The Garden route town of Buffalo Bay and the surrounds are excellent for bird-watching. Peter Chadwick gives us his list of the Top 10 birds to spot in Buffalo Bay and Goukamma.
If you like this you can get a more in-depth look into the birding in Buffalo Bay here.
The Cape Grassbird
Inhabiting rank vegetation, the Cape Grassbird (Grasvoël) is most often discovered by its musical song of a series of jumbled phrases that end in a single, drawn-out whistle. While singing, the bird often perches conspicuously and its detailed plumage can be easily seen.
The Karoo Prinia (Karoolangstertjie) is an endemic species and common resident to the Karoo, fynbos, and coastal and montane scrub. It forages for small insects low down in the scrub and occasionally hawks insects in flight.
The Cape White-eye (Kaapse Glasogie) is one of about 80 White-eye species found across Africa and Asia. The birds feed on small insects, fruit and nectar. The nest is a tiny cup of plant and animal fibres bound with spider webs.
Quite often seen in small bird parties in densely wooded areas, the Cape Batis (Kaapse Bosbontrokkie) has a quick, bouncing flight. A pair usually gives contact calls to one another on a continual basis as they forage for insects.
The unobtrusive Streaky-headed Seedeater (Streepkopkanarie) is found on its own or in small groups of up to eight. It favours the nectar of aloes, as well as seeds and small berries, and is easily distinguished by its long, curved, white eyebrow.
The male Fiscal Flycatcher (Fiskaalvlieëvanger) is distinguished from the drabber female by its jet-black cap, back and wings. Both sexes have a white wing-bar and white windows in the tail feathers. A common species with much movement during winter, it’s usually seen perched on a tall bush or low tree.
The elusive Sombre Greenbul (Gewone Willie) keeps to the dense foliage of coastal and riverine forest where it is easily overlooked except when calling. It is a highly vocal species and its penetrating ringing ‘Willie’ call is distinctive.
The Cape Bulbul (Kaapse Tiptol) is one of 10 bulbul species found in Africa, and 118 species worldwide. An endemic species to our Western and Eastern Cape, it’s easily distinguished from other bulbul species by its white, eye wattle. It breeds between August and March and the nest of 2-3 eggs is usually well concealed.
Found in heavily wooded areas, the Red-necked Spurfowl (Rooikeelfisant) population is declining due to habitat destruction. It feeds in the clearings of dense bush and is usually seen in pairs or small family groupings. Food comprises seeds, fruits, fresh shoots and insects.
Foraging on the waterline of sandy beaches, the White-fronted Plover (Vaalstrandkiewiet), that may occasionally be found in flocks of up to a 100 when not breeding, prefers to run extremely fast away from danger. It also flies strongly and, when landing, bobs and runs off a short distance.