SANCCOB | S A Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds – SANCCOB saves African penguins and other threatened seabirds

https://sanccob.co.za/

The Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden

roncorylus

A visit this afternoon to the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden near Stellenbosch, revealed a world of wonderful art set in a large and beautiful garden, sometimes sculptured to match the art displayed within it.  Even the buildings left one breathless with their simple beauty and the form, seamlessly mixing traditional and modern.

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From De Kelders to Grotto Beach

roncorylus

Eight Hurriers set out from De Kelders this morning at the start of our walk to Grotto Beach.  The weather and the tides were perfect and we enjoyed a really wonderful excursion on this lovely stretch of beach.  Gulls and Oystercatchers abounded and watched our progress with interest, along with occasional Plovers, Wagtails and Whimbrels.

Sadly our enjoyment was somewhat marred by the presence of fisherman driving on the beach – where they had no right to be.  We questioned their being there and they said they had permits, but a subsequent enquiry at Cape Nature revealed that there is no such permit available.  We also saw people harvesting vast numbers of white mussels – way in excess of the allowed catch – further adding to our frustration. It really is sad to this abuse of our natural resources.

We walked a total of 18.5 km in just under 5…

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The Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden

roncorylus

A visit this afternoon to the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden near Stellenbosch, revealed a world of wonderful art set in a large and beautiful garden, sometimes sculptured to match the art displayed within it.  Even the buildings left one breathless with their simple beauty and the form, seamlessly mixing traditional and modern.

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An Epic Birding Trip

roncorylus

Renee and I left Hermanus on 25 October and returned yesterday, on 27 November, after driving over 8000 kms round South Africa on a birding adventure.  Our aim was to identify as many local birds as possible, out of a total of around 1000 South African species.  One might think this an easy task, but we were severely challenged in putting together a list of 427 species.  For us, it was a trip record, as we had never previously beaten 400, but we did take nearly 5 weeks this time and visited a variety of locations and habitats. The map below gives a rough idea of our progress and I will attempt to describe our adventure in a series of articles to follow.

BBY trip

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The Epic, Part 1 – Hermanus to St Francis Bay

roncorylus

On leaving Hermanus, we traveled along the Garden Route to Knysna, our first stop.  Travelling on the N1, one has little time to see small birds, but the larger ones are recognisable from the car and so our list started, growing rapidly as it does when everything counts.  We deviated around the lagoons at Wilderness and enjoyed the various bird hides and look-outs.  Once at Knysna, we visited the Goukamma Reserve and had good sightings of African Marsh Harriers and Black-winged Lapwings flying overhead.  There was also a Western Osprey over the village and the walks around Leisure Isle and along the lagoon edge at Belvedere, proved fruitful.

Leaving Knysna, we traveled via Nature’s Valley, always a good forest birding spot, but did not see a lot.  Our journey took us to St Francis Bay, where we were meeting up with friends for a few days of wild orchid hunting. …

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The Epic, Part 2 – St Francis Bay to Underberg

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We left St Francis Bay a day earlier than planned in order to fit in a night at Stutterheim, a small village next to a good indigenous forest – home to the White-starred Robin, a target bird.  A delightful establishment called ‘The Shire’ had a cottage available and we spent a very comfortable night in what could only be described as absolutely enchanting surroundings.  We were on the edge of the forest, with an outside shower for warm weather.  Although small, our cottage was very well equipped and afforded us the opportunity to really spend time in the forest.

From there we went to Gonubie, with the intention of visiting two Nature Reserves, only to find that both were closed over the weekend!  We were very disappointed and could do little birding except along the river, however, it was the weekend of the Rugby World Cup Final, so we enjoyed…

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