I took a group of friends into the Western Cape mountains in the late afternoon so as to be around when the night birds emerged. The target was the Cape Eagle Owl which it is said occurred at the site we intended to visit.
We arrive before dusk and after a quick bite to eat and listening to the Freckled Nightjars calling we started the search. The habitat was great for this owl and we expected it to fly down from the peaks or suddenly appear on a rock surveying the scene.
We scanned the suitable area and it was not long before I spotted an owl sitting on a low rock about 500m away. On closer inspection we confirmed it as a Cape Eagle Owl by its brown blotched colour, huge feet, size and under wing pattern. All of us gathered and it moved to 4 different rocks across the valley before disappearing over the cliff giving fairly good views for most to call it a lifer. Everyone of course wanted a closer look, but maybe next time!
The drive out of the valley produced 2 Freckled Nightjars on the road as well as a Juvenile Spotted Eagle Owl seen on the fence enforcing the colour difference of the two owls which was a nice end to the evening.
Join us next time.