If you're a resident or even an annual visitor to Gansbaai, you’ve probably noticed a tortoise or two crossing the road...
The Overberg Birding Route was quoted as saying “Greyton should be right up there when it comes to a top birding destination and village's “brag list”'. The village, the Sonderend Valley and the Greyton Nature Reserve are all host to some amazing birdlife. The Reserve is most certainly considered to be one of the top birding spots in the Overberg while the leafy lanes of the village still beckon the twittering of the local and migratory birds.
There are frequent sightings of the Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Siskin and Cape Grassbird. Then the common summer visitors include Diderick Cuckoo, Klaas's Cuckoo, Red-chested Cuckoo, Flycatcher Paradise, White Stork and Black Stork. There have been a number of sightings of the African Openbill but these are less predictable.
The “brag list” includes the typical Overberg specials as well as the Buff-spotted Flufftail, African Rail, Purple Heron, African Harrier-Hawk and Martial Eagle. A check list of birds for the Greyton area has been compiled and this can be acquired from the tourism office for R10. The list was put together with the use of the “Robert's Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa” Version 3 CD, records of the “South African Bird Atlas Projects” (SABAP1 + two years into SABAP2), as well as various local residents’ personal check lists. The migratory birds are more difficult to monitor so any positive identification is always welcome to keep the list growing and accurate.
Birders, or Twitchers, are welcome to join the Sonderend Bird Group on their monthly visit to birding spots in the area, which is usually organised for the last Sunday of each month. Otherwise there are birding walks with a Genadendal local, Hilton Seekoei. His qualifications include the “Bird Life of South Africa” bird-guiding course and his passion for the birds in the area is contagious. It is essential to bring your own birding equipment and then he will point out the hypnotic plumage and captivating facts.
Bird watching in Greyton will certainly put the trained eye to the test with the sweet temptation of spotting new species or visiting rarities. Their beauty and evocative mannerisms can be enjoyed by anyone with a simple love for nature.