A SELECTION OF THE BEST BIRDS SEEN IN THE OVERBERG IN APRIL
Posted on the 27th April 2021
CRACKERS FOR THE MONTH The impressive list of birds recorded in the Overberg region during April once again illustrates the vast potential of bird-watching in the region. We thank all our members and collaborators who had contributed to this effort over the last four weeks. Here is a summary of some of the special, rare or vagrant species recorded:
The BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS (Blouwangbyvreters) were still around and Pieter found about 14 of these birds near the hide in the Rooisand Nature Reserve. It seems as if CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTINGS (Klipstreepkoppies) are suddenly appearing all over the show, even as far apart as the Garden Route and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Theanette Staal found a bird in her garden at Franskraal and Christina Hagen recorded it in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. There is also a huge irruption of RED-BILLED QUELEAS (Rooibekkweleas) all over the show and Steve found a flock of about 100 birds at his smallholding outside Napier. It is also interesting that he saw them foraging in a flock of seedeaters in association with bishops and weavers.
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - Riaan Jacobs
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting - Daryl de Beer
Some great birds of prey were also photographed and these included the BROWN SNAKE EAGLE (Bruinslangarend) by Lester in the van der Stel Pass and an immature MARTIAL EAGLE (Breëkoparend) by Charles in the Greyton district. Other individual birds of note were the KAROO KORHAAN found by Ross at Spitskop in the Swellendam area, a NARINA TROGON (Bosloerie) seen by MC at Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, an EUROPEAN ROLLER (Europese Troupant) at Malgas and an AFRICAN PALM SWIFT (Palmwindswael) reported by Jo from Bredasdorp. It seems as if the latter species has now become resident in many areas of the Western Cape with members having reported them from as far inland as Robertson and Montagu and others reporting them from Durbanville. A LESSER SAND PLOVER (Mongoolse Strandkiewiet) was also reported from the Uilenkraal Estuary.
Great excitement was also caused by a few fairly common birds in gardens. Elaine heard an ACACIA PIED BARBET (Bonthoutkapper) calling for the first time in the Onrus suburb, Steve recorded his first ever WATTLED STARLING (Lelspreeu) at Napier and Richard photographed a KNYSNA WOODPECKER (Knysnaspeg) in his garden in Stanford.
Karoo Korhaan - Lester van Groeningen
Knysna Woodpecker - Richard Masson
We are beginning to get our first taste of winter storms with pelagic species moving closer to shore. An EUROPEAN STORM PETREL (Europese Stormswael) was seen by Pieter and a WILSON’S STORM PETREL (Gewone Stormswael) by Dave, both at the Hermanus New Harbour. Lester photographed a cracking GREAT SHEARWATER (Grootpylstormvoël) at Pringle Bay.
The news was however dominated by three photographs of outstanding vagrant species for the Overberg region taken over the weekend of 17 and 18 April: Pieter found a female EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Europese Wielewaal) at Hermanus, John was surprised by an AFRICAN CRAKE (Afrikaanse Riethaan) at the Onrus caravan camp and Pieter recorded a WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Geelkwikkie) at the Kleinriver Estuary.
These special sightings should decrease now that the majority of migratory species have left on their trek to the north, but let’s see what we can record during May. Keep those reports rolling in. The full list of species recorded during April can be viewed at the link provided above. Report all sightings to Anton at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp at 082 550 3347.