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Western Cape: Hottentots Holland Trip Report - 28 August 2017

Highlights included: mind-numbing views of Cape Rockjumper and Cape Siskin at Rooi Els, as well as excellent photographic opportunities of Cape Sugarbird and a very obliging Black-shouldered Kite.

Total number of species: not specified

Cape Rockjumper © Seth Musker
Cape Rockjumper seen at Rooi Els.

Detailed Trip Report

We started the day heading east from Cape Town to Rooi Els, where our persistence on an exceptionally quiet day paid off when we located a female Cape Rockjumper quietly foraging high up the slope. She gradually made her way down the slope and was eventually joined by her mate, who proceeded to hawk small insects - which were just beginning to become active as the day warmed up - mere metres away from us and seemingly oblivious to our presence. A loose flock of Cape Siskins were also very tame as they fed on seeds dispersed after the fire which occurred here earlier in the year. We also picked up a distant Ground Woodpecker. Other usual suspects included Familiar Chat, Cape Bunting, Orange-breasted Sunbird and White-necked Raven.

Cape Siskin © Seth Musker
Cape Siskin

Next it was off to the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens where we headed straight for the Leucospermum conocarpodendron (Pincushion) stand where we had excellent views of Cape Sugarbird and Cape Grassbird. Other nice additions here were Cape Batis and a displaying Yellow Bishop. Other garden birds seen well included Cape Robin-Chat, Malachite Sunbird, Swee Waxbill and Brimstone Canary.

Black-shouldered Kite © Seth Musker
Black-shouldered Kite

After a satisfying lunch in Betty's Bay we headed to the Strandfontein Sewerage Works, which produced good views of Greater Flamingo, Great White Pelican, a variety of waterfowl including Cape Shoveler and Black-necked Grebe, as well as cracking views and photographic opportunities of a Black-shouldered Kite in the gorgeous late-afternoon light. We also enjoyed some of the smaller residents, including Levaillant's Cisticola, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Common Waxbill and Yellow Canary. Just as we were leaving we were lucky to spy a Small (Cape) Grey Mongoose.

A Birding Africa Trip Report by Tour Leader Seth Musker.

For a full list of species from this trip, please contact us.

Many of the birding sites on this trip are described in detail in the Southern African Birdfinder which is widely available in South African bookshops and on the internet. (e.g., or However you're always welcome to contact us if you're interested in a guided trip in this area.

Practical tour information: Cape Day Trips and Western Cape Tours

Please click this link for more detailed information about our upcoming Cape Tours.
Focus Our Cape tours and day trips are aimed at keen birders and nature enthusiasts. They have been designed to see as many endemic birds as possible. While on the walks, we spend a lot of time looking for other aspects of wildlife such as mammals, chameleons, geckos, butterflies and interesting plants. We can also customise any itinerary to suit to the keen birder, the wildlife enthusiast or both.
Photography Many participants on our tours and day trips are amateur wildlife photographers. And when we get excellent views of a bird or mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the next encounter. Thus, while the photographic opportunities are very good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.
Fitness Only a low level of fitness is required.
Timing Throughout the year.
Climate Moderate; can be warm in summer and chilly in winter.
Comfort A good standard of accommodation in guest houses, lodges and small hotels.
Transport We travel by minibus or four wheel drive vehicle.
Group Size This depends on the specific tour. Please enquire.
Top birds Fynbos endemics, Karoo endemics and raptors in a spectacular setting
Top mammals whales, dolphins, Cape Grysbok, Chacma Baboon, Caracal, Grey Mongoose
Booking Please contact us if you wish to book. You will receive the booking form and conditions and a tour information pack.

About Birding Africa

Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides' knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC Natural History Unit.

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Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
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