South Africa, Day 13, 13 September 2018 - Grootvadersbosch & Knysna

I was looking froward to spending most of the day walking and birding around Grootvadersbosch but in the end the forest trails were quite a disappointment.

The day started well with Greater Double-collared Sunbird being ticked right beside our cabin with several African Swifts and Alpine Swifts swirling overhead plus 2 close-up Greater Striped Swallows and a Black Saw-wing over an adjacent pool. On a very long loop walk of the trails birds were very thin on the ground with a fleeting view of a Knysna Woodpecker and a similar view of a Blue Quail being the highlights. Forest Buzzard, Sombre Greenbul, African Dusky Flycatchers, Olive Thrushes, Cape Robin-chats, Cape Batis, c10 Swee Waxbills, Bar-throated Apalis and Yellow Canaries were seen but that was about it. Leaving Belinda to amble back to our cabin I yomped up the road into the fynbos above the treeline where after hearing several I eventually located and with a great deal of patience (not something I'm normally renowned for!) got some lovely point blank views of Victorin's Warbler. Boy do these things know how to skulk!

Forest Buzzard

African Dusky Flycatcher

By early afternoon we were ready to leave the site so got on the road to head to the coast to start out time on the Garden Route. Our abode for the next 2 nights was the Waterfront Lodge in Knysna so we headed there. En-route we saw the usual roadside suspects - Cattle Egrets, Grey Heron, Blacksmith Plovers, Common Fiscals and Yellow-billed Kites plus a Black-headed Heron, a Black-shouldered Kite then a tick in the form of 2 Jackal Buzzards near Mossel Bay as we hit the coast. We stopped for a superb coffee and cake at the Pause Coffee Roastery between Wilderness and Sedgefield before rolling in to Knysna. The woman who ran our guesthouse was seriously OTT with details, and 'helpfulness' to the point of being somewhere between hilarious and annoying! We settled ourselves in and I had a quick look around the garden and out onto the Knysna Lagoon. The garden had loads of African Sacred Ibis and Helmeted Guineafowl on the lawn plus Red-eyed Dove, Olive Thrush, Fork-tailed Drongo and Cape Bulbuls and a scope of the lagoon revealed 20+ Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Cape Cormorants, 2 Black-winged Stilts, 2 African Black Oystercatchers, 6 Whimbrel and 11 Greenshank.

African Sacred Ibis

          Red-eyed Dove

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