14 April 2024

Kyalami Estates - December Round-up

31 December 2023 - Kyalami Estates

Not much time for birding during December, but still some good species recorded in the 46 that I saw, like Black-backed Puffback, Greater Honeyguide, Grey Heron, a fly-over of 3 Red-billed Oxpecker's was certainly unexpected along with the many Red-chested Cuckoo's

At the start of each year, I set myself a target to try and see 500 species in the travels I have in the year - this was the first time I achieved and exceeded this target by recording 510 species. This will be tough to achieve next year, but will give it my best! I was pleased with the 9 lifers I managed to record this year, but also had 3 dips which is inevitable.

I did manage to get a Red-chested Cuckoo in my garden on an overcast day, but I have yet to get a decent image of a perched bird - next year?

Red-chested Cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius)

Down at St Ledger Dam, a Grey Heron was an unexpected visitor

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Breeding is in full swing for the Red Bishop's

Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix)

and the fewer Thick-billed Weaver's than has been recorded in previous years

Thick-billed Weaver (Amblyospiza albifrons)

It is pretty special to have a small colony of breeding near endemics Cape Weaver's in our Estate, so much time was spent enjoying their antics, especially when trying to tie two Willow Tree branches together in preparation for a new nest

Cape Weaver (Ploceus capensis)

It has taken me up to mid April 2024 to finally complete the image processing and my posts for 2023 and I now have a backlog to work through to catch-up with my image processing for 2024.

The next post will continue with our enjoyable holiday in Hermanus

On the boardwalk on the last day of the year

31 December 2023 - Hermanus; Day 10

We had to do a round-trip to Cape Town to drop off the boys who felt Cape Town would be more festive than Hermanus for New Year - they were probably right.

In the afternoon, we spent some time in the town and enjoying the board walk and the end of year buzz - there are a few interesting sculptures on part of the walk


No Bryde's Whales today, but a few Cape Fur Seals were seen in the bay

Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus)

A Speckled Pigeon peers from behind the rocks on the boardwalk

Speckled Pigeon (Columba guinea)

The light wasnt bad, so spent some time photographing the passing sea birds - Cape Cormorants are common

Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis)

I tried to get the wave spray coming over these two, but the swell wasnt quite big enough

Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis)

White-breasted Cormorants are not quite as numerous

White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus)

Kelp Gull's are not as numerous as I would have thought

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)

I found quite a few Grey-headed Gull's in amongst the Hartlaub's scavenging for scraps in the car park

Grey-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)

There were quite a few Sandwich Terns around New Harbour, the image works well against the dark water below

Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)

As well as the odd Swift Tern

Swift Tern (Thalasseus bergii)

We enjoyed the late sunset, had a cocktail and headed home to prepare dinner and bubbly for our own New Years Eve celebration. 

Wishing all my family and friends all the very best as we wrap up 2023 and look forward to a prosperous 2024.

Misty Morning

30 December 2023 - Hermanus; Day 9

We woke to an overcast, cool and drizzly morning - over breakfast, enjoyed the view over the misty golf course

Hermanus Golf Club

The rest of the day was exploring the wine farms on the Hemel and Aarde valley which was really enjoyable - remember to book though!

Kyalami Estates - December Round-up

31 December 2023 - Kyalami Estates Not much time for birding during December, but still some good species recorded in the 46 that I saw, lik...