South African grasslands and Grey Crowned Cranes of the Eastern Cape.


To complete our year of bird surveys, we set off for a rapidly arranged project in the Eastern Cape near the town of Elliot. Located on the on a plateau beneath an impressive escarpment punctuated by columns of sandstone, the panoramic scenery made for a dramatic variation the rolling East Cape Thicket transitioned to grassland.

Exploring a ridge, a series of carperting Euphorbia’s created a geometrical foreground in a landscape photographic composition.

In the midst of the undulating grassland it was an unexpected bonus to our bird survey to record the shear diversity of raptor species and the proximity of Cape Vulture roosting locations. From the uniform grasslands to the forest patches flanking the mountain ravines there is a rich diversity of birds against a dramatic backdrop of geology.

Without a doubt, the flocks of Grey Crowned Cranes have been the highlight of our time spent here.

In addition, the region offers a number of endemic bird species.

After this survey, we return to the Garden Route for a six week summer break of hiking, cycling and snorkeling.

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