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De Mond Nature Reserve:

This reserve is greatly underrated as a birding site. Quite apart from offering some excellent birding (notably Damara Tern, Southern Tchagra and a splendid diversity of waders), the reserve is a beautiful spot, centred on the broad and placid estuary of the Heuningnes River and flanked by battlements of white dunes. To reach De Mond, take the R316 southwards from Bredasdorp and, after 10 km, turn right onto the 16-km long signposted gravel road to the reserve entrance. Park at the reserve gate, and take a look around the adjacent milkwood thicket for Southern Tchagra as well as more widespread coastal-thicket birds such as Fiscal Flycatcher and Acacia Pied Barbet. Take the footpath that leads from the reserve buildings and across a suspension bridge over the river, before following the western bank of the estuary to its outlet into the Indian Ocean (this is the start of the scenic, 7-km Sterna Trail, which loops from the estuary mouth westwards along the beach before returning over the dunes to the reserve office). Pied Kingfisher hunt over the river while, in summer, Common Sandpiper potter along its banks and small numbers of migrant waders feed at the estuary edges and roost on the protruding islands just downstream of the bridge. In addition to such common species as Curlew Sandpiper, Ringed Plover and Grey Plover, one can pick out scarcer and more localized birds such as Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew and, occasionally, Terek Sandpiper and Mongolian and Greater Sand Plovers. African Black Oystercatcher and Caspian Tern feed at the estuary mouth (the reserve protects an important breeding colony of the latter). There is usually a tern roost on the sandbanks: Swift, Common (summer) and Sandwich Terns are most common, but small numbers of the diminutive Damara Tern occasionally roost here or feed over the estuary mouth, primarily from November to March (see box, overleaf).

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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