Birding at Kuifkop...

One of the Western Cape’s great secrets is the diverse range of sought after endemic bird species.

Kuifkopvisvanger is an ecologically varied birding destination like none other, this is a rarity hotspot because of the different habitats; the Bergriver, farmland, ocean and the salt pans. Between October and April the mud banks along the river support the highest diversity of migrating waders from the Russian Arctic. Other summer visitors include Sandpiper, Curlew, Whimbel, Black-necked Grebes, Caspian and Swift Terns. In winter you will see the Blue Crane, Red-knobbed Coots, Greater and Lesser Flamingos’ taking sanctuary from the inland cold and drought to use the estuary. 

Some rare birds that visited us in the past include Lesser Yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit, Common Redshank and the Little Blue Heron. A current rare bird that decided to take up residence at the saltpans is the Redneck Phalarope. He came with the migrating flock and just never left again, it’s been 4 years.

Don’t forget our resident birds, water or non-water birds. A few birds to look out for: Ducks, Geese, Fish Eagle, Herons, Cormorants, include Great White Pelican and Giant, Malachite and Pied Kingfisher and Red-knobbed Coots, Pied Avocet, African Darter, several Egrets, Black-headed, Grey and Purple Herons and African Spoonbill. Then you may also spot the Bokmakerie, Karoo Scrub Robin, Red-capped, Karoo, Large-billed Lark, Cape Long-billed Lark, Yellow and White-throated Canary, Cape Bunting, Long-billed Crombec and Cape Spurfowl and the list goes on.

The last recorded numbers for the wetland and surrounding area is 127 waterbird species, 93 terrestrial species which include 25 species of national importance and 5 red data listed species.

Over the years here at Kuifkopvisvanger we have compiled our own bird list, which you can download HERE, with at least 180 different species on the farm and the Saltpans. Please help us to grow our list by downloading the bird list, spot the bird and if you find a species not on the list please let us know and a photo will be amazing then we can share it with our fellow birders. 

What is a Birder?

A birder is a passive birdwatcher who takes their time when birdwatching and enjoys whatever bird comes their way. They have the greatest respect for birds and do everything possible to minimize disturbing the birds during their observations. Birders make careful notes about the birds they see. These observations and notes are shared with clubs/institutions and contribute towards the knowledge of birds, their distribution and nesting habits. This also help to monitor the birds and can indicate if the birds numbers are declining, stable or increasing which in the long run help with their conservation. 

Now that we all know what birdwatching is, we would like to encourage you to become a birdwatcher, this way we can all contribute to their survival and conservation.

*Rare - Red Necked Phalarope

Photo taken by Michael Mason
Website: www.michaelisbirding.com
Instagram: @michaelisbirding
Email: michaelisbirding@gmail.com

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Pied Kingfisher

Photo taken by Frankie Horne

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Juvenile Lanner Falcon

Photo taken by Alex Aitkenhead
Website: www.alexaitkenhead.co.za
Instagram: @alexander_aitkenhead

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Blue Crane

Photo taken by Frankie Horne

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Malachite Kingfisher

Photo taken by Michael Mason
Website: www.michaelisbirding.com
Instagram: @michaelisbirding
Email: michaelisbirding@gmail.com

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*Rare - Wilson's Phalarope

Photo taken by Michael Mason
Website: www.michaelisbirding.com
Instagram: @michaelisbirding
Email: michaelisbirding@gmail.com

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