REPORT ON MORNING OUTING TO ROOIELS AND HAROLD PORTER ON 26 FEBRUARY 2022
Posted on the 28th February 2022
This was the second BirdLife Overberg outing of the year and we went to Rooiels, which is well known for the famous endemic Cape Rockjumpers, Cape Siskin and a strong hold for the Orange-breasted Sunbird (OBS). The walk started out with quite a fresh wind in our faces. We walked on the lower mountain slopes of the dramatic Kogelberg range on the one side and the amazing ocean on the other. This view together with the recovering fynbos is just breathtaking. A French masters-degree student that joined us was in total awe. (BTW, we also had an interpreter, so she did not miss a thing).
One of our new members Paul was seeking the Cape Rockjumper as one of his new BIG ticks, so the pressure was on. We walked quite far and although we found the usual suspects, the Cape Rockjumpers were nowhere to be seen. We could definitely hear them, but no sightings. We decided to turn around very disappointed, just to pick up on two male birds almost straight away. Paul could tick his bird at last. (hmmm ….. and he will buy the next round apparently).
We continue back to the car until Ashley called (shouted) “Ground Woodpeckers” ….. well, we had four of these most beautiful birds, beautifully camouflaged on a huge big “pink” boulder. Everyone was so stunned that most of the photographers only scrambled for their equipment a bit later on!! Lovely to see bins go up before cameras. The group also picked up on a lovely juvenile Peregrine Falcon that was quite inquisitive and came very close to us, giving good views.
Orange-breasted Sunbird (CS)
Peregrine Falcon (JvdW)
The group only arrived at Harold Porter Botanical Gardens after 11h00, which was already hot and very busy with two weddings, etc. (We are very concerned about the balloons that are being allowed in the garden and will take this matter up with SANBI).
The group made their way up through the lovely shaded Disa Kloof and we all enjoyed some lovely forest birding. The highlight was a Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher displaying quite a few times – spreading its little wings against the light – he was like a little fairy with angel wings.
We walked all the way to the waterfall and spotted a single Disa, as most of them have died back by now. The walkway at the waterfall itself has been improved and is looking beautiful.
Unfortunately, it was too busy and hot to have a picnic in the garden, so we all dispersed at about 12h30 after yet another AMAZING morning of birding in the Overberg.
- Carin Malan
Swee Waxbill female (JvdW)
Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher (CS)
A list of species recorded on the day as compiled by Paul Coetzee and Carl Swart: