Thursday, 1 March 2012

Trip Away report- 10th-13th February 2012 Golden Gate National Park

Photos & text by Andy Ruffle (unless otherwise credited)

Glen Reenen rest camp nestled amongst the mountains

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Margaret Jones, Cathy Lee, John Marchant, Sandy Olver, Herbie & Jeanette Osborne, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Ron & Elaine Whitham. (15 attendees)

Friday 10th
We arrived at a very wet, windy and rather chilly Glen Reenen rest camp after the long journey from the sweltering coast. Fortunately, the rain soon eased off, allowing Sandy and myself to put up our tents with lots of welcome help from Jeanette, Herbie, Ron & Elaine who had arrived earlier and were already set up. With everyone settled into their cosy nests, plans were made to meet at Stanley & Asothie's chalet for an evening get together.

Waterfall behind the main camp
(Photo Val Culley)

View of the campsite
(Photo Val Culley)

What an amazing backdrop to the campsite!!

Saturday 11th
Glorious blue skies greeted us as we awoke to the dawn chorus. This morning, we drove the Blesbok and Oribi loops in search of the local specials and in the afternoon took a walk along some of the trails behind the camping site.

Blesbok Loop- Checking out the LBJ's in the grasslands

Blesbok Loop- Jackal Buzzard
(Photo John Marchant)

Blesbok Loop- Cape Grassbird (Subsp natalensis)
(Photo John Marchant)

Blesbok Loop-Scanning Langtoon Dam
(Photo Valley Culley)

This cheeky pair of Red-winged Starlings followed us all
around the Blesbok Loop, appearing wherever we stopped
A pair of Secretarybird was seen on the Blesbok Loop
(Photo John Marchant)
A lone Bearded Vulture flying over the vulture restaurant
(Photo John Marchant)

Sunday 12th

This morning we returned to the Oribi Loop to venture up to the Vulture Restaurant. Sadly all was reasonably quiet, with no vultures in sight. The afternoon was spent at leisure.

Cape Wagtail on a carcass at the Vulture Restaurant
(Photo John Marchant)

And some birdy pictures

Red-eyed Bulbul feeding chick
(Photo Stan Culley)
Black-throated Canary
(Photo Stan Culley)

Local resident after joining in the festivities
Cape Robin-Chat
(Photo Stan Culley)

Juvenile Cape Rock-Thrush
(Photo John Marchant)

Birds recorded:- 86 species
African Black Swift, African Red-eyed Bulbul, African Stonechat, Amur Falcon, Ant-eating Chat, Banded Martin, Barn Swallow, Bearded Vulture, Black Cuckoo, Black Harrier, Black-headed Heron, Black-shouldered Kite, Black-throated Canary, Bokmakierie, Brown-throated Martin, Cape Bunting, Cape Canary, Cape Eagle-Owl, Cape Grassbird, Cape Longclaw, Cape Robin-Chat, Cape Rock-Thrush, Cape Turtle-Dove, Cape Vulture, Cape Wagtail, Cape Weaver, Cape White-eye, Cattle Egret, Cloud Cisticola, Common Fiscal, Common Moorhen, Crested Barbet, Dark-capped Bulbul, Familiar Chat, Giant Kingfisher, Greater Striped Swallow, Grey Heron, Grey-winged Francolin, Ground Woodpecker, Hadeda Ibis, Helmeted Guineafowl, Horus Swift, Jackal Buzzard, Karoo Prinia, Levaillant's Cisticola, Little Grebe, Little Swift, Long-tailed Widowbird, Malachite Sunbird, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Mountain Wheatear, Neddicky, Olive Thrush, Olive Woodpecker, Pied Kingfisher, Pied Starling, Pin-tailed Whydah, Red-chested Cuckoo, Red-collared Widowbird, Red-eyed Dove, Red-knobbed Coot, Red-throated Wryneck, Red-winged Francolin, Red-winged Starling, Reed Cormorant, Rock Kestrel, Rock Martin, Secretarybird, Sickle-winged Chat, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Southern Masked-Weaver, South African Cliff-Swallow, Southern Red Bishop, Speckled Mousebird, Speckled Pigeon, Steppe Buzzard, Streaky-headed Seedeater, Swee Waxbill, White-breasted Cormorant, White-necked Raven, White-rumped Swift, White-throated Swallow, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Yellow Bishop, Yellow Canary, Yellow-billed Duck.

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