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Elpaco's Trip Report West Coast NP : August 2005

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elpaco
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:15 am
Location: Paris

Elpaco's Trip Report West Coast NP : August 2005

Unread postby elpaco » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:43 am

Before the entrance of the park, we saw a couple of Spotted Dikkop …good start. Just after the entrance we turned right to Seeberg bird hide. Saw a lot of greater flamingos and some pelicans, but they are too far for a good photo. On the way back to the main road, we met our first antelope : looked like a steenbok but browner and with a bigger butt : we identified it as a Cape Grysbok.
Then we went directly to the Postberg section. On the way we saw a lot of Ostriches. As the bush is a little above 1 meter high, it is funny to see their neck suddenly emerge, a bit like a submarine. :D

Arrived at Postberg, we decide to go straight on and our first sighting is a black headed heron walking up the hill. On the large hill slope to the right, we see (but from quite a distance) elands and zebras, and then bonteboks and springboks running.
On the way right, to the view point, we saw some lizards and another bontebok. After picnic, we went down and crosses the road of a angulate tortoise feeding on the side of the road. Then some Cape francolins. A little further on, a mouse crossed the road and stopped staring at us while feeding. Another drive around allowed us to see 4 elands and several bontebok from a very short distance and then 2 bat eared foxes, which we followed for 15 minutes. No caracal there but interesting sightings …

Going back to Langebaan we stopped at xxx waterhole to see some ducks : south African shelducks and red knobbed knoots.

Then we decided to stop at Geebeck to go to the bird hide. 20m after the right turn, where the road crosses a forbidden bad path, we saw a caracal walking. The time to hit the break and look at it and it was gone …we searched him for a few minutes but the bush is thick there and did not manage to see him again …
At the hide, we saw greater flamingos from a rather short distance and several white fronted plovers, or were they Kittlitz’s?
Went also back at the other hide to see some other flamingos, African black oystercatchers, a blacksmith plover, and 2 pied avocets….
In conclusion a very good day which ended with another Cape Grysbok outside of the park 300 meters before the first house of Langebaan !!!.

Finally we had seen :
1 caracal, 2 Cape Grysboks, some Steenboks, Bonteboks, Elands, Cape Mountain zebras, 2 bat eared foxes, 4 angulate tortoises and 3 striped mice.
As for birds, we had identify about 25 species including greater flamingos, pelican, white fronted plovers, pied avocets, black winged stilt, white backed mousebirds, common fiscal shrikes, ostriches, bokmakiries, red knobbed knoot and sacred ibis.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend this park, especially when the Postberg area is open (ie august and september). the roads are good, the landscape is beautiful and the sightings are interesting .... :D

some photos :
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