Cape Bird Club Beginners’ Outing

Last month I presented a Beginners’ Course on Zoom for the Cape Bird Club. This culminated in an outing to Strandfontein Nature Reserve on 27 March 2022. Click here to find out more about this reserve which an Important Birding Area

Members of the Bird Club assisted with leading and about 14 beginners were taken around the park in five vehicles. It was a beautiful sunny day with little wind so conditions were perfect for bird watching. Thanks to Priscilla Beeton, Johan Schlebusch, Joy Fish, Heather Howell and Earl Fenwick.

The two-part course prepared the beginners with basic birding skills and for what they were likely to find in the park. Each of them had a specially compiled checklist of birds they might see and there was great excitement when they were able to identify the birds they had learned about.

Here are some of the birds that obliged us.

Yellow-billed ducks were enjoying themselves
Showing off her beauty
The red-billed teal turned his back on us
Cape Teal and Red-knobbed Coot greeting each other
Reflective mood
The ponds were calm and the pelicans were enjoying the sunshine
This is the life
Greater Flamingos – not quite in their adult plumage,
Pied Avocets contentedly swimming
This bird sports a recurved bill
A Black-necked grebe was a real treat to see
The Little Grebe is more common
Fulvous Ducks – Not often seen at Strandfontein – A real treat
Cape Shoveler
The Glossy Ibis has a decurved bill
Reed Cormorant
We saw an African swamphen but I didn’t get a good photo so I’m cheating with this one taken a while ago.
Black-headed Heron and Sacred Ibis

I might just have been more excited than the beginners at seeing all these lovely birds.

Here is a list of what we saw.

  • Yellow-billed Duck
  • Cape Teal
  • Red-billed Teal
  • Cape Shoveler
  • South African Shelduck
  • Egyptian Goose
  • Spur-winged Goose
  • Western Cattle Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Grey Heron
  • Black-headed Heron
  • Kelp Gull
  • Hartlaub’s Gull
  • Reed Cormorant
  • White-breasted Cormorant
  • Sacred Ibis
  • Hadeda Ibis
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Greater Flamingo
  • Lesser Flamingo
  • Great White Pelican
  • Little Grebe
  • Great-crested Grebe
  • Red-knobbed Coot
  • Common Moorhen
  • African swamphen
  • Blacksmith Lapwing
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Pied Avocet
  • Common starling
  • Red-winged Starling
  • Little Rush Warbler
  • Cape Bulbul
  • Black-shouldered Kite
  • Jackal Buzzard
  • Three-banded plover
  • White-throated Swallow
  • Greater-striped Swallow
  • Cape Weaver
  • Common waxbill
  • Lesser Double-collared Sunbird
  • Cape Spurfowl
  • Spotted Thick-knee
  • Blacksmith Lapwing
  • Common Tern
  • Whiskered Tern
  • Levaillant’s Cisticola
  • Cape White-Eye
  • Little stint

8 thoughts on “Cape Bird Club Beginners’ Outing

  1. safrounet

    super all this serie of birds you saw. I was so often at Strandfontein…. how I miss SA, Cape Town, Kgalagadi… the sun. Thank you to make me live again all these memories… big hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thea Ramsay

    I was one of the beginners and was so pleased to have experienced birders point out patiently the differences between the birds. And now the refresher after the event; many thanks for your encouragement, Helen and your team. Also thank you for the information and photos sent beforehand, which was also a great help.



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