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List of species seen

Jackass Penguin

The colony visited at Boulders Point is apparently one of only two mainland breeding sites in the country. Perhaps up to a hundred or so birds were there, both in the tourist enclosed part of the beach and the adjacent rocks an sea to the south

Little Grebe

A regularly seen bird on the lagoons at Strandfontein sewage works - singles and groups of up to 6 birds seen on almost all expanses of water

Great Crested Grebe

3 on the lagoon at Rondevlei

Great White Pelican

The majority of the birds seen were at Strandfontein sewage works, in 4 groups totalling around 70 birds. These included both adults and some of the greyer juveniles. 2 also at Rondevlei

Great Cormorant

The most common cormorant, seen every day in large numbers

Cape Cormorant

There were probably birds on the rocks at Kommetjie on 27th, but couldn't be identified. ~150 passed the lighthouse on the 1st March, from singles to large groups of up to 20. The yellow around the gape was not evident - apparantly this is usual for the time of year and distance seen

Crowned Cormorant

Adults with crests could be seen among the Great Cormorants at Kommetjie on 27th. ~20 were at Strandfontein

Reed Cormorant

3 juveniles in front of the hides at Rondevlei

African Darter

Very prominent at Rondevlei, with ~25 seen, both on the ground and flying

Grey Heron

Strandfontein (5), Rondevlei (2)

Black-headed Heron

A solitary bird was in the dunes at Strandfontein

Purple Heron

1 flying over reeds at Strandfontein

Little Egret

Milnerton (1), Strandfontein (5), Rondevlei (4)

Cattle Egret

Abundant - seen every day in most open areas, including within Cape Town vicinity

Sacred Ibis

A very gregarious and common bird, with 4 seen in Cape Town area, over 100 at Strandfontein, 40 at both Rondevlei and Kommetjie

Hadada Ibis

A pair were within the village of Kommetjie on the 1st, and a single bird flew over Kirstenbosch

Glossy Ibis

1 flew from the reeds at Strandfontein

African Spoonbill

2 adults at Rondevlei

Greater Flamingo

A group of 20 birds at Strandfontein included a few juveniles, with a single bird on a separate lagoon

Egyptian Goose

Nice to see these birds in the wild and not just feral, but they seem to be on every single patch of water imaginable. Common

South African Shelduck

Only one bird seen, at the rear of a group of mixed waterfowl on exposed mud at Strandfontein. It disappeared into the reeds soon after being spotted

Cape Teal

A pair of these were the first wildfowl seen at Strandfontein, with perhaps up to a hundred subsequently on an adjacent lagoon

Yellow-billed Duck

A group of 6 flew from reeds at Strandfontein, and ~15 in a mixed group later on exposed mud

Red-billed Duck

~100 birds were in a mixed group of waterfowl on exposed mud at Strandfontein, and 4 were at Rondevlei

Cape Shoveler

A total of ~30 at Strandfontein, with a further 2 at Rondevlei

Southern Pochard

~20 in small groups and pairs at Strandfontein, and 6 at Rondevlei

Black-shouldered Kite

Up to 5 separate birds at Strandfontein

Black Kite

1 of the Yellow-billed subspecies at Strandfontein

(Steppe) Buzzard

1 flew over Signal Hill, and 1 perched on telegraph pole at Strandfontein

Verraux's Eagle

An initial sighting of a single bird low over the Table Mountain plateau was followed shortly after by a pair circling in the distance among a large group of hirundines. It is a spectacular and distinctive eagle, with long narrow wings pinched in at the base


1 hovering at Cape Point

Helmeted Guineafowl

When seen, they are very gregarious - 12 including juveniles on Signal Hill, 4 at Strandfontein, 30 early morning at Kommetjie, and 4 at Kirstenbosch

Purple Swamphen

2 briefly at Strandfontein


Small numbers at Strandfontein (~20) and Rondevlei (~10)

Red-knobbed Coot

All birds in breeding plumage and fully knobbed - 20 were initially seen in channels on the road from Cape Town to Milnerton, 40+ at Strandfontein, and 10 at Rondevlei

African Oystercatcher

Kommetjie (25), beachfront at Strandfontein (3)

Black-winged Stilt

Large numbers were in channels seen from the coach on the airport to Signal Hill leg of arrival

Spotted Thick-knee

A pair in the sandy coastal scrub at Kommetjie lighthouse

Blacksmith Plover

After the first dapper bird was seen at De Waal Park waterworks on the first day, this turned out to be a very common bird, and usually found in quite large groups anywhere near fresh water


1 at Kommetjie on 27th


Group of six on the channel at Milnerton


10 on exposed mud at Strandfontein

Kelp Gull

Good numbers seen, usually near the coast

Hartlaub's Gull

An extremely common bird from the coast to the suburbs. Regularly checked for Grey-headed Gull, all were in winter plumage

Sandwich Tern

About 80 at Buffels bay in the Cape Reserve

Great Crested Tern

~20 or so amongst the Sandwich Terns at Buffels Bay, and single birds at Strandfontein and Kommetjie

Speckled Pigeon


Rameron Pigeon

The bright yellow eye rings seem to make this a more than mundane pigeon. 2 groups of 3 were at Kirstenbosch, and were very approachable

Red-eyed Dove


Laughing Dove


Alpine Swift

5 among a large flock of African Swifts from the top of Table Mountain, and then hundreds close overhead at Kirstenbosch

African Swift

Hundreds from the top of Table Mountain, and a single bird amongst the Alpine Swifts over Kirstenbosch

Little Swift

A single bird with the hirundines at Strandfontein

White-rumped Swift

Up to a hundred birds in a large flock low over the lagoons and track at Strandfontein

Speckled Mousebird

Only one was seen briefly emerging from a bush at Kirstenbosch

Malachite Kingfisher

1 flying along channel at Milnerton

Plain Martin

Very common at Strandfontein, with numbers totaling over 3 figures over the afternoon

Rock Martin

Up to 5 circling the base of the lighthouse at Cape Point


Kommetjie (50), Strandfontein (20)

White-throated Swallow

A mixed flock containing mainly White-throated Swallows was low over the water and track at Strandfontein, passing very close to us many times. To the uninitiated, there can be confusion with Banded Martin, since the bright light can make them look brown on the back at times, with similar breast band and white underwing coverts

Black Saw-wing

A single bird circling a small area near the pond at Kirstenbosch

Cape Wagtail

Regularly seen, with most at Kommetjie (5), Buffels Bay (10), and Strandfontein (30)

Orange-throated Longclaw

2 at Strandfontein - first was a stunning adult with bright orange throat, second a sick and pale individual with what looked like a damaged and swollen knee

Cape Bulbul

First birds seen were an elusive group of 10 at Buffels Bay and a single bird at Kommetjie. They were subsequently not as regularly seen as expected - 3 at Strandfontein, 2 at Kirstenbosch (where Sombre Bulbul was much more common), and 10 at Rondevlei

Sombre Bulbul

The songs and calls were heard throughout Kirstenbosch, with at least 10 birds seen. They are generally difficult to pick out of their favoured thick bushes and canopies, but some did show well

Olive Thrush

Most of the birds seen were around the hotel and suburban Cape Town area, where they are quite common. An additional 8 or so were at Kirstenbosch

Tinkling (Levaillant's) Cisticola

These were seen in the Strandfontein area, with 7 at the sewage works and 3 at Rondevlei. They can be seen well, especially if the calls are followed

Karoo Prinia

One of those birds which seems to have a song and call too big for the bird itself - Signal Hill (1), Kommetjie (1), Strandfontein (2), Kirstenbosch (15), Rondevlei (3)

Cape Grassbird

These are much better in real life than in the books. A vocal and approachable juvenile was on the Table Mountain plateau, with an adult close by

Fiscal Flycatcher

These are remarkably similar to Fiscal Shrike unless looked at properly - bill shape and white on the wings are obvious pointers. The single bird at Strandfontein was almost passed by

African Dusky Flycatcher

Similar to Spotted, this is a less slender bird with faint though obvious eye ring. ~8 birds were at Kirstenbosch, including juveniles

Cape Robin-chat

Signal Hill (1), Kirstenbosch (3), Rondevlei (1). They generally tend to be skulkers - none were seen in the open for long

Familiar Chat

2 birds together on rocks at Table Mountain plateau

Orange-breasted Sunbird

The bellies on these birds stands out against the background vegetation, and they are generally very approachable - Table Mountain (10), Kirstenbosch, where they were almost exclusively in the Protea garden (10)

Southern Double-collared Sunbird

After the single bird at the curio stalls near Scarborough, 30 or so were at Kirstenbosch

Cape White-eye

Common and regularly seen in any area with trees. A group of half a dozen were easy to find in the hotel gardens

Cape Sugarbird

A uniquely stunning bird. The first one at Kirstenbosch was lapped up, with a further 12 also in the Protea garden. There was a mix males and shorter tailed females, with the male happy to chase each other from plant to plant

Fiscal Shrike

2 birds were seen, one just below Molteno reservoir, and the other on the golf course at Milnerton. The latter bird did not have the faded supercilium that is a usual feature of Cape birds

Southern Boubou

A single very close bird at Kirstenbosch

Pied Crow

Strandfontein (5), Rondevlei (1)

House Crow

3 near the airport

White-necked Raven

Signal Hill (3), Table Mountain (3), Kirstenbosch (3)

Eurasian Starling


Red-winged Starling

Very common in almost every habitat

House Sparrow

A small group at the hotel


A male and female together at Strandfontein

Common Waxbill

3 or 4 groups of half a dozen birds around Kirstenbosch

Yellow Canary

These were quite regularly seen around Kirstenbosch (~30). The first ones were scrutinised carefully, since Cape birds are much greyer than the northern forms


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