Sally and Paul Bartho

First it was Black River and the Snowy Egret then Stranfontein and finally Kirstenbosch – the third and final part of our quick visit to Cape Town.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is one of those special treasures any country would be proud of. Recently they added an aerial boardwalk.

We had a number of pleasant surprises with birds that we saw.

The first was a Common Chaffinch. Stopping for a sit-down Sally noticed a bird in a distant bare tree. Unable to see exactly what it was, she took a  photo and zoomed in. It became obvious that it was a Common Chaffinch. So we went to see if we could get a closer look and it obliged.

Towards the end of our visit and still quite high up, we heard a call which Sally did not recognise. On investigation it turned out to be a pair of Cape Sugarbirds. Another pleasant surprise.

Then as we started to head down we were surprised by a Klaas’s Cuckoo.

As if that was not enough we turned round to watch another bird settle in a bare tree beside us – a Malachite Sunbird.

As we reached the Protea garden we kept our eyes open for an Orange-breasted Sunbird – a species we rather hope to find. Very elusive. We had seen dozens of Southern Double-collared Sunbirds so were optimistic. Then playing its call we realised why they are so elusive. The Southern Double-collared Sunbirds made it clear that they did not want to hear that species on their turf. We weren’t exactly dive bombed but their calls in response to the call and their closeness made it obvious.

Some photos of other birds seen at Kirstenbosch:

Eventually it was time to return home but we left with a strong desire to return. Lets hope for another Mega and a lot more Avios points!

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