Chasing the Ground Woodpecker

Yesterday morning Renee and I decided to see if we could find a Ground Woodpecker. These birds frequent the tops of our mountains so we knew we had to do some climbing. We chose to go to Vogelgat and up to Mossel Nook hut, as we had previously seen them in this area.  After an hour of walking we had not seen a single bird of any species and were beginning to wonder if we were doing the right thing.  Then as we reached Sea Saddle, things started to look up and the birds appeared.

We saw a number of Cape Rock Thrushes, some Malachite Sunbirds and Familiar Chats and then suddenly there they were – three Ground Woodpeckers – sunning themselves after their breakfast.  By the time we reached the hut, the area was full of birds and we also saw a number of Sentinel Rock Thrushes, Neddickys, Red-Winged Starlings and other LBJs which we were unsure about.  A Rock Kestrel flew overhead and then a pair of White-Necked Ravens and a Jackal Buzzard.  Unfortunately, the Verreaux’s Eagles were nowhere to be seen, but we nevertheless returned well satisfied with the morning’s birding.

Giorgio and his team have been working on the paths repairing the damage caused by the recent rains.  I wonder how many path users are aware of the great job that they do to provide access to these wonderful sights.