After turning off from the N2, one quickly finds themselves at Lake Pleasant – a holiday resort on the western banks of Groenvlei. The resort is very foresty, and by being on the edge of a coastal milkwood forest, many bird species cross over into the resort.
In the camping area, African Hoopoe, Olive Thrush and several species of dove walk the lawns. Flowering trees attract a wide variety of Sunbirds such as Amethyst, Greater and Southern Double Collared. Grey Sunbird is also present, and their presence is made known by their loud, bossy call.
Woodpeckers have become resident in the camping area, most notably the Knysna Woodpecker. Lake Pleasant has become one of the best places to find this bird.
In thicker patches of bush on the edge of the resort, Cape Batis and Collared Sunbird might be seen.
Walking along the reeds by the lake can give one some new species as well, where Cape Canary and Cape Weaver can often be found.
In Summer, Lake Pleasant become a haven for cuckoos, and the calls of African Emerald Cuckoo, among others, echo across the campsite.
Groenvlei is unique in being the only freshwater lake in the Garden Route. Although species diversity on the Lake itself is not very high, the birding in the forest and fynbos around the lake is exceptional. Groenvlei falls under Cape Nature protection, and much of the area to the south and the east of the Lake is part of the same reserve.
The lake is mostly surrounded by coastal milkwood forest, with coastal fynbos higher up on the hills. Over 50 species can be recorded relatively easily in a morning.
The area is also particularly scenic and is always enjoyed by photographers.
Lake Pleasant reception is at -34.02602, 22.83385 (https://maps.app.goo.gl/x7RGaL48ezg3o1MH9).
The resort welcomes birders, but request that you phone ahead of time to let them know you are coming.