We have just returned from a four day outing to the area around Sedgefield where we went in search of Orchids. This trip was precipitated by the devastating fires of last June in the area, as we were looking for species that are stimulated by fire. A total of only nine species were found in a variety of coastal locations. A new fire burnt a huge swathe of upland forest in the days just preceding our arrival and this fire was still smoldering during our visit, so we were somewhat restricted regarding forays into the mountain ranges backing the area.
Besides Orchids, we obviously saw many other species and we also had a very comfortable guesthouse and much fun was had by all. We were allowed access into Westford Bridge and Featherbed Private Nature Reserves, a real bonus as both areas proved very interesting, especially with regard to the work that has been and still is being undertaken to restore these properties after the 2017 fires. For the rest we made do with searches along roadsides, using prior knowledge where available. It was a superb outing and we all relished the opportunity to see a new area and learn something about it’s flora.
Of course, we also saw some interesting birds, with the most notable being the Broad-billed Roller which was seen near Wilderness – a first for the Western Cape, as this lone specimen was way outside its normal range. A pair of Crowned Eagles flying above Pine Lake was another special treat!