Langebaan & Geelbek

Spent a casual day in the Langebaan/Vredenberg area yesterday.

We were too late for the incoming tide at Geelbek (11.30 Cape Town tide was full + - 1.00pm) and only saw 2 Ospreys taking fish, so we moved on to Seeberg Hide which works better on the full tide. Here there were many waders of all sizes.

Birds seen here were:

Little Stints, Sanderlings, Kittlitz, White-fronted & Grey Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, Turnstones, Greenshank, Whimbrel, Euro Curlew, but the best sighting was a Terek Sandpiper which gave great close up views. Caspian, Sandwich & Common Terns were roosting on the sandbank, even saw a Southern Black Korhaan and Cape Penduline Tits feeding in the heat of the day.

At least 7 sightings of various ages of Black Harrier seen during the day, but only 2 of African Marsh Harrier and numerous Rock Kestrel, Black-shouldered & Yellow-billed Kites. A lone Booted Eagle was seen on the way out at 7.00.

We called in at Mauritz Baai to view the Terns and on the way had a few Sickle-winged Chats. There were at least 300 roosting on the rocks on full tide. What a sight but unfortunately we only saw Common, Sandwich & Swift Terns.

We returned to the Park in the early evening on our way back to CT and called in at the Geelbek hide at 5.30. The out going tide was perfect and we added Ringed Plover and Ruff (also the white faced morf !) and Marsh Sand-piper. No Common Redshank, Godwit or Chestnut-banded Plovers though. But the best sighting for the day whilst having coffee in the car park of the manor house was a pair of Marsh Owls hunting in the short shrubbery. We watched them for at least a half hour and they were quite close and gave great views. It was still fairly light at 6.30 so much so that the B S K was giving them a hard time.

Unfortunately we had to leave Geelbek on a perfect evening and arrived at a closed R27 gate with a security guard (new one too me!) He however opened up for a group of us. I assume you may leave the park but not enter at that time.

The only sad thing was that the shade cloth on the Geelbek hide walkway was STILL not fixed. What does it take to fix shade cloth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian Vanderwalt