May 20 - Day 12
This morning we were up and it early(ish) in order to meet with Jessica at the SANParks research offices at Rondevlei to discuss my mom's project. She suggested we explore Swartvlei from the disused railway bridge and use the bird hides as access to Rondevlei and Langvlei, provinding there were no birders around. So off we went to the railway bridge, where we found loads of mom's plants but non of them were fruiting. We also sadly came across a most obnoxious fisherman, who despite us giving him about 5m clearance up and downstream decided to shout at us for 'disturbing' his fishing.... So we went to see the other sites, which didn't deliver any better results (well except being peaceful without obnoxious fishermen!). I did some birding at the various stops (the birds were surprisingly unconcerned with the lady rooting around in the reeds! and I did add the necessary teasing about how she wasn't supposed to disturb the birder
) and these are the results...
This Blacksmith Lapwing
lower down the Swartvlei Estuary.
Then at Malachite Hide on Langvlei...
seemed to forget what it was he was going to say about our arrival.
A Juvenile Reed Cormorant
- I think?
Another Darter then popped up (and out) to say hello to us
Further out a Dabchick (Little Grebe)
and some Red-Knobbed Coots
were foraging (and a bit further away, also building their nests out of it.) in amongst one of mom's more common water grasses (a Potomogeton
for those interested)
Every now-and-again this shy Moorhen
would venture out to join the frey.
At the car park for the hide were some beautiful Leonotis leonora
), with some Greater Double-Collared Sunbirds and Ornage-Breasted Sunbirds flitting in and out for a quick nectar snack - too quick for decent pics.
But, just past the Leonotis was a suprise! This Amythest Sunbird
(excuse the leaf across him...)
With that it was already past lunch time, so we went into Wilderness in search for lunch. After lunch we went in search of the 'Map of Africa' view site above Wilderness and found it, although the view was a bit hazy. It is so called for the shape the Kaaimans River has carved into the land.
It was then off for the other reason for the trip, to drive around the various towns in the Garden Route to help decide where exactly my parents want to retire. This afternoon we tackled some of Wilderness, more out of curiosity because we already knew it was largely out of the budget, and then some more of Sedgfield. Then it was back to the timeshare for a light supper of left overs from lunch.