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Kommetjie is a small seaside village on a rocky promontory on the west coast of the Peninsula, much favoured by beach-walkers, horse-riders, anglers, surfers, and the few hardy swimmers who brave its usually icy Atlantic waters. To the north lies the pure white 4-km expanse of Noordhoek beach, also known as Long Beach (a great walk for those in a contemplative mood), and to the south a picturesque mountainside road leading around Slangkop peak to Scarborough and the Cape of Good Hope reserve. For birders, Kommetjie provides convenient access to a number of endemic or localized coastal species, notably Bank Cormorant and Antarctic Tern (winter).

Entering Kommetjie from the east on the M65, turn right down Van Imhoff Road (at the sharp bend opposite the hotel). Continue to a prominent parking area on the left, where a path leads onto the rocky promontory. Stone Age people built rough rock fish-dams here; today, this jumble of lichen-splattered boulders provides a safe roost for a good number of terns, gulls and cormorants. The bird for which Kommetjie is best known is the distinctively stocky, subtly coloured Antarctic Tern, which can reliably be found here in small numbers from April to October. By early spring, shortly before undertaking their return flight across the southern oceans, the birds have often already attained their superb white, grey and deep red breeding dress.

The tern roost also includes Swift and Sandwich Terns all year round; Common Terns dominate during the summer. A handful of the threatened Bank Cormorant can usually be found on the rocks throughout the year, alongside much more common Cape, Crowned and White-breasted Cormorants. An assortment of waders is usually found pottering among the technicolour rock pools, including the resident White-fronted Plover and African Black Oystercatcher, as well as migrant Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel. Kommetjie is also a well-known sea-watching vantage point during the winter months (p.39).

Wildevoëlvlei, a largish lake nearby, was once home to several localized waterbird species including White-backed and Maccoa Ducks, and is easily accessible from the Imhoff’s Gift housing development (take the signposted road north from the M65, a few kilometres east of Kommetjie). Great Crested Grebe and Yellow-billed Egret still occur here. In recent years, however, the lake has suffered heavily from blooms of toxic blue-green algae, resulting in a dramatic drop in bird numbers. Nonetheless, it is always worth stopping for a quick scan.

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4 Crassula Way, Pinelands, 7405, Cape Town, South Africa

27/09/09: Dalton Gibbs reports back from Gough Island! Read the blog!

26/09/09: New Cape Town Pelagics trip report from trips of 12 and 19 September 2009.

30/08/09: British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water proved very successful, with sunny weather and over 20,000 visitors. Callan's "Birding Namibia and the Okavango" was the most highly-attended lecture on the Saturday, with over 240 people. Congratulations to the winners of the Birding Africa competition and the African Bird Club raffle that we helped sponsor!

12/08/09: New Cape Town Pelagics trip reports from August and July 2009. Highlights: Little Shearwater and more!

07/08/09: The sub-adult Black Sarrowhawk visits our garden again! Read on about Raptor Research in the Western Cape.

27/07/09: Cape Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has grown! And its sibling never had a chance to hatch. See the pictures of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.

27/07/09: To follow modern nomenclature and systematics, we've adopted the IOC World Bird List, Version 2.1.

13/07/09: The 8th African Bird ID Challenge has launched! Win a 50% discount on a Cape Town Pelagics trip, a copy of Southern African Birdfinder, or African Bird Club membership for 1 year.

6 July 09: Cape White-eye research in our garden.

2 July 09: Cape Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has hatched! See the pictures of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.

2 July 09: Campbell Fleming, a Cape Town scholar, avid birder and photographer, joined Birding Africa last month as an intern. Click here, to see what he got up to.

2 July 09: New pelagic trip reports from the Cape Town Pelagics trips in June 2009. Highlights: Slenderbilled Prion and Leach's Storm Petrel

30 july 09: Our latest Cape Fynbos and Karoo trip reports feature Hottentot Buttonquail, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler and other fynbos and Karoo endemics...

26 June 09: Tungsten mining threatens RAMSAR site, South Africa's Verlorenvlei. Read the Media Release.

22 June 09: Claire Spottiswoode, one of the Cape Birding Route founders, was part of the exploratory team at Mount Mabu. The mountain is part of the newly discovered largest rainforest in Southern Africa.

11 June 09: A colour-ringed Black Sparrowhawk visits the Birding Africa office garden. Read why it's a 10 months old male!

14 June 09:
Wildlife at the office of The Cape Birding Route, Birding Africa and Cape Town Pelagics.

31 May 09:
Michel Watelet wins the 7th African Bird Club & Birding Africa ID Challenge. Test your African birding skills and WIN a Birding Africa Cape town day trip or a copy of the Birdfinder!

30 May 09: A tragedy unfolds at Kommetjie south of Cape town as 44 beached False Killer Whales were shot. Click here for more details and pictures.

14 March 09: Raptor Watch in Cape Town on 14 March 09