It's with great excitement that we can announce that Diemersfontein has now become a Birder friendly establishment! And to top it all, we have launched a special bird wine label called "For the Birds". Not only will our birding site be a magnificent addition to the attractions offered here at Diemersfontein, but 10% off the proceeds of these wine sales will go towards the penguin colony project, headed by Birdlife South Africa.
The story behind the new "For the Birds" Wine label
The African penguins are in dire straits, facing alarming decreases across all colonies. They are endemic (i.e. occur nowhere else in the world) to southern Africa. In 1910, the Western Cape population was estimated to be around 1.5 million pairs, but in 2009 there were only 11 000 pairs left. This collapse is believed to be the result of eastward shift in their prey items (anchovy and sardine) and competition with commercial fisheries. There is ~600 km of penguin-friendly coastline between Dyer Island (near Hermanus) and St Croix Island (in PE), but no suitable islands for penguins to breed. Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate has provided support to BirdLife South Africa to investigate the possibility of establishing a new mainland colony somewhere along this stretch of coast. This support is as the founding patron of the Save Our Seabirds Fund. In addition Diemersfontein has launched a new BirdLife South Africa endorsed wine 'For the Birds' donating a portion of the sale price of each bottle to the SOS Fund.
Therefore we invite you to bring along your binoculars, reference books, cameras and camouflage, there are a brilliant variety of birds waiting to be discovered. Various spots on the farm will serve as ideal look out points, and our bird hides will soon be erected. Areas between the marshes, the blue gum forests, and the bushes around the lakes provide for ample a birder's disguise... of course the guinea fowl think it's their territory (don't they always) but many others have since made Diemersfontein their new home. The Egyptian geese have hatched their babies, who can be seen swimming in perfect uniformity on the big dam in front of the restaurant, along with their parents. In recent years, we have noticed a fair variety of birds of prey, amongst them you'll find the Fish Eagle, Gymnogene, African Goshawk, Black Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon and the Jackal buzzard. (to mention a few) The owls call late at night, along with many other nocturnal birds I am yet to familiarise myself with. So as you can see, there are many hidden secrets to the undisturbed trees and bushes around here!
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