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Archive for October, 2008

Some months ago I visited Citrusdal for the Easter long weekend, staying at the Koedoeskop Farm. The weather turned out to be very hot but we still had an enjoyable & relaxing time. I did a bit of birding–including a Pentad for the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2), spotted a few reptiles, and also photographed some Butterflies for the South African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA).

Red-sided Skink (Trachylepis homalocephala) at Koedoeskop Farm.

Agama lizards–probably Southern Rock Agamas (Agama atra) at Koedoeskop Farm.

As well as completing the local pentad centered on Koedoeskop farm, on our final morning I traveled out to Kransvleipoort with a friend chasing the Protea Seedeater (Crithagra leucoptera) & Layard’s Tit-babbler (Parisoma layardi). We were fortunate to get good looks at both species. I also got to tick a Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)–making 3 lifers for the trip.

Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii) catching the early morning sun at Kransvleipoort.

The rocky slopes above the farm were home to the spectacular Paintbrush Lily (Haemanthus coccineus) in full bloom.


Female Red-veined Dropwing Trithemis pluvialis at Koedoeskop Farm, Citrusdal, South Africa.

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On the 8th of March, 2008 I visited the West Coast National Park with the Sonmerset West Bird Club. The first great sighting was not however a bird but rather a Caracal. This was my first sighting of this shy & not often seen cat. Unfortunately no photos, though we had quite good but fleeting views.

We visited all of the bird hides in search of waders with some success, though the tides were not ideal; as well as Abrahamskraal waterhole (one of the parks few sources of fresh water).

My bird list for the day totalled 62 species–four of them lifers: Grey-winged Francolin (Scleroptila africanus) which was a target sopecies for me in the park; Lesser Honeyguides (Indicator minor) which were hanging around the nest of a pair of Acacia Pied Barbet (Tricholaema leucomelas) (The Lersser Honeyguide is a parasitic species, laying its eggs in the nest of other species.); Little Stint (Calidris minuta); and Large-billed Lark (Galerida magnirostris).

Male and female Yellow Canaries (Crithagra flaviventris) drinking at Abrahamskraal.

Grey-winged Francolin (Scleroptila africanus) near the Seeburg hide.

Southern Black Korhaan (Eupodotis afraoides)

I also took the opportunity to photograph a few butterflies for submission to the South African Butterfly Conservation Assessment’s Virtual Museum. This is a Cape Black-eye (Leptomyrina lara).

All in all a fantastic day’s outing & the park is highly recommended for all birders–and anyone who enjoys apending time in the great outdoors.

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