BirdingBack

Port Alfred and surrounding environs has some superb birding spots. There is a wide variety of habitats, nature reserves, hiking trails and private game farms where one can see some Eastern Cape specials. This coastal area has estuaries that provide feeding ground for waders, many of which visit our shores from the Northern hemisphere. Common Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank, Little Stint and Grey Plover mingle in with the resident Three-banded and Kittlitz’s Plovers, Blacksmith Lapwings and Black-winged Stilt. Occasionally, Bar-tailed Godwit, Terek Sandpiper and Eurasian Curlew are seen, but not as often as the “regulars”. Ruddy Turnstones frequent the rocky outcrops along the seashore, as do African Black Oystercatcher, Sanderling, White-fronted Plover, Kelp Gull and various species of Tern. Low tide is the best time to look for birds here, as rocky outcrops and mudflats are exposed, making feeding possible.

Up and out of the river valleys, habitats merge throughout the district – grassland, thornveld, dense scrub, farm dams and pans, riverine bush and cliffs abound. Birds to be seen in the more open areas scattered with Acacia trees include Rufous-naped and Red-capped Larks, Black-winged and Crowned Lapwing, Denham's Bustard, Chinspot Batis and Black-crowned Tchagra to name a few. Nearer the farm dams, African Stonechat is often seen, while Cape Longclaw and Long-tailed Widowbird display overhead in the breeding season. The reedbeds fringing pans, dams and rivers are where Black Crake, Lesser Swamp Warbler and other rather secretive birds skulk. Various species of Weaver breed here too, including Village, Cape, Yellow and Thick-billed Weavers. In the taller dense scrub, Fiscal Flycatcher keeps a watchful eye from the top of a bush, while Southern Tchagra dwells in the matted undergrowth and thicket. All in all, there is much to be seen here. One just has to know the right places to see the right birds...

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For a list of bird species in the area CLICK HERE....