Outing to Wildevoelvlei and Kommetjie – 04 April 2022.

Leaders Gillian Barnes and Marilyn Metcalf.

cbc outing wildevoelvlei and kommetjie 08 BR 04 april 2024

About 20 Cape Bird Club members and friends joined us at Wildevoëlvlei on a lovely autumn morning. Although there were not huge numbers of water birds on the ponds, we were treated to some good views of four Pied Kingfishers while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Two African Black Ducks made a welcome change from the usual Yellow-billed Ducks and Cape Shovelers. A few Cape Teal, Spur-winged Geese and Southern Pochards were seen but there were large numbers of Little Grebe. Even the Egyptian Geese were scarce today.

A handsome Jackal Buzzard presented good photographic opportunities and we got distant views of an African Fish Eagle soaring over the reed beds on the other side of the water treatment works’ fence. Swallows and swifts were scarce with one or two White-throated and Barn Swallows around. Black-winged Stilts were the only waders seen. Some Common Moorhens were foraging on the last pan but there were no Red-knobbed Coot, which was unusual.
Dennis and Brigitte saw a couple of Great Crested Grebes just as we were leaving for Kommetjie.

As usual we parked at the boat launch in Kommetjie and walked around Bird Island. Dennis had fortunately brought his scope, which helped tremendously when trying to identify the different cormorants and terns. There were only Greater Crested Terns present and at first mostly Cape and White-breasted Cormorants roosting on the rocks on the northern side of the island. A few Crowned Cormorants were seen but as the morning progressed, they became more numerous. Unfortunately, not one Bank Cormorant was spotted. We saw a Spotted Thick-knee and then Gigi and Linda flushed some more while following a butterfly.

Other birds seen were Hadada and Sacred Ibis, African Oystercatcher, Common Starling, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Kelp and Hartlaub’s Gulls and a few Cape Gannets out at sea. Unfortunately, the two Eurasian Whimbrels seen the previous morning, were nowhere to be found.
All in all, a pleasant morning’s birding was finished off with a few people staying to catch up, while having tea / coffee, snacks and Easter eggs.

30 species were seen at Wildevöelvlei and 18 at Kommetjie although the total species count for the day was 44.

Photographs by Dennis and Gigi Laidler, Brigitte Robertson.

Report by Marilyn Metcalf.