Cape Sugarbird ~ South Africa - Dec '17

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

High on my targeted want list for South Africa were Sugarbirds and Sunbirds with Malachite probably being my favourite but unfortunately although I did see them they gave no photographic opportunities the same went for Orange-breasted, Southern Double-collared were the most abundant but the males were in moult.

So on to day one December 2nd and in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town feeding on Proteas was a Cape Sugarbird the light wasn't great but the bird performed well ..

  
This male was a real poser ..

Cape Sugarbirds are also endemic.





At Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, Betty's Bay on the 4th there were many more birds feeding on the Proteas in better light, one problem with the gardens is that they don't open until 08:00am and with the sun rising at 05:30am the best of the light had been and gone so it was already beginning to be harsh, and also straying from the tracks to more vegetated areas  for that better angle or another bird had its drawbacks as to the possibility of highly venomous snakes like Puff Adders might of been a little over cautious but more research on this for next time will be useful ..





Would of liked to of seen some tail in this one ..


A bit more of a head turn otherwise pleased with this one ..


My favourite image of the Cape Sugarbird ..


Maybe next time I will try August ..

South Africa ~ Cape Town - Dec '17

Sunday, 10 December 2017

A trip to Cape Town, South Africa with Jono Lethbridge mainly a bird photography based trip ...
Took off for a night flight out of Heathrow on December 1st landing at 07:00am on the 2nd with the return night flight leaving Cape Town on the 6th December landing the following morning with British Airways ...

Arrangements were made through Birding Africa to be guided for 3 days, accommodation and car rental which was all perfectly done, the two guides Otto and Campbell were fantastic ..

December 2nd

We were met at the airport by Otto our guide for today, picked up our hire car and headed for Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens a few species were seen on route but the first to be in front on the lens was an Owl ..

Spotted Eagle Owl

Cape Bulbul

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens


Hadada Ibis


Southern Double-collared Sunbird


Red-winged Starling


Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens


Cape White-eye


Southern Double-collared Sunbird


Cape Canary


Swee Waxbill


The birding was fantastic set against a stunning back drop of  Tabletop Mountain and views down over Cape Town, a nice lunch at the restaurant looking out over the gardens then it was on to Strandfontein ...

Black-headed Heron


Blacksmith Lapwing


Hartlaub's Gull


Strandfontein Waterworks


Black-winged Kite


Water Thick-knee


The accomodation was Klein Bosheuwel which was for 3 nights and was only walking distance from the gardens ..


December 3rd

Due to weather conditions with a band of rain moving in a swap around of locations was Campbell's idea to give us the best chance of avoiding the rain and He was spot on ...
Campbell is our guide for 2 days ..
So the morning session was Darling Hills and moving on to West Coast NP for the afternoon ...

Karoo Scrub Robin


Southern Grey Tit


Karoo Lark


Karoo Prinia


Cape Penduline Tit


Three-banded Plover


White-throated Swallow


Kittlitz's Plover


Black Harrier


White-fronted Plover


Grey-backed Cisticola


Blue Crane

December 4th

The morning location was Harold Porter Botanical Gardens then on to Stony Point at the penguin colony and the afternoon session was at Rooi Els Cliffs for Rockjumper ...

Balcony view from Klein Bosheuwel


Cape Sugarbird


Karoo Prinia


Olive Thrush


African Dusky Flycatcher


Orange-breasted Sunbird


Harold Porter Botanical Gardens


Cape Batis


Diederik Cuckoo


African Penguin Colony at Stony Point


Kelp Gull


Cape Cormorant


African Oystercatcher


Crowned Cormorant


Familiar Chat


Stony Point


Cape Rock Thrush


Sentinel Rock Thrush


Sentinel Rock Thrush


Sentinel Rock Thrush

Speckled Dove


Speckled Dove

Cape Bunting


Cape Bunting

Decemer 5th

The long drive leaving at 04:30am out to De Hoop Reserve going through miles of prime Bustard plains on route ..

Agulhas Plains


Capped Wheatear


Crowned Lapwing


Southern Black Korhaan


Fiscal Flycatcher


Bokmarkierie


Speckled Mousebird


Southern Fiscal




The accomodation tonight is an Opstal Cottage ..

December 6th

From first light I spent a good couple of hours with Capped Wheatear at De Hoop before a lovely breakfast at The Fig Tree restaurant ...

Cape Spurfowl


Cape Wagtail


Then it was a drive out to Potberg catching up with Cape Vultures over head before the long drive back through the Agulhas Plains searching for bustards without success ..
The last hour was again at Strandfontein ..

Red-billed Teal


White-breasted Cormorant


Here we packed the cases and had a change of clothes before the 40 minute drive to the airport ..

I finished the trip with 174 species seen ...

Common Ostrich, Spur-winged Goose,
Egyptain Goose, 
South African Shelduck,
Cape Teal, Yellow-billed Duck,
Cape Shoveler, Red-billed Teal,
Hottentot Teal, Southern Pochard,
Maccoa Duck, Helmeted Guineafowl,
Cape Spurfowl, African Penguin,
Northern Giant Petrel,
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe,
Black-necked Grebe, 
Greater Flamingo,
Lesser Flamingo, White Stork,
African Sacred Ibis, Hadada Ibis,
Glossy Ibis, African Spoonbill,
Black-crowned Night Heron,
Western Cattle Egret, Grey Heron,
Black-headed Heron, Purple Heron,
Little Egret, Great White Pelican,
Cape Gannet Reed Cormorant,
Crowned Cormorant, 
Bank Cormorant,
White-breasted Cormorant, 
Cape Cormorant, African Darter, 
Black-winged Kite, Cape Vulture,
Booted Eagle, African Marsh Harrier,
Black Harrier, Yellow-billed Kite,
African Fish Eagle, Steppe Buzzard,
Jackel Buzzard, 
Southern Black Korhaan, African Rail, Black Crake, African Swamphen, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot,
Blue Crane, Water Thick-knee,
Spotted Thick-knee, 
African Oystercatcher, 
Black-winged Stilt,
Pied Avocet, Blacksmith Lapwing,
Crowned Lapwing, Grey Plover,
Common Ringed Plover, 
Kittlitz's Plover, Three-banded Plover,
White-fronted Plover, 
Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel,
Marsh Sandpiper, Greenshank,
Wood Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone,
Sanderling, Little Stint, 
Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, 
Grey-headed Gull, Hartlaub's Gull,
Kelp Gull, Caspian Tern, 
Greater Crested Tern, Sandwich Tern,
Common Tern, Whiskered Tern,
Rock Dove, Speckled Dove,
Red-eyed Dove, Cape Turtle Dove,
Laughing Dove, Namaqua Dove,
Diederik Cuckoo, Spotted Eagle-Owl,
Alpine Swift, African Black Swift,
White-rumped Swift, 
Speckled Mousebird, 
White-backed Mousebird, 
Half-collared Kingfisher,
European Bee-eater, African Hoopoe,
Lesser Honeyguide, 
Knysna Woodpecker, Rock Kestrel,
Cape Batis, Bokmakierie, 
Southern Tchagra, Southern Boubou,
Southern Fiscal, Fork-tailed Drongo,
Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher,
African Paradise Flycatcher,
House Crow, Cape Crow, Pied Crow,
White-necked Raven, 
Cape Rockjumper, Southern Grey Tit
Cape Penduline Tit,
Agulhas Long-billed Lark, 
Karoo Lark, Large-billed Lark, 
Red-capped Lark, Cape Bulbul,
Sombre Greenbul, Black Saw-wing,
Brown-throated Martin, 
Barn Swallow, White-throated Martin
Pearl-breasted Swallow, Rock Martin
Greater Striped Swallow, 
Cape Grassbird, Grey-backed Cisticola
Levaillant's Cisticola, Neddicky,
Karoo Prinia, Bar-throated Apalis,
Chestnut-vented Warbler,
Cape White-eye, Cape Sugarbird,
Common Starling, Pied Starling,
Red-winged Starling, Olive Thrush,
Karoo Scrub Robin, Fiscal Flycatcher,
African Dusky Flycatcher, 
Cape Robin-Chat, Cape Rock Thrush,
Sentinel Rock Thrush, 
African Stonechat, Capped Wheatear,
Familiar Chat, 
Orange-breasted Sunbird, 
Southern Double-collared Sunbird,
House Sparrow, Cape Sparrow,
Cape Weaver, 
Southern Masked Weaver, 
Southern Red Bishop,
Swee Waxbill, Common Waxbill,
Pin-tailed Whydah, Cape Wagtail,
African Pipit, Long-billed Pipit,
Cape Siskin, Yellow Canary,
Brimstone Canary, 
White-throated Canary, Cape Canary,
Cape Bunting, Bronze Mannakin ...

Not a bad total considering it was a photography based trip ..

Thanks to Jono for your organising and great company ..

Thanks to Birding Africa ..

Thanks to Otto Schmidt and Campbell Fleming our guides which were fantastic ...

A short trip which gave a taster of African Birding which left me wanting more until the next visit !!