topographically unassuming region is dominated by a coastal
plain, covered in low, scrubby strandveld vegetation and studded
in many areas with picturesque granite outcrops. Distinctly
different in character from the Capes southern seaboard,
the West Coast is decidedly more arid and exposed, with the
scrublands offering little protection from the unrelenting
sun and blustery onshore winds. Further inland, despite most
of the fertile soils of the Swartland lying under intensive
wheat cultivation, the birding is still remarkably productive.
The rich waters of the Benguela Current not only make this
region the heart of the countrys fishing industry, but
the associated sealife supports massive seabird breeding colonies
on the scattered offshore islands. The coastline consists
largely of endless lonely beaches, punctuated by salty, whitewashed
fishing villages and an ever-increasing number of holiday
West Coast is best birded in spring and early summer (from
about August to October), when most of the resident birds
are breeding and the wildflowers are at their peak. This contrasts
strongly with late summer, when the region is particularly
dry and many of the temporary waterbodies have evaporated,
leaving arid depressions populated only by dust-laden whirlwinds.
The southern areas of the West Coast, extending northwards
to the West Coast National Park and even the Berg River estuary,
can be comfortably explored in a day-trip from Cape Town.
However, a two to three day loop would allow for more relaxed
exploration of the region, including the Lamberts Bay
area. The West Coast can also conveniently be visited en route
to Bushmanland or Nam-aqualand. Birding is best in the mornings
as it is usually persistently windy later in the day.
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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