13 November 2011 – making the best of bad weather
A fairly relaxed morning, we woke up to some horrible weather. It was windy, totally overcast and raining quite heavily at times. Thank goodness we had made the effort to come through to Bredasdorp yesterday already to see the Groundscraper Thrush. After packing up and saying our good-byes, we met up with John Graham and Graham Searll at the thrush spot where they had just managed to locate the bird. With the terrible weather and hunger pangs starting to set in, we headed back into town to get some breakfast and coffee rather than sitting around trying to get more views of the bird – we were certainly not going to improve on the previous day’s sightings based on the current conditions.
After breakfast, we took a back road via Elim and Baardskeerdersbos to Gansbaai. Conditions were now really miserable and the only sighting of any note was a pair of Denham’s Bustards alongside the road, but as soon as we stopped, they took flight and headed off. Once in Gansbaai, we headed over to De Kelders to see if there were any Southern Right Whales around. By now, it had at least stopped raining and there was even the odd spot of sunlight, so we were quite happy to sit and watch the 15 or so whales that were fairly close in. There was a number of calves in with the adults and, although there was no breaching, we had some heads popping out of the water on occasion and even some tail lobbing.
We then began the drive home, having a short stop in Hermanus where there were also more whales (and a whole lot more people!!), so we moved on again pretty quickly. A short detour down into the Elgin Valley didn’t really add too much in the way of exciting wildlife except a few common birds and a Clicking Stream Frog, so instead of hanging around and enduring more bad weather, we hit the road and headed home, the end to another good weekend.