There is a fair amount of birdlife and wildlife on the estate as can be expected on a virtually ‘untouched’ tract of 550 hectares adjoining a nature reserve – but even we are sometimes surprised at what can be seen. Easiest to see and identify are the resident ostriches – these are wild but have become habituated and definitely give the impression that they are ‘at home’. We also have a paddock containing a donkey (Cesar) that we inherited from the previous owners.
It is possible to spot common duiker, especially on the main drive and amongst the olives, also klipspringer and Cape grysbok antelopes, but both are very shy and tend to stay amongst the fynbos and rocky areas. Jackals and bat eared foxes can be seen – especially at dusk, also porcupines, but mostly their quills can be found on the trails. Mongoose and Vlei mice (very sweet and harmless) are often seen in the gardens. Baboons often play higher up on the mountains – we do not encourage them but occasionally they will mount a raid. For the very lucky, the illusive Cape Leopard puts in an appearance not to be confused with the wild cats that often play near to the main dam.
Leopard tortoises can often be found crossing the tracks – they don’t like to be disturbed and have a good defence mechanism if they feel threatened.
Fish eagles call from the trees by the lower dam and we frequently see red bishops, Cape Sugar birds, Bokmakieries, Karoo Scrub Robins and sunbirds. On the dams a good selection of geese, ducks, moorhens, coots and grebes, with both Masked and Cape Weavers making their nests on the dam edges.
If you are very lucky you may also see Verreaux’s Eagle and Booted Eagle flying overhead. With the odd glimpse of a Spotted eagle owl in the evenings.