South Africa, Day 15, 15 September 2018 - Natures Valley NP & Storms River Mouth

This was the day we finished with the Garden Route, heading on the long drive to Port Elizabeth to fly to Kruger the following morning. Consequently there wasn't much birding but we were determined to make a couple of stops along the way.

The first was Knysna Heads where we explored the spectacular beach area. Birds weren't numerous but African Swifts were obvious and 13 African Sponbills, 4 Whimbrel and 3 Greenshank were on the eastern end of the lagoon.

Natures Valley NP wa next up  which we found to be a huge disappointment. To be honest we didn't have enough time to do the place any justice at all but a short walk along one trail revealed 2 Knysna Turaco, 2 Speckled Mousbirds, Olive Woodpecker, Cape Batis, 2 Brown-throated Martins, 2 Olive Thrushes, African Dusky Flycatcher and Swee Waxbills.

 Knysna Turaco

Belinda wanted to do the walk to the hanging bridge over the Storms River Mouth before we drove to Port Elizabeth. It was spectacular but very busy with tourists. I was surprised but nonetheless very pleased to find a Chorister Robin-chat on the boardwalk on the return walk! Forest Buzzard, Terrestrial Brownbul and 3 Green Woodhoopoes were also seen.

Chorister Robin-chat

On the long journey that followed a Black-headed Oriole flew into a roadside bush and we also saw Blue Crane, 2 Yellow-billed Kites and Pearl-breasted Swallow.

We checked into our guesthouse near the airport in Port Elizabeth, ordered a pizza delivery using Whatsapp (a new thing for me) and looked forward to phase 2 of the trip - Kruger and the Limpopo!     

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