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 Post subject: sable's West Coast Adventures. WCNP, Dec. '13
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:45 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
After two years we were back again at West Coast National Park.
This was the last National Park during our December visit 2013 in South Africa.

Tuesday 10th December 2013

Coming from Cape Town we arrive at the West Coast Gate about half past ten in the morning.

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Soon we get our permit and a very informative visitor's map of the park.
There are still those warning signs

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and it doesn't take long and the first tortoise arrives at the road.

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It is wonderful green here ...

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... and there are the sanddunes which we saw from the plane during our flight from Frankfurt to Cape Town.

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We decide to drive to Tsaarsbank this morning.
We stop at Atlantic View Point.

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Unfortunately there is no view of Table Mountain today, but the view to the ocean is wonderful.

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As I stand there enjoying this wonderful far view I hear SO "Look!"
We see this raptor with prey at the parking area.

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Is this a Rock Kestrel?

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_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
We come across ostrichs in the dunes.

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At Kraalbaai we are surprised of the changes.
There are new walkways to the beach and a lot of picnic and braai facilities.
In addition there is a very informative information center. :thumbs_up:

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Imagine having braai with such a great view! :)

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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
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Location: Germany
When the tarred road towards Tsaarsbank ends and the gravel road starts there is a strange smell
getting stronger the closer we get to the ocean.
What is it? ... like guano??? Where does it come from? :hmz:
I know this smell, but it is nothing of my South African memories.
Cape Cross! When we visited the Cape Cross Seal Colony in Namibia there was this strong smell.
Seals? I never saw them here before. There are always a lot of other actors.

When we arrive at Tsaarsbank this seagull is already waiting for us.

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I'm always fascinated by the shipwreck which can be seen from this viewpoint.

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At the park's map it is named Pantelis A. Lemos shipwreck,
which I now know was a former Greek bulk carrier.
The Pantalis A. Lemos went aground and broke up in Saldanha Bay in 1978.

Here are the seals on an island infront of Tsaarsbank.

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The cormorants have a little island on their own. :wink:

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As the wind comes from the sea from the direction of the seal island,
we currently experience the smell nearly as intense as at Cape Cross.
You can be glad that this smell is not transferred to you with this report. :wink:

The island is very busy. :lol:

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larger view
very large view


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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:58 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Here are some more views of the Tsaarsbank area.

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No visit to Tsaarsbank without some African Oystercatchers at work. :wink:

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These cormorants have left their island. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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The Postberg Section is closed, but we remember our first time visit to this area
in September 2011 very well. Today it is quiet no more animals.

Postberg Area September 2011

The area had been very busy.
There were elands together with ostrichs.

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We were happy, there was still a sea of yellow flowers.

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A rare moment when there were no other visitors on the road.

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The Postberg Section had been very busy on that day in September.
I wished the gravel road would have been one way only, but unfortunately
there was a lot of two-way traffic.

Nevertheless the bonteboks ignored the busy road and were looking for the fresh green.

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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
Tuesday 10th December 2013 - continued

When we are back at the tarred road again and leave the seal smell behind,
there is an ostrich family in the bush.

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Dad is very alert and brings the youngsters to a safer place in the dunes.

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Unfortunately they disappear behind the dune.

We decide to have tea time at the Geelbek Restaurant.
When we turned left on the road towards Geelbek we looked carefully at the bush.
No animals in this area today.

Do you remember last time? Yes there were these lovely elands ....


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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:41 pm 
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Geelbek Area September 2011

We were lucky to see elands during this spring time visit.

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After crossing the road one by one they disappeared into the dense bush.


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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Tuesday 10th December 2013 - continued

At the Geelbek Restaurant we get a very delicious Chocolate and a Lemmon Meringue cake.
While waiting for the cake we watched the bird life.
This dove in the tree is having siesta. :)

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On our way to Langebaan Gate we see some far away raptors and soon we left the park
and are on the way to our accommodation.
There is a beautiful sky this evening.

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I never saw guiena fowls at power poles before. :hmz:
A very safe location for the night. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:57 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Wednesday 11th December 2013

This morning we visit Seeberg Bird Hide.

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We find a lizard in the sand close to the walkway to the hide.

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Isn't this a beautiful swallow?

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We are lucky we find the flamingos. :D

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There is a line of sand-pipers.

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It seems many flamingos are having a nap, they are standing on one leg.

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And even a lonely oystercatcher arrives at the beach.

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What are the two left to it?


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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Bush Baptist wrote:
White breasted cormortants indeed.

Interesting to see the swallow on the pole.

I was at the Seeberg hide in December and saw mum white throated swallow feeding 3 youngsters just outside the hide.

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Don't mean to hijack your thread Sable.

Thank you very much, these are wonderful pictures of the white throated swallows. :thumbs_up:
It's always a pleasure to watch swallows. Great to see mum feeding the youngsters. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Glad to have your help to identify the white-breasted cormorants. Thank you.
During each visit to West Coast National Park there are birds I never saw before. :)

_________________
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:03 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Wednesday 11th December 2013 - continued

Seeberg bird hide really provides lovely views this morning.
This is sable busy watching the scene and taking pictures. :D

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The sandpipers come closer.

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At Seeberg view point we are again the only visitors.
This view point always offers wonderful vistas of the park. :D

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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:05 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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When we visited Seeberg View point in September 2011
we were lucky that there were all these wonderful spring flowers. :)

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A guinea fowl was complaining that we are at it's territory.

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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:10 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Wednesday 11th December 2013 - continued

When we leave the view point we are lucky again.
For a short moment the resident steenbok appears at the scene.

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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Wednesday 11th December 2013 - continued

The walkway towards the first bird hide near Geelbek is very long ...

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... with a spacious view towards Geelbek.

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A heron is watching the busy flamingos.

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There are sunbathers. :wink:

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At the hide we see that the water is very high and the flamingos are really far away.

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This is the view from the hide back to the road where the walkway starts.

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 Post subject: Re: West Coast Adventures
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:54 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Wednesday 11th December 2013 - continued

No visit to West Coast National Park without the bird hide at Abrahamskraal.
There sure had been the first visits to the park without seeing a bird hide,
but since we were at Lake Panic in Kruger I became a regular visitor of bird hides. :D

Abrahamskraal in summer is really not much coloured.

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This is the view in springtime. :D

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We walk to the bird hide close to the parking area.

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There are many ostrichs in the deep grass.

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It is a quiet day today.

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There is a sandpiper standing on one leg,

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a Cape Shoveler and a lonely flamingo.

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A red-knobbed coot swims across the water ...

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... and the Cape Shoveler comes closer to the hide.

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As we leave Abrahamskraal we see these ostrichs. They are very close together.

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