27 November 2011 – a few more species challenged…
We were awake fairly early this morning, but just lazed around for a while before packing up and checking out of the hotel. We needed to get back home to attend a wedding this afternoon, but still had a couple of hours to have a look around in the Karoo and hopefully catch up with one or two species for our challenge list.
We also started an atlas card for the Prince Albert pentad, so worked within the boundaries of that area for the necessary 2 hours in order to finish a full protocol card. We headed out of the town and found a large patch of Acacia trees and spent some time working the area. An African Harrier Hawk here seemed a little out of place, but we were also able to get some photos of Namaqua Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Common Swift for our challenge list, so it wasn’t a total waste. The rest of the species were also fairly typical of what one would expect in this habitat and it was also nice to find a single Brown-hooded Kingfisher there. As usual, the Fairy Flycatchers were extremely skittish and, once again, we came away without any really useable photos. The 2 hours disappeared very quickly and, before we knew it, it was time to hit the road.
The drive home was pretty uneventful apart from a few “emergency stops” for photo opportunities. We managed to get distant shots of Namaqua Sandgrouse for the challenge, a friendly Southern Rock Agama sitting on top of a fence post, a pair of Black Storks which we got record shots of (since it is still classed as a regional rarity although this status is probably not all that accurate in the Karoo where it is resident in small numbers!) as well as a Common Tent Tortoise, our only new reptile for the challenge on this little trip.
Just a little over 4 hours later, we were home, unpacked the vehicle, jumped in the shower and got dressed before heading back out to the Stellenbosch area for the afternoon’s festivities. All in all, another great weekend, but then again, when are weekends ever NOT great…:)