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
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
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.
Shearwater and more!
sub-adult Black Sarrowhawk visits our garden again! Read
on about Raptor Research in the Western 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
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:
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
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
Killer Whales were shot. Click here for more details and
14 March 09: Raptor
Watch in Cape Town on 14 March 09