Paarl Mountain – Intaka Island

Paarl Mountain – Intaka Island

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Malachite Kingfisher

Malachite Kingfisher

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Grey-headed Gull

Grey-headed Gull

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Blackwing Lapwing

Blacksmith Lapwing

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Great-creasted Grebe

Great-crested Grebe

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Bird watching day tours around Cape Town can include three or more of the venues on our day tour list. 

Paarl Mountain

For birdwatching in Cape Town and the Western Cape this is one of the more popular day trips, which takes you to the winelands town of Paarl where Paarl Mountain and the wild flower reserve offer excellent fynbos birding and a chance to see and photograph Cape Batis, Fiscal Flycatcher, Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Sugarbirds; Orange-breasted, Southern Double-collared and Malachite Sunbirds; and assorted canaries. There is also a good chance of spotting the elusive Protea Seed-eater.

Paarl Bird Sanctuary

A few kilometers away, the Paarl Bird Sanctuary offers an array of waterbirds that can be seen from the vehicle or from the well-appointed hides that overlook the ponds and reed beds. Commonly spotted are Maccoa Duck, Cape and Red-billed teal; Southern Pochard, Black-necked, Little and Great-crested Grebe; Cape Shoveler, Yellow-billed and African Black Duck.

The photogenic Malachite Kingfisher hunts from its chosen perch in the reed beds, which offer perhaps the best place in the Cape to see Little Bittern, Black Crake, African Snipe, African Rail and African Purple Swamp-hen.

Around the perimeter of the sanctuary, the largely alien bush provides good opportunity for sightings of African Paradise Flycatcher, Cape Canary, Malachite and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds. The areas around the mixing pans hold Grey-headed and Hartlaubs Gull plus an assortment of Terns depending on the time of year.

All in all, one can expect to leave Paarl having compiled a substantial bird list and had fantastic viewing and photographic opportunities.

Intaka Island

On the way back to Cape Town, one last stop can be made at Intaka Island, Century City, where a walk around the ponds and visits to the hides offer excellent opportunities to view and photograph many different species of bird, including the Pied and Malachite Kingfisher, Grey and Purple Heron, Reed and White-breasted Cormorants, Masked and Cape Weaver,  Red Bishop, Yellow Bishop, Karoo Prinia as well an assortment of waterfowl.