`We left Rooi Els and made the short trip around the coast to Betty’s Bay. This is the site of an African penguin colony and as Tony still required the species we paid a brief visit. I won’t go on about the African Penguin having covered it in detail in past posts. We also had a number of Rock Hyrax’s near the penguin colony and a Familiar Chat on the walkway. We picked up good numbers of White-breasted, Bank, Crowned and Cape Cormorants on the nearby rocks. Again a couple of new birds for Tony.
After half an hour or so we upped sticks and drove on towards the Harold Porter Botanical gardens; passing magnificent scenery en route. The gardens had recently sustained quite a bit of damage due to the river flooding heavily that runs through the middle of them. Several bridges crossing the river were closed due to damage, but we still managed to walk up one side and pick up a few good birds such as Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Swee Waxbill and several more Cape Rock Thrushes. The first two being life birds for the both of us. We also enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the visitors centre; interrupted briefly by a small pack of Chacma Baboons who were chased off by garden staff with brooms and suchlike.
We then drove along the Swart River road. Basically the road, which is actually a dirt track that runs through agricultural lands and holds a decent range of birds. Here we picked up a small flock of Blue Cranes; the national bird of South Africa. Unfortunately they were a little distant but again another new bird for the trip list. Yellow Canary on the roadside fence was a good spot and we had several species of larks and cisticolas.