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Western Cape: Cape Peninsula Trip Report - 13 November 2015

Bird Highlights: Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Batis, African Dusky Flycatcher, Sombre Greenbul, African Jacana, African Marsh Harrier, Black-crowned Night Heron and others...

Detailed Trip Report

I met up with Jannie and Jacolin for a day of birding around the Cape Peninsula. Fairly new to birding both were keen to see as many of the Cape endemics within Cape Town, as possible. An early start at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens was very fruitful and provided them with the opportunity to see and photograph Cape endemics like Cape Sugarbird, Cape Spurfowl, Cape Bulbul and Orange-breasted Sunbird. Forested patches on the edge of the gardens were typically fruitful for a number of species including Forest Canary, Cape Batis, African Dusky Flycatcher, African Olive Pigeon and Sombre Greenbul. Overhead a number of raptor species were seen including one low flying Forest Buzzard.

Later in the day, Strandfontein sewage works provided typically great wetland birding and we were able to to spend time with large flocks of Greater Flamingo, Great White Pelicans, Cape Teals, Southern Pochards and Black-necked and Little Grebes. Some of the smaller pans yielded smaller wader species like Black Winged Stilt, Pied Avocet and Common Ringed Plovers. Interestingly, we also saw the African Jacana (a rarity in the Western Cape) which had been in the area for a few months. Overhead, Brown-throated Martins and Barn and White-throated Swallows made repeated appearances with a single African Marsh Harrier also seen flying over the reed beds.

Opting to do additional wetland birding over the typical coastal birding at Kommetjie, we headed to Raapenberg Bird Sanctuary where we enjoyed great views of other water specialists like Red Billed Teals, Glossy Ibises, Cape Shovelers and Black-crowned Night Herons. All in all, it was a great day to be out birding.

A Birding Africa Trip Report by Tour Leader Nick Fordyce.

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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