Aussie Eybers and the rest of his intrepid Great Brak Birding Group provided the perfect excuse for me to, well, stretch my wings and try something new. Today's mission: heading over to the Mossel Bay Wastewater Reclamation Plant opposite Hartenbos where they would contribute to South Africa's bi-annual Coordinated Waterbird Count.
I am not much of a birder - oh sure, I know the important ones like "Big Bird", "Tweety", "Woody Woodpecker" and "Huey, Dewey and Louie" (though I admit I can't tell who is who...), and even exotic ones like "Emu", but that's really about it.
So I really didn't have any idea what to expect with this "Coordinated Waterbirds" business. Flamingos, maybe? They've got to be pretty coordinated given they stand around on one leg all day, right?
Turns out it there weren't any flamingos, but we did see quite a few other birds - a lot of Egyptian geese (including goslings), yellow-billed ducks, and various sized/shaped gull-like creatures (I told you I wasn't much of a birder - apparently I also don't have much of a memory for their names, either...). Oh, and we saw the omni-present wagtails, maybe a weaver or two (I saw a fresh nest - the grass was still green), a couple of varieties of herons, a darter (which I mistook for a cormorant), 3-ringed plovers, white egrets, thick-kneed dikops, coots - I even got a pat on the back for identifying a moor hen (surprising even myself with that one). Overhead there was an African Fish Eagle with its tell-tale white head, as well as some sort of buzzard.
Did I manage to take any photos of the birds? No, of course not. But I did get some photos of the birders! Thanks for the outing, Aussie!
Incidentally, if you are more serious about your birds than I am, and want to find out more about birds and birding around The Island, then you'll find more in the Birdwatching section of this website, including a list of birds that have been spotted here.