Western Cape sightings - Jan 2008

Hi All,

Whilst on tour last week a few Lesser Kestrels were seen on the plateau of Therons Pass hawking insects in the cut wheat fields. I assume they were from the Ceres roost? Anyone found the roost yet? Protea and Streaky-headed Seed-eaters were also found at their usual watering hole with Orange-breasted Sunbirds and Cape Sugerbirds. Two Booted Eagles, one dark and one light phase were seen on the R355, one of which had a radio tracking aerial sticking out beyond its tail.

I wonder who is tracking it?

In the Overberg we saw a single flock of 200+ White Storks! This is the first this year for me, they seem late in arriving?

At Grootvadersbos we had a great sighting of the adult Crowned Eagle flying over the forest. Olive woodpeckers were feeding young in the forest as well, great to watch. On the De Hoop/Bredasdorp dirt road we also saw a European Roller, fantastic bird to see in flight and great for Western Cape list!

At Rooi-els Cape Rockjumpers, Sentinel and Cape Rock-thrushes were very accommodating as was Victorin's Warblers. V W seen at close range in the open but of course I had left my camera in the car!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also 2 Blue Cranes near the N2/Peregrine Farm stall area (Grabouw). Are they regularly seen there?

We stopped next to a calling Large-billed Lark on a fence post on the De Hoop/Bredasdorp road and listened to it's normal squeaky gate call, but it also made 4 other calls, namely African Pipit, Grey-winged Francolin, Crowned Plover alarm call and Agulhas Long-billed Lark communication call. Reading Roberts they say that up to 13 calls have been heard being imitated. Anyone else heard this?

Well all in all a wonderful trip in the heat and wind of the Cape!

Happy Birding,

Brian Vanderwalt