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Witsand Nature Reserve:

Witsand is a great birding site, named after its strikingly white reef of dunes that interrupt the red sea of the Kalahari sands. Adjacent to the dunes lies unexpectedly dense woodland and savanna, offering all the typical arid savanna birds of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (p.107), as well as species that prefer denser woodland. These include Melba Finch, Black-cheeked and Violet-eared Waxbills, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Lappet-faced Vulture and, in wet years, Monotonous Lark. Witsand is unique in hosting the only sandgrouse bird hide in the world: Burchell’s, Namaqua, and the scarcer Double-banded may be seen drinking here; numbers vary, but are greatest in winter. Witsand offers pleasant camping and chalet accommodation, immaculately maintained by the Northern Cape Nature Conservation Service. See the map (p.106) for directions: it can be approached from either the north or the south (look out for conspicuous signposts just west of Olifants-hoek, or 10 km east of Groblershoop). An isolated population of African Rock Pipit (p.125*) is found in the adjacent Langeberg mountains; turn east 13 km north of Witsand and follow the road to the Bergenaars Pass.

Northeast of Witsand, the small nature reserves adjacent to the towns of Kathu and Kuruman provide a host of woodland species and are worth visiting if you are passing through. Kathu is the most southerly place where Red-billed Francolin and Pied Babbler are regularly seen.

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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