Outing to Ganzekraal Coastal Resort.
19 November 2023 – Led by Dennis Laidler.
A couple of Spotted Thick-knees were on hand to greet us at the entrance to the Ganzekraal Coastal Resort on Sunday 19th November, when about twenty of us took a bit of time off from the Birding Big Year challenge and set forth for our monthly Sunday Bird Club birding adventure beyond the City boundaries.
As we ambled towards the beach, a Cape Grassbird in the bushes caught our attention, while the ever-busy Karoo Prinia hopped around. The tiny White-fronted Plover chicks were a delight to watch as they scuttled along the edge of the beach, with attentive parents keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.
We moved northwards beyond the beach along the track through the Strandveld, where we encountered either by call or by sight, a good variety of bush birds, including White-backed Mousebird, Southern Masked and Cape Weaver, Cape Bulbul, Karoo Scrub Robin, Bar-throated Apalis, Grey-winged Francolin, African Pipit and Bokmakierie, to name a few.
It was a treat to spot a Cape Gannet over the ocean, and to have a flock of Pelicans fly by. There were also Rock Kestrels, a Black-winged Kite, as well as Brown-throated and Rock Martins, Pearl-breasted Swallows and Greater Striped Swallows occupying the skies to add to our list.
The rocky coast offered sightings of African Oystercatchers, Cape and White-breasted Cormorants.
After returning to our vehicles, we had permission to stop off at the Ganzekraal Conference Facility where we enjoyed our tea on the lawns while studying the roosting terns, looking for any possible rarities. Here we added a couple more species such as Greater Crested, Sandwich and Common Terns, Ruddy Turnstone and Crowned Cormorant to our tally for the day, which came to 46 species.
Everyone agreed that it had been a very pleasant outing and we look forward to a future visit to this less well-known birding spot.
Photographs by Penny Dichmont, Phillip Green and Gigi Laidler.
Report by Gigi Laidler.