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

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 TANQUA GUESTHOUSE (32° 22'09”S 19° 50'52”E)
The spacious Tanqua Guesthouse may be reached from two points along the initial section of the P2250 and is ideally suited for visits by larger groups and bird clubs. It may be used as a splendid base for exploring the birds in the immediate area, as well as the rest of the National Park. It also serves as venue for the very popular annual Tankwa Karoo Birding Bonanza weekend. Refer to reports on bird club outings and the Birding Bonanza weekends in the dropdown menu below.

The immediate area around the Tanqua Guesthouse affords choice birding opportunities. Most of the doves, mousebirds, sparrows, starlings and weavers of the region are usually present around the buildings and sheds surrounding the guest house. Other common species include the CAPE BULBUL, ANT-EATING CHAT, NAMAQUA DOVE, AFRICAN HOOPOE, NAMAQUA SANDGROUSE, CAPE SPURFOWL, AFRICAN STONECHAT, SPOTTED THICK-KNEE and GREY TIT. The dense reed beds and acacia thickets along the Tankwa River should produce the PRIRIT BATIS, BROWN-THROATED and ROCK MARTINS, PIED STARLING, KAROO THRUSH and NAMAQUA WARBLER as these are all superbly abundant. Be watchful for the FAIRY FLYCATCHER, LONG-BILLED CROMBEC and DUSKY SUNBIRD, while the CAPE CLAPPER LARKS are very prominent in open areas during spring. The SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL and BARN OWL are common, with the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON and RUFOUS-CHEEKED NIGHTJAR also present. 
(The text continues below these photographs).

At the Tanqua Guest House  (Image by AO)
Tankwa landscape 2  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namaqua Sandgrouse  (Image by AO)
Brown-throated Martin  (Image by RM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE OUDEBAASKRAAL DAM (32° 23'19”S 19° 53'20”E)
The OUDEBAASKRAAL DAM is an oasis in this arid landscape and one can expect to find populous numbers of waterbirds that include nomadic GREATER FLAMINGOS. Expect to find all three grebes, both cormorants and most of the ducks, geese and herons of the region. This revitalizing dam is a water bird heaven and a fantastic asset for birds and birding in the Tankwa-Karoo National Park. 

A review of trip reports and SABAP2 protocol cards suggests that the RED-KNOBBED COOT, EGYPTIAN GOOSE, LITTLE GREBES, and SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK, together with the REED and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, YELLOW-BILLED DUCK, BLACK-NECKED and GREAT CRESTED GREBES, THREE-BANDED PLOVER and BLACK-WINGED STILT are present in limitless quantities. Species that are found commonly include the MACCOA DUCK, SPUR-WINGED GOOSE, GREY HERON, KITTLITZ'S PLOVER, CAPE SHOVELER, AFRICAN SPOONBILL and CAPE and RED-BILLED TEALS. The PIED AVOCET, AFRICAN DARTER, LITTLE EGRET, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, GREY-HEADED GULL, HAMERKOP, MALACHITE KINGFISHER, COMMON MOORHEN and SOUTHERN POCHARD occur in far smaller numbers. The GREAT WHITE PELICAN, GLOSSY IBIS and PIED KINGFISHER are only recorded infrequently.

A hike along the dam wall, preferably with a spotting scope, is strongly recommended. The reed beds below the wall consistently produce the FAIRY FLYCATCHER, COMMON WAXBILL and NAMAQUA WARBLER, with EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS being present in summer. LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER is recorded occasionally. The BLACKSMITH LAPWING and KITTLITZ'S and THREE-BANDED PLOVERS are easily seen from the dam wall. Migratory waders that are especially common include the COMMON GREENSHANK, RUFF, CURLEW SANDPIPER and LITTLE STINT. The WHITE-WINGED TERNS also visit the area seasonally.

The access roads to the dam frequently yield the TRACTRAC CHAT, SOUTHERN PALE CHANTING GOSHAWK, BLACK-HEADED HERON and CAPPED WHEATEAR. The KAROO KORHAAN and KAROO LONG-BILLED LARK are seen on odd occasions, while a few records of the MARTIAL EAGLE and COMMON QUAIL have also been noted. Finally, be on the lookout for the LANNER FALCON hunting the NAMAQUA SANDGROUSE approaching to drink water.

(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the photographs that can be used to further plan a visit to the area).

Oudebaaskraal Dam  (Image by AO)
Greater Flamingos  (Image by CM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tankwa Landscape 3  (Image by AO)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South African Shelducks  (Image by AO)
Maccoa Duck  (Image by CM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details