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Winter Trips:

Winter (May to September) is the most spectacular time at sea. Huge numbers of albatrosses and other pelagic seabirds migrate northwards from their breeding sites as far south as Antarctica, moving into Cape waters to escape the harsh polar winter. Shy and Black-browed Albatrosses are abundant, and both subspecies of Yellow-nosed Albatross are commonly seen in small numbers. The waters off the Cape are the most accessible place globally to see the grey-headed chlororhynchus subspecies of the latter, which is often regarded as a full species (see box, opposite). The great prize of a winter trip must however be the romantically celebrated Wandering Albatross (p.40*), although the spellbinding star of Samuel Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner has become very scarce in recent years (see box, p.39). There is also always a chance of seeing the rare (Northern) Royal and Grey-headed Albatrosses.

The ever-present White-chinned Petrel, Sooty Shearwater and Cape Gannet are joined by huge numbers of flashy Pintado Petrel, Broad-billed Prion (desolata subspecies is most common) and Wilson’s Storm Petrel. Both the Northern and Southern Giant Petrels (p.40*) are invari-ably present in small numbers, usually one or two per trawler, and Antarctic Fulmar and Spectacled Petrel make an occasional appearance. Watch out for the odd fast-flying Soft-plumaged Petrel whipping by, especially away from the trawlers. Small flocks of terns fly by, and Subantarctic Skua is usually present at each boat and is often seen even before leaving False Bay. Antarctic Tern are sometimes seen close inshore.

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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