Monday, February 19, 2018

Birds and wildlife of Cape Town

Apart for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town hosts great wildlife. In my previous posts I shared my experiences at sea and in the Boulders penguin colony. In this post I will clear up the rest of the stuff we saw in and around Cape Town. I display here some of the birds I saw and photographed - mostly common stuff but all African birds are delicious IMO.
In my first afternoon we went for a nice walk on the beach at the stunning Hout Bay. Not too many birds but the view there is breathtaking.

Great Crested (Swift) Tern

Sandwich Terns only look somewhat uninspiring, but they are bad-ass migrants!

Cape Fur Seal behaving like a good boy

Hout Bay

In my first morning I woke up early and went to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, before the rest of my family got out of bed. It was quite a productive hour. And, again, very beautiful. Despite the drought, the gardens looked good.

Swee Waxbill - Kirstenbosch specialty

Cape Sugarbird - what a bird

Hadada Ibis - common as dirt but super charismatic, and pretty in the golden morning sun

Brimstone Canary

Record shot of the scarcer Forest Canary

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Another early morning my brother and I went with Trevor to Strandfontein WTP, a regional hotspot for birding. It was a superb morning with 90 species, lots of individuals and some cool stuff.

Some of the Hottentot Teal we had among the many Red-billed Teals

Hundreds of Cape Shovelers

Spur-winged Geese

 Black-headed Heron

Fewer Lesser Flamingos among the many greaters.

Three-banded Plovers - check that stunning red eyering

 Fun exercise to search for Grey-hooded Gulls among the many Hartlaub's 

Note the diagnostic dark underwing of the Grey-hooded compared to Hartlaub's

Black-winged Kite 

The impressive White-necked Raven

White-throated Swallow

The stunningly beautiful and distinctive female Cape Weaver

A visit to Cape Point was very powerful, because of the wild wind that day. As a result we saw few birds , but still enjoyed it very much. Cape Buntings are stupidly tame there:

I didn't succeed to photograph the parents of this fresh juv familiar Chat

We failed to find the Cape Mountain Zebras there, but saw some impressive Eland at a distance. The Chacma Baboons certainly found us.

Black-girdled Lizard - mini dragon

Cape Point

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