16 February 2012

Penguins Revisited

The past two weeks have been quite busy for me. I have been doing school mostly, and have hardly been out to enjoy the wilds of Africa. I  did, however, head out on Sunday to Jan Marais Natuur Reservaat and to the lower reaches of Stellenboschberg. At Jan Marais, I found my 100th African bird - a Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops africanus)! Other highlights included Cape Sparrow, a female Pin-tailed Whydah, multiple Karoo Scrub-Robins and a massive flock of staging migrants on Stellenboschberg. I estimated the following in the fynbos swarm:

Black (Yellow-billed) Kite - 2
Eurasian (Rock) Kestrel - 1 bird, trying to catch the swifts and swallows for a short while
Alpine Swift - 25
Common Swift - 2 - these were extremely close, and for the first time I was able to separate them from African Swifts - LIFE BIRD
African Swift - 4
Little Swift - 40
Horus Swift - 4
White-rumped Swift - 50
Swift sp. - 10
Rock Martin - 20
Barn Swallow - 600
White-throated Swallow - 2 - surprisingly few, considering how many were in the area when I first arrived
Pearl-breasted Swallow - 14
Greater Striped-Swallow - 170
Black Sawwing - 2 - LIFER - hanging out near the creek

This coming weekend, I will be heading out into the fray once again with the Berg-en Toer Klub of Stellenbosch University to the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area. In the meantime, as promised, some of my pictures from Boulder's Beach.

Two African (Jackass) Penguins snuggling on the beach together, Simon's Town, Western Cape, South Africa (I was about two feet away!)
African (Jackass) Penguins lounging on the boulders of Boulder's Beach, Simon's Town, Western Cape, South Africa

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