More Kirstenbosch raptor watching

Mike Buckham joined me on Saturday (22-01-11) for another raptor watch at Kirstenbosch. The conditions weren’t great with a strong black south-easter (lots of cloud cover over the mountain), but Kirstenbosch was thankfully quite sheltered. We didn’t expect a great raptor tally, particularly because we had 4 children in tow who found stone throwing far more entertaining than discussing the nuances of Forest vs. Steppe Buzzard separation. We did however put them to work with an incentive scheme that offered a wine gum for each raptor spotted. Young eyes are surprisingly sharp, particularly when energised with a bit of sugar…

22 January 2011 Kirstenbsoch

Forest Buzzard

So, despite wind and hyper-active kids we did actually see some raptors. The cloud conditions can actually help photography slightly, particularly for shots against the mountain – see buzzard image above. However, I believe windless, warm days are generally better for encouraging soaring activity.

22 January 2011 Kirstenbsoch1

Black Sparrowhawk

In total we notched up 6 raptors before the wind got the better of us: Booted Eagle (pale phase), Steppe Buzzard, Forest Buzzard, Yellow-billed Kite (2 birds did a very close fly-by), Rock Kestrel and finally an immature Black Sparrowhawk (photo above).

David Winter

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