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Western Cape: Cape Peninsula Day Trip - 21 April 2019

Highlights included: Spotted Eagle Owl, Lemon Dove, Swee Waxbill, Sombre Greenbul, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Sugarbird.

Species total: 30

We spent the entire day of birding and photography at the world famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.

We slowly worked our way up to the Enchanted Forest, past the lower picnic lawns and ponds. This area was especially good for endemics like Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cape Bulbul, Karoo Prinia, Olive Thrush and Southern Boubou, as well the more widely spread species like Cape Robin-chat, Common Waxbills, Egyptian Goose and Hadeda.

The forest was initially cold and dark so the birding was poor, but after a second visit later in the day we managed to see all the target species: Cape Batis, Sombre Greenbul, African Olive Pigeon, Spotted Eagle Owl and the handsome Lemon Dove. Olive Woodpecker was only briefly heard.

Between our forest visits, we turned our attention to the extensive Protea and Erica gardens, and the upper lawns. These areas held the usual coveys of Cape Spurfowl and well as the very sought after Fynbos endemics: Cape Sugarbird and Orange-breasted Sunbird. A real treat were the flocks of Swee Waxbills and Forest Canaries feeding on fresh grass seeds.

The skies over the gardens were also busy, with sightings of Barn Swallows, Black Saw-wings, White-necked Ravens, Pied Crows and the ubiquitous flocks of Red-winged Starlings.

The warm weather also brought out an excellent diversity of butterflies. We managed to see or photograph: Common Geranium Bronze, African Monarch, Common Dotted Border, Sooty Blue, Lucerne Blue, Cape Autumn Widow and Garden Acraea.

After an excellent lunch at the Tea Room, we headed back through the forest and down past the Concert Lawn, finding a very confiding African Dusky Flycatcher hawking insects. This bird made an excellent photographic subject, and was a great way of finishing up an amazing day of birding.

A Birding Africa Trip Report by Tour Leader Vincent Ward.

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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