MOSSEL BAY NEWS - According to knowledgeable bird watchers locally, all the estuaries from the Blinde River at Dana Bay to Great Brak offer ideal birding sites, especially for those enthusiasts seeking wader sites.
Other birding spots include:
The Hartenbos sewerage works (S34º 06’41.82” E22º 06’12.53”). Access is allowed with permission.
Huge numbers of cormorants, ducks, egrets and herons can be seen here. There are two ponds that are good for waders in summer. For marine waders, the Twee Kuilen bird hide provides hours of bird watching joy.
Little Stone Cottage can be reached from the Robinson Pass along the R328 and is regarded as one of the best sites in the region for forest bird species.
In Little Brak River (S34º 05’09.79” E22º 08’45.25”), the rocks on the beach at the lagoon mouth and the rail bridge are good for waders in summer. The sand banks along the river house a variety of waterfowl.
Great Brak River (S34º 03’19.24” E22º 13’22.59”) features vast numbers of waterfowl and the area along the river is perfect for bird photography.
Most of the region’s ducks can be seen, with numerous white-faced duck and Cape teal.
Kittlitz's plover and three-banded and white-fronted plovers are well represented, and it is interesting that purple heron are often seen here out in the open, away from the reed beds.
Most of the region’s terns regularly patrol the water courses during summer. Remnant patches of indigenous forests in the village also produce most of the forest species of the region.
Species found include terrestrial brownbul, African crowned eagle, African goshawk, chorister robin chat, Knysna turaco and African wood owl.
There are more good birding opportunities to be had inland.
The Friemersheim loop road is well known for fynbos species, although the dams along this road, where African jacana and African snipe can be found, are good for waterfowl. Quite large flocks of flamingos have descended at the Hartenbos River and Great Brak River mouths.
Look out for Oystercatchers
The African Black Oystercatcher is an endangered species found along our coast. Oystercatchers, locally known as Tobies, breed at the height of the summer holiday season, laying one to three stony-coloured eggs in a simple nest in the sand, which is often no more than a scrape in the ground. Please be on the lookout for eggs, because only four out of every 36 chicks are estimated to reach adulthood.
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