Thursday, March 3, 2011

Van Stadens and Cape Recife

Bird-watching has taken my eldest son Luke and me to various places around the Eastern Cape over the past 10 years or so. Among them are the Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve, some 30km west of Port Elizabeth, and Cape Recife.

On our most recent visit to Van Stadens, late last year, we first visited the valley of riverine forest where you can walk for hundreds of metres through pristine forest. From there one heads across the motorway to the wild flower reserve, which is rich in fynbos. While we regularly spot the Cape sugarbird there, we have yet to see a male orange-breasted sunbird. Anyway, this is one of the views across the Van Stadens River.

Another view, towards the end of a walk down-river along the top of the valley.

Cape Recife is another favourite birding spot. It offers sea birds, inland water birds and a host of bush-loving birds. This is not the Cape Recife lighthouse, but a beacon built on rocks offshore and much frequented, at low tide, by fishermen.

There are two sewage reclamation ponds at Cape Recife where we have had numerous exciting sightings. This was probably a yellow-billed duck.

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