27 April 2013 – going out west…
Our friends, Keir and Alouise Lynch and their son, Cian, were visiting us again, so we decided to spend the morning in the West Coast National Park. We arrived reasonably early and headed straight for the Geelbek hide. The water was still fairly high (too deep for waders still), but there were good numbers of both Greater and Lesser Flamingos in front of the hide, so we spent some time photographing those.
As the tide started to drop, the waders started arriving. One could already see that many of them must have left for their breeding grounds up north as the numbers were quite low, but there were still representatives of most of the expected species present. Our target was to find the Lynches a Red Knot as they still needed this as a lifer and it didn’t take too long before we were able to pick a cracking adult out in full breeding plumage. Perhaps the highlight of the morning was at least 6 Terek Sandpipers that were present although they were all way too far for photos, but did allow reasonable views through the scope.
We then spent a bit of time scratching around for reptiles and, although not the prime time of the year to look for them, we came across Cape Skink, Large-scaled Girdled Lizard, Ocellated Gecko and a rather feisty Herald Snake which was not happy about being woken from its slumber.
A short stop off at Abrahamskraal only yielded the common species and not the Red-backed Shrike that had been reported from there last week unfortunately. By now, hunger pains were starting to set in, so we headed off to the Geelbek restaurant for a late lunch. After lunch, everyone looked rather well fed and tired and, since it was hot and windy, we decided to rather head back home than spend any more time in the park.