A family reunion at Oshoek Farm near Vermaaklikheid, on the occasion of Michael and Andrew’s birthday, provided an opportunity to see some of the interesting birds of the region. For me it was a chance to add some much needed ticks to my HBC Challenge list. The recent heavy rains made it all the more interesting, as there was abundant standing water throughout the region and this attracted all manner of birds.
Perhaps the best sighting was a pair of breeding European Honey Buzzards at Oshoek. These were not easy to identify and it took all of us about a day to get it right. We also saw a couple of Martial Eagles, a Knysna Woodpecker, a Spotted Flycatcher, and many others. I managed to add 42 species to my list, so was well satisfied.
Apart from the birding, it was wonderful to be with the whole family in such peaceful surroundings, although we all greatly missed Jamie, who was at boarding school for the first time and could not join us. For the kids, fishing and playing in the river was the main preoccupation, whilst the ladies just enjoyed each other’s company and took in the good vibes. We were all greatly relieved when David managed to negotiate the hill out of the farm in his Nissan. We had thought that he would get stuck in the badly eroded ruts and loose gravel.