The Karoo Botanical Garden, Worcester

21 August 2016 – by Priscilla Beeton

Karoo Botanical Gardens
Karoo Botanical Gardens, by Priscilla Beeton

Setting out

It was probably the bad weather forecast that put off many members from making the trip to Worcester to visit the Karoo National Botanical Garden. However nine people including Simon, our leader, escaped a miserable day in Cape Town to enjoy a beautiful morning’s birding in the Karoo National Botanical Gardens.

The wonderful scenery to been seen at these Botanical Gardens situated in the Worcester Robertson valley.

We had sunshine, wonderful scenery and lots of colour in the gardens. Many aloes were still flowering and the daisies were magnificent. All this went a long way to compensate for the rather windy conditions that made the birding somewhat disappointing. All in all though, the morning was definitely worth the effort of getting there. Along with Simon we all agreed the best sighting of the day was the pale morph Booted Eagle which hovered overhead and nearby for a long time giving us all definitive sightings that will be remembered for a long time.

We were able to tick 33 species which included:

Bar-throated Apalis, Bokmakierie, Cape Bulbul, White-throated Canary, Familiar Chat, Grey-backed Cisticola, Pied Crow, Cape Turtle-Dove, Laughing Dove, Booted Eagle, Fiscal Flycatcher, Egyptian Goose, Helmeted Guineafowl, African Sacred Ibis, Hadeda Ibis, Rock Martin, White-backed Mousebird, Speckled Pigeon, Karoo Prinia, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Streaky-headed Seedeater, Southern Fiscal, Cape Sparrow, Black Sparrowhawk, Cape Spurfowl, Red-winged Starling, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Alpine Swift, Cape Weaver, Southern-masked Weaver, Cape White-Eye.

Many thanks go to Simon for leading what turned out to be a great outing. We know what we had escaped in Cape Town on our return journey when we reached Paarl; it was bucketing down and we saw several cars that had simply slid off the road in the storm!

Priscilla Beeton.