Further afield: A day out to Vrolijkheid

Graeme headed out to Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve. The day started with some slow, gravel-road birding. It was good from the outset. A Cape Clapper Lark was displaying nicely within easy viewing range. The Southern Double-collared Sunbirds were flaunting their epaulettes. A pair of Bokmakieries were calling in the distance. A Long-billed Crombec made an appearance and ventured into the open for some photographs.

A number of Pale Chanting Goshawks were seen, many very close to the road on the nearby telephone lines. The only other raptor we saw during the day were Jackal Buzzards.

Traveling up the gravel road we stopped for cooperative Chestnut-vented Warblers and a Fairy Flycatcher. A Rufous-eared Warbler presented for multiple photo opportunities.

Further along a number of Karoo Chats interacted in the road.

Rufous-eared Warbler (Graeme Hatley)
Karoo Chat (Graeme Hatley)
Bar-throated Apalis (Graeme Hatley)
Long-billed Crombec (Graeme Hatley)

The downside of such amazing birding is that one gets to one’s destination late! We only got to Vrolijkheid at about 11:40. By then it was warm, and the sun was coming out from behind the clouds. The birding was generally quiet. A few Karoo Scrub Robins called from the shrubbery as we walked past. Sparrows were plentiful. However, we did get a view of another Fairy Flycatcher.

Birding continued on the return leg. Despite being later in the day we did get some good birds. The highlights being Wattled Starling and Southern Black Korhaan.

All-in-all, a good day out!

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