BIRDING ON THE AGULHAS PLAIN
The Plain is home to 235 bird species
The Agulhas Plain is a renowned birding destination.
According to the Agulhas Plains Birding Project, a project run between 2010 and 2015, the Plain is home to 235 species – as recorded on the project list to date. And this list is continuously growing.
You are here: BIRDING
The Black Oystercatcher Wine Farm itself is home to a number of these bird species.
Birders found the Red-chested Flufftail close to the Waagschaalvlei on the Black Oystercatcher farm. The wetland is also home to an increasing number of African Marsh-Harriers, believed to be moving back to the area because of the invasive alien clearing work taking place on the Plain. Other exciting birds found on the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area (of which the Black Oystercatcher is a member) and surrounds include the Hottentot Buttonquail, the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, the Montagu’s Harrier, the African Goshawk, the Amur Falcon and the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk.
The Agulhas Plains Birding Project also found evidence of the Southern Black Korhaan.
These birds used to occur frequently in the area, but had all but disappeared in recent years. Three of these Korhaan were seen over the five years. The Black Oystercatcher region is also well-known as a birding destination for those looking for LBJ’s (known as Little Brown Jobs), such as the larks, cisticolas, reed-warblers and pipits. Experts were also excited about the Lark-like Bunting, and the Tambourine- and Lemon Dove (the latter two were only heard in the region). For a full list of bird species spotted on the Agulhas Plain as part of the project, click here.
Birdwatching on our #waterscapes: wetlands, dams and the ocean
There have been some amazing #birdsightings at Waskraalvlei over the years.
But some of our favourites include the Wattled Starling (not endangered, but seldom seen here). And the African Marsh Harrier; regarded as regionally endangered, with their numbers seemingly falling over the past 2 years.
Your big birding year? You’ll tick off a couple of pretty special bird species at our vineyard #waterscape.
There’s a resident Fish Eagle, Spoonbills, loads of Ducks (like the Black Duck), a range of Teals and Plovers, like the Three-banded Plover and Kittlitz’s Plover and you may even spot a Kingfisher or two.
Bring along your binoculars to get up close and personal with some of the 260 bird species in the De Hoop nature reserve.
Potberg at De Hoop is home to the only remaining Western Cape breeding colony of the rare Cape vulture.
Western Cape Birding:
Birding along the Nuwejaars floodplain, Agulhas Plains
“The sun was actually out over the Overstrand! Peter Hochfelden asked me to do the guiding on a trip to Voëlvlei near the Agulhas National Park during the Stanford Bird Fair and our decision to do a ‘recce’ was blessed with a cloudless sky. Chris Cheetham joined us for this one.” Read more.
If you’re an avid bird watcher, or even just a beginner, we want to make it easy for you to enjoy our rich bird life as much as we do. So we’ve included a tip sheet on how to see some of our wonderful birds – and a birding ID list that you can use to tick off the birds you’ve seen (we’ve only included some of the slightly more difficult birds to spot).
And we’re challenging you to see if you can tick off each one of them over the next year.
At the coast, you’ll find our namesake – the Black Oystercatcher birds.
These birds are near threatened, with only some 6000 adults remaining. Years ago, people could drive along our coast – disturbing these birds, which pair for life. Now that’s banned (except with special permits).
So easy to stay over
We have accommodation available on the farm (4 self-catering cottages) – ideal for the birdwatchers, friends and family. The four Black Oystercatcher Cottages are beautifully furnished with king-size beds or two single beds and private bathrooms.
Now we travel a little bit east from De Mond, along the coast, to the small town of Arniston (or Waenhuiskrans).
Sure, we make wine at the Black Oystercatcher (and hopefully really great wine)…
The Black Oystercatcher bird features in the 2019 Birds of Southern Africa calendar.
#Waterscapes: The natural wonder of the Agulhas Plain
You depend on water – it’s the basis of life. The same goes for the Black Oystercatcher. But – because of our unique setting, we depend on an intricate water network. We don’t just turn on a tap. We connect with a vast water system that must function fully.
Because our #waterscapes are at the heart of our existence, we’re highlighting these natural wonders of the Agulhas Plain. It’s a tribute to our corner of earth in the Overberg – and the life-giving systems you’ll find here.
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