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Lady Slipper Birding

The BirdLife Eastern Cape Club has fairly regular outings to the top of the Lady's Slipper Mountain.

How to get there:

Before driving off to Lady Slipper phone Goodman Macha at Van Stadens Flower Reserve, to hear if the gate to Lady Slipper is lock or not. If it his arrange with him to get the key.

Drive on the Old Cape Road to Fitches Corner and turn right towards Uitenhage. Turn left at a sign saying “Culturama”and follow the gravel road for about 5 kilometres. Then turn left onto a tar road that leads to the microwave tower at the top of the mountain.


The habitat is montane fynbos with Erica’s and four species of protea. However after fires it is not good for a while till the fynbos recovers.


Lady Slipper is locally the best place for fynbos birds such as Protea Canary, Cape Siskin, Victorin’s Warbler and Orange-breasted Sunbird occur. Also occasionally Sentinel Rock Thrush and Ground Woodpecker.

Victorin’s Warbler – Corné Erasmus


Cape Siskin –Keith Joubert

If there has been a recent fire (which happens fairly often) the fynbos is not profitable for birds. Once it has reached climax size it is covered with flowering protea of many species. It is poor in quantity of birds seen and species of bird but there are some real quality birds occasionally.

Orange-breasted Sunbird – Keith Joubert


Cape Sugarbird – Corné Erasmus

Cape Sugarbirds, Orange-breasted Sunbirds, Cape Siskin and Victorins'Warbler are regularly recorded near the summit. If you are lucky you may get Protea Canary which is infrequently seen. At one stage there was a male Cape Rockjumper but this species hasn't been seen in twenty years. Cape Rock Thrush, Sentinel Rock Thrush and Ground Woodpecker are occasional sightings. Also Familiar Chat, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Long-billed Pipit and Red-winged Francolin (heard). Red-necked Spurfowl is quite common.

At the road before the turnoff up the mountain (at the bottom of the north side) there are birds like African Stonechat, Yellow Bishop, Swee Waxbill, Cape Canary, Common Waxbill, Plain-backed Pipit plus some of the fynbos specials. At a farm on the right of the road Forest Buzzards are resident and Grey Cuckooshrike and Greater Honeyguide have been seen. There was a pair of Ground Woodpeckers at this farm recently.

Raptors at the mountain include Rock Kestrels (resident), Forest Buzzards, Booted Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Little Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and Lanner Falcon and Black Harrier

Other birds near the bottom of the mountain include Rufous-naped Lark and White-browed Scrub-Robin.

There is a species of Chamaeleon, Smith's Dwarf Chamaeleon, which is found only on this mountain range.

(The Bird List is for all birds seen on the road in from the main road plus the birds on the mountain itself.)


View the complete bird list here.

Through the club's monthly e-newsletters and bi-annual magazine, the Bee-Eater, we aim to stimulate continued interest in birds and their habitats.