The De Hoop Strettons Stanford Bird Fair: Hot

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Cape Frankolin

The small town of Stanford has become well-known in recent years through its annual birding fair.

Located between Kleinbaai and Hermanus, famous for Great White Shark cage diving and the annual “Whale Festival” respectively, Stanford is a prime Southern Cape birding destination.  

This year, the organizers have taken the popular event to a new level and it will now be known as the “De Hoop Strettons Stanford Bird Fair”, with strong links to Birdlife South Africa through the BirdLife Overberg branch. The event will take place between the 3rd October and the 6th October 2013.

In addition to the exciting line up of presenters, the event will also host a number of field outings into the surrounding areas that will highlight just how special a birding destination Stanford actually is.

As one of the presenters, I decided to spend a morning driving through the area to see what birds I could find and photograph. I was pleasantly surprised when after a five-hour period, my list stood at well over 70 species, many of which were easy to photograph.

Below are a selection of the photographs that I managed to capture in and around Stanford. I hope to see you at the event, so please watch the media for more details.  Book the date now, 3rd-6th October 2013.

 

Willem Appel dam by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick1. The Willem Appel Dam situated in the Stanford town is home to a wide variety of waterbirds including Little Bittern, Ballions Crake and White-Backed Duck

 

White backed duck by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick2. Stanford is home to a relaxed population of White_backed Duck that may be seen on the Willem Appel Dam.

 

3 African Black Crake by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick3. African Crake leave the shelter of the reed beds to wander across the lilly pads

 

Le valliants cisticola by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick4. The reed beds surrounding the Willem Appel Dam host a variety of small warblers and cisticolas, including this Le Valliants Cisticola.

 

purple swamphen by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick5. A Puple Swamphen feeds amongst the lilly pads, always in close proximity to the cover provided by the reed beds.

 

Cattle Egret roost by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick6. Flocks of Cattle Egret, Reed Cormorant and African Darter roost in the reeds and dead trees at Willem Appel Dam.

 

Common Morhen by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick7. Common Morhen occur in good numbers on the Willem Appel Dam and often squabble with one another amongst much splashing and kicking.

 

Wild Dagga flowers by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick8. Wild Dagga flowers that grow in the fynbos areas surrounding the town of Stanford host sunbirds, weavers and canaries.

 

Helmeted Guineafolw by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick9. Helmeted Guineafowl flocks wander through the gardens and open spaces of Stanford.

 

Male orange breasted sunbird by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick10. Many of the houses in Stanford host indigenous gardens that attract many species including Cape White-Eyes, Olive Thrush and brightly colored Orange-Breasted Sunbirds.

 

streaky headed seed eater by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick11. Streaky-Headed Seed Eaters are seasonal visitors to Stanford.

 

Cape Bulbul by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick12. The Cape Bulbul is a common garden bird in Stanford and in amongst the fynbos.

 

klein river laggon by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick13. The Klein River Estuary and lagoon is both an excellent birding location and scenic destination.

 

black winged stilt by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick14. A Black-Winged Stilt searches for small aquatic insects in the shallows of the Klein River lagoon.

 

greater flamingo by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick15. Large flocks of Greater Flamingo inhabit the Klein River lagoon and will often fly in long rows of pink from one end to another.

 

Grey heron by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick16. A Grey Heron stares intently into the shallows in the hope of catching passing fish or frogs.

 

egyptian geese by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick17. Egyptian Geese fly noisily over the Klein River lagoon.

 

klein river and boat by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick001436318. The Klein River lagoon and estuary early in the morning provide a peaceful and photogenic scene.

 

milkwood tree by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick19. Large Milkwood trees line the lagoon and occur in dense stands in fire protected pockets.

 

Olive woodpecker by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick20. A male Olive Woodpecker feeds amongst a forest thicket

 

speckled mousebird by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick21. A Speckled Mousebird suns its belly to help aid digestion.

 

dusky flycatcher by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick22. Spotted, Dusky and African Paradise Flycatchers may be viewed amongst the dense Milkwood stands.

 

common fiscal by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick23.The Common Fiscal are seen perched on prominent perches from where they launch after their prey.

 

cape spurfowl and grass seeds by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick24. A Cape Spurfowl stretches up to grab at grass seeds

 

cape spurfowl by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick25.A Cape Spurfowl with the grass seeds in its bill. The seeds are stripped from the stalk and swallowed.

 

mikwood leaves by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick26. Close up of the circular pattern of the Milkwood leaves

 

Merino sheep by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick27. The farmlands surrounding Stanford provide additional habitats for a host of bird species. Here recently sheared Merino Sheep stare at the photographer.

 

Caracal by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick28. Given the rural nature of Stanford, there is till a good chance of seeing smaller wildlife species such as Steenbok, Grey Duiker, Grey Rhebok, Porcupine and even Caracal. 

 

Large Billed Lark by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick29. An early morning drive through the farmlands that surround Stanford provide good opportunities for viewing the lark species that call from the farm fence posts. Here a Large-Billed Lark pauses from calling.

 

Karoo Korhaan by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick30. A lucky sighting was a pair of Karoo Korhaan

 

yellow Canary by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick31. Yellow Canaries provide a splash of color amongst the drab colored farmlands

 

Blue crane by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick32. Blue Cranes occur in good numbers amongst the farmlands and can be easily viewed as they feed alongside sheep and other livestock

 

Agulhas Long billed lark by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick33. The endemic Agulhas Long-Billed Lark calls from the high vantage point of a farm fence post

 

springbok by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick34. Springbok pause from feeding amongst the lucern fields on one of the farms that lie close to Stanford.

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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: http://www.peterchadwick.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
About
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.