Outing to the Soetwater Enviro Centre, Kommetjie.
07 November 2023 – Led by Gigi Laidler.
Soetwater Resort at Kommetjie is a quiet little gem of a reserve offering good views of seabirds as well as “bushbirds”. A group of 20 birding enthusiasts met on a mild, faintly misty morning at the Otter Pond parking area, from where we proceeded to the beach in the hope of spotting some otters, but we only managed to cause a high degree of concern with some Blacksmith Lapwings who let us know we were not welcome in the area.
Thanks to Dennis’s scope we had some good sightings of White-fronted and Kittlitz’s Plovers, as well as good numbers of Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel or two and Cape and Crowned Cormorants. Cutting back to the road, we were disappointed in not finding much by way of bush birds, though on our way back to the cars, Daryl’s sharp eyes picked up a Cape Grassbird, which delighted many of us.
Our convoy then made its way to the Enviro Centre, where we found good numbers of mainly Common and Sandwich Terns near the Enviro Centre, as well as a Black-crowned Night Heron. By this time the sun had dissipated the early hints of mist and we were blessed with perfect weather for the remainder of our outing, as we ambled northwards in the direction of Slangkop Lighthouse.
Birding was generally very quiet as we ticked a couple of the “usual suspects” along the way. We enjoyed our tea under one of the furthest Milkwood trees at the end of the camping area before returning to our cars.
We might not have logged the most exciting long list of birds, but a respectable tally of 40 species included some great sightings of our four regular Peninsula terns, as well as the three coastal cormorants, and with the aid of Dennis’s scope we had good opportunities to compare different species.
Overall it was most enjoyable outing to another of Cape Town’s secret treasure and we thank Lappies Labuschagne for once again welcoming the Cape Bird Club to visit Soetwater, while we look forward to our next visit.
Photographs by Daryl de Beer, Penny Dichmont and Gigi Ladler.
Report by Gigi Laidler.