19 February 2023 – Leader Daryl de Beer.
32 and 62! These numbers offer a summary of a very enjoyable Cape Bird Club outing to Rietvlei on Sunday. 32 people, members and visitors, and 62 bird species.
The change of venue from D’Aria to Rietvlei was very well received by the group of birders who joined us for this walk. For many it was their first visit to the Rietvlei section of Table Bay Nature Reserve.
The Rietvlei Wetlands is in the floodplain of the Diep River and offers a variety of habitats for birds. We first followed the footpath near the Education Centre where we enjoyed some good bush birding. Red-faced and White-backed Mousebirds enjoyed the early morning sun, as did Karoo Prinias, Southern Double-collared Sunbirds and ……. while Cape Spurfowl scratched around in the undergrowth.
After the bush birding we followed the road alongside the water to the Sunset hide. Along the way we saw Pin-tailed Whydahs, male and female, and had an outstanding sighting of a Cape Longclaw, which was a lifer for several birders. Levaillant’s Cisticola and Cape Sparrow.
At the hide, we all enjoyed excellent sightings of White-backed Ducks in flight, displaying their white backs which are normally hidden when they are bobbing on the water surface. Most people agreed it was the best sighting of these ducks they had ever seen. Making our way back to the Education Centre for coffee and muffins, we were lucky to see a Booted Eagle (pale morph), White-rumped Swifts and the resident Black-winged Kite.
Whilst enjoying our refreshments, Dennis Laidler read a list of 59 birds seen, but this number was later amended to 62 species when Gigi Laidler examined her photos. This was a satisfying accomplishment and achieved the target set for the morning.
Photographs by Gigi Laidler, David Swanepoel, Daryl and Lynette de Beer.
Report by Daryl and Lynette de Beer.