Over the weekend of 18-20 April a few members of BirdLife Free State visited the Aliwal North district on an outing.
The Friday night started with a lifer or two for some of the members - they had their first look at a Barn Owl and Spotted Eagle Owl.
The Saturday produced good birding and a few specials were spotted throughout the day. Ludwig's Bustard (unfortunately too far off to take proper photo's), Lesser Honeyguide, Red-throated Wryneck, Black Stork and Pale-winged Starlings were amongst the good finds of the day. Two real specials for the day had been the two Kimberley Pipits spotted at an empty farm dam. Riette Griessel of Garingboom had been part of the group and she confirmed the sighting of the Kimberley's. More than 80 species were ticked on the Saturday, the last one being Red-winged Francolin at dusk.
The group experienced the first taste of winter on the Sunday morning when they visited Kramberg - the highest point in the area - 2018m asl. Sleet pelted down and snow started to accumulate in the crevices and at the bases of the plants. Someone remarked: "Now, that is extreme birding!", after a reading of the temperature in the car indicated a sub-zero outside temperature. It was -2 deg C. Two very distraught Verreaux's Eagles were spotted on the mountain - the wind buffeted them to and fro.
Who said birding could not be an extreme sport?