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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

South Africa - Day 1 - 13/1/15

Being my second visit to this brilliant country (the previous being in 2011 with Chris Glanfield) I am concentrating my first five days in the Northern Cape as this was an area I hadn't yet covered. The two weeks after I'll be volunteering on s game reserve near Hoedspruit.

My Emirates flight arrived early into Cape Town but then the very painful task of queuing at immigration commenced. Once through that obstacle, I got the car from First Car Rental and hit the N7 northbound.

I only stopped once on the N7 as I had to be in Calvinia before dark. The main point of interest today was Nieuwoudtville where I was over the moon to find a stunning Ludwig's Bustard in one of the many cultivated fields just north of the town. This was my main target of the Northern Cape (having missed it in 2011 around the Karoo) so it was a good start. 

Birds in capital letters indicate a lifer, and only birds of interest are included below. 

Cape Town to Vanrhynsdorp
African Spoonbill - 2
Blacksmith Plover - 13
Yellow-billed Duck - 1
South African Shelduck - 3
Black-shouldered Kite - 3
Jackal Buzzard - 4
Blue Crane - 3

Cape Weaver - 5
Cape Bunting - 2
Pied Starling - 50

Nieuwoudtville to Calvinia
Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk - 6
Southern Black Bustard - 11
Southern Ant-eating Chat - 2
Large-billed Lark - 10
African Stonechat - 10
White-backed Mousebird - 1
Steppe Buzzard - 5
Grey-backed Cisticola - 1

Mammals today
Yellow Mongoose - 1
Rock Hyrax - 20
Savannah Babboon - 2

the adventure begins
 Ludwig's Bustard - a dream start
 Southern Black Bustard
western cape meets northern cape

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