What client says about us!

A old client needed 2 birds, Black-headed Canary and Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, from Tankwa but didn't have more than a halfday!  We met in Ceres the night before and left for Karoo Poort at 5.30am on Friday morning. A short detour on the way there gave us Cape Clapper, Red-capped and Large- billed Larks and nice surprise was and a lifer for client, a Long-billed, now Nicholsens Pipit quietly sitting on fence pole. 

On to Karoo Poort where the storm damage in riverbed was very obvious with many estuarine trees which had been there for years, missing, The Poort did not disappoint as a pair of Black Headed Canaries were obviously nesting and made regular appearances.  Lark-like Buntings were numerous but the regular Namaqua Warbler was away from reed beds, as they were small and recovering from damage, Mountain Wheatear were obviously also nesting and were very tame. Layards called from upbthe mountain slopes did Grey-backed Cisticola. Further into the Poort,  White-throated Canary, White-backed Mousebird were feeding in scrub. The farmhouse area, a national monument, and old picnic site are a sight for sore eyes.....gone are the poplar trees where breakfast could be had...gone is one of the old Oak trees in the backyard underwhich  TBC members braaied snoek about 20yrs ago. This house used to be the Toll House for entry to the Karoo....my founding father used to travel through there to get to farm near Sutherland....wonder what he is thinking about mess now!  Anyway back to birds....Pied Starlings were breeding in derelict building walls as was Mountain Wheatear and House Sparrow but no sign of Redwinged or Pale-winged Starling as figs were still in the development stage. Futher along we started to look for Cinnamon-breasted Warbler on cliff face and amongst boulders....very quiet with only Layards Warbler and Long-billed Crombec and Fairy Flycatcher making their presence known. I whistled for Warbler a few times but no response....but there was some movement at cliff face and suddenly a small dark bird flew towards us and fed quietly 3m from us in, around and under shrubs, and disappearing into crevices around boulders like a mouse. Target bird with saturating sightings.....many pics were taken, some even too close!

Now that the pressure was off a slow drive birding could be had with Karoo Lark, Pale-chanting Goshawk, Booted Eagle and even  Black Harrier making their appearance. My logo, Rufous-eared Warbler, was feeding quietly around us and was not bothered by our presence at all...great bird!!!

All this time I was atlassing and Karoo Poort card had.


October 2023Tanqua

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I have been an avid birder in the Western and Northern Cape for over 45 years. Since 1999, I have guided Day trips and Overnight Tours (5 days or longer), as well as organised Birding weekends and Bird Ringing (Banding) outings. Read more...

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