Whos keeping an eye on me....

Sunday, 22 September 2013

South Africa 2013 - Pt 5

De Hoop NR: What a fantastic location. If we had our time again we would have spent three days here, as it happened we had barely 24hrs. We used it as a midway point on our return journey from Knysna to Cape Town..... safe to say we will return one day.

It is regarded as a creditable place to spend time Whale Watching..... I can concur. We arrived late afternoon and were greeted by two fine species of antelope, firstly the Common Eland (I didn't know at the time but this would be my last sighting of the species during the three week stay in SA) and the wonderful Bontebok.

Common Eland

We checked into out superb Rondavels overlooking the estuary.

bfb...... taking in the sight

It was late afternoon so we headed straight to Koppie Allen as a number of Southern Right Whales had been seen earlier in the day. It was 30 minutes away but the dirt tracks didn't hold us back we arrived with gorgeous sunlight and were met by beautiful white sand dunes from where we witnessed 11 Southern Rights Whales.
Koppie Allen

I can think of worse places to be watching Whales from..... Matt, Ryan & Liz watching Southern Right Whales from the white Sand Dunes at Koppie Allen

Southern Right Whales

We could have stayed for hours but light would soon fade..... we spent a wonderful 90 minutes in the company of these gigantic creatures, certainly one of the trip highlights and something that we will do again soon. Back at the car park we had some stunning species of bird and mammal.

Four striped Grass-mouse
Speckled Mousebird
Cape Sugarbird

Cape Bulbul
Cape Bunting
Back at De Hoop camp and just before the sun dropped out of sight, a stroll around the grounds near to our rondaval brought this nice surprise, and only 30 yards away
Spotted Eagle-Owl
 and our other neighbours that lived underneath the wall of our patio -
a family group of  Rock Dassie

All the following bird species were seen within a 300 yrd walk of our patio!

Cape spurfowl
Southern Boubou

looking into the estuary were good flocks of Great White Pelican
and Greater Flamingos

Knysna Woodpecker
not sure if this was the luckiest sighting I had, but I had missed it a day earlier while in Harkerville forest, so to catch up with it here was a huge surprise.... and right outside the patio overlooking the estuary.... early morning light, the sun was still behind the mountains but still just fantastic!
Fiscal Flycatcher
Common Fiscal (Shrike)
Cape Weaver
African Spoonbill
Caspian Tern

brilliant bird, I could have watched this fella for ages

More Speckled Mousebirds

Bar Throated Apalis

Crowned Lapwing
Capped Wheatear
other species included, African Black Duck, Black Crowned Night-Heron, Red Knobbed Coot, Red Capped Lark, Familiar Chat, Grey Backed Cisticola, Sombre Greenbul, Brown Banded Martin, Little Swift, Eurasion Golden Oriole, African Stonechat, Laughing Dove, Cape Crow.......
 and just as were leaving we added these two species
Yellow Mongoose
Leopard Tortoise
Its incredible to think that this whole post is dedicated to just this one location and in less than a 24hr stay - next stop Cape Town and a flight to Kruger


Andrew Fulton said...

I am playing catchup Dave... Your trip looks amazing.
Stunning images.

Dave said...

Cheers Andrew, I hope you find time to read all 5 parts...... then a few more when I post the Kruger reports.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wow from land and sea, it looks like you saw and shared it all...just wonderful!


The Cape Weaver is beautiful...well, Dave, in fact they're all beautiful!!!

Oh, and loved the image of everyone on the beach, viewing nature at its best.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, gorgeous scenery! What a beautiful place to visit, I would love to see the birds, wildlife and the whales. Awesome sightings and photos!

Saun said...

Your trip looks awesome! Great shots thanks for sharing

Karen said...

Wow, great captures!

Stewart M said...

Wow! That really is a great set of birds and other beasts for one place and one day!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Phil Slade said...

Just brilliant Dave. What a wonderful selection of birds and animals, not to mention the landscapes.Those African animals are beautiful as I remeber from Kenya, but I never saw or heard of that stunning Bontebok.

TexWisGirl said...

just an amazing array of birds and creatures that are rare anywhere else. very, very cool.

Fun60 said...

What a fantastic trip. Can't believe you saw all that wild life in just one day/

Gunilla Bäck said...

How wonderful! I would love to see whales one day.

NatureFootstep said...

seems like a very nice trip. Lots to see and experience. :)

Haddock said...

Can't believe that within 24 hrs you got such a variety of pictures.
Simply wonderful.

Arija said...

What a wonderful trip! The thing I miss most is no longer having someone to travel with. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I have turned a new leaf and am living life not just day by day but minute to minute end enjoying everyone of them.
You have such splendid nature photos that I am following your site. I may not always manage to comment but I shall certainly gawk at the beauty you present.

mick said...

It all sounds like a fantastic holiday and really wonderful to see so many interesting animals and birds all in the one day. The whales would be the best of all for me!

Joop Zand said...

Thanks for these lovely photo's..... you are a good photographer.

Greetings, Joop