BIRDING IN THE PLETTENBERG BAY REGION - INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS Show details
The Bitou municipal area along the Garden Route region of the Western Cape Province of South Africa is internationally renowned as a tourist destination. Consider, for instance, the Cape Floral Kingdom, spectacular land-, mountain and seascapes, whale and dolphin watching, indigenous forests, diverse peoples ¬ the list goes on. One of the region’s greatest assets is the diversity of bird species found here: it hosts a range of often sought-after endemic bird species, such as AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, PROTEA SEEDEATER, CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD, KNYSNA TURACO, KNYSNA and VICTORIN'S WARBLERS, KNYSNA WOODPECKER and many more.
Further to this, several under-utilised and ecologically varied birding destinations such as the Garden of Eden, Harkerville Forest, Robberg Nature Reserve, the Plettenberg Bay sewage works, the Bitou and Keurbooms Rivers and its estuary, Nature's Valley and others need to be properly exposed to a rapidly growing birdwatching fraternity. The Tsitsikamma National Park is included in this web page as it forms part of the Plettenberg Bay Hope Spot. It has also been proposed that the Tsitsikamma National Park Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) should in future include the Groot River Estuary and surrounding forests at Nature's Valley, parts of the Keurbooms River Estuary and Keurbooms spit, the Bitou Wetlands and the Robberg Peninsula.
Many exciting birding products already exist: Forest birding at Nature's Valley is world renowned, the Kelp Gull breeding colony at Keurbooms Beach needs no introduction and the migratory waders visiting the Bitou River floodplain and the Keurbooms estuary are legendary. The region further boasts an excellent tourism infrastructure and several accommodation establishments are well equipped to cope with the demands set by local and international birders. This includes a checklist of the birds of the Plettenberg Bay region, which is available at:
This text serves as an introductory overview to assist the visitor to track down some of the sought-after birds of the region and provides information on where they can search for them. The text should be seen as a starting point to be used against the backdrop of the website. More comprehensive descriptions and details can be found in the Garden Route section of www.westerncapebirding.co.za which can be downloaded. A selection of conservation and tourism agencies have also been invited to submit information about their organisations. These are BIRDLIFE PLETTENBERG BAY, BIRDS OF EDEN, NATURE'S VALLEY TRUST, RADICAL RAPTORS, TANIKWA REHABILITATION CENTRE and ultimately the project sponsors, THE PLETTENBERG BAY ACCOMMODATION ASSOCIATION. Drop-down menus are provided with each body of text and these offer links to more comprehensive articles, trip reports and websites that the visitor can utilise to assist with the planning of birding excursions. These links will be updated on a continual basis. Basic GPS reference points are provided.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the content of this web page, the members of BIRDLIFE OVERBERG and the PLETTENBERG BAY ACCOMMODATION ASSOCIATION can not be held responsible for any omissions or errors, or any misfortune, injury or damages that may arise from it.
FOCUS ON THE PROJECT SPONSOR: PLETTENBERG BAY ACCOMMODATION ASSOCIATION
The Plettenberg Bay Accommodation Association is a voluntary association of members, which corresponds with the National Accommodation Association of South Africa with particular reference to its aims and objectives. It represents its members on a collective basis in terms of its aims and objectives at a local level to actively market, advertise and promote to the public the full range of destination assets for recreational, cultural, environmental, business and visitor travel that are available in the area, and thereby enhance and promote the travel and tourism industry of Plettenberg Bay.
The Plett Accommodation Association is working hard to raise the profile and profitability of all its members. The format includes accommodation establishments, activity companies, lifestyle centres, restaurants and wedding venues. Established more than ten years ago, they have become one of the leading proactive organisations within the tourism industry in Plettenberg Bay. This is mainly due to our efforts to improve the level of marketing our members, as well as our commitment to representing members’ concerns with local authorities.
CONTACT DETAILS: Patty Butterworth
SECRETARY: (EMAIL) firstname.lastname@example.org
DEDICATED MOBILE NUMBER: +27 083 453 5331
EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
ACCOMODATION IN PLETTENBERG BAY: http://www.plettinfo.co.za/accommodation/index.php
(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the logo that may be used to further plan a visit to the area).
|African Rail (AO)|
|Common Sandpiper (CM)|
|Lanner Falcon (AO)|
|Barn Owl (DM)|
INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL BIRD SPECIES OF THE PLETTENBERG BAY AREA Show details
Many visitors to the Plettenberg Bay area are attracted by the diversity of bird species in the region. This diversity has two basic characteristics: On the one hand a variety of endemic species are to be found and on the other many species not usually associated with the Western Cape are fairly common in the Plettenberg Bay region.
Endemism refers to species that are restricted to a certain region and that can be found nowhere else in the world. Southern Africa is fortunate to have a high level of endemism in all forms of life and South Africa, as a country, is considered by some to be the third most biologically diverse country in the world. A whopping 57 of the Southern Africa's endemic bird species and 32 of the near-endemic species are found in relatively close proximity to Plettenberg Bay. With these 89 species this region alone boasts more endemic birds than most countries have to offer. A further advantage is that most of these species are fairly easily accessible and bird guides, eager to part with appropriate local knowledge, are readily available. The development of these web pages is a further attempt to assist visiting birders to gain easier access to many of the region's special species.
Stereotypically most people believe that the 'Cape endemics' mostly consist of birds associated with the Cape Floral Kingdom. This 'kingdom' with 9 000 plant species (almost 70% of which are endemic), ranks among the wonders of the natural world. Several exciting and often endemic bird species are attracted to this habitat type and can be tracked down fairly easily in several different localities throughout the Plettenberg Bay region. Most of these birding destinations are readily accessible and often feature dramatic mountain landscapes.
Top destinations for these 'Fynbos specials' include the Kranshoek lookout point area, the Robberg Nature Reserve, the De Vasselot section of the Garden Route National Park above the Groot River Pass at Nature's Valley and several private properties throughout the region. Access to several of these private properties can be gained through Golden Orb Tours. Entrance to these reserves is often free or available at a minimal cost.
The endemic birds associated with these Fynbos habitats are HOTTENTOT BUTTONQUAIL, PROTEA SEEDEATER, CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD and VICTORIN'S WARBLER.
A further group of endemics is associated with the cold Benguela current along the West Coast of Southern Africa and species that can sometimes be seen in the Plettenberg Bay region include CAPE and CROWNED CORMORANTS, CAPE GANNET, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER and AFRICAN PENGUIN. All the species mentioned are hugely sought-after by birders from other provinces and overseas and form the backbone of marketing efforts to attract birdwatchers to the area.
A further unique feature of the Plettenberg Bay area when compared to the rest of the Western Cape Province is that a range of species usually associated with forest and thicket habitats in the Eastern Cape Province and areas further north are to be found here. These include OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, FOREST CANARY, LEMON and TAMBOURINE DOVES, WHITE-STARRED ROBIN, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT, NARINA TROGON, KNYSNA TURACO, KNYSNA WARBLER, YELLOW-FRONTED WOODLAND-WARBLER and KNYSNA WOODPECKER. More common endemics or near-endemics attracted to the region's forests and thickets include CAPE BATIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, BURCHELL'S COUCAL, SOUTHERN TCHAGRA and OLIVE WOODPECKER. AFRICAN FINFOOT and WHITE-BACKED NIGHT-HERON can be found in the upper reaches of the Keurbooms River and the Groot River at Nature's Valley.
Many birders are amazed to find that several fairly common species often found in suburban gardens such as CAPE BULBUL, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SPARROW, CAPE SPURFOWL, GREATER and SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS, SWEE WAXBILL, CAPE WEAVER and CAPE WHITE-EYE also fall into this category of endemism or near-endemism.
General species in the region that have not even been mentioned yet, include GREY-BACKED CISTICOLA, CAPE GRASSBIRD, BLACK HARRIER, CAPE LONGCLAW, SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK and CAPE SHOVELER. To crown it all this list is by no means comprehensive.
The region's impressive list of endemic and special species is further enhanced by species that prefer mountainous and hilly habitats, including FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, GREY-WINGED FRANCOLIN, CAPE and SENTINEL ROCK-THRUSHES.
The Western Cape in general and the Plettenberg Bay area in particular has limitless potential for attracting South African and international birdwatchers to our shores. This web page, sponsored by the PLETTENBERG BAY ACCOMMODATION ASSOCIATION, is an attempt to help realise this vast potential.
(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the images that may be used to further plan a visit to the area).
|Cape Sugarbird (AO)|
|Knysna Woodpecker (CM)|
|Black Harrier (RB)|
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- ENDEMIC BIRDS OF THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE
- THE GREATEST SA RARE BIRD NEWS EVER!
- WANTED: THE PRECISE LOCATIONS OF PROTEA SEEDEATERS AND CAPE ROCK-JUMPERS
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- THE RINGING OF ENDEMIC FYNBOS SPECIES AT PLETT
- REGULAR PELAGIC OUTINGS FROM PLETT
- PLETTENBERG BAY KELP GULL PROJECT
- BIRDLIFE PLETTENBERG BAY FACEBOOK PAGE
GARDEN OF EDEN Show details
GARDEN OF EDEN is situated almost halfway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay (34° 03' 01.5”S 23° 17' 60.2”E). It is managed by SANParks and features properly maintained wheelchair friendly walkways of approximately 800 metres and a longer one of 1 km. This destination offers a beautiful indigenous forest experience dominated by the huge Outeniqua Yellow-wood trees and massive ferns. The experience is enhanced by identification markers on most of the trees. The filtered sunlight creates fantastic photographic opportunities. A variety of special forest species are to be found here and these include TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL, WHITE-STARRED ROBIN, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT, NARINA TROGON, the ever popular KNYSNA TURACO and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER. Summer migrants include AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO, RED-CHESTED CUCKOO and a variety of other cuckoos. Most of these forest specials are secretive and elusive and unfortunately traffic noise from the nearby N2 often hightens the challenge of finiding them. An extended visit to Garden of Eden is, however, highly recommended. Since parking space can often be limited visits early in the morning or later in the afternoon are recommended. A minimal entrance fee applies.
(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).
|Garden of Eden boardwalk (AO)|
|Olive Woodpecker (RM)|
|Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher (CM)|
HARKERVILLE FOREST AND KRANSHOEK VIEW POINT Show details
Harkerville Forest and the Kranshoek view point represent an ideal opportunity for birders to gain easy and comfortable access to both forest and fynbos species. The turnoff from the N2 is located 12km from Plettenberg Bay, and 22km from Knysna at the SASOL service station. (34° 03' 75.9”S 23° 22' 61.7”E). Follow this road for roughly 1.4 km and then turn right towards Kranshoek. An entrance gate is reached a short distance further at 34° 05' 09”S 23° 23' 28.7”E. A small entrance fee applies.SANParks can be contacted for accommodation at the Tree Top Forest Chalet.
Forest birding here is outstanding and expect to find species such as GREY CUCKOOSHRIKE, AFRICAN OLIVE-PIGEON, NARINA TROGON, KNYSNA TURACO and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER. The picnic site close by is of particular interest and it is recommended that some time be spent here. A walk along the Forest Flora Trail is usually very productive ¬ a recent outing produced OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, FOREST CANARY, TAMBOURINE DOVE, WHITE-STARRED ROBIN, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT, NARINA TROGON and KNYSNA WOODPECKER. LONG-CRESTED EAGLE and EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD have also been recorded in recent years.
Continue slowly to the Kranshoek lookout point, where many more exciting forest species await. There is another picnic site at the lookout point. (34° 08' 55.5”S 23° 22' 77.I”E). RED-NECKED SPURFOWL is regularly present and FOREST BUZZARD, PEREGRINE FALCON, KELP GULL, ROCK KESTRELS and WHITE-NECKED RAVEN often glide past. Other species to look out for along the forest fringes include CAPE BATIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, BURCHELL'S COUCAL and OLIVE WOODPECKER. The view of the coastline from the lookout is stunning. Whales can be spotted between July and December.
The surrounding fynbos vegetation should be investigated and it is recommended that a trail to the east of the viewpoint be explored. CAPE GRASSBIRD, CAPE SUGARBIRD, MALACHITE and ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRDS and VICTORIN'S WARBLER are but a few of the species to be expected here at various times of the year. Also be on the lookout for the elusive HOTTENTOT BUTTONQUAIL, PROTEA SEEDEATER, CAPE SISKIN, both double-collared sunbird species and SOUTHERN TCHAGRA. CAPE and CROWNED CORMORANTS, CAPE GANNET and AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER can often be seen from here, so remember to pack the spotting scope!
(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).
|Kranshoek lookout (AO|
|Kranshoek waterfall (AO)|
|Black-headed Oriole (CN)|
|Long-crested Eagle (LA)|
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- WING-SNAPPING CISTICOLA IN PLETTENBERG BAY
- BIRDING AT THE HARKERVILLE FOREST AND KRANSHOEK VIEW POINT
- BRIEF NOTES ON BIRDING AT PLETT
- DESCRIPTION OF THE HARKERVILLE HIKING TRAIL
- YOUNG COMMON CUCKOO LOCATED
- NEW SELF-CATERING CHALETS AT KRANSHOEK
- LAKES BIRD CLUB OUTING IN THE PLETT AREA
ROBBERG NATURE RESERVE Show details
Robberg Nature Reserve (34° 06’ 15.30”S 23° 23’ 31.56”E) is located 8km south of Plettenberg Bay and is best accessed by taking the Piesang Valley Road turn-off (34° 3’ 5.12”S 23° 21’ 13.07”E) from the N2. Follow Piesang Valley Road for 3km until the Robberg Road sign post on the right-hand side is reached. Turn right into Robberg Road and follow this road for 4km, turn left at the Robberg signpost and continue along this road for 2.5 km until the entrance gate to Robberg Nature Reserve is reached (34° 5’58 80.12”S 23° 22’ 24.29”E). A conservation fee is charged at the entrance gate, but is waived for visitors in possession of Wild Cards.
Robberg, otherwise known as ‘Seal Mountain’, is not only a nature reserve, but also a national monument and a marine protected area. Robberg's reputation is enhanced by a phenomenal history, entailing records such as the earliest known inhabitants residing in the Nelson Bay Cave (dating back to 120,000 years ago) and the San and Khoi who lived off land and sea (dating back to 4,000 years ago). Approximately 100 Portuguese sailors were stranded here some 384 years ago after their merchant ship, the Sao Goncalo, was wrecked. These are just a few examples of Robberg's fascinating history. Robberg is a peninsula or headland that juts out roughly 3.72 km into the Indian Ocean, an area that supports approximately 5,000 CAPE FUR SEALS. The surrounding Indian Ocean further affords the opportunity of witnessing miraculous sightings of HUMPBACK and SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALES (in season), BOTTLENOSED and COMMON DOLPHINS and GREAT WHITE SHARKS from the Robberg's peak points.
Robberg Nature Reserve is an awe-inspiring and untainted spot with an extensive range of habitats offering excellent Fynbos habitat birding. The Fynbos is easily accessible from the main parking area, allowing for the viewing of endemic species at close quarters, without having to cover large distances. Endemics such as CAPE GRASSBIRD, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SISKIN, GREATER and SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD, SOUTHERN TCHAGRA and CAPE ROCK-THRUSH are exhilarating finds. Irregular sightings of CINNAMON-BREASTED and ORANGE-BREASTED BUNTINGS are possible close to the main parking area. Furthermore, a pair of ROCK KESTRELS inhabits Robberg Nature Reserve, and sightings of BAR-THROATED APALIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, CAPE GANNET, KELP GULL, NEDDICKY, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, SWIFT TERN, as well as a variety of swallows and swifts can be witnessed from the main parking area.
Birding is also very rewarding along the three hiking trails.The Gap Trail covers a distance of 2.1 km, the Witsand Trail 5.5 km and the Point Circuit Hike 9.2 km. Notable bird species to look out for at the ‘Point’ along the Point Circuit Hike Trail include CAPE CORMORANT and CAPE GANNET, along with a large colony of SWIFT TERN. WHITE-CHINNED PETREL and SUBANTARCTIC SKUA can sometimes be observed over the ocean.
Visiting Nelson Bay Cave provides visitors with an intriguing opportunity to observe the intricacies of the well-preserved archaeological findings and multiple layers of remnants at the site. This enables an enhanced experience by learning about the tools and artifacts man used and left behind as long as 120 000 years ago.
Robberg Nature Reserve has a small information center, well-kept public toilets, numerous picnic tables on lookout decks with exceptional ocean views, as well as braai facilities, all of which are located close to the main parking spot.
CAPENATURE CONTACT DETAILS
PHONE: +27 (0)44 533 2125/85
(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).
|Karoo Prinia (CN)|
|Familiar Chat (AO)|
PLETTENBERG BAY AIRPORT ROAD AREA Show details
Plettenberg Bay Airport Road (34° 02’ 20.01”S 23° 14’ 29.71”E) is accessed by travelling towards Plettenberg Bay from Knysna on the N2. The turn-off to the Airport Road is reached approximately 1.5 km after the SASOL service station. Turn to the right at the green Plettenbergbaai sign. The road immediately becomes gravel and is mostly in a fairly poor condition, especially after heavy rains. After 1 km the road splits ¬ keep right and follow the road around the sharp bend. If the Airport Road is approached from Plettenberg Bay continue along the Robberg Road passing the turn-off to Robberg Nature Reserve on the left. (34° 05’ 12.37”S 23° 21’ 07.37”E) and then continue along the road which becomes the Airport Road.
The Airport Road area consists of a variety of habitats such as indigenous forests, pine plantations, Fynbos and farm lands. The first 5 kilometres of this road if approached from the N2 is generally good for locating forest bird species as the road borders sections of the Harkerville Forest. Birds such as CAPE BATIS, FOREST CANARY, GREY CUCKOOSHRIKE, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, KNYSNA TURACO and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER are fairly common. The medium sized dam on a private estate about 2 km from the N2 is a good spot to look for WHITE-BACKED, WHITE-FACED and YELLOW-BILLED DUCKS. This area supports a variety of birds of prey such as FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, STEPPE BUZZARD (summer), AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, LONG-CRESTED EAGLE and YELLOW-BILLED KITE (summer).
A fair portion of the properties along this road is privately owned, but the birding is rewarding if access permission has been obtained: BLACK-COLLARED BARBET, DENHAM’S BUSTARD, CAPE CANARY, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, HAMERKOP, BLACK-HEADED HERON, BLACK-WINGED LAPWING, RED-FACED and SPECKLED MOUSEBIRDS, NEDDICKY, CAPE and CHORISTER ROBIN-CHATS, GREATER and SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS and OLIVE WOODPECKERS are some of the available species. A single GOLIATH HERON was spotted in April 2013, and this bird was also seen on a couple of private dams in the Harkerville area. At night birds such as FIERY-NECKED NIGHJAR, BARN OWL, SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL and AFRICAN WOOD-OWL can be seen and heard.
A worthwhile establishment to visit is PLETTENBERG PARK HOTEL AND SPA (34° 06.002"S 23° 20' 57.24"E). This property of 200 ha boasts three natural wetlands and a large dam situated within the Fynbos. Approximately 65 bird species have been recorded and species often associated with Fynbos, such as CAPE GRASSBIRD, NEDDICKY, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SUGARBIRD, CAPE SISKIN, ORANGE-BREASTED and SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS and VICTORIN’S WARBLER can be found along some of the walkways.
ADDRESS: 4 Robberg Road
PHONE: +27 (0) 44 533 9067
|Cape Sugarbird (AO)|
|Cape Bulbul (WC)|
|Cape Spurfowl (AO)|
|Yellow-billed Duck (AO)|
HUNTERS LODGE Show details
Hunter’s Estate (34° 03’ 07.44”S 23° 16’ 13.95”E) is located along the N2, ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Signboards are marked clearly, indicating the entrance to the access road. Hunter’s Estate is owned by the Hunter Hotel Group and is comprised of three establishments: Hunter’s Country House, Tsala Treetop Lodge and Zinnia Restaurant.
Hunter’s Estate is within close proximity to the Harkerville Forest and the estate takes pride in its exquisite and well-maintained gardens which is a key attraction for a variety of striking garden birds, including six species of sunbirds. Walking within the property to look for birds promises exposure to indigenous forest patches, an open field and small dams, all offering their own authentic habitats which support, in abundance, a dynamic number of bird species. Special birds include CAPE BATIS, TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL, FOREST BUZZARD, FOREST CANARY, GREY CUCKOOSHRIKE, BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT, WHITE-STARRED ROBIN and BLACK-BELLIED STARLING. Amazingly, AMETHYST, COLLARED, GREATER DOUBLE-COLLARED, GREY, MALACHITE and SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS are all present here. A deeper search within the forest creates the glorious possibility of sighting LEMON DOVE and OLIVE THRUSH, which can be seen scuttling along the forest floor, as well as to hear the call of the YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER, further enhancing the magical forest birding experience. Another formidable sighting would be that of the elusive NARINA TROGON. KNYSNA TURACOS are ever present within the forest and the forest edges, and one can be led straight to them by simply following their call.
Hunter’s Estate is a recognised Bird Friendly Establishment through BirdLife South Africa and it offers scheduled morning local bird club outings which prove to be highly successful and rewarding.
CONTACT: Reservations at Hunter Hotels on +27 (0)44 501 1111
Hunter’s Country House: +27 (0)44 532 7818
|Amethyst Sunbird (RM)|
|Common Waxbill (AO)|
|Black Cuckooshrike female (WC)|
|Common Moorhen (AO)|
RADICAL RAPTORS AND FYNBOS RIDGE COUNTRY HOUSE AND COTTAGES Show details
RADICAL RAPTORS is a Bird of Prey rehabilitation and awareness centre that aims at the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured or problem birds of prey back into the wild. Birds unable to be released are cared for on an ongoing basis and become a crucial part of the awareness program. The centre is dedicated to raising public awareness about the importance and plight of the magnificent Birds of Prey within its environment.
FLYING DISPLAYS: Public awareness and education through interaction and participation ¬ the centre has established an informative and engaging programme to involve visitors during its displays. During flying displays a variety of birds unable to be released are allowed to fly freely. This provides visitors the opportunity to learn, interact and photograph them up close, in natural surroundings. Each display is approximately 45 to 60 minutes and during this time there is opportunity to hold some of them on your 'gloved' hand. DAILY FLYING DISPLAYS are at 11h00, 13h00 and 15h00.
The centre is closed on a Monday (except a public or school holiday)
Entrance to the facility is only for the flying displays.
ENTRANCE FEES includes the display and interaction (no extra costs).
The centre offers discount rates for schools, underprivileged groups and organisations - please contact the centre directly to discuss.
WHY RAPTOR REHABILITATION?
Adult raptors have few predators, but a slow breeding and high mortality rate. Survival drops further as a result of human impact, urbanisation, deliberate or accidental poisoning, inexperienced raptor hand-raising, illegal trade and hunting. Radical Raptors are on call 24/7 to rescue raptors in distress.
The centre is registered as a NPC (RADICAL RAPTORS NPC 2012/031021/08).
Funding is derived from admission fees, donations and sponsorship.
(Text provided by Radical Raptors)
ADDRESS: The Heath, N2, Plettenberg Bay. (6km from Plettenberg Bay towards Knysna on the left of the N2). (34° 04' 48.2”S 23° 29' 94.1”E)
PHONE: +27 (0)44 532 7537
MOBILE: (0)83 382 2417
FYNBOS RIDGE COUNTRY HOUSE AND COTTAGES
Fynbos Ridge is along the N2 in close proximity to Radical Raptors and is yet another birding destination that needs attention from serious birders. The comfortable self-catering garden cottages are secluded in mature stands of Fynbos offering fantastic views over valleys and mountains in the distance. The lavish gardens and exotic plantations on adjoining properties contribute to the diversity of bird species found at Fynbos Ridge. The website claims that 85 species are found on the property, but this is probably hugely underestimated. Top species include FOREST BUZZARD, CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD and VICTORIN'S WARBLER.
PHONE: +27 (0)44 533 0106
MOBILE: +27 (0)83 448 0046
GPS: 34° 03'90.11"S 23° 29'44.86"E
|Radical Raptors Poster (AO)|
|Spotted Eagle-Owl during show (AO)|
|Peregrine Falcon on display (AO)|
|Elaine with Barn Owl (AO)|
BIRDING WITHIN PLETTENBERG BAY Show details
Birding within the town of Plettenberg Bay often proves to be incredibly rewarding. Below are some of the key areas to visit and the write-ups aim to pay close attention to what each unique attraction offers. The areas selected are Plettenberg Bay Country Club, the neighbouring Global Village, Robberg Vlei and Poortjies.
PLETTENBERG BAY COUNTRY CLUB
The two prime birding areas to visit along the Piesang Valley Road are the Plettenberg Bay Country Club (34° 3’ 43.98”S 23° 20’ 55.80”E) and Global Village. These establishments are within close proximity to one another, and they are conveniently accessible by either driving down Piesang Valley Road from the N2, or by traveling up Piesang Valley Road if approaching from the centre of Plettenberg Bay.
The Plettenberg Bay Country Club continues to be a magnet for both South Africans and international visitors. It offers a stunning, peaceful environment, luscious vibrant green golf course surfaces, magnificent bowling greens, tennis courts and a welcoming deck area where many people enjoy their beverages or light snacks whilst breathing in the clean air and admiring the Tsitsikamma Mountains which feature as a backdrop in the distance. An exquisite variety of special bird species can be sighted on the course, and these include BLACK-COLLARED BARBET, CAPE BATIS, BROWN-HOODED, GIANT and MALACHITE KINGFISHERS, AFRICAN OLIVE-PIGEON, GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE and KNYSNA and OLIVE WOODPECKERS. Birds mostly associated with forest habitats are TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL, FOREST CANARY, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE, TAMBOURINE DOVE, BLUE-MANTLED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT, the secretive NARINA TROGON, KNYSNA TURACO, the much sought-after KNYSNA WARBLER and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER. In summer look out for AFRICAN EMERALD, BLACK, DIDERICK and RED-CHESTED CUCKOOS and AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER. Raptors recorded regularly are FOREST BUZZARD and AFRICAN HARRIER- HAWK.
It is imperative to note that bird-watching on the actual Plettenberg Bay Golf Course is only possible through a pre-arranged guided bird tour. Glen Witte is a Plettenberg Bay Country Club member and a qualified guide with extensive knowledge of the birds and their habitats located within the Plettenberg Bay Country Club. Contact Glen to organise a guided bird tour.
CONTACT DETAILS OF GLEN WITTE
PHONE: +27 (0)44 533 6795
MOBILE: +27 (0)82 905 5465
|Swee Waxbill (RM)|
|Knysna Turaco (AO)|
|Cape Batis (AO)|
The next birding hot-spot is the close-by Global Village which offers small dams, a central reed bed hosting a lively colony of CAPE WEAVERS, and a bird hide. (34° 3’ 39.72”S 23° 21’ 20.59”E). Global Village is situated in a tranquil setting and the quaint tables at the lovely Earth Café allow birders to sit back in ideal birding surroundings to enjoy a substantial light lunch or delicious breakfast. Stunning and special birds that can be seen here are BAR-THROATED APALIS, BLACK CRAKE, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, WHITE-FACED and YELLOW-BILLED DUCKS, PURPLE HERON, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, COMMON MOORHEN, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER, AMETHYST and GREATER DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS, LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER and KNYSNA TURACO. Furthermore, OLIVE THRUSH and a grecarious bunch of CAPE WEAVERS can be seen nesting in the central reed beds.
Global Village & Earth Café
PHONE: +27 (0)44 533 6172
A fact of Interest: A single WHIITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER was located further down the Piesang Valley Road at a small greenbelt on Green Point Avenue (34° 3’ 45.70”S 23° 21’ 55.40’E), behind the first buildings in view, and on the right hand side. This bird has not as yet been seen since this first time, in June 2012. Perhaps keeping a look out for a WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER is worthwhile when birding in and around the Piesang Valley Road area.
|African Paradise-Flycatcher (CM)|
|White-fronted Bee-eaters (AO)|
|Greater Double-collared Sunbird (MCB)|
Robberg Vlei (34° 5’ 7.97”S 23° 22’ 3.57”E) is best accessed by travelling along Longships Drive for approximately 1.9 km and turning left into Gris Nez Avenue. Continue along this avenue for approximately 950 meters to a small parking area on the right, located at the start of the boardwalk.
Birding in and around the northern side of Robberg Vlei is restricted to the boardwalk and some walking along the roadside (Griz Nes Avenue) bordering Robberg Vlei. The vegetation is mainly thicket, and the vlei itself is densely packed with reeds which can make the viewing of the birds fairly difficult. Most of Robberg Vlei is bordered by private development and accessing private property is not encouraged. Key bird species to keep a look out for are YELLOW BISHOP, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE CANARY, BURCHELL’S COUCAL, BLACK CRAKE, a variety of dove species, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER, AFRICAN HOOPOE, COMMON MOORHEN, GREATER DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, SOUTHERN TCHAGRA, COMMON WAXBILL, BARN SWALLOW (summer) and CAPE WEAVER. KNYSNA WARBLERS are also known to call from this area.
Alternatively one can access Robberg Vlei from the south, following on towards the entrance to Robberg Nature Reserve. Approximately 300 metres before the entrance gate to Robberg Nature Reserve, take the turn-off to the left (34° 5’ 54.78”S 23° 22’ 13.16”E). Continue roughly 700 metres along this road, with Robberg Vlei on the left, all the while keeping a lookout for more bird species such as BAR-THROATED APALIS, a variety of herons, ROCK KESTREL, ROCK MARTIN, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER, BLACK SAW-WING, LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW, as well as a variety of swifts in summer. Vast numbers of BARN SWALLOW can be seen entering at dusk and exiting at dawn.
After the sun has set, remember to keep a lookout for and listen if you can pick up the 3 to 4 second long 'fog horn call' of BUFF-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL, as well as the call of FIERY-NECKED NIGHTJAR or SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL.
The Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative is working towards the inclusion of Robberg Vlei in its Coastal Corridor from Robberg to Knysna.
|Lesser Swamp-Warbler (RM)|
|White-throated Swallow immature (RM)|
Another great birding spot is a place called Poortjies (34° 2’ 34.23”S 23° 22’ 34.94”E). Poortjies is located near the Beacon Way Mall and it can be accessed by taking the turnoff onto Zenon Street just off Beacon Way in the direction of the Keurbooms Estuary. After entering Zenon Street, take the turnoff to the left onto Plato Road and then further along this road, take a right turn into Susan Street. Continue along Susan Street towards the main parking area of Poortjies. The advantage of birding in and around Poortjies is that there are a few habitat types to explore within close proximity to one another. At low tide, the Keurbooms Estuary is easily accessible, and now that the river mouth has moved further up the estuary, there are far more areas to access on low tide. WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANT, GREATER FLAMINGO (seen mainly in winter periods), GREY-HEADED and KELP GULLS, LITTLE EGRET, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER and SWIFT TERN are seen on a regular basis.
After a visit to the estuary it is worth birding by foot along Phitidis Walk. The area to explore is adjacent to the estuary where some thickets and grassy patches host a completely different array of birds. BAR-THROATED APALIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, BRIMSTONE and CAPE CANARIES, FORK-TAILED DRONGO, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, as well as a variety of sunbird species reside here. This is one of the areas where it would be worth your while to listen for the call of the KNYSNA WARBLER, especially in the more dense sections of the thicket located towards the end of the road. After approximately 700 metres there is another entrance to the estuary which can yield further exciting birding.
The Knysna Warbler
Throughout this write-up the possibility of viewing the KNYSNA WARBLER in various places, such as at the Plettenberg Bay Country Club, Robberg Vlei and Poortjies, is mentioned. One of the most reliable spots to view the KNYSNA WARBLER is at a private residence situated within Plettenberg Bay. The Knysna Warbler starts becoming vocal from the beginning of August, but the calls are still infrequent during this month. The best times to view the bird are around the months of September through until November.
|View towards Keurbooms Estuary (AO)|
|Knysna Warbler (MB)|
PELAGIC BIRDING FROM PLETTENBERG BAY Show details
Pelagic Trips are on offer from Central Beach Plettenberg Bay (34o 03’ 29.81”S, 23o 22’ 41.09”E). These excursions present birders with a specialised, authentic experience, enabling them to study and discover the vast array of pelagic bird species that are sometimes available in the open ocean waters. These pelagic trips are chiefly guided by Dr Gwenith Penry, a qualified zoologist who holds a PhD on the biology of South African Bryde’s Whales. Gwenith's experience of seabirds exceeds a decade and she is therefore able to relate interesting encounters, enhanced by her extensive knowledge.
Bird species that can be seen on these pelagic trips include BLACK-BROWED, INDIAN YELLOW-NOSED and SHY ALBATROSSES, GREAT-WINGED and WHITE-CHINNED PETRELS, NORTHERN and SOUTHERN GIANT PETRELS, WILSON’S STORM-PETREL, CORY’S and FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS (both during summer), GREAT and SOOTY SHEARWATERS and SUBANTARCTIC SKUA. Endemics such as CAPE GANNET and AFRICAN PENGUIN are also often encountered. Species such as AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, SWIFT TERN, COMMON and SANDWICH TERNS (summer), CAPE and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS and GREY-HEADED and KELP GULLS can be sighted in the bay before proceeding past the point of Robberg Nature Reserve and before heading out into deeper waters. The total distance covered on a pelagic trip is approximately 15 to 20 km and the duration of the trip is roughly 3 hours.
A fantastic diversity of marine mammals might be encountered during the trip, which adds value to the overall experience. Boats are privately chartered and a week's notice is required to ensure that a boat is secured. A maximum of 9 people can be accommodated on the boat, and a minimum of 4 clients is required for the trip to go ahead. These trips are highly dependent on both the weather and the sea conditions. Trips can be cancelled if the professional operators decide that the seas are too rough or when adverse weather conditions have to be taken into consideration. This decision and the resulting cancellation can be made at relatively short notice.
Dr Gwenith Penry
PHONE: +27 (0)72 817 7979
|Black-browed Albatross (RM)|
|Southern Right Whale (AO)|
|White-chinned Petrel (RM)|
|Cape Gannet (RM)|
THE PLETTENBERG BAY SEWAGE WORKS AND ADJACENT WATER BODIES Show details
The Plettenberg Bay sewage works is a wonderful asset for birds and birding in the region as it allows for easy access to waterbirds and interesting terrestrial birds in close proximity to the town. It is reached by turning off the N2 at Old Nick's and following the road to the entrance gate at 34° 02' 09.09'S 23° 22' 15.97”E. A form needs to be completed and handed to the guard, but entrance is free. A diversity of waterbirds can be studied from one's vehicle or on foot.
Species such as RED-KNOBBED COOT, BLACK CRAKE, LITTLE GREBE, COMMON MOORHEN and AFRICAN PURPLE SWAMPHEN are abundant and even BLACK-NECKED and GREAT CRESTED GREBE may be encountered occasionally. Duck species include AFRICAN BLACK DUCK, MACCOA DUCK, WHITE-FACED DUCK, YELLOW-BILLED DUCK, SOUTHERN POCHARD and CAPE SHOVELER. All three teals are also present. A variety of herons and egrets are on view and particularly BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON often attracts interest. GIANT and PIED KINGFISHERS are found regularly. The reed beds along the fringes of the ponds should be scanned for species such as LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA, LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER and LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER. BLACK-WINGED STILT and WATER THICK-KNEE are common. The banks of the settling ponds are unfortunately fairly steep and do not offer the most suitable habitat for waders. COMMON and WOOD SANDPIPERS are however fairly common in summer.
The vegetation around the settling ponds can also be very productive. Species encountered regularly include CAPE BATIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, WHITE-THROATED CANARY, BLUE-MANTLED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, SOMBRE GREENBUL, BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER, BROWN-THROATED MARTIN, NEDDICKY, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, BLACK-BELLIED STARLING, KNYSNA TURACO and KNYSNA WOODPECKER. Fairly recent sightings even include relative 'new-comers' to the area such as BLACK-COLLARED BARBET, LAZY CISTICOLA and GREY SUNBIRD. In summer expect to find species such as AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER, BLACK SAW-WING, WHITE-THROATED SWALLOW and most martins, swallows and swifts recorded in the area. Birds of prey such as FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, BOOTED EAGLE, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE and WESTERN OSPREY are often present. The relative ease with which a diversity of species may be studied so close to the centre of Plettenberg Bay makes the Plett sewage works a must for any visiting birder. It further allows for excellent photographic opportunities.
Two other water bodies close to the sewage works deserve to be mentioned. Interesting species can often be seen at the small pond at Old Nick's and can be explored after taking leave of the sewage works. A bit further away from town the Rietvlei Dam next to the Pennypinchers store is also situated along the N2. (Turn off at 34° 01' 20.72”S 23° 01' 20.72”E). Very interesting species have been recorded here even though the reed beds are very rank, often making birding difficult. Look out for species such as BRIMSTONE CANARY, AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER, LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER and STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER. It is the most reliable area to find BLACK-HEADED NIGHT-HERON. A heronry is located on the Den Ron Property opposite the vlei and one can see BLACK-HEADED, GREY and PURPLE HERONS nesting and roosting in the Pine Trees.
|White-faced Ducks (AO)|
|Red-billed Teal (CM)|
|Pied Avocet (AO)|
|Malachite Kingfisher (RM)|
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- LAKES BIRD CLUB AT THE BITOU RIVER ESTUARY NEAR PLETT
- REPORTING ON FLIGHT FOR BIRDERS AT PLETT
- BRIEF NOTES ON BIRDING AT PLETT
- MIKE BUCKHAM ON PLETT SEWAGE WORKS
- LAKES BIRD CLUB OUTING TO PLETT
- GREATER PAINTED SNIPES AT PLETT
- AFRICAN RAIL & BLACK CRAKE AT PLETT
- SOUTHERN PALE CHANTING GOSHAWK OUTSIDE PLETT
EMILY MOON RIVER LODGE Show details
Emily Moon River Lodge (34° 0’ 41.12’S 23° 22’ 25.43”E) is one of the region's top birding spots situated at the end of the Rietvlei Road. If travelling from Cape Town cross straight over the main traffic circle, and continue for 4km along the N2 in the direction of Port Elizabeth. Take note of the prominent signposted Pennypinchers building on the left and at the nearby Rietvlei sign, take a left turn. (34° 01' 20.72”S 23° 01' 20.72”E). Continue along this road for 1.4 km and drive between the white entrance walls towards the parking area.
Emily Moon River Lodge provides breath-taking views overlooking the Bitou Wetlands, as well as the expansive, vast mountain ranges which form a perfect backdrop in the distance. This fabulous establishment offers variants of boutique, luxury accommodation, nestled perfectly within the all-encompassing views of nature’s serene surroundings.
Emily Moon River Lodge is becoming increasingly popular with birders. Not only does the area host a dynamic variety of bird species, but for a few months of the year it is home to the SOOTY FALCON which has been attracting birders from all parts of South Africa to this establishment. This vagrant species was first discovered in 2012 and has thereafter been seen at Emily Moon River Lodge on a yearly basis. The SOOTY FALCON is present during February until the middle of April. The best time of day to view the SOOTY FALCON is just before sunrise and a few hours thereafter. It tends to then move on to other areas for the remainder of the day.
Staying at Emily Moon River Lodge provides countless opportunities to view a multitude of bird species. Birding in and around the main car park area allows for some formidable sightings, such as BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, FOREST BUZZARD, BRIMSTONE CANARY, BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE, KLAAS’S CUCKOO, SOMBRE GREENBUL, RED-FACED and SPECKLED MOUSEBIRDS, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, KAROO PRINIA, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, BLACK-BELLIED STARLING, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, SOUTHERN TCHAGRA, as well as a fabulous variety of sunbirds. Other parts of the property yields sightings of the ever popular KNYSNA TURACO, COMMON WAXBILL, CAPE WEAVER, CAPE WHITE-EYE, PIN-TAILED WHYDAH, as well as CARDINAL and OLIVE WOODPECKERS.
Taking a walk down to the Bitou Wetlands is highly recommended. These wetlands are discussed elsewhere and support an exceptional range of bird species, of which LEVAILLANT’S CISTICOLA, BLACK CRAKE, BLUE CRANE, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, PURPLE HERON, BROWN-HOODED and PIED KINGFISHERS, AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER, WESTERN OSPREY, AFRICAN RAIL and CAPE and RED-BILLED TEALS are just a few examples.
Emily Moon River Lodge is on Private Property and as it also accommodates clients overnight and visiting the location or birdwatching needs to be pre-arranged. Birders that do gain access to the property are requested to park their vehicles on the grassed area on the right hand side, before reaching the lodge, so as to not disturb the clients.
Contact Simon on +27 (0)83 266 2994
PHONE: +27 (0)44 533 2982
|Sooty Falcon (MB)|
|Sombre Greenbul (RM)|
|Little Egret (LA)|
|Streaky-headed Seedeater (AO)|
GOOSE MARSH Show details
The Goose Marsh, as it is affectionally known to Plettenberg Bay birders, is reached along the N2 at a road starting across the highway from Pennypinchers (34° 01' 20.72”S 23° 01' 20.72”E). Follow this track towards the estuary down to a parking area at 34° 01' 27.36'S 23° 23' 18.81”E. A path through coastal thickets takes one to a wooden walkway across a marshy area where LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA is common. Other species found regularly include CAPE CANARY, NAMAQUA DOVE, CAPE LONGCLAW and STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER. The thickets here and in the area between the Keurbooms estuary and the Goose Valley Golf Estate can be very productive. Be on the lookout for species such as SOUTHERN BOUBOU, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, BURCHELL'S COUCAL, BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE, SOMBRE GREENBUL, SOUTHERN TCHAGRA and KNYSNA and OLIVE WOODPECKERS. More common and often more visible species include BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, BOKMAKIERIE, FORK-TAILED DRONGO, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, OLIVE THRUSH and CAPE WAGTAIL.
Goose Marsh is however best known for it's waterbirds and waders. Large numbers of REED and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, SACRED IBIS, AFRICAN SPOONBILL and SWIFT TERN are often present, together with YELLOW-BILLED DUCK, CAPE SHOVELER and CAPE TEAL. GIANT and PIED KINGFISHERS abound and watchful birders should be able to find WATER THICK-KNEE. AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS are common and CASPIAN TERNS often patrol the estuary. The KELP GULL breeding colony on the other side of the water is also of huge interest as vast numbers occur particularly during breeding season in summer.
Common resident waders include KITTLITZ'S, WHITE-FRONTED and THREE-BANDED PLOVERS and in summer expect to find COMMON GREENSHANK, COMMON RINGED PLOVER, SANDERLING, COMMON, CURLEW and MARSH SANDPIPERS, LITTLE STINT and COMMON WHIMBREL. Several of these species tend to overwinter along Keurbooms Estuary. GREATER and LESSER FLAMINGO, RUDDY TURNSTONE and TEREK SANDPIPER are found infrequently. AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER regularly quarters over the marshes and AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE and WESTERN OSPREY forage here continually. The latter species also overwinters in the area.
Other common raptors include JACKAL BUZZARD, AFRICAN GOSHAWK, AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK and BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE, and EURASIAN HOBBY and BLACK and RUFOUS-BREASTED SPARROWHAWKS have been reported. The calls of FIERY-NECKED NIGHTJAR, SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL and BARN OWL are often heard at night from the Goose Valley Golf Estate.
The advantage of birding at Goose Marsh is that a huge diversity of species are to be found in a terrain that is fairly level and easily accessible. It is such a pity that local residents walk their dogs here and this is often perceived as a hindrance to birders. Birding here does however come highly recommended.
|View over Goose Marsh and Keurbooms Estuary (AO)|
|Pied Kingfisher (AO)|
|Common Greenshank (AO)|
|Cape Longclaw (CM)|
BITOU RIVER FLOODPLAIN AND BITOU RIVER LODGE Show details
The Bitou River floodplain lies along the R340 towards Wittedrift and Uniondale. The floodplain offers limitless birding potential as vast numbers of waterbirds, waders and species associated with thickets and forest habitats are found in the same area. From a birding perspective it is unfortunate that most of the floodplain lies on privately owned land and that there are very few safe spots to park when trying to bird along the R340. Extreme caution is advised, as vehicles often travel along this road at high speed. Privately owned land can only be accessed with the permission of owners.
Good numbers of coastal and waterbirds are often present along the bridge where the N2 crosses the Bitou River. It is best to park at a small parking area to the left immediately after the R340 has been taken. Expect to find REED and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, AFRICAN DARTER, several egrets species, GREY and PURPLE HERONS, SOUTHERN POCHARD and CASPIAN and SWIFT TERNS. KELP GULL and AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER are abundant and CAPE CORMORANT can be spotted occasionally. COMMON and SANDWICH TERNS are present in summer.
Waterbirds abound along the floodplain, but the use of spotting scopes is advised when birding from the R340. RED-KNOBBED COOT, COMMON MOORHEN and THREE-BANDED PLOVER are numerous, as are YELLOW-BILLED DUCK, CAPE SHOVELER and all three teals. The reeds fringing the water attract species such as LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA and LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER. Secretive and evasive species include LITTLE BITTERN, BLACK CRAKE, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, AFRICAN PURPLE SWAMPHEN and LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER. Waders are also plentiful. PIED AVOCET and BLACK-WINGED STILT are resident and in summer expect to find species such as COMMON GREENSHANK, GREY PLOVER, COMMON RINGED PLOVER, RUFF, COMMON, MARSH and WOOD SANDPIPERS, LITTLE STINT, RUDDY TURNSTONE and COMMON WHIMBREL.
Birding along the Bitou is however not only about waterbirds and waders. The fringes and thickets along the river hold species such as BRIMSTONE CANARY, FORK-TAILED DRONGO, SOMBRE GREENBUL, BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER, AFRICAN OLIVE-PIGEON, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE and AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER in summer. Remnants of forest patches to the east of the river may produce a selection of forest species such as TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL, GREEN-BACKED CAMEROPTERA, BLUE-MANTLED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER, BLACK and GREY CUCKOOSHRIKES, SCALY-THROATED HONEYGUIDE, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, BLACK-BELLIED STARLING and OLIVE WOODPECKER. Other notable specials include OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, FOREST CANARY, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT, KNYSNA TURACO and KNYSNA WOODPECKER.
A safe and secure spot for birding is the road bridge just after the turn-off to Wittedrift has been taken at 33° 99' 84'S 23° 23' 18.8”E. The upstream section of the river is narrow and shallow and birding is spectacular. Look out for BURCHELL'S COUCAL, DIDERICK CUCKOO, TAMBOURINE DOVE, AFRICAN HOOPOE, GIANT, MALACHITE and PIED KINGFISHERS, KAROO PRINIA and GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE, besides those species already mentioned. Interesting birds seen along the Bitou River in recent years and that have caused quite a stir in birding circles include BLUE CRANE, GREATER and LESSER FLAMINGOS, AFRICAN JACANA, BLACK-WINGED LAPWING and EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE. Overhead and across the river one should look out for raptors like FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARD, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER and WESTERN OSPREY. Summer migrants include STEPPE BUZZARD and YELLOW-BILLED KITE. These are just a few of the many birds of prey to be found along the Bitou River.
This brief overview of birds and birding along the Bitou River floodplain clearly illustrates the vast birding potential of the area. The relative inaccessibility of the floodplain remains a problem and for this reason it is recommended that visiting birders investigate the BITOU RIVER LODGE. Canoes are available and the river is narrow, but quite navigable from Bitou River Lodge. Birding upstream comprises a slow paddle of some 30 minutes to the weir, but downstream visitors can paddle and bird for at least an hour.
The majority of species discussed earlier can be spotted and casual garden birding can produce BAR-THROATED APALIS, SOUTHERN RED and YELLOW BISHOPS, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER, CAPE LONGCLAW, AFRICAN PIPIT, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, CAPE and RED-NECKED SPURFOWLS, both weavers and CAPE WHITE-EYE. All of the region's sunbirds are present and AMETHYST, COLLARED and GREY SUNBIRDS deserve mention. SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL and FIERY-NECKED NIGHTJAR are also present. A recent discovery at the Bitou River Lodge was AFRICAN GRASS-OWL – a much sought-after bird in the Western Cape.
BITOU RIVER LODGE CONTACT DETAILS:
PHONE: +27 (0) 44 535 9577
MOBILE: +27 (0) 82 978 6164
The diversity of species available along the Bitou River floodplain certainly makes this one of the prime birding spots in the greater Plettenberg Bay region and needs to be investigated by visiting birders.
|Bitou River Lodge (Supplied by owner)|
|View of river (AO)|
|Black Crake (RM)|
|Lesser Swamp-Warbler (AO)|
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- LAKES BIRD CLUB AT THE BITOU RIVER ESTUARY NEAR PLETT
- LAKES BIRD CLUB OUTING TO PLETT & BITOU ESTUARY
- MIKE GRAHAM BIRDS PLET, ADDO & WILDERNESS
- BIRDLIFE PLETT OUTING TO BITOU RIVER VLEI IN FEBRUARY 2014
- A WEEK'S BIRDING AT PLETT
- BLUE CRANES BREED SUCCESSFULLY
- BRIEF NOTES ON BIRDING AT PLETT
- MIKE GRAHAM REPORTS ON THEIR CURRENT VISIT TO THE BITOU RIVER LODGE
WITTEDRIFT AND STOFPAD ROADS Show details
An ideal area to explore after visiting the Bitou River Floodplains is that of the village of Wittedrift, which is conveniently located further along the R340. (34° 0’ 29.86”S 23° 20' 96.7”E). After passing the Bitou River Lodge on the left, continue for another 700 metres towards the Wittedrift turn-off which is clearly signposted on the right hand side of the road.
The first recommended stop-off point en-route to Wittedrift is at the road bridge, which is located just after the turn-off to Wittedrift (33° 99’ 84’S 23° 23’ 18.8”E). Park on the left-hand side of the road just after crossing the bridge. Upstream from the bridge, the privately owned Wadrift Nature Reserve can be viewed on the right. This stop off point area can be used as a captivating exercise to look out for SOUTHERN RED and YELLOW BISHOPS, BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE, AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER, BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER and CAPE WEAVERS. The Wadrift Nature Reserve offers a tranquil ambiance for a tea or coffee break, as well as a multitude of garden birds. Pre-booking is recommended. (PHONE: +27 (0)44 535 9425).
Driving further along the road towards Wittedrift opens up a realm of broad farmland habitat birding. Specific birds of prey that tend to perch upon the telephone poles along the roadside are JACKAL BUZZARD and STEPPE BUZZARD (summer). Other sightings in can include BLUE CRANE, BLACK-HEADED HERON, CAPE LONGCLAW, SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL and PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT.
Journeying further along the road towards Wittedrift, the first turn-off to the right is signposted Buffalo Hills and the name of this road is Stofpad Road (34° 0’ 13.29”S 23° 20’ 13.62”E). Stofpad Road is approximately 2.7 km long and is an enticing route to hear and see AFRICAN EMERALD, DIDERICK and RED-CHESTED CUCKOOS in summer. Other dazzling sightings on this road could include BAR-THROATED APALIS, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER and AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (summer), as well as AFRICAN STONECHAT and KNYSNA TURACO. Stofpad Road comes to an end when the entrance gate to the Buffalo Hills Private Game Reserve is reached. Upon reaching this Reserve, vehicles will need to turn around and follow the road back to where it started. From there a right turn is to be taken to continue on the initial road towards Wittedrift. After approximately 450 metres, the semi-rural village of Wittedrift is reached. Wittedrift (meaning white flowing water with reference to one of the local streams) offers prolific birdlife along nature trails within wetlands and floodplains. It is highly recommended to travel in and around this village to encounter bird species, such as BLACK-COLLARED BARBET, CAPE BATIS, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, BURCHELL’S COUCAL, KLAAS’S CUCKOO, BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK, AFRICAN HOOPOE, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD, FIERY-NECKED NIGHTJAR, BLACK-BELLIED STARLING and GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE. This area also offers a delightful, riveting range of sunbirds which are seen regularly, as well as CARDINAL, KNYSNA and OLIVE WOODPECKERS. Furthermore, a wealth of KNYSNA TURACOS frequent the village, especially when trees are bearing fruit. Heuwel Street is further recommended for excellent birding.
|Blue Cranes (AO)|
|Black-headed Heron (CN)|
|Forest Buzzard (AO)|
|African Reed- Warbler (AO)|
THE UPLANDS FARMING AREA Show details
The Uplands farming area offers birders visiting the Plettenberg Bay region alternative birding as these farmlands interspersed with exotics consist largely of grassland. It is reached by following the R340 towards Uniondale and Wittedrift from the N2. The Uplands Road is roughly 6 km beyond the Wittedrift turn-off at 33° 99' 84'S 23° 23' 18.8”E. Travel over Wadrift Heights and turn left at 33° 95' 19.1'S 23° 33' 11.4”E.
The attraction of this 5 km long road from a birding perspective revolves around the diversity of species found. This area attracts birds that are often not associated with the region. The dams and ponds on the farms deserve attention due to the presence of numerous waterbirds. The Uplands Road stands out as the main area in the Plettenberg Bay region to look for 'little brown jobs', which are often identified with difficulty. Most of the area's bishops, canaries, cisticolas and pipits are to be found here, as well as FAMILIAR CHAT, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, RED-CAPPED LARK, CAPE LONGCLAW, NEDDICKY and CAPPED WHEATEAR.
The Uplands Road is however best known for species associated with grasslands that are not usually found in other habitats in the region. DENHAM'S BUSTARD, BLUE CRANE, BLACK-WINGED LAPWING, COMMON QUAIL, SECRETARYBIRD and WHITE STORK serve as good examples in this regard. In addition vagrant species such as LONG-CRESTED EAGLE, EUROPEAN ROLLER, as well as ABDIN'S and YELLOW-BILLED STORKS, have been recorded in recent years. AMUR FALCON are also fairly abundant in late summer. Other migrants to be expected at this time of year include most of the region's cuckoos, SPOTTED FLYCATCHER and many martins, swallows and swifts. Migratory birds of prey include STEPPE BUZZARD, EURASIAN HOBBY and YELLOW-BILLED KITE.
Resident raptors to look out for are FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, BOOTED and VERREAUX'S EAGLES and BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE. There is a well wooded patch of indigenous forest interspersed with exotics towards the end of the Uplands Road. Look out for species such as GREEN-BACKED CAMEROPTERA, BROWN-BACKED HONEYBIRD, GREATER and LESSER HONEYGUIDES, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE and most of the region's woodpeckers. BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER is also often encountered.
The Uplands road certainly deserves more attention from discerning birders as it adds such a different suite of bird species to the Plettenberg Bay region's impressive bird list.
|Denham's Bustards (AO)|
|European Bee-eater (AO)|
|Black-shouldered Kite (CN)|
|Amur Falcon female (AO)|
THE PLETTENBERG BAY GAME RESERVE Show details
The Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is located approximately 15 minutes' drive from Plettenberg Bay (33° 56’ 44.36”S 23° 21' 1.56”E). Drive a few kilometres past Plettenberg Bay, in the direction of Port Elizabeth, and turn left onto the R340 after crossing the Bitou River Bridge. Continue on this road for 12 km, and proceed along the Prince Alfred Pass. Continue past the signpost that indicates ‘Uplands’ ¬ the turn-off to the Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is on the right just before the tar road comes to an end.
The reserve hosts a variety of habitats including Fynbos, indigenous forests, grasslands and large dams, all supporting a diversity of bird species and animal life which can been seen on a two hour game drive. Birding around the dams can produce sightings of RED-KNOBBED COOT, BLACK CRAKE, YELLOW-BILLED and WHITE-FACED DUCKS, SPUR-WINGED GOOSE, LITTLE GREBE, HAMERKOP, COMMON MOORHEN, CAPE SHOVELER, AFRICAN SNIPE, AFRICAN SPOONBILL and RED-BILLED TEAL.
The vast open grasslands within the reserve offer the opportunity for a number of sought-after birds, notably species which are not readily found in other parts of the Plettenberg Bay area. This includes DENHAM’S BUSTARD, CLOUD and ZITTING CISTICOLAS, BLUE CRANE, BLACK-WINGED and CROWNED LAPWINGS, RED-CAPPED LARK, CAPE LONGCLAW, AFRICAN and PLAIN-BACKED PIPITS and KITTLITZ’S PLOVER.
The reserve also boasts a large number of birds of prey, several of which are not often sighted in other parts of Plettenberg Bay, namely FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, STEPPE BUZZARD (summer), AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, MARTIAL and VERREAUX’S EAGLES, AMUR FALCON (late summer), LANNER FALCON, PALE CHANTING GOSHAWK and BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE. Other birds to be seen on the game drives from the Baroness Lodge, as well as at the main visitor centre are BAR-THROATED APALIS, YELLOW BISHOP, BOKMAKIERIE, BRIMSTONE CANARY, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, CAPE GRASSBIRD, BLACK-HEADED HERON, AFRICAN HOOPOE, SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, RED-NECKED SPURFOWL, AFRICAN STONECHAT, a variety of sunbirds, GREATER STRIPED SWALLOW (summer), SPOTTED THICK-KNEE and GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE.
Guided walks in the indigenous forest provide promising opportunities to view CAPE BATIS, GREY CUCKOOSHRIKE, SOMBRE GREENBUL, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, KNYSNA TURACO and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER.
PHONE: +27 (0)44 535 0001
MOBILE: +27 (0)84 449 1275
ACTIVITIES: +27 (0)44 535 0000/1
MOBILE: +27 (0)84 792 8288
|Giant Kingfisher (BZ)|
|Black-crowned Night-Heron (RM)|
|White-throated Canary (RM)|
|Bar-throated Apalis (RM)|
KEURBOOMS RIVER FERRIES Show details
Keurbooms River Ferries (34° 0’ 10.28”S 23° 24’ 6.19”E) is situated approximately 8km after Plettenberg Bay on the N2, in the direction of Port Elizabeth. After crossing the Keurbooms River Bridge, there is a sign posted on the left indicating Ferries. Turn left into this road to then reach the CapeNature boom gate. A conservation fee is required to enter this gate (the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve), but it is waived for those in possession of Wild Cards. Continue straight along this road and drive under the close-by bridge until the parking area is reached – parking opposite the second Jetty is recommended as this is where the boat is moored.
The ferry trip covers a section of the Keurbooms River which falls within the Keurbooms Nature Reserve of 740 ha. The guides provide passengers with a thorough educational and informative commentary, covering the authentic diversity of the surroundings the journey offers. Participants on these unique guided ferry trips are exposed to the sounds and sightings of the variety of special bird species living in and along the Keurbooms River, such as FOREST BUZZARD, CAPE, REED and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, the rare AFRICAN FINFOOT (in winter), AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, the sought-after WHITE-BACKED NIGHT-HERON, GIANT, HALF-COLLARED and PIED KINGFISHERS and KNYSNA TURACO. The experience is enhanced by the viewing of a resident Seal playing gracefully within the waters en-route, as well as by the abundance of the dense indigenous Afromontane Forests which border the Keurbooms River.
For a distance of 5 km upstream from the initial starting point, the boat is guided by qualified personnel on an elegant journey across pristine waters and through the gorge to a naturally formed beach at Whiskey Creek. This key area is rich in history and stories, which are relayed by extremely knowledgeable guides. The boat docks here, and time is allocated to allow for picnic spreads to be enjoyed. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore the indigenous forest and to do more forest birding. The return trip downstream provides further exciting opportunities to spot birds. For photographers, the guided ferry trips get close up to many of the birds, creating formidable photographic opportunities.
Operating times: The Ferry Boat Trips run daily at 11h00 and 14h00.
Exclusive options: Private Charter Trips to be booked in advance are available.
Food spreads and beverages: To be organised by partakers independently. Please enquire further for catering options provided by Keurbooms River Ferries.
KEURBOOMS RIVER FERRY BOOKINGS: +27 (0)83 254 3551
|African Finfoot (MG)|
|White-backed Night-Heron (MG)|
|African Black Oystercatcher (IG)|
|Caspian Tern (AO)|
BIRDING AT THE CRAGS Show details
Many birders driving through The Crags between top birding destinations at Plettenberg Bay and Nature's Valley are totally unaware of the great birding potential here. Mixed habitats of farmlands, fynbos, indigenous forests and exotic plantations host a diversity of bird species and most properties in the area can produce top birding experiences. Only a few accommodation establishments selected by local bird-watchers are highlighted here. Visiting birders should also consider visiting Birds of Eden and the Tenikwa Rehabilitation Centre - see descriptions of these two destinations elsewhere.
TAMODI LODGE AND STABLES was created by Lynne and Owen Johnston, their inspiration born out of love for horses and the beautiful valleys of the Crags. Birding here is superb - see details under ADVERTORIALS on this website.
PHONE: +27 (0)44 5348071
REDFORD HOUSE forms part of the Redford Conservancy which is made up of properties in The Crags north of the N2. It is reached off the N2 at 33° 95' 48.4”S 23° 47' 49.1”E. Dams and ponds around the homestead attract a variety of waterbirds and several hiking trails of different lengths and levels of difficulty allow access to a diversity of bird species. Top species here include WHITE-BACKED DUCK, BOOTED EAGLE, LESSER HONEYGUIDE, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD and VICTORIN'S WARBLER.
CONTACT: Colleen and Clive Noble
PHONE: +27 (0) 44 534 8877
GPS: 33° 56' 22.17”S 23° 26' 57.05”E
KURLAND ESTATE. The dams at the Kurland polo estate, close to the turn-off to Nature’s Valley from the N2 are of particular interest. There are often vast numbers of waterfowl and walks along the dirt roads on the property affords the possibility of spotting a huge diversity of species resulting from various habitat types. Recent sightings include FOREST CANARY, AFRICAN JACANA, AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER, AFRICAN SNIPE and GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE.
PHONE: +27 (44) 534 8082
GPS: 34° 03’ 1.6”S 23° 16’ 19.6”E
The Crags should be investigated as it offers wine estates and snake, elephant and monkey sanctuaries, together a selection of hiking trails and forest adventure activities. Most of these activities supplement birding outings very well and allow birders easy access to great alternative birding experiences.
|Jackal Buzzard (CM)|
|African Jacana (CM)|
|Cape Siskin (AO)|
|Malachite Kingfisher (AO)|
- WHERE TO STAY: TAMODI LODGE AND STABLES
- BIRD LISTS OF VARIOUS ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS AT THE CRAGS
- OUTING BETWEEN PLETTENBERG BAY AND KURLAND
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- Redford Conservancy
- BIRDING AT FOREST HALL
- BIRDLIFE OVERBERG TOUR OF THE GARDEN ROUTE - 2010
- GREAT WESTERN CAPE SIGHTINGS
- BRIEF NOTES ON BIRDING AT PLETT
BIRDS OF EDEN Show details
No birding outing to the Garden Route would be complete without a visit to BIRDS OF EDEN at The Crags between Plettenberg Bay and Nature's Valley. (33° 56' 46.09"S 23° 29’ 8.13”E). Most birders are often very sceptical about visiting an aviary, but are pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and dedication of the staff and the general cleanliness of of Birds of Eden. This is the biggest “free-flying” aviary in the world and must be seen to be believed. Also keep in mind that MONKEYLAND is adjacent to the aviary and these two destinations make for a great day's entertainment. It would be unfair to attempt to describe or even mention the fantastic birds that are to be seen at Birds of Eden and photographic opportunities here are superb. The text below was provided:
About Birds of Eden.
Birds of Eden is the largest single dome free-flight aviary in the world. The sanctuary was built around a natural valley right next door to Monkeyland. An area covering almost 22,000 square meters, 70% of which is natural indigenous forest has now become home to around 3,500 birds of some 200 different species. Visitors to Birds of Eden are welcome to explore the 2 km of walkways at their own pace, experiencing the thrill of spotting the huge variety of birds which include several species of parrot, turaco, toucan, ibis, flamingo, hornbill, and so many more. Besides the spectacular array of birds, the scenery alone warrants a visit with its beautiful forest, streams, dams and waterfalls, together with a vast range of plants and flowers. You may also be lucky enough to spot Golden-handed Tamarins, tiny Blue Duikers, Egyptian Fruit Bats or even the Eastern Grey Squirrels.
Like Monkeyland, Birds of Eden is a safe haven for the otherwise unwanted. Many have come in as ex-pets, some confiscated, some permanently disabled and naturally, some were born here. The sanctuary enables bird owners to apply to release their pet birds into the sanctuary, after undergoing rehabilitation. Since most of the birds have spent their entire lives in captivity, this is their first chance to make adequate use of their wings and to experience natural avian behaviour.
Birds of Eden has secured the future of all its birds and wildlife. The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (PBO Number 200/060 667/08), is the sole custodian of all the Birds of Eden inhabitants.
The sanctuary funds itself by means of responsible eco-tourism and we strive to achieve an effective balance between conservation and economic reality. If you plan on visiting more than one of our sanctuaries there are some very special deals to take advantage of - purchase either a combo or triple ticket for great discounts. You do not have to visit them all in one day, the tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of issue, so you can really take your time. Birds of Eden is the only Fairtrade accredited bird sanctuary in South Africa.
CONTACT PERSONS: Lara Mostert firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Dekker email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
PHONE: +27 (0)44 534 8906
MOBILE: +27 (0)82 9795 683
TENIKWA WILDLIFE REHABILITATION CENTRE Show details
Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is located in the rural area outside Plettenberg Bay on the pristine Garden Route in the Western Cape, in an area known for its natural attractions, protected National Parks, and neighbouring animal sanctuaries.
Tenikwa offers various small group tours throughout the day, catering for all ages and fitness levels. Tenikwa prides itself on the friendliness of its staff and the way in which Tenikwa’s passion for conservation shines through.
A variety of indigenous birds such as the Blue Cranes, Marabou Storks and waterfowl frequent the gardens of Tenikwa, the extent of which covers some 8 ha. The balance of the 46 ha is set aside for the wild animals and birds in this area.
You will also be privileged in seeing our African Penguins that have been rescued for various reasons as, Tenikwa also runs a non-profit Rehabilitation Centre where we rescue various terrestrial and marine Birds on an on-going basis such as cormorants, gulls, doves, kingfishers, Narina Trogons, Knysna Turaco and the list goes on. Besides, all the birds we also rescue a variety of mammals.
The funds that we raise in our awareness program, helps fund the conservation and rehabilitation work that we do. Whether you visit us for a day, or an hour. 'Come with an Open Mind, Tread with a Lighter Step, Leave with a Change of Heart'.
(Text provided by Jared Harding)
CONTACT: Jared Harding (Centre Manager) email@example.com
Tanye Fourie (General Inquiries) firstname.lastname@example.org
PHONE: +27 (0)44 534 8170
MOBILE: +27 (0)82 486 1515
THE PLATEAUS ABOVE NATURES VALLEY Show details
The turn-off to Nature's Valley along the N2 is at 33° 93' 81.5”S 23° 49' 03.6”E. Nature's Valley is renowned as one of the top birding spots to look for those often difficult to find forest species associated with the region's indigenous forests. Very few birders realise that a whole range of other exciting species are to be found only a few kilometers away on the plateaus above both sides of the Groot River Pass. The plateau on the Plettenberg Bay side of the pass is recommended. There is a picnic site at the top of the pass giving access to short hiking trails through stunning fynbos and forest habitats. (33° 58' 12.09”S 23° 32' 17.95”E).
Species that are common here include CAPE CANARY, CAPE GRASSBIRD, KAROO PRINIA, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD, OLIVE THRUSH and CAPE WHITE-EYE. More difficult to find are NAMAQUA DOVE, AFRICAN QUAILFINCH and CAPE ROCK-THRUSH. In summer BLACK SAW-WING, BARN SWALLOW and GREATER STRIPED SWALLOW are abundant. LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW also occurs. Add to this the mature stands of fynbos that produce 'fynbos specials' such as CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD and VICTORIN'S WARBLER.
Another feature of birding in this general area is that the forest fringes at the top of the pass give access to fairly common species such BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, FOREST CANARY, COLLARED SUNBIRD and KNYSNA and OLIVE WOODPECKERS. Patient birders would be able to search for SCALY-THROATED HONEYGUIDE, BLUE-MANTLED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER, WHITE-STARRED ROBIN and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER. It does not end here: a variety of species that are regarded as rare (or vagrant) in the Western Cape Province have been recorded on these plateaus in recent years. Think of BLACK-COLLARED BARBET, CINNAMON-BREASTED and GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTINGS, LAZY and WAILING CISTICOLAS, AFRICAN FIREFINCH, WHITE-BROWED SCRUB-ROBIN, RED-BACKED SHRIKE and BLACK-EARED SPARROWLARK.
Birds of prey could include JACKAL and FOREST BUZZARDS, AFRICAN CUCKOO HAWK, AFRICAN CROWNED EAGLE, LANNER and PEREGRINE FALCONS, ROCK KESTREL and BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE. AMUR FALCON and EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD are also often present in summer.
Dr Mark Brown of the Nature's Valley Trust and his collaborators do regular bi-weekly bird ringing exercises in the mature fynbos above the Groot River Pass at 33° 96' 54.8”S 23° 54' 40.5”E. It is certainly worth the trouble attending these exercises, not only to see the species being caught up close, but also learning more about the fantastic conservation work being done here. Find the contact details of the Nature's Valley Trust on their website at the link below. A birding excursion to the plateaus above the Groot River Pass should be included in any visit to the Garden Route region.
|Lemon Dove (AO)|
|Brown-backed Honeybird (CM)|
|Orange-breasted Sunbird (AO)|
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- TRIP REPORT FROM WILDERNESS AND NATURE'S VALLEY
- THE NATURES VALLEY FYNBOS RESEARCH PROGRAMME AFTER ONE YEAR
- THE MOUNTAIN RANGES GUARDING FYNBOS ENDEMIC BIRDS
- AFRICAN CUCKOO-HAWK LOCATED
- REPORT ON ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION BY THE NATURE'S VALLEY CONSERVATION TRUST
- WHITE-BROWED SCRUB-ROBIN NETTED
- NATURE'S VALLEY REMAINS A TOP BIRDING DESTINATION (JOHN GRAHAM)
- BLACK-COLLARED BARBETS NEAR NATURE'S VALLEY
THE DE VASSELOT REST CAMP AND GROOT RIVER AND ESTUARY Show details
The Nature's Valley Rest Camp is situated in De Vasselot on the banks of the Groot River in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park. It is a birding and hiking paradise and the variety of hiking trails could take one through dense indigenous forests, or more open grassy habitats, or along the river and estuary. The selection of habitats available allows for excellent birding. The camping area and chalets serve as an ideal base from which to explore the birding delights of the area. It is impossible to give a comprehensive description of the vast diversity of species here and therefore only a selection is highlighted.
Here rest camp birding is truly remarkable. The common species that visiting birders would easily be able to identify include BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, SOMBRE GREENBUL, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, OLIVE THRUSH, SWEE WAXBILL and CAPE WHITE-EYE. Many sunbird species occur of which AMETHYST, GREY and COLLARED SUNBIRDS are of interest in a regional sense. Other common species that would excite visiting birders include FOREST CANARY, LEMON and TAMBOURINE DOVES, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT and KNYSNA TURACO. Often difficult species to spot and photograph are TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL, GREEN-BACKED CAMEROPTERA, BLUE-MANTLED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER, GREY CUCKOOSHRIKE, WHITE-STARRED ROBIN, NARINA TROGON, KNYSNA WARBLER and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER.
The forest fringes and open lawned areas around the entrance gate and offices often produce OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE, BROWN-BACKED HONEYBIRD, SCALY-THROATED HONEYGUIDE, AFRICAN OLIVE-PIGEON, WHITE-NECKED RAVEN, BLACK-BELLIED STARLING, GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE and KNYSNA and OLIVE WOODPECKERS. The trail towards the river mouth that is dominated by grass bring a different suite of birds into play. Along here LAZY and LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLAS, CAPE GRASSBIRD, SPOTTED and WATER THICK-KNEES and a variety of bishops, warblers and weavers are to be found.
The river and estuary is waterbird heaven and large numbers of cormorants, darters, egrets, herons and rails occur when conditions are favourable. GIANT and PIED KINGFISHERS commonly patrol the water and AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE and WESTERN OSPREY add spice to the waterbird experience. Also look out for BLACK SAW-WING breeding in the riverbanks at the rest camp in summer. And there is more: the narrow river backwater between the rest camp and the small bridge on the R102 can produce specials such as AFRICAN FINFOOT, GREEN-BACKED HERON, HALF-COLLARED KINGFISHER and WHITE-BACKED NIGHT-HERON.
Summer migrants further enhance the Nature's Valley birding experience: as many as six species of cuckoo are found of which AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO and RED-CHESTED CUCKOO are probably the most popular with birders. Other migrants include SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-BILLED KITE, AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER, BARN and WHITE-THROATED SWALLOWS, GREATER and LESSER STRIPED SWALLOWS, WILLOW WARBLER and several others. The birds of prey found here should also not be underestimated as FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, AFRICAN CROWNED EAGLE, AFRICAN GOSHAWK, AFRICAN CUCKOO HAWK and BLACK SPARROWHAWK are encountered fairly regularly. Visitors who stay overnight are often treated to the beautiful calls of AFRICAN WOOD-OWL.
This brief overview clearly illustrates the vast birding potential of the De Vasselot rest camp and the adjoining river and estuary. Nature's Valley is certainly one of the top birding destinations in the Western Cape Province and deserves thorough investigation by serious birders.
|Groot River at Nature's Valley (AO)|
|BirdLife Overberg members at Nature's Valley|
|Half-collared Kingfisher (JF)|
|Western Osprey (CM)|
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
- LAKES BIRD CLUB AT NATURE'S VALLEY
- TRIP REPORT FROM WILDERNESS AND NATURE'S VALLEY
- NATURE'S VALLEY REMAINS A TOP BIRDING DESTINATION (JOHN GRAHAM)
- DESCRIPTION OF BIRDING AT NATURE'S VALLEY BY SANPARKS
- BIRDS & THE NATURE'S VALLEY TRUST
- DAWN CHORUS HIKES ALONG THE GROOTRIVIER BOARDWALK
- BIRDLIFE PLETT OUTING TO NATURE'S VALLEY
- HALF-COLLARED KINGFISHER NEST AT NATURE'S VALLEY
NATURES VALLEY VILLAGE & SALT RIVER TRAIL Show details
The vast majority of forest birds described in the section of the De Vasselot Rest Camp can also be seen in the Nature's Valley village. All gardens and roads normally offer a wide variety of species and one only needs to walk or drive slowly through the village to enjoy wonderful garden and forest species.
Garden birding here is outstanding and this was aptly illustrated during a five day stay by twenty BirdLife Overberg members at Kostaplenti in the village during January 2014.
A total of fifty-eight species were spotted on the property itself, but it is the quality and diversity of species seen that impressed most. These included six species of sunbirds and what locals describe as ordinary garden birds such as BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, FORK-TAILED DRONGO, SOMBRE GREENBUL, AFRICAN OLIVE-PIGEON, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, KAROO PRINIA, BLACK-BELLIED STARLING and CAPE WHITE-EYE. Birds heard continually (and seen fairly often) included SOUTHERN BOUBOU, OLIVE BUSH-SHRIKE, AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER, KNYSNA TURACO, GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE and KNYSNA WOODPECKER. Other birds that the group enjoyed finding included TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL, GREEN-BACKED CAMEROPTERA, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, AFRICAN GOSHAWK, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, CHORISTER ROBIN-CHAT, WILLOW WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER and OLIVE WOODPECKER. Birds that flew over the property included seven species of martins, swallows and swifts, WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANT, PIED CROW, KELP GULL, AFRICAN HARRIER- HAWK and YELLOW-BILLED KITE. AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS flying past along the beach some hundred yards away were also often heard. This certainly is garden birding at its best!
(KOSTAPLENTI CONTACT DETAILS:
PHONE: +27 (0)73 687 7428 or +27 (0)78 801 6007
Another example of the birding potential of the village was birds seen during an hour long lunch at the local restaurant during July 2014. The owner of this establishment has set up several bird feeders outside the patio and this attracts a diverse variety of birds. Birds seen included FOREST CANARY, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, AMETHYST, COLLARED, MALACHITE and GREATER DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS and KNYSNA TURACO. More common species included SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE BULBUL, RED-EYED DOVE, SOMBRE GREENBUL, SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD and CAPE WHITE-EYE. A total of twenty species were seen from one seated position in this short period!
Another suite of species is to be found at the Fynbos Reserve that is accessed from St Andrews Street in Nature’s Valley. This mature stand of fynbos often supports species such as CAPE GRASSBIRD, NEDDICKY, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, SOUTHERN GREY-HEADED SPARROW, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD and SOUTHERN TCHAGRA. Other sought after birds that might be found in Nature's Valley include BUFF-SPOTTED and RED-CHESTED FLUFFTAILS, GREY SUNBIRD and AFRICAN WOOD-OWL.
Nature's Valley's very long beach can also be rewarding. REED and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, KELP GULL, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, KITTLITZ'S and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS and SWIFT TERN are common throughout the year and CAPE and CROWNED CORMORANTS may be found occasionally. In summer COMMON and SANDWICH TERNS are added to the mix and CAPE GANNET can seasonally be seen plunging into the water at breakneck speeds.
The hiking trail to the Salt River mouth needs to be investigated. It starts at the restaurant and one hikes along the beach in the direction of Plettenberg Bay and then follow the trail where the beach ends. This trail is not to be done in wet conditions, or at high tide and is not for those who can't stomach heights. Dolphins and whales are often in view below the cliffs that one needs to negotiate. This trail once again gives access to a combination of coastal birds, forest species and waterbirds. The mouth itself often features a variety of egrets and herons, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE and GIANT and PIED KINGFISHERS. The sheer beauty of this estuary makes the hike there worth one's trouble and the diversity of birds normally makes for a memorable birding experience.
The brief descriptions of the quality of birding available at Nature's Valley clearly illustrates that this is certainly one of the best birding destinations in the Western Cape Province, if not the whole of southern Africa. Keen birders should regard a visit to Nature's Valley as compulsory when the Garden Route is visited, or plan an extended visit to this village anyway.
|BirdLife Overberg at Kostaplenti (AO)|
|Collared Sunbird (CM)|
|Southern Boubou (AO)|
|White-throated Swallow (AO)|
THE TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK AND THE STORMS RIVER REST CAMP Show details
The Tsitsikamma National Park in actual fact falls within the Eastern Cape Province, but it is included here as it forms part of the Plettenberg Bay Hope Spot being developed under the auspices of the Sustainable Seas Trust and Mission Blue. It has also been proposed that several birding areas in the Plettenberg Bay region be incorporated into the Tsitsikamma National Park Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) under the auspices of BirdLife South Africa and BirdLife International.
The Storms River Rest Camp is characterised by a rocky shoreline, where waves continually crash onto the rocks creating breath-taking seascapes. Here lively dolphins often surf and frolic and lots of coastal birds can be observed comfortably. GIANT and PIED KINGFISHERS often hunt for fish in the tidal pools and seasonably CAPE GANNETS cause a sensation as they plummet intro the ocean beyond the waves. REED and WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANTS, KELP GULL, AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER and SWIFT TERN occur in large numbers and CAPE and CROWNED CORMORANTS less so. In summer COMMON and SANDWICH TERNS are also usually abundant.
The area beyond the restaurant towards the Storm River gorge also needs to be explored. Several trails are available and the area around the suspension bridge offers excellent forest birding. A variety of boating and canoe options can be booked at the SANParks office allowing for great birding alternatives. A guided hike up the gorge with Gareth Robbins of Golden Orb Touws is highly recommended. The scenery is magnificent, the interpretation and explanation of habitats astound and there is a chance of spotting regional rarities such as HALF-COLLARED KINGFISHER and AFRICAN FINFOOT. The waterfalls are something to behold.
Rest camp birding here is superb. The chalets and camping sites have uninterrupted views of the rocky shore with its coastal birds. AFRICAN DUSKY and FISCAL FLYCATCHERS, NEDDICKY, KAROO PRINIA and CAPE ROBIN-CHAT are common around the accommodation units. An interesting find here is RED-NECKED SPURFOWL, as it is not often seen in the rest of the province south of the Garden Route. Another highlight is to watch WHITE-NECKED RAVENS attempting to take over the scavenging domain of the KELP GULLS around the chalets. The aerial bombardments and dog-fights are simply spectacular - interesting to note that the ravens came out tops in most cases despite being massively outnumbered by the gulls. Behind the chalets is the mountain, which is covered with spectacular indigenous forest allowing for forest birding at its best. This certainly makes for 'garden birding' with a difference.
It is recommended that the area around the entrance gate be explored for the best garden birding in the Tsitsikamma National Park. The road cuts through the trees, often allowing excellent views of elusive forest species. The pond at the registration office for the Otter Trail is also worth investigating. This is a summary of one afternoon's birding in this general area by members of BirdLife Overberg: A 'bird party' close to the entrance gate of the reserve included species such as CAPE BATIS, CAPE BULBUL, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, SOMBRE GREENBUL, BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, CAPE WHITE-EYE and OLIVE WOODPECKER. Visitors should spend a few hours birding around the offices and the road leading to the the staff village as it produced SOUTHERN BOUBOU, TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL, GREY CUCKOOSHRIKE, AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER, BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK, as well as CARDINAL and KNYSNA WOODPECKERS. Just before dusk GREEN-BACKED CAMEROPTERA, BLUE-MANTLED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER, LEMON DOVE, AMETHYST and COLLARED SUNBIRDS and YELLOW-THROATED WOODLAND-WARBLER were added. Several cuckoo species are very vocal in early summer and AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO and RED-CHESTED CUCKOO stand out as typically noisy examples.
Birds of prey that are encountered regularly include FOREST and JACKAL BUZZARDS, AFRICAN CUCKOO HAWK, AFRICAN CROWNED EAGLE, AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK, ROCK KESTREL, BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE and AFRICAN WOOD-OWL.
Most people regard the Storms River Rest Camp as a destination providing spectacular land-, mountain- and seascapes, but few in actual fact realise that the Tsitsikamma National Park is a hugely underrated birding destination.
Another benefit of visiting this national park is that it is in close proximity to Tsitsikamma village where a huge variety of eco-tourism activities is on offer. The famous ‘Big Tree’ in Tsitsikamma should be visited. Several scenic hiking trails can be explored and the region is renowned for its excellent golf courses. The more adventurous can participate in mountain biking, swing in the treetops with Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours or even do the Bloukrans Bungy. This region has so much to offer.
The world famous Otter Trail also starts at the Tsitsikamma National Park. Many believe this to be the one hiking trail in South Africa that should be on anyone's bucket list. The natural beauty along this rugged coastline simply has to be experienced. Details on how reservations are to be made and handy hints on how to prepare for this epic trek are available at some of the links provided below.
|Aloes and waves (AO)|
|Red-necked Spurfowls (AO)|
|African Dusky Flycatcher (AO)|
- DESCRIPTION OF BIRDING AT TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK BY SANPARKS
- BIRD CHECKLIST OF THE TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK
- GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE OTTER TRAIL
- THE DEFINITIVE OTTER TRAIL GUIDE
- BIRDLIFE OVERBERG TOUR OF THE GARDEN ROUTE
- OUTING TO STORMS RIVER GOLF COURSE
- GENERAL INFORMATION ON TSITSIKAMMA VILLAGE
- ABDIM'S STORK NEAR TSITSIKAMMA
- ACCOMMODATION IN PLETT
BIRDLIFE PLETTENBERG BAY Show details
Birdlife Plettenberg Bay was formed 19 years ago, and its first Chairman was Ray Goodwin, who is still a staunch birder and member of the Club. The Club has over 200 members and we regularly get 100 people for a dinner meeting where we have a top speaker to address the members each month on birding and conservation topics. In addition we run a monthly outing, normally of the 3rd Saturday of each month, where members can enjoy a morning out in the field birding and learning from the more experienced members. All this for R100 per couple per annum!
The Club is very active in conservation and has a partnership with Nature’s Valley Trust [NVT] who conducts scientific programs on various bird related issues in our area. We have ongoing research into the Kelp Gull colony, which is the largest and most important in South Africa; interference research on the endangered African Black Oystercatchers and Fybos endemic birds. We are also looking at a land-based African Penguin colony to try and arrest the rapid decline of this species. BirdLife Plettenberg Bay runs educational birding programs with NVT in seven of the schools in the area. This is largely conducted with members of the Club. BirdLife Plettenberg Bay is an initiator of the local Hope Spot in the Bay, and will incorporate the Bay into the Tsitsikamma Important Bird Area [IBA]. This will be an international achievement.
(Text provided by BirdLife Plettenberg Bay).
Monthly meeting held at The Angling Club, normally on the 2nd Monday of each month (or as specifically advertised to members).
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: Philip Murton at email@example.com
PHONE: +27 (0)44 535 09434 or +27 (0)44 533 5494
MOBILE: +27 (0)83 266 7634
E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
|Logo bird: Orange-breasted Sunbird (AO)|
|Cape Sugarbird (AO)|
|Birding course (EO)|
|Birding at Plett sewage works (AO)|
THE NATURES VALLEY TRUST Show details
The Nature's Valley Trust operates in four main arenas, namely Conservation, Education, Community and Research. We take a holistic view of people and the environment, and use our four programs to help shape how people live, how they view the world around them, and how they as individuals can contribute to conserving the natural world. Conservation: The NVT has a reputation for ensuring that development occurring in the area is done ethically, legally, and responsibly. We see ourselves as an organisation that helps protect the long term ecological integrity, beauty and wildness that Nature's Valley is world renowned for. Our ethos of conservation is massaged into all we do - this is why we were set up and underpins all our efforts in the region.
Education: One of our flagship programs, our environmental education staff use curriculum based initiatives to reach over 5,000 children each year, making this one of the biggest environmental education initiatives in the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa. We believe in investing in the next generation, equipping them to understand why conservation should be an integral part of how they live their lives.
Community: We partner with several local communities in terms of environmental awareness initiatives, community cleanup events, and community re-greening programs. By resourcing, assisting and educating local communities, we put conservation issues at the forefront of sustainable community development.
Research: Our scientific staff run long term ecological monitoring projects that enable us to better understand the environment we find ourselves in. The data collected from these research programs is fed directly into local conservation authorities and aids them in their efforts to ensure the long term ecological integrity of the area. Without good quality scientific data, we cannot conserve anything...
Birding underpins a lot of what we do – with an ornithologist as our program director, we have a strong bird flavour in all our programs. We partner with BirdLife Plettenberg Bay to develop the next generation of birders, with our Birding Masters and Champions program. We have long term projects studying Fynbos endemic birds, coastal shorebirds and raptors, and use various citizen science programs to assist us, like bird ringing, SABAP 2, CWAC, MyBirdPatch and others. We welcome public participation on our programs, so contact us if you are keen to assist!
(Text provided by Dr Mark Brown)
CONTACT: Dr Mark Brown
PHONE: +27 (0)44-531 6820
(Text provided by Dr Mark Brown)
|BirdLife Overberg members at NVT ringing session (AO)|
|Mark with young Olive Bush-Shrike (AO)|
|Netted Sombre Greenbul (EO)|
|Kelp Gull research|
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details
Members of BirdLife Overberg have provided the text for these birdfinder descriptions for the Greater Plettenberg Bay region. BirdLife Overberg was formed with the following aims in mind:
- To allow people in the Overberg with an interest in birds to become involved in bird-watching by participating in the typical activities associated with BirdLife South Africa and its international partners;
- To place strong emphasis on educational programmes in order to get participants involved in the meaningful conservation of birds and their habitats;
- To market the Overberg as a top birding destination, thus contributing to the region's already impressive tourism infrastructure.
Further information on birding along the Cape Whale Coast and the activities of BirdLife Overberg can be obtained from:
MOBILE: +27 (0)82 550 3347 or +27 (0)82 455 8402
CLUB WEBSITE: http://www.westerncapebirding.co.za/overberg/clubs.php?cid=1&clubpage=news
The members of BirdLife Overberg would like to thank and congratulate the Plettenberg Bay Accommodation Association for the wonderful initiative of sponsoring the development of this web page. The hope is expressed that this page will contribute to the further development of the Bitou local municipal region as one of the top birdwatching and eco-tourism destinations in the Western Cape Province.
The following photographers are thanked for the use of their images:
BIRDLIFE OVERBERG PHOTOGRAPHERS:
GA: Craig Adam
LA: Louis Alberts
MCB: MB Botha
WC: Wilfred Crous
MG: Mike Graham
IG: Ingrid Grundlingh
CM: Carin Malan
DM: Dawid Malan
RM: Richard Masson
CN: Charles Naude
AO: Anton Odendal
EO: Elaine Odendal
BZ: Bob Zylstra
MB: Mike Bridgeford (BirdLife Plettenberg Bay)
JF: Jan Fourie (Lakes Bird Club)
PHONE: +27 (0) 82 550 3347 or +27 (0) 824558402