Sedgefield, Western Cape – Hoogekraal Road

    About the Birding

    East of the Hoogekraal Causeway, the road passes through low lying farmland that borders the Hoogekraal River. Western Cattle Egret and Black-headed Heron are common in the fields, while Common Buzzard might be seen in Summer. Patches of thicket next to the road are worth checking for Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Olive Bushshrike.

    The Hoogekraal River is visible in sections on this part of the road and could hold a number of assorted waterbirds. However, the Causeway over the river is a far better spot to check.

    From the Causeway over the Hoogekraal river (-33.97991, 22.79967) is an awesome place to look out for specials such as African Finfoot. Far more common however, are African Black Duck and Giant Kingfisher. The banks of the river are worth checking for Half-collared Kingfisher and Black Crake.

    Traveling west from the Causeway, the road winds uphill through beautiful indigenous forest. Forest species such as White-starred Robin, Chorister Robin-chat, Yellow throated Woodland Warbler and Grey Cuckooshrike are all possible, among others. Black Bellied Starling and Grey Sunbird often move through the area as well.

    As the road continues, one passes small patches of fynbos which can hold Karoo Prinia and Cape Bulbul. At the top of the hill, gorgeous views over the Valley are offered, and is a great spot to look out for raptors such as Forest Buzzard and African Cuckoohawk.

    Areas of agricultural land on the western end of the road sometimes have Denham’s Bustard, which in summer might be joined by White Stork and Amur Falcon.

    About the Birding Site

    The Hoogekraal road is a public gravel road mostly used by farmers in the area. The road passes through patches of farmland and thicket, as well as indigenous forest and alien plantation. A big drawcard is also the Causeway over the Hoogekraal river. All of these habitats offer for quite a variety of species, and 70 species is easily possible in a summer morning along this road.

    Other Related Information

    The Hoogekraal Road can be accessed from the east at -33.98799, 22.80440, or from the west at -33.94642, 22.74051.

    The Hoogekraal road is a public road and is free for anyone to use.

    There are no facilities along the road, and the nearest shops, fuel stations or bathrooms are in the town of Sedgefield.

    Text prepared by:

    Justin Ponder

    Key species:

    African Black Duck, African Finfoot, African Cuckoohawk, Forest Buzzard, Black-bellied Starling, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Grey Cuckooshrike, White-starred Robin, Karoo Prinia, Denham’s Bustard

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