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

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


BOT RIVER ESTUARY, FISHERHAVEN AND THE HAWSTON SEWAGE WORKS

Access to the BOTRIVIERVLEI is unfortunately fairly limited due to private land ownership along its shores. Areas such as the Arabella Golf Estate, the Benguela Cove Estate and the Meer-en-See Estate can only be accessed with special permission. It is advised that local bird-watchers are approached regarding possible access to these hugely underrated birding destinations. The estuary is internationally recognised as the Botrivier and Kleinmond Estuary Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA -SA118). The following link can be used to obtain detailed information on conservation issues and species recorded at this important estuary:

http://www.birdlife.org.za/conservation/iba/iba-directory/286-botrivierkleinmond

Keep in mind that the Rooisand Nature Reserve and the bird hide represents the best spot from where birds can be enjoyed – see detailed description elsewhere.

The reed beds along the edges of the estuary where access is available support an interesting array of species such as the BLACK CRAKE, LITTLE BITTERN, PURPLE HERON, GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE, AFRICAN RAIL, AFRICAN SNIPE and AFRICAN PURPLE SWAMPHEN. Warblers include the AFRICAN REED-WARBLER (summer), LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER and LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER. The open waters regularly feature the PIED AVOCET, GREATER FLAMINGO, LESSER FLAMINGO (less often), GREAT CRESTED GREBE, GREAT WHITE PELICAN and AFRICAN SPOONBILL. Also look for the WHITE-BACKED DUCK, SPUR-WINGED GOOSE, SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK and CAPE and RED-BILLED TEALS and many more. In summer the mud flats of the estuary attract migratory waders including the BAR-TAILED GODWIT, COMMON GREENSHANK, RED KNOT, COMMON RINGED PLOVER, COMMON, CURLEW, MARSH and TEREK SANDPIPERS and COMMON WHIMBREL.

BirdLife Overberg members along Bot River Estuary

 

Greater Flamingos (Riaan Jacobs)

 

 

 

 

Caspian Tern (Riaan Jacobs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At FISHERHAVEN bird-watching hiking trails have been developed by the Fisherhaven Rate Payers Association. The trails are marked by poles with white tops: There is a "Birdwatching" sign on Riverside Drive where a path leads to a viewpoint near the Afdaksrivier. A "Hiking trail" sign at the slipway parking area (34°21'20.17”S 19°07'27.35”E) shows the start of the other trail going around Seaway Corner and there is a bench at the viewpoint behind the Yacht Club. The slipway parking area is however the best spot for casual birding. Birding along the trails can be excellent, particularly in the early morning when many waterbirds, waders and terrestrial species are on view. Waterbirds often include the GREATER FLAMINGO, PURPLE HERON, GREAT WHITE PELICAN and SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK, together with a selection of terns that can be particularly numerous during summer. This area is very well known for the sighting of grebes with all three the BLACK-NECKED, GREAT CRESTED and LITTLE GREBES often being seen on an outing. Palearctic migrants can include BAR-TAILED GODWIT, COMMON GREENSHANK, COMMON RINGED PLOVER, COMMON, CURLEW and MARSH SANDPIPERS and COMMON WHIMBREL. The vegetation along the shore should be scanned for the BOKMAKIERIE, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE BULBUL, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD and SOUTHERN TCHAGRA. Always keep a lookout for the AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE and WESTERN OSPREY.

Purple Heron (Anton Odendal)
BirdLife Overberg members at Meer-en-See

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HAWSTON SEWAGE WORKS (34°22'34.86”S 19°67'41.23”E) is another hugely underrated birding destination and reporting to the office before the pans are explored is essential. It is advised that this site be visited in groups. Huge numbers of ducks and gulls are often on display, with this site being one of the few in the region where the GREY-HEADED GULL is often found. The reed beds give cover to secretive species such as the LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA, BLACK CRAKE, AFRICAN PURPLE SWAMPHEN, LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER and LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER. Large numbers of the YELLOW-BILLED DUCKS, CAPE SHOVELLERS and CAPE TEALS are often present. Sightings of the MALACHITE KINGFISHER are sometimes possible. Also be on the lookout for the NAMAQUA DOVE, a species that is still fairly rare in the Overstrand and an exciting species to be found by locals.

The wetland and swamp across the road from the sewage works should also not be underestimated as it is a good area for waterbirds. This wetland area is best viewed from the elevated western side of the ponds and spotting scopes come in handy. The wetland is unfortunately overgrown with exotic reeds and the viewing of open water is almost impossible. There are moves afoot to rehabilitate and develop access to this area, popularly called PADDAVLEI in bird-watching circles. The majority of ducks and herons to be expected in the region can often be seen flying about, but is regarded as one of the best spots for sightings of the HOTTENTOT TEAL, yet another fairly rare bird in the region. The BURCHELL’S COUCAL and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON represent thrilling sightings and the AFRICAN MARSH HARRIER can sometimes be seen quartering over the wetland. Most of the martins, swallows and swifts of the region can often be seen in impressive numbers creating interesting identification challenges. Vagrant species recorded at the sewage works in recent years include BAILLON'S CRAKE and EUROPEAN and LILAC-BREASTED ROLLERS.

(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).

Birding at Hawston sewage works (Carin Malan)
Swift Terns over the estuary (MC Botha)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Tern over the estuary (Dawid Malan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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