Tygerberg Nature Reserve – 17 May 2015

A Karoo Prina we saw while walking to the masts. Photograph by Priscilla Beeton.
A Karoo Prina we saw while walking to the masts. Photograph by Priscilla Beeton.

Gerald Wingate led the outing today at the Tygerberg Nature Reserve. There were 21 participants who enjoyed a beautiful autumnal morning as we wandered around the Reserve.

He started off by telling us a little about the Reserve and alerting us to some of the species we were likely to see. He explained that the Reserve has on the western slopes almost pristine Swartland Shale Renosterveld and on the eastern slopes old ploughed fields that are being restored.

First we went steeply downhill towards the dam until the path became too slippery. We turned around then and moved up the hill towards the masts. The wide panoramic view from the top of the hill was stunning. This truly is a wonderful place to take visitors to show them the layout of Cape Town! Gerald shared a some history with us about the cannon that was one of a chain of cannons placed on high lying areas in the time of the early Dutch Cape Colony to call burghers to arms in defence of the colony.

We also watched a couple of airplanes landing at the airport – we could even see the puff of smoke as their wheels hit the tarmac.

Forty one species were recorded in the Renosterveld, including Karoo Scrub Robin, Grey-backed Cisticola, Bar-Throated Apalis, Long-billed Crombec and Layard’s Titbabbler. All three species of mousebird were also seen, while Rock Kestrel and Jackal Buzzard represented the raptors.

We finished off with tea in the Kristo Pienaar building where the Tygerberg Bird Club meets after looking at their very fine bird exhibit in the foyer.

Priscilla Beeton.