‘River Queen’ continued

Our visit to ‘River Queen’ included some birding and we managed to see 73 species in the immediate area, but strangely, no Kingfishers.  We also walked in the surrounding veld and noted a few interesting flowers, the most exciting one being an Orchid, Holothrix, but we were unable to identify the species.

Keagan picked up my camera and showed his skill as a portrait photographer with some good images.

A Weekend on the Breede River at ‘River Queen’

Our annual family get-together took place over the long weekend at ‘River Queen’ on the Breede River just downstream from Malgas.  It was a large and funky house that could cater for all 14 of us and we had a wonderful re-union, with lots of superb food and great company.

Sadly the weather was not what it might have been, but that did not stop the fun, although it did not make for good fishing!  The braai was in constant use and the quality of the meals was outstanding!

All the grandchildren are teenagers for the first time, and it has been interesting to see them grow from babies at our first re-union, to what they are today.  We are very proud of them all!

The place itself was fascinating! There was so much interesting ‘stuff’ everywhere, in the garden, on the walls and on every surface. It offered the photographer an opportunity to capture some beautiful textures and compositions.

A Walk to Plaaskombuis

Dear Ronnie,

A dirty dozen of us Hurriers felt grateful and sorrowful for our Flower Show members who were not able to join us in the lovely walk over Rotary Way to Plaas Kombuis.

Mike Bryan, Ed and Ross (with his new Kidbrooke colleague) were kindly waiting for me at 7am at Plaas Kombuis so that we could leave three cars there to give lifts back to Bosko after the walk, When we got back to Bosko just before 07h30 Piet and Martha were ready to lead us gently up the Elephant track to Rotary Way. Also there at the start were Kinky, Carol and John, Sally waiting for Ed, and Hedley Tarlton, The wind was crisp on the way up but more than compensated by stunning views of the ocean as usual.

By the time we were walking down the other side into the Hemel en Aarde through Hamilton Russel vineyards the sun was taking the temperature up from 15 to the 20 degrees we enjoyed by the end. You could be in the Chianti area of Italy when you’re walking down there through the vineyards, past the tasting room over the dam wall, through the trees to the farm road past the stables. Just a lot cheaper and less crowded!

Great coffee for all dozen in the enclosed valley view Plaas Kombuis now offer and by 11h00 we were all on our way back to Bosko to fetch cars and go home!

Thanks for everyone’ generous support.

Look forward to seeing you at the flower show!


Thanks for the report, Mick. Sorry we could not be with you, but we were doing duty collecting specimens for the Flower Show

An Interesting Plant at Gansbaai

Walking across our vacant plot at Gansbaai today, we came across a plant that we have not previously seen.  It is a Massonia pustulata and it took Sandy to put us on the right track by suggesting a Hedgehog Lily, its common name.

Walking in Fernkloof

Only five members of the Hurriers turned up this morning at Fernkloof for our weekly walk.  We had intended to climb Hangklip, but there was trouble in Kleinmond, so we decided to not take a chance on the road.

The weather was perfect for walking and it was good to see that the fynbos is really starting to show its Spring flowers.  The slopes of Kanonkop were covered in Aspalathus caledonensis and Geissorhiza ovata, whilst there were many Gladiolus hirsutus and G. debilis.  We also saw Liparia splendens and a single Protea scabra.

It was good to hear the Red-chested Cuckoo calling again and we also got Victorin’s Warbler, Cape Grassbird, Red-winged Starling, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Southern Boubou and Karoo Prinia on the mountain slopes.

A Little Ringed Plover at Vermont Pan

Having spent over an hour searching for the Little Ringed Plover at Vermont Pan yesterday without any success, we were thrilled this morning to find this very rare little bird.  It has attracted huge attention, being the only specimen ever seen in South Africa (it is believed to be the same bird as that was recently seen in Port Elizabeth) and there were birders from near and far in constant attention.

Besides the Plover, it was good to see the many pairs of Grey Herons breeding on rocky islands within the pan

The Onrus/Vermont Coastal Path

This morning we enjoyed a brisk 7.5 km walk along the Onrus/Vermont coastal path. The weather played ball and there were many other walkers also out taking in the sea and the spring flowers.

We were pleased to see a group of dedicated nature-lovers cleaning up the beach, as well as a group of Abalone poachers being apprehended.

Spring Day in Fernkloof

The first day of September!  An auspicious date on which to set out on a walk in Fernkloof with the Post-Fire Monitoring group.  It has been a long and fairly dry and cold winter, so we wondered what we would see.  Climbing up Adder’s Ladder, we passed many Gladiolus hirsutus, but they did not appear on higher ground.  In fact, we were somewhat disappointed to see how little was flowering.  Perhaps the next three weeks, leading up to the Flower Festival, will see a change and the anticipated warmer weather should herald many more flowers.  Recorded below are some of our sightings.  I was disappointed to hear that I had missed the Disa pillansii, which was seen by others in the group.

On the birding front, it was also pretty quiet, with the usual fynbos species (Grassbirds, Orange-fronted Sunbirds and Cape Sugarbirds) being seen or heard.  We did see Jackal Buzzard and Cape Siskin as well, but that was all.