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Mountain Mist Private Nature Reserve

Modified: 2008/11/13 12:30 by guygibbon - Categorized as: Western Cape
Situated high in the Kapteinskloof Mountains, with spectacular views out to the Cedarberg and over the West Coast Plains to the Atlantic Ocean, lies a Private Nature Reserve known as Mountain Mist. This is the best spot close to Cape Town for the elusive Protea Seedeater – you will have difficulty spending time here in summer and not seeing it. Mountain Mist is an ideal overnight stop after a day spent birding the productive West Coast.

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Specials

Protea Seedeater, Ground Woodpecker, Cape Siskin, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Cape Rock-Thrush; Black Harrier, Cape Eagle-Owl.

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Habitat

The site is predominantly Cape Mountain Fynbos with a (siskin supporting) grove of pine trees near the accommodation..

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Facilities

Self-catering accommodation, walking trails and bush pool.

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Birding

1. Be sure to get off to an early start as the Protea Seedeater is most active then. It is fairly easily seen from the road close by the accommodation. The rocky ridge up toward the radar tracking station also supports Ground Woodpecker. Listen for the distinctive, explosive call. Cape Rock-Thrush and (the more elusive) Sentinel Rock-Thrush are also best seen in the early morning along the rocky areas abutting the walk to the Radar Station. The Neddicky, found only in mountainous habitat in the Western Cape, is readily seen as is Grey-backed Cisticola. Look out for Booted Eagle and Jackal Buzzard soaring overhead. Cape Sugarbird and Orange-breasted Sunbird abound in the protea bushes and Cape Grassbird, Cape Bunting and Familiar Chat are easily found. Cape Batis occur in the pine tree grove.

2. There is a resident pair of Verreauxs' Eagle which breed on the cliffs. Black Harrier also breed within the Nature Reserve and Peregrine Falcon can also be found.

3. When evening falls you may enjoy the spectacular sight of the sun setting over the atlantic. Listen for the call of a Cape Eagle-Owl – often perched conspicuously on a rock. Both Freckled Nightjar and Fiery-necked Nightjar are heard (and seen). Small flocks of Cape Siskin flit through the twilight.

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General

Accommodation
Mountain Mist offers three comfortable wooden cabins with full kitchen and ablution facilities. Bring your own food. There are a number of short hikes, although most of the target birds are seen in close proximity to the accommodation.

Contact details
Tel/Fax: 022-9521750
e-mail:
Website: www.mountainmist.co.za

Directions
From the birdhide on the Berg river at Laaiplek take the tarred road toward Piketberg (R399) A few kms beyond the town take the sand road to the left signposted Aurora. Travel along the road until you reach the T Junction (from this point you can see the village of Aurora ahead of you), turn right and (shortly after reaching the tar) turn left into Aurora. Once in the small town take the left turn onto the road to Redelinghuys. The Mountain Mist turnoff is signposted to the right about 2 kms from the village. The first few kms up the mountain are very steep and the road is winding but don’t be alarmed - things get better. Take time out to enjoy the birds along the way including the often shy Grey-winged Francolin. Go through the first settlement (you are not yet at your destination) and, shortly after leaving the pine plantation and it’s rather bizarre Eland herd, you reach the S A Heritage site. Don’t be put off by the very severely worded Defence Force restricted area signs – provided of course you have obtained permission to enter from the Mountain Mist owners. Another 5 kms along a good sand road will bring you to Mountain Mist. Please close all gates behind you and drive slowly.

Margaret MacIver 2007
Richard Grant & Margaret MacIver 2007




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