Sunday, November 30, 2014

South Africa Trip, Day 16: Cape Town Sewage Ponds

Kimberly Writes: We woke early today, and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the lovely Howard's End Manor, our home for the next few days. Our wonderful hostess, Bronwen Dawes, made us feel so welcome, and we highly recommend this place to anyone planning a trip to Cape Town!

After breakfast, we headed for the beach. Well, sort of. We headed in the *direction* of the beach, but drove past all the people soaking up the sun, on our way to a much better place! 


We were headed for the Strandfontein Sewage Ponds! 

This waste water treatment plant is actually a famous birding spot, and if you think that sounds a little crazy, you might want to take a look at today's photo album and see the birds that we found there!

The bizarre yet beautiful Greater Flamingo. 

Greater Flamingos are the largest and most widespread species of the flamingo family, and here on the sewage ponds, there were flocks totaling in the hundreds.



Sitting still, they're beautiful, but at the same time, somewhat gangly and a bit awkward looking. But in flight, they are breathtaking! 



And when the entire flock takes to the air at once, 
they scoop your heart and your imagination up and take them along for the ride!

Flamingos weren't the only birds at the sewage ponds today. We also saw several of these adorable little birds.

Okay, first off, this is a cute little member of the grebe family, which 

makes it a winner without knowing anything more. BUT, then you find 

out that its called a "Dabchick," and...SquEEEEEE!!!!


I love stilts, so I was thrilled to see Black-winged Stilts today. 


There were hundreds of these lovely Cape Teal on the ponds today. 
Their voice, a sweet high whistle, suits them perfectly.

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