by Bryan Butler

Two car loads left our meeting spot around 07h00 on Saturday 17th March heading for Rooisand. On the way we picked up another car at the Steenbras River bridge and more met us at Rooisand so we were quite a reasonable group. Sonja had arranged for a couple from the Hermanus Bird Club, John and Sheilagh, and their friend Michael, to meet us at Rooisand and to guide us through this part of the morning. Turned out to be a very wise move as in front of the hide – no water at all!!

We identified an odd Kittlitz Plover and a pair of Blacksmith Lapwings and that was about it. Very soon we moved out of the hide and headed towards the Bot River estuary on foot. In the small streams we saw Cape Teal, Cape Wagtail, moreKittlitz and as we neared the estuary we picked up lovely sightings in flight of the Caspian Tern and an Osprey.

In the vlei were Greater Flamingoes, White-breasted Cormorants, an odd Sacred Ibis and even African Spoonbill. The count was rising – 34 so far. We continued to walk further inland up the “bank” of the estuary – (we were walking where normally there would be water), leaving the parking spot way behind. Eventually we turned, walking through the long grass towards the cars in the hope of sighting a Longclaw but it was not to be our day. Coffee, refreshments and for most of us, on to Stony Point where we actually did manage to identify all 4 Cormorants!

It was windy but the cute guys in dress suits were out in force – very few youngsters, but they capture everyone’s hearts anyway! A few of us went on to Rooiels in the vain hope of seeing the Cape Rockjumper and/or Ground Woodpecker, but it was too hot by then. Nonetheless we had a good look at a White-necked Raven, and added another 6 birds to our list – a total of just under 50 for the day. At about one o’clock we called it a day.