Birding Routes

BIRDING IN THE WITZENBERG REGION - INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS Show details

THE ENDEMIC AND OTHER SPECIAL SPECIES OF THE WITZENBERG REGION Show details

THE MOUNTAIN PASSES OF THE WITZENBERG REGION Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 1 - GENERAL INTRODUCTION Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 2 - THE TWEE JONGEGEZELLEN ROAD Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 3 - THE THEUNISKRAAL ROAD Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 4 - THE ROAD TO WOLSELEY Show details

BAINSKLOOF PASS AND BERGSIG WINE ESTATE Show details

BERGSIG WINE ESTATE TO WOLSELEY - AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE Show details


Local birders advise that an alternative route to the R43 be taken when travelling between Bergsig Wine Estate and Wolseley. This charming gravel road mostly follows the Breede River as it meanders down the valley. From Bergsig return towards the Bainskloof Pass and turn right after the bridge over the Breede River at 33° 31'18”S 19° 11'03”E.
The RIVER EDGE self-catering cottages are reached almost immediately at 33° 30'55”S 19° 10'30”E. These cottages literally rest on the banks of the beautiful river where a broad selection of waterbirds are on display. It is an ideal accommodation establishment to be used by smaller groups to explore the countless birding hot spots in the surrounding areas.
CONTACT DETAILS: Tel: +27 (0)23 355 1838 E-mail: info@riveredgeaccom.co.za Website: www.riveredgeaccom.co.za

Several rows of casuarina trees, used as windbreaks by farmers, are reached at 33° 30'57”S 19° 10'48”E. Search these trees for the tremendously popular, endemic CAPE SISKINS that utilise it as a food source. Any of these trees throughout the region have the potential of hosting these very special birds. A grove of trees at 33° 29'18”S 19° 09'54”E is another wonderful spot as the BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, AFRICAN OLIVE-PIGEON and AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (summer) are often found here. Also look carefully for the SOUTHERN BOUBOU, LONG-BILLED CROMBEC and CARDINAL WOODPECKER. Take a right turn at 33° 29'13”S 19° 09'49”E.

It is definitely worthwhile spending a considerable amount of time by a stream at 33° 28'59”S 19° 10'02”E. The BLACK CRAKE, HAMERKOP, COMMON MOORHEN and most of the region's common egrets, herons and warblers may be found here when conditions are favourable. Take a right turn at 33° 28'47”S 19° 09'56”E. The natural vegetation by the rocky terrain along the hill at 33° 28'27”S 19° 10'07”E brings an entirely different grouping of birds into play. The BOKMAKIERIE, CAPE GRASSBIRD, WHITE-BACKED MOUSEBIRD, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, RED-WINGED STARLING, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, KAROO THRUSH and CAPE WEAVER are found frequently, whilst the JACKAL BUZZARD, VERREAUX'S EAGLE and ROCK KESTREL may sometimes be seen soaring the skies. A dam is then found on the right at 33° 27'35”S 19° 09'55”E where multiple duck species are often present in prolific numbers. The same applies to a dam, which has an entrance reached at 33° 26'36”S 19° 09'29”E. The road then veers to the right at 33° 26'18”S 19° 09'22”E. 

The Kluitjieskraal State Plantation (33° 25'54”S 19° 10'00”E) is then passed and this general area should be scrutinised for remarkable raptors such as the AFRICAN GOSHAWK, AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK and BLACK and RUFOUS-CHESTED SPARROWHAWKS, although these may be tricky to find due to their secretive behaviour. The BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE is more widespread. Take care to listen for the distinguishing calls of the common cuckoo species during summer. The road passes some very interesting wetlands and a turn-off to a wetland is found at 33° 25'29”S 19° 10'56”E. Ample time should be spent here as this area is frequently found to be extremely productive. 

The Wolseley sewage works contain splendid waterbirds such as the MACCOA and YELLOW-BILLED DUCKS, SOUTHERN POCHARD and CAPE and RED-BILLED TEALS. The WATER THICK-KNEE is reasonably common. In summer, it hosts admirable numbers of waders such as the COMMON GREENSHANK, CURLEW and MARSH SANDPIPERS and LITTLE STINT, with resident BLACKSMITH LAPWING, KITTLITZ'S and THREE-BANDED PLOVERS, BLACK-WINGED STILT and SPOTTED THICK-KNEE being particularly abundant throughout the year. The dam to the west and north of the settling ponds is certainly the best waterbird hot spot in the entire Witzenberg region and many local birders regard it as the area's ultimate birding site. The exotic trees around the dam and ponds support heronries and several raptor species breed here. The turn-off to the sewage works is at 33° 25'19”S 19° 11'12” and the entrance gate is at 33° 25'28”S 19° 11'32”E. There is currently uncertainty regarding access to the sewage works and details on procedures in this regard will be published as soon as this has been negotiated. The sewage works may also be reached from the centre of Wolseley. The turn-off from the main road is clearly labelled as “Kluitjieskraal and Pine Valley”. 

(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).

Immature Black-shouldered Kite (Image by CA)
Little Egret  (Image by LA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Canary  (Image by CA)

 

Blue Crane  (Image by CA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Teal  (Image by AO)
Southern Masked Weaver  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLSELEY AND MICHELLS PASS Show details

BIRDING IN CERES Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - CERES TO KAROOPOORT Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - KAROOPOORT TO TANKWA FARM STALL Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - KATBAKKIES TO OP-DIE-BERG Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - OP-DIE-BERG TO CERES Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 2 - SWAARMOED PASS & BO-SWAARMOED FARMING AREA Show details

CIRCLE ROUTE FROM CERES 2 CONTINUED - THE DROEHOEK ROAD TO GYDO PASS Show details

THE TANKWA-KAROO NATIONAL PARK - THE P2250 GRAVEL ROAD Show details

THE TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK 2 - OUDEBAASKRAAL AND SURROUNDS Show details

THE TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK 3 - THE INTERIOR ROADS AND ACCOMMODATION Show details

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details