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Archive for January, 2008

Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is another of my favourite places to visit. It has good birding and a variety of other animals – including various herps. The garden has various sections including a nice wetland that is always full of frogs, mostly Cape River Frogs (Afrana fuscigula) which come in a variety of colours.

Reptiles are often found. The Garden has resident Leopard Tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) and Angulate Tortoise (Chersina angulata); and various snakes and lizards may also be seen – including this Short-legged Seps (Tetradactylus seps).

As stated above, it has a good variety of birds – includinbg the very common Karoo Prinia (Prinia maculosa):

Occasionally you may be lucky enough to see a troop of Chacma Baboons (Papio ursinus) which descend from the rocky hillsides to feed in the gardens:

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Back in September I went with the Somerset West Bird Club on an outing to Koeberg Nature Reserve and Intaka Island.

Koeberg Nature Reserve is part of the grounds of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station and consists mainly of Strandveld-one of the four types of vegetation associated with the Cape Floral Kingdom. The weather was grey, cool, & windy; nevertheless, we had some good sightings–including wonderful (if fleeting) views of a Black Harrier.

Can you spot the Black Harrier (Circus maurus) in the centre of the above photo? (I definitely need a longer lens!)

Being spring, there were many flowers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best birds of the morning included: Long-billed Crombec (Sylvietta rufescens), Bar-throated Apalis (Apalis thoracica) and Chestnut-vented Titbabbler (Parisoma subcaeruleum)–and of course the Black Harrier. It was cool so few reptiles seemed to be out, but we did spot some Angulate Tortoises (Chersina angulata).

Leaving the Nature Reserve we headed for Intaka Island. Intaka Island is a wonderful wetland environment in the heart of the very urban Century City shopping complex. Breeding was in full swing and we saw breeding:

  • African Spoonbill (Platalea alba)
  • Black-headed heron (Ardea melanocephala)
  • Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
  • Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
  • African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)
  • Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
  • Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata)
  • White-breasted Cormorant (Phalcrocorax lucidus)
  • African Darter (Anhinga rufa)
  • Brown-throated Martin (Riparia paludicola)

Best bird of the day for me was my first African Purple Swamphen (Porphyria madagascarensis).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African Spoonbills nesting.

African Sacred Ibis and White-breasted Cormorant nesting–notice the urban environment!

White-breasted Cormorant

Nesting Purple Heron – very private!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix) male.

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