Join us on a visit to a few BIRD HAVEN’S on the “WEST COAST”. Our first stop is at the BERG RIVER ESTUARY. 127 Waterbird Species and 93 Terrestrial Species have been recorded here. The Estuary is saline and tidal. The Mud Banks along the River support a large diversity of Waders along the Atlantic Seaboard.
Further North of VELDDRIF towards ELANDS BAY, is the ROCHERPAN NATURE RESERVE. This ephemeral pan usually fills during winter and becomes dry in late summer. It is a sanctuary for the endangered African Black Oyster-catcher. The entire group of migratory Waders that visit the West Coast during summer can be found, depending on the water levels. The reserve provides one of the most important breeding & moulting sites for the Cape Shovellers. There are excellent photographic opportunities from the bird hides when the conditions are suitable.
Outside Eland’s Bay, on the road to Redelinghuys, is VELORENVLEI (“lost marsh”) – a beautiful, but unprotected, wetland. This 1 500 ha coastal lake, is one of the largest lakes on the West Coast of South Africa. Although the shores of the Vlei are private property, there are a number of good birding spots along the road. The Vlei has been identified as an important bird area and is a RAMSAR listed site since 1991. Some of the Bird Species that can be viewed are: African Spoonbill, African Eagle, European Bee-eaters, Fish Eagle, Purple Gallinule and the Eastern White Pelican. The Velorenvlei Redfin is endemic to the area and found nowhere else.
At Lambert’s Bay we visited BIRD ISLAND. The famous island is linked to the shore by a breakwater connected to the harbour and is easily accessible to the public. The Nature Reserve provides shelter and protection to thousands of Cape Gannets as well as various species of cormorants and penguins. Visitors can view these birds from 07h00-19h00 in summer and from 07h00-17h00 in winter. A small Fee applies but it is worth every cent!