Thursday, November 15, 2012

Walvis Bay

We started early heading out for a drive to check out various parts of the bay, before heading back to the Guest-house for breakfast.  It was grey, misty and cold, unexpected weather conditions for Namibia!

We spotted some Lesser Flamingoes, a bird I'd not expected to see here:



After breakfast we set out walking along the same shoreline we'd walked the previous morning.  On the way we bumped into another birder, Mark, he's on the right is this picture:


Mark it turns out had access to the restricted area of the reserve as long as we went in his vehicle.  We didn't take any persuading and all climbed aboard as Mark took us to the abandoned oyster farm, which is off-limits unless you have a pass:














We saw loads of birds here including African Black Oystercatcher:


Black-winged Stilt:


Cape Cormorant:


Cape Shoveller:


Chestnut-banded Plover:



Common Ringed Plover:


Common Terns:


 More Curlew Sandpipers:


Seen here with a Marsh Sandpiper:


And my favourite wader, a Red-necked Phalarope:



These are such tiny drab birds when we see them yet their breeding plumage is spectacular.  That and they are so hard to find.  I was very happy.  In the end we saw around 15 Red-necked Phalaropes over about an hour!

Another relatively familiar wader is the Ruff:



The trip out to the oyster farm was really good.  Mark had to leave to get back for his wife's birthday.  It was a delight meeting such an expert who was so kind and enthusiastic, what a break!

We headed to a spot he'd recommended for Crested Cormorants, a small pier in front of a hotel:










And were then dropped off to walk back to the Guesthouse again along the shoreline.  As we walked the last of the sea mist burned off and as well as birding in the sun, I who had forgotten to apply sun screen burned off too.  Hey ho.  We did see loads more birds though, more Cape Sparrow:


Greater Flamingo:


Grey Plover, this one still showing some signs of summer plumage:



Hartlaub's Gull:



Kelp Gull:


Pied Avocet:

We got back to the guest-house and and re-packed before a pizza dinner and an early start up the coast the following morning.  Given this time again I would add a further day and spend time North and South of Walvis Bay, looking for more endemics such as the Dune Lark as well as the surrounding scenery.  We definitely felt that we were leaving too soon.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Rob said...

Michael - really interesting to see which birds one can expect to see in Walvis Bay. I run South Africa Travel Online, and we've decided to link to this post from our Johannesburg to Walvis Bay page, to allow birders the opportunity to see what's out there. Thanks for sharing, Rob

5:09 pm  

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