West Coast – Darling Hills Road
About the Birding
Just after turning off the R27/West Coast Road (-33.5001, 18.3329), stop and listen for the calls of Cape Clapper Lark, Southern Black Korhaan and Grey-winged Francolin. These calls will assist in locating these birds. Just before the turn in the road (-33.5126, 18.3527) look out for flocks of Wattled and Pied Starling. Watch for Capped Wheatear, Large-billed Lark and Red-capped Lark along the edge of the road and European Bee-eater, Banded Martin and Pearl-breasted Swallow on the wire fences in summer.
About the Birding Site
The Darling Hills Road is a dirt road that winds through the farmlands about 30 min north of Cape Town. There are a variety of habitats along this road – Strandveld just after the R27 turnoff, farmland and wheatfields, and some small wetland areas. This area is one of the closest spots to the city for several of western Southern African endemics. The birding is often best in the morning or late afternoon, but raptors can be seen circling in the heat of the day.
Other Related Information
Access and facilities:
The public road is accessed from either the R27 (-33.5001, 18.3333), or the R307 (-33.4500, 18.4384). The neighbouring farmlands are private property and all birding is done from the roadside apart from Grootepos Wine Estate.
A map can be found at: https://www.capebirdclub.org.za/darling-hills-road-site-guide/