Strandfontein birding notes

The miserable weather meant I had Strandfontein to myself on Saturday. The light was very poor, but I did manage to snap a few shots and notch up a list just short of 60 species (detailed below); not a bad tally for the middle of winter. Three African Marsh Harriers were actively calling around P4 and this well-worn individual was confiding.

African Marsh Harrier1

A nice surprise was this Klaas’s Cuckoo, a species that is regularly recorded in the Western Cape in winter, but is difficult to find when not vocal.

Klaas's Cuckoo

There were not a lot of waterfowl in the larger pans, but the smaller, sheltered ponds held good numbers of Red-billed Teal, Cape Teal and the odd Yellow-billed Duck.

Red-billed Teals reduced

The Spotted Eagle Owls were in their usual spot and tried hard to blend into their surroundings as I snapped this shot of them.

Spotted Eagle Owl reduced

Little Grebe can be surprisingly difficult to photograph as they duck and dive away from you, but this individual was well behaved.

Little Grebe reduced

Strandfontein bird list: Indian House Crow, Common Starling, Cattle Egret, Hartlaub’s Gull, Kelp Gull, Greater Flamingo, Pied Crow, White-necked Raven, Sacred Ibis, Yellow-billed Duck, Cape Shovellor, Blacksmith Plover, Pied Avocet, Black-headed Heron, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Karoo Prinia, Black-winged Stilt, White-breasted Cormorant, Swift Tern, Cape Teal, Southern Boubou, Red-eyed Dove, Red-billed Teal, Cape Canary, Little Egret, Helmeted Guineafowl, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, African Fish Eagle, Brown-throated Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Little Rush-Warbler, Common Moorhen, Glossy Ibis, Cape Bulbul, African Marsh Harrier, Cape Robin-Chat, Common Waxbill, Purple Swamphen, Hadeda Ibis, Grey-backed Cisticola, Cape Francolin, Cape Grassbird, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cape White-eye, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Spur-winged Goose, Cape Wagtail, Reed Cormorant, Cape Weaver (breeding), Red-knobbed Coot, Spotted Eagle Owl, Cape Longclaw, Southern Pochard, Great White Pelican, Zitting Cisticola, Purple Heron.

David Winter

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