27 April 2024

Coast to Karoo

05 January 2024 - Hermanus to Colesberg; Day 15

I had to pack like a jigsaw puzzle, as we had an extra passenger for the journey home, but eventually it all came together and we were on the road by 5am. This time we headed straight to the N1 hoping that the traffic wouldnt be too bad - it wasnt and we arrived at our overnight stop at Kuilsfontein Stable Cottages in Colesberg at 1pm, much earlier than we had planned.

An afternoon in the Karoo, gave us time to prepare ourselves to getting back to Jozi - so we had a leisurely lunch with drinks and later in the afternoon I explored the farm, which I am now familiar with. Unfortunately, a late afternoon storm also built up and we got hammered by the wind - which I thought we had left behind. 

Kuilsfontein Landscape

The big dam which was full last year, was now dry, but as the wind picked up, so the birds hunkered down or were hanging on to any perch. Driving out from the stables, I picked up a small flock of Wattled Starlings - this is the first time seeing one, since I returned from Kuwait in 2020. I believe they are quite nomadic, so can pop up anywhere.

Wattled Starling (Creatophora cinerea)

The Black-headed Canary's I had seen last year were still present and spent most of the time sheltering on the ground - but when incoming guests drove in, they flew up and perched on the fence and leaned into the wind!

Black-headed Canary (Serinus alario)

Same with the African Pipit

African Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus)

And the many Yellow Canary's in a variety of plumage variations

Yellow Canary (Crithagra flaviventris)

The Eastern Clapper Lark's were in full song and displaying all around - this wasnt the case with the hoped for Cape Clapper Larks around Cape Agulhas

Eastern Clapper Lark (Mirafra fasciolata)

A unexpected bonus was a lone male Lesser Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)

A Yellow Mongoose dashed across the road, gave me the once off and then continued across the plain

Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata)

We didnt get any rain, but the storm continued around us and only abated after we had gone to bed

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