While the opinions vary as to iconic wildlife preferences, it is for me the Black Eagle, previously known as Verreaux’s Eagle, that represents the true spirit of the vast scrublands and dolerite-capped mountain ranges of the Great Karoo.

Black Eagle

Black Eagle in an azure Karoo sky

After nearly a three decade break on site visits, I once again obtained permission to visit an isolated gorge on the Roggeveld Plateau, as an adjunct to enjoying the colourful profusion of Spring flowers along the escarpment.

Sure enough the pair of Black Eagles, if indeed they were still the original pair, were still utilising the same nest site on a vertical cliff face. Aside from the eagles attending to the needs of an almost fully grown eaglet, Alpine Swifts breeding in the vertical cracks of a fossilised waterfall added to the ambience of the scene, still further complemented by the presence of vocal Ground Woodpeckers and the resident baboon troop.

Black Eagle nest in a gorge in the Great Karoo, by Patrick Cardwell

Black Eagle nest in a gorge in the Great Karoo

Sitting quietly, simply observing the eagles circling above the impressive gorge in black and white contrast to the azure Karoo sky, must surely rank as one of the more spectacular birding delights on offer in the great outdoors of the Western Cape.

Black Eagle, elegant, iconic! by Patrick Cardwell

Black Eagle, elegant, iconic!

For more info on our birding day tours and longer birding tours out of Cape Town and the rest of South Africa, contact Patrick or Marie-Louise on info@avianleisure.com or browse through our website www.avianleisure.com

Alpine Swift

Alpine Swift, look at those wings!