Friday, 25 July 2014

Walvis Bay

A quick check of the gardens near the hotel gave us a pair of Orange River White-eyes, along with some Common Waxbills. So with time on our hands we walked along the seafront and enjoyed nice views of Pied Avocet, both Greater and Lesser Flamingos and some common waders, as well as scoping some distant African Black Oystercatchers before going for breakfast. 

Pied Avocet
Pied Avocet
Afterwards we walked around the corner to the small harbour and set out on our morning’s excursion across the bay. We were soon joined by a Cape Fur Seal that jumped aboard and demanded some fish, but he wasn’t that friendly and was soon ‘shown the door’. We cruised by hundreds more seals loafing on the beach, as well as getting a couple of Heaviside’s Dolphins

Cape Fur Seals

But it was very quiet for seabirds with just a few Cape Gannets, some Swift and Common Terns, and a Wilson’s Storm-petrel to show for our efforts, so we returned to calmer waters and were extremely fortunate to get decent views of a pair of African Penguins

African Penguins

There were lots of Cape Cormorants and a single Crowned Cormorant, and some very familiar waders on the shoreline such as Ruddy Turnstone, Bar-tailed Godwit and Sanderling. We finished with a nice little buffet, some fresh oysters and sparkling wine before returning to shore, getting a visit from a more friendly Fur Seal who posed for photos and selfies! Around the restaurants on the quay we managed to see the reported House Crow – a vagrant and one of very few records for Namibia!

Chestnut-banded Plover

After some time off to relax we drove along Walvis Bay and spent a very enjoyable couple of hours sifting through the wader flocks. It didn’t take us very long to find our first Chestnut-banded Plover, and they turned out to be extremely common with a rough estimate of 200+ present. We also had White-fronted and Three-banded Plovers, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Black-winged Stilt, plus Grey-headed Gull, Cape Teal and Cape Shovelers, and thousands of Lesser and Greater Flamingo’s.

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