The section of the Hottentots Holland range of mountains from Sir Lowry’s Pass to Betty’s Bay is a very popular day tour for both birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. The drive below the mountains along the southern coast of False Bay is loved by many for its scenic beauty alone.
Visits to sites on this side of False Bay will give birders a chance to see most of the bird species available on the Peninsula, however the area provides relatively easy access to a few species that are difficult to locate or for some reason are not available on the Peninsula. Two of the main target species are CapeRock-jumper and Victorin’s Warbler with the possibility of Ground Woodpecker, Cape Siskin, all three endemic Cormorants: Bank, Cape and Crowned and, of course, the highly endangered African Penguin, and you have a birding trip to remember.
The top of Sir Lowry’s Pass, Rooi Els, the beautiful Harold Porter BotanicalGarden and Stony Point are all excellent birding venues. Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Grassbird, Cape Rock-Thrush, Cape Batis, Dusky Flycatcher, Bar-throated Apalis are just some of the regular species you can expect to add to your list.
A vigilant eye should be kept on the skies overhead for Jackal Buzzard, Rock Kestrel and Verreaux’s Eagle.
All in all, this is a very full and enjoyable day’s birding.
Time permitting, we visit the Strandfontein settling ponds, arguably the most visited and popular birding venue in Cape Town. It is not uncommon to spot 70 species in a morning’s birding without even leaving your vehicle. While Strandfontein boasts a diverse bird list, it is the abundance of water birds that is the main attraction. Conditions for photography are excellent and the alert birder will be rewarded with superb sightings. Greater Flamingo, Great White Pelican, Cape Shoveler, Yellow-billed Duck; Cape and Red-billed Teal; African Purple Swamphen, African Fish Eagle and Spotted Eagle-Owl are just some of the favourites.
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