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Oudtshoorn - The Yot Club

River

River

One of the main objectives of the trip was to see Meerkats in the wild. We were therefore heartened when Grant from Meerkat Magic sent a message the evening before the first of our two planned outings confirming that he had located the overnight sleeping burrow. The weather throughout the day had been variable cool with intermittent showers which is not the best for Meerkats. We arose at 5:20 the next morning and were just about to leave the B&B when a message was received saying that it was too cold and wet, thus the trip had to be cancelled. Not much could be done about this, although it was a massive blow, so a couple of hours were spent wandering around the grounds of the Yot Club to assuage the disappointment. The setting was very attractive and good for birds, with the quite extensive extended property being adjacent to a reed margined river. The gardens are quite well manicured, but did have a few larger trees for perching posts. Some of the more common birds were both regular and noisy, such as the family of carnivorous Common Fiscals in residence below our balcony. The reeds held a mixed breeding colony of Cape & Southern Masked Weavers, as well as Red Bishops, which were caught by the rising morning sun. African Reed Warblers were slightly less obvious, with the liquid song and larger frame of Lesser Swamp Warbler further down towards the ford crossing. It was in the main elusive, showing occasionally as it actively fed at the base of the reed stems. A Brown-headed Kingfisher perched for some time on the wires above this crossing, unperturbed by my gently swaying frame on the adjacent swinging footbridge. The trees hosted calling African Hoopoe, Red-eyed & Mourning Doves throughout the morning.  A small posse of Speckled Mousebirds preceded the ridiculous sight of 10 or so perched and calling Helmeted Guineafowl on the bare branches above me at a height of around 10 metres from the ground. Cape Wagtails were a fairly constant feature here, but there was no sign of the Black-crowned Night Herons which had been active the previous evening in the reed. Regular parties of hirundines and swifts circled overhead, the most obvious being Little Swift and Greater Striped Swallow. Occasional White-rumped Swifts were reasonably obvious, but Horus Swifts needed more diligent checking. The much larger Alpine Swifts mingled in singles, and it has to be noted that many of the hirundines and swifts passing over remained unidentified. Long-tailed Cormorants and Egyptian Geese flew past sporadically.
 

African Hoopoe

African Stonechat

Eurasian (African) Hoopoe

African Stonechat

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Cape Sparrow

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Cape Sparrow

Cape Wagtail

Common Fiscal

Cape Wagtail (juvenile)

Common Fiscal (adult and juvenile)

Lesser Swamp Warbler

Long-tailed Cormorant

Lesser Swamp Warbler

Long-tailed Cormorant

Red Bishop

Southern Masked Weaver

Red Bishop

Southern Masked Weaver

Home

Paintings gallery

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Contact

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Content

Introduction

Oudtshoorn

Buffelsdrift

Meerkats

Buffalo Hills

Brenton

Cape Town+

Kirstenbosch

Species list

Text only