Agulhas Plains Birding

We spent three nights in the Agulhas National Park close to the southern tip of Africa. This afforded us the opportunity to explore the region thoroughly and, at the same time, do some good birding.

We were not disappointed in the results, picking up 118 bird species. Included in our list were a couple of rare vagrants; (two) European Rollers and (eight) Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters.

At De Mond Nature Reserve we were surprised by the paucity of birds around the lagoon. Normally there are hundreds of terns – we only saw one Caspian Tern and no others. It was the same with many of the other waders that normally frequent the area, however, we did see three Black Tailed Godwits and a single Bar Tailed Godwit, along with a Eurasian Curlew.

Driving around the National Park is not easy as the only roads are from the main road in to the various accommodation units, which are widespread.  Poor road maintenance means a bumpy ride and the authorities should carry it some urgent repair work. The fynbos along some of these roads is, however, good and we saw a variety of wild flowers and many small antelope on the adjoining farms.

All in all it was an excellent break and served to remind us of the wonderful nature available in this unsung part of South Africa.

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