On Saturday, Vilis and I hiked a 16-kilometre loop from our apartment on the Rhodes University campus in Grahamstown through Featherstone Kloof, a long, steep-sided valley just over the high ridge south of 1820 Settlers National Monument.
Highlights of the hike included long views, wildflowers, fynbos-covered hills, a very large millipede, and pockets of riverine forest that resounded with the songs of woodland birds. We didn’t hurry, and I added four new South African birds to my life list: a green-backed cameroptera carrying nesting material in the patch of forest shown in the photo above; a Cape grassbird that skulked in rank vegetation along a drainage line; a Cape sugarbird in fynbos; and a male swee waxbill (gorgeous!) in a copse of shrubs alongside the trail. All in all, a fantastic hike! I haven’t yet bought a South African wildflower guide, so if anyone out there can identify the flowers in the photos below, I’d love to know what they are. Leave me a comment below or e-mail me via my Contact link. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)
My bird sightings: Hadeda ibis, red-winged starling, red-eyed dove, fork-tailed drongo, speckled pigeon, olive thrush, African hoopoe, crowned lapwing, neddicky, African stonechat, brimstone canary, helmeted guineafowl, *green-backed cameroptera, greater double-collared sunbird, *Cape grassbird, *Cape sugarbird, malachite sunbird, Knysna turaco, *Swee waxbill, southern tchagra, amethyst sunbird, common fiscal, Cape rock-thrush.