Saturday, 29 October 2016

Knysna and the Coast (5/6)

We left the Battlefields area and travelled back to Johannesburg to catch an internal flight to George on the south eastern coast. The flight was two hours, the distance to drive from the Battlefields to George would have been over 800 miles. The normal projections of the world on a map really distorts the true size of the countries. South Africa looks to be about the same size as the UK. It is actually over five times bigger. It was a good decision on my part not to self drive the holiday.

Our hotel was in Knysna on the Indian Ocean coast. A beautiful area and much more affluent than the countryside that we had traveled through so far. The hotel grounds were less extensive than I had become accustomed to but it was only a couple of minutes walk down to to the Knysna River estuary and an early morning walk gave me a good selection of birds.

Grey Heron

A Grey Heron, a bit of a disappointment, but on the other side of the tree a Black-headed Heron, much more satisfying.

Black-headed Heron

On the water front, Sacred Ibis, Kelp Gull, Yellow-billed Duck, Reed Cormorant

Sacred Ibis

Yellow-billed Duck

Kelp Gull

Reed Cormorant

There were also a good assortment of birds in the bushes and on the jetty.

Speckled Mousebird

White-throated Swallow

Cape Bulbul

Cape Wagtail

One from Home - Common Sandpiper

Red-wing Starling

Fiscal Flycatcher

African Dusky Flycatcher

Sombre Greenbul

Black-backed Puffback

We had an organised trip in the afternoon that I was looking forward to. It was a boat trip across the estuary to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. The estuary was OK but the nature reserve was a bit of a disappointment. I thought I would have the chance to wander around taking pictures of the birds. Instead it was an organised walk along a set path. I hardly saw a bird at all.

African Black Oystercatcher

Cape Cormorant

Sacred Ibis and Whimbrel

there is always a story about the one that got away. In this case it was a Black-headed Oriole. My first ever Oriole of any kind. I followed the song for about half an hour without seeing the bird. It finally appeared in the top of a tree for a few seconds. I got the shot but of course it had its back towards me and kept its head in a shadow. Not much of a picture but I like it.

Black-headed Oriole

Next the Capetown area.

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