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

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


The ROOISAND NATURE RESERVE (34˚ 19’46.45”S 19˚ 05’17.19”E) forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and is clearly signposted on the R44 between Kleinmond and the Arabella Estate. Wooden boardwalks take one to a bird hide that has been developed in a collaborative project between CapeNature and Arabella. Note should however be taken of the fact that the hide sometimes becomes inaccessible after heavy rains. The boardwalk is not recommend to people walking with difficulty and only the section to the first lookout point is wheelchair friendly. The site gives access to the western shores of Bot River estuary and birding can often be excellent. It is further well known for the wild horses that are often on view – read more about the origin of these horses at some of the links below. Rooisand is best visited in the afternoon as the glare of the sun off the water often makes bird-watching very difficult in the morning. 

Wild horses at Rooisand (Anton Odendal)
Wild horses & pelicans (Carin Malan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birding along the access road should not be underestimated. Keep a keen lookout for the SOUTHERN TCHAGRA as it is recorded regularly. Endemic or near-endemic terrestrial species that are very common include the CAPE BATIS, BOKMAKIERIE, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE BULBUL, GREY-BACKED CISTICOLA, BLUE CRANE, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SPURFOWL and SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD. The BAR-THROATED APALIS and LONG-BILLED CROMBEC, together with a variety of canaries also feature prominently. The DENHAM'S BUSTARD also features regularly. Birds of prey that are seen fairly often include the JACKAL BUZZARD, BOOTED EAGLE, ROCK KESTREL and SECRETARYBIRD, with the STEPPE BUZZARD and YELLOW-BILLED KITE being abundant during summer. The SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL, FIERY-NECKED NIGHTJAR and BARN OWL feature significantly in records.

The Rooisand site is best known for regular sightings of the AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, WESTERN OSPREY and AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER, all of which are very much sought-after with the bird-watching fraternity. Waterbirds abound and the GREATER FLAMINGO, GREAT WHITE PELICAN and AFRICAN SPOONBILL are often present in large numbers. The LESSER FLAMINGO is found far less often. The PIED AVOCET, GREY HERON and BLACK-WINGED STILT often feature commonly, as do the GREAT CRESTED and LITTLE GREBES seasonally. The BLACK-NECKED GREBE occur in small numbers. The WHITE-BACKED DUCK, EGYPTIAN and SPUR-WINGED GEESE, SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK and CAPE and RED-BILLED TEAL are abundant, and the HOTTENTOT TEAL is seen rarely. All of the region's common kingfishers are often on display. The CASPIAN and SWIFT TERN occur throughout the year and in summer vast numbers of the COMMON and SANDWICH TERN make for spectacular birding and photography.

African Fish-Eagle (Carin Malan)
Western Osprey (Carin Malan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many experienced birders regard Rooisand as the best spot along the Cape Whale Coast to look for waders. The resident BLACKSMITH LAPWING and KITTLITZ'S, THREE-BANDED and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS are abundant, but the site has developed a reputation of producing stupendous wader sightings during summer months. The COMMON GREENSHANK, COMMON RINGED PLOVER, CURLEW and MARSH SANDPIPER and COMMON WHIMBREL feature prominently, with the RED KNOT, GREY PLOVER, RUFF, SANDERLING, COMMON SANDPIPER, LITTLE STINT and RUDDY TURNSTONE being seen in smaller numbers. Occasional sightings of the EURASIAN CURLEW, BAR-TAILED GODWIT and TEREK SANDPIPER are also on record. The site is also well known for its sighting of swifts and expect to find the ALPINE, AFRICAN BLACK, LITTLE and WHITE-RUMPED SWIFTS in summer. A small breeding population of the HORUS SWIFT is also on record.

Little Stint (Anton Odendal)
Common Ringed Plover (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vagrant species reported in recent years include the AFRICAN OPENBILL and EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER. The area between Rooisand and Arabella Estate further holds small populations of the HOTTENTOT BUTTON-QUAIL and AFRICAN GRASS-OWL, but this is on private property and special permission is needed to enter. A visit to the Rooisand Nature Reserve comes highly recommended, even though it would probably be much better to bird there in the afternoon.

(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).

BirdLife Overberg members on Rooisand boardwalk
Common Tern (Carin Malan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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