most of these identified sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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