Velddrif is famous for its flamingos but the Berg River estuary and the floodplains are rich in a wide variety of birdlife. In fact, the mudflats and saltpans that greet you on arrival support the highest density of waders along the eastern Atlantic seaboard. Here are a few of the easiest to reach birdwatching sites around Velddrif, as well as which birds you can expect to spot.

birdwatching map

From either side of the bridge where the R27 crosses the Berg River (1), birders would not have to go far to spot a wide variety of birds, including:

  • Pied Avocet
  • Cape Teal
  • Black-necked Grebe
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Capped Wheatear
  • Chestnut-banded Plover
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Greater and Lesser Flamingo
  • Kittlitz’s Plover
  • Little Stint
  • Red-necked Phalarope
  • Ruff Ringed Plover
  • South African Shelduck
  • Thick-billed Lark

african spoonbill velddrif

The Riviera Mudflat (2) has a well-known bird hide. Several rarities have been spotted here, including the only sighting on African record of the American Little Blue Heron. Collect the key from reception at the Riviera Hotel and see if you can spot any of the following water birds:

  • African Spoonbill
  • Caspian Tern
  • Greater and Lesser Flamingo
  • Little Egret
  • Purple Heron
  • White Pelican

BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summertime, 90 minutes after high tide in Table Bay.

Pelican Velddrif WestCoast

Bokkom Alley (3) is a great spot for viewing and photographing bird species such as:

  • African Darter
  • African Spoonbill
  • Pied Avocet
  • Common Greenshank
  • Common Whimbrel
  • Egret
  • Grey Plover
  • Heron
  • Kingfisher
  • Little Stint
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Sandpipers
  • White Pelican

BEST TIME TO VISIT: Year-round

Black oystercatcher

The nearby Rocherpan Nature Reserve (4) is well worth the 25 minutes it will take to drive from Velddrif. One can choose to drive through the reserve or hike along the footpaths. Numerous bird hides and picnic areas offer you the chance to spot some of the following birds:

  • African Black Oystercatchers
  • African Hoopoe
  • White-throated Canary
  • Cape Shoveller
  • Kelp Gull
  • Spotted Flycatcher
  • Wood Sandpiper

BEST TIME TO VISIT: Rocherpan is a seasonal vlei that is usually dry between March and June.
Visit the Cape Nature website for a map of the reserve as well as a complete list of all 183 species that have been spotted at Rocherpan Nature Reserve.

Additional resources:
More information about the bird species found in and around Velddrif, as well as where to spot them, can be found on the following websites:
http://www.westerncapebirding.co.za/westcoast/routes.php
http://www.capebirdingroute.org/West_Coast_Berg_River_Estuary.htm

css.php