We set out from Hermanus on Friday 4 May and traveled to one of our favourite stop-overs – Abbotsbury Farm, north of Graaff Reinet, where we were greeted by our host, Graham. As usual we were well looked after in great comfort. Our bird watching commenced with a walk around the farm on arrival, and then again next morning before our departure to Bloemfontein. We stopped at the Gariep Dam and I got a lifer, in the form of a Lesser Black-backed Gull, below the dam wall.
Bloemfontein was not a good stop, since I chose a venue from the internet – and made a mistake! It did, however, allow us an opportunity to explore the beautiful Bloemfontein Botanical Gardens next morning before our short run to Johannesburg. The gardens offer some good birding habitats and we spent a couple of hours there.
The trip to Johannesburg was marred by a cracked windscreen, when hit by a stone. We avoided the N1 and took a more westerly route, in the hope of spotting a Melodious Lark (one of my trip objectives) but were unsuccessful. Birding from a relatively fast moving car is hopeless and there were not many places that beckoned from the roadside!
We spent a comfortable night at the Vanilla Guest House in Randburg, with our car stowed in Graham Snow’s garage, and our bags packed for the start of our trip with him.
To be continued …..